The Lifesaver and the Homewrecker: The Other Woman Living in My Home

Here She is. The Other Woman.
Here she is. The Other Woman.

Another woman is living in my home. I am fairly certain she has knocked down your door as well or has plans to in the near future. She is both saving and ruining lives, and I think it’s time for the veil of secrecy to be lifted. 

I consider myself to be a pretty good mom. I yell sometimes because, often, no one pays attention to me unless I lose it. I let my kids have a treat after almost every dinner. I probably care too much about my house being clean. I am a parenting work in progress, and I am well aware there are areas in which I can improve.

What I do consider myself exceptional at, however, is noticing strange people who are residing in my home. I have yet to meet this mysterious woman, but it seems that she has become ever present in my family’s lives.

This person usually makes her first appearance of the day during breakfast time and goes to bed right around the same time as my kids. She lurks around all day and springs into action at the most inopportune times.

She is always called upon when something is lost. Or spilled. Or if anyone needs anything.

She is a constant presence in my home, and her name is Someone.   

I have two young girls who I will call Kathie Lee (6) and Hoda (3.) Someone has affected each of their lives quite differently. Someone is an absolute axe wound in Kathie Lee’s life. She hides/ loses/ steals Kathie Lee’s most prized possessions. Many of these possessions happen to be single LEGO pieces or LoL Surprise Doll shoes and clothes, which measure approximately the size of a large gnat. Someone heartlessly demolishes her playroom, bedroom and desk.

Mysteriously, Someone also happens to leave the very things Kathie Lee was playing with strewn throughout the house. Someone, somehow, left a perfectly curated yogurt handprint on my couch that no one is allowed to eat anywhere near. Someone cruelly took Kathie Lee’s homework and put it somewhere.  To Kathie Lee, Someone is a real jerkface.

Although there is no love lost between Kathie Lee and Someone, I don’t think My Big Girl realizes how fortunate she is to have a person in her life who is kind enough to hold the bag when the heist has gone south.  

On the other hand, Hoda relies on Someone for her very survival. I wish I could afford to hire this Someone, because the expectations placed upon her by my 3-year-old are loftier than many can live up to on their best day. This Someone fulfills Hoda’s most basic needs. Many of these needs are directly associated with her being treated like a baby.

Someone needs to feed Hoda grapes because she’s “Not a great feeder.” Someone needs to bring her the other identical princess she already has, which would require her to twist her body in the opposite direction because she’s “Not a great reacher.” Someone needs to change her TV show, because she’s “Not a great Sesame Street watcher.” Someone needs to let her stay up because she’s “Not a great sleeper.” The apex, however, of Someone’s duties is sitting on the floor next to the toilet while Hoda does her business. I’m sure you guessed it, but Hoda’s “Not a great pooper.” 

These are all direct quotes. Someone has filled the integral role of indentured servant in Hoda’s young life. She truly makes up for deficiencies caused by parents who are trying to raise an independent human being.

Someone has even caught my husband‘s eye. I will notice him glance across the table expectantly as we are eating at a restaurant. As I catch his eye, he muses to no one in particular, “Did Someone bring any wipes for Hoda’s face?”

Or, if it unexpectedly rains, he will ask me and his young children, “Did Someone bring an umbrella?”

Or, my favorite, the ubiquitous, “Did Someone bring a snack?” Even the most loyal of grown-up men are susceptible to Someone’s seductive superpower of having everything everyone will ever need until the end of time available in her purse.

I can’t compete with that, I must admit. 

I imagine Someone has the ability to simultaneously resemble a disheveled version of my beautiful Kathie Lee and an extremely Photoshopped rendering of me after someone else has done my hair and makeup. I assume she is wearing some sort of a athleisure-inspired Mary Poppins getup in the latter situation, but I have never met her in person, so this is utter conjecture. I guess she sleeps in the dog kennel. As my husband often points out, the dog certainly does not sleep there. Someone needs to protect me from crooks.

Since Someone does not seem to be going away anytime soon, I knew I needed to research her extensively. By research, I, of course, mean group texting my girlfriends. My findings were disappointing, but not surprising. Someone has infiltrated their homes as well.

Our children range from a new 3 to 16, and it seems that I am in good company in housing this interloper. The name is the same, Someone, but the foolishness actions range far and wide. 

My friend Megan, who has similarly aged boys and wrote a beautiful three part adoption series for the blog, has had a shockingly similar experience. Her 5-year-old son recently lamented that he couldn’t find his markers because Someone moved them. He, of course, had left all of them in the kitchen with half of the caps off the previous evening, but, semantics.

As mothers, we are truly disheartened that Someone has inserted him or herself into every single daily situation rendering our children helpless or victimized.

Helpless victim! The lot of them! We are seriously considering launching a Kickstarter Campaign for them. 

You can see my dilemma with Someone. I kind of wish she (or he) would take a hike. But then, I think better of it and wonder aloud how would Hoda continue with her very challenging life of being forced to poop alone.

I had high hopes that as my kids got older, Someone would find a new home to infest. However, this pipe dream was quickly shattered by my friend Beth, who has kids aged 12, 14 and 16. Her direct quote in response to the above mentioned atrocities/ insurmountable kindnesses was, “I hate to break it to you but Somebody and her cousin Not Me still show up regularly here.

My friend Gina who has a 16-year-old kindly responded, “I wish you the best.”  

So, Dear Friends, if this other woman has come into your life as an uninvited guest who has infested your family, I also wish you the best. I’ll let you all know if I ever get to meet her after I attempt to coax her from the shadows by ordering all of the tights from Lululemon. And Athleta. And Spanx. And Nordstrom.

You know, so I can get to know who my family is associating with all day.