Tanya Enberg: Unexpected Mother


When Dust Bunnies Take Over Your Home


You’ve got the soiled diapers. The pee leaks. The clothing stain removals done by hand. There are the drippy-nose booger wipe ups, food-on-the-floor clean ups and the unexpected spit-ups that always seem to aim straight for your hair.

When dissecting the day-to-day tasks of motherhood, it is a rather unglamorous scene indeed.

To top it all off, there is there is another icky intruder, albeit one entirely unrelated to motherhood.

Oh yes, you’ve met them before and they are dirty, sneaky and stubborn. I am talking here about dust bunnies.

Make that the large army of dust bunnies that regularly infiltrate the corners of our home and hide under the tables and beds. I am convinced that the really bold bunnies are flat-out mocking me by greeting me at the door when I come home.

Under the right circumstances, I actually don’t mind cleaning (the right circumstances being when I am not overwhelmed by the zillion other glamour-free tasks that have wound up on my plate).

The last thing I want to do when our baby is finally napping is put on grubby clothes (OK, make that grubbier clothes) so that I can sweep, mop, dust, and scrub sinks and toilets.

That said, my hubby and I have good intentions. We talk a good game about our plans to tackle the muck, but then we get caught up in home renovations, grocery shopping, making meals, looking after our ever-shedding dog Maggie and then — oops — you guessed it, cleaning falls right off the to-do list.

The state of our breeding dust bunnies became very apparent when we put our baby in a hilarious mop-style onesie, given to us by friends of ours. With thick strings lining his arms and legs, he looked very much like a mop with a face as he crawled around the kitchen.

The next morning when I collected him from his crib, my eyes turned red and I began sneezing uncontrollably. Turns out, the sleeper actually works and had stored a ton of allergy-igniting dust in its stringy bits. 

With our son now confidently cruising all over the house, the bunnies simply had to go. We’ve had to admit that a) We don’t want to spend our free time armed with vacuums and brooms b) Our son has become a rather efficient dust collector and c) Turning our baby into a ‘mop’ reeks just a bit too much of child labour

We knew what needed to be done. No, not clean. Outsource, of course.

Finally, we hired a pro. We’ve booked her twice a month and it’s heaven. While we do our part to keep things polished between visits, the stress of built-up crumbs, toilet muck, and clusters of dust bunnies is gone.

Now when I walk into a freshly cleaned house, I feel light and relaxed, like I’ve just enjoyed an afternoon at the spa. And maybe I will. You know, with all the free time I now have on my hands.