Clint Edwards was surprised when his mother chose to criticize his wife for her cleaning skills. Initially, in fact, the jibe left him lost for words. After considering his mom’s remark, however, Edwards came up with a response that’s, quite frankly, adorable.
Edwards himself is a parenting blogger from Oregon, with a site entitled “No Idea What I’m Doing: A Daddy Blog.” That name, he has revealed, is down to him not having had his own father figure while growing up. And, as the moniker also suggests, Edwards is a dad himself, to two daughters and a son.
Plus, Edwards’ honest and humorous approach to parenting writing has earned him a legion of loyal fans. That popularity translates to social media, too: on Facebook, for instance, he boasts more than 217,000 followers.
In August 2017, meanwhile, Edwards took to Facebook to share what would become one of his most popular posts to date. The update followed a phone conversation with his mother, and what she said about his wife during their conversation would leave Edwards riled up.
Sharing the details of their private phone call, Edwards revealed, “A few weeks ago I was chatting with my mother over the phone when she said, ‘Doesn’t it bother you that Mel won’t keep a cleaner house?’”
And, understandably, Edwards’ mom’s brutally honest line of inquiry took the blogger by surprise. “It was a Saturday. I was working on the dishes. I honestly didn’t know what to say,” he explained. “My mother didn’t say it in an antagonist[ic] way or anything. It was more out of curiosity.”
Nevertheless, that question got Edwards thinking. And while still on the phone, his mind flicked to the kids’ clutter littering the rooms of his home. He then thought of his sink, full of unfinished dishes, and his children’s latest creative endeavors, which were covering the tabletops.
“She’d obviously noticed that our home wasn’t all that tidy,” Edwards conceded. “I will also admit, it isn’t as clean as my mother’s home, but that doesn’t bother me. In fact, I don’t really think about that at all.”
After Edwards had dealt with the “Doesn’t it bother you?” part of his mom’s question, though, he moved on to her insinuation that it was his wife’s job to clean their home. Now that was something he did take umbrage with. Indeed, Edwards explained, “I see our marriage as a partnership, so cleaning is as much my responsibility as it is hers.”
But, even as the blogger mulled the jibe over in his mind, he found it hard to be mad at his mother. In fact, the more he thought about it, the more he could see things from her perspective. And it all had to do with her age.
Edwards continued on Facebook, “I didn’t really know how to respond to my mother, so I floundered. I never really know what to say in moments like this.” He added, however, “But thinking back, I believe my mother’s perception of our house really reflects the era she grew up in.”
To clarify what he meant, Edwards then recounted a piece of advice his estranged dad had once given him. He said, “I didn’t know my father all that well, but I do remember him giving me this advice about picking a wife: ‘Stop by her house unexpected. See how it looks in there.’”
“‘You can tell a lot about a woman by how she keeps her house,’” Edwards wrote, still relaying his father’s message. He continued, “I think my mother’s concern over a clean house has a lot to do with her trying to meet the expectations of her youth.”
Edwards, however, had his own opinion on why he had wed the woman he did. He added, “Unlike my father, I didn’t really think about a clean house when I married my wife. I thought about how I liked what she had to say.”
Edwards went on, “I thought about how [my wife] made me feel. I thought about how she smiled a lot. I liked that. I thought about how she was sweet and thoughtful and how she seemed like the kind of mother I’d want for my children.”
The dad of three now had the right ammunition to reply to his mom’s criticism, then. And he duly did so, explaining on Facebook, “After a few moments of struggling to find the right words, I finally said [to my mother], ‘I didn’t get into this marriage for a clean house. I got into it because [my wife] seemed like someone I could spend my life with.’”
And, as it happens, Edwards’ response silenced his mother. Indeed, it appeared as if she’d never thought that tidiness was actually quite low down on someone else’s list of priorities when looking for the perfect partner. So, the writer let her think about it for a while.
Finally, though, the penny dropped, and Edwards’ mom had a change of heart. “I put some dishes in the washer,” Edwards wrote. “Eventually mom said, ‘Well… that probably is more important than a clean house.’ ‘Yeah,’ I said, ‘I think so too.’”
And it seemed that Edwards and his mother weren’t the only people who agreed with that sentiment. Since the parenting blogger posted about the exchange on Facebook, more than 8,000 people have liked it, in fact. Some people have even suggested that mess is simply a sign of a happy home.
Others, meanwhile, took the time to remind Edwards that some things were more important in life than cleaning. “You have so many years to have a clean house,” one wrote. “You have the blink of an eye to make memories with your babies while they’re small.” Now, that’s a piece of advice that many parents could benefit from.