Mommy's Little Helper

Keeping up the housework is tough these days. I don't know if it would've been easier if I were a younger mom, but I do know that as a 42-year-old with a full-time job and a toddler, I don't have the energy to keep it up, so a few things fall by the wayside -- like sweeping.

My old sweeping routine went like this. I sweep the kitchen out with a broom, putting all of the dust, dirt and crumbs in a pile, then vacuum it up, then I'd vacuum the entire kitchen floor. And then, if it needs it, I'd mop it. All of that vacuuming might seem like overkill, but brooms always leave something behind, and I hate to see it get mixed up in my mop water.

Since my daughter's birth, I've completed the entire kitchen-floor cleaning process just once. The thought of dragging out our rather heavy vacuum feels like too much of a hassle, therefore, I never get past the broom stage.

I bought a Swiffer Sweeper, thinking that using a pad that constantly makes contact with the floor might be more thorough than a broom, hopefully making the vacuum unnecessary and getting me to the mopping phase quicker.

It worked OK, but the best part was my daughter's reaction to the Swiffer. When I used it, she laughed. Something about it seemed very amusing to her. Before I had a chance to finish, she started trying to take it from me, and once I completed the kitchen, I let her.

She had the pad upside down most of the time, and she decided to try it out in my carpeted living room as well. She looked so proud of herself. I treasure it, because I know it will be short-lived. I doubt I see that much joy when she's sweeping the floor as a teenager.

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