Holly Simon no longer gets annoyed about picking up errant towels, shoes, and other messes left behind by her husband. Instead, she sees it as a kind of gift.
As Mom.me reports, the wife and mom who writes about home and family on Facebook and Instagram acknowledges that her morning ritual often consists of picking up after her husband.
As Simon wrote on her Facebook page, every day begins by restoring order to the disarray her husband creates in the bathroom and around the house:
Everyday I pick up the towel he hangs on our curtain rod & throw it on a hook in the bathroom, put his hair gel back in the bathroom drawer that was 3 in from where he placed it, close literally every. dresser drawer, and pick up at least two pairs of his shoes somewhere in the house.
Earlier in their marriage — especially when they had toddlers and babies — Simon resented having to tidy up after him.
“As a younger wife […] this often made me irritated. ‘Don’t I have enough to clean up daily after the kids!'” she wrote. “Years ago I actually felt bitterness about it.”
Everyday I pick up the towel he hangs on our curtain rod & throw it on a hook in the bathroom, put his hair gel back in…
However, now Simon sees the mess completely differently. For her, the misplaced shoes and towels “represent his presence in our home.” And that led her to think about what it would mean if they disappeared.
“What if they weren’t there each day?” she wondered. “What else would be missing from our lives? His laugh, his comfort, his guidance? How many women and children are living that harsh sadness out?”
For Simon, the mess her husband leaves behind is a reminder of their partnership:
The scattered trail of his daily routine means I have a husband who keeps coming home. I’m not doing life on my own. I’m not raising my girls by myself.
And that changes everything.
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As the mom wrote, it makes it possible to look at those messes as a good thing — and that might be helpful to anyone who feels angry or resentful about it:
That is a cause for gratitude, not irritation. If you’re in that mode sister, take a breath. This is a common attitude trap for us. And you’re most likely tired. But Remember – it’s not “your burden” it’s your gift.
Simon’s way of looking at the chore of cleaning up after her husband was inspiring to many commenters. Quite a few wrote and agreed that — as annoying as it might be to clean up the mess — they would never want to lose the person responsible for it. Some had learned this the hard way.
However, several commenters strongly disagreed with Simon’s perspective. Some thought it was sexist and old-fashioned. Others criticized her for putting up with a sloppy or immature husband.
In a follow-up post, Simon gently corrected the misconceptions about her husband.
“I am not being held captive in the basement by a sloppy chip-eating House Lord,” she wrote while laughing about the tendency of the internet to overreact.
She also thanked those who commented and shared her post.
“Your stories of loss, love, memories, and reflection are the real story here,” she wrote. “[…] You all have lived and are living so much life. It’s beautiful. It’s messy.”
Finally, for those who “missed the door while looking for the doormat,” Simon reshared a response that got to the heart of her message:
“My mom always tells the story of when her dad passed. See he always used to leave his hat on the chair and my grandmother would always get irritated and ask him to hang it up. But after he passed she took the hat and placed it on his chair where he always left it, ’cause it made her feel like he was there with her. You never know when your last day with someone will be. Don’t sweat the small stuff.”