She’ll do it



Husband comes home from work, carrying dirty coffee cup. Entering kitchen, he sees that everything is neat, tidy, and put away. Sink is empty, Counters are wiped. The aroma of dinner emanates from the oven. Standing equidistant to dishwasher and sink, husband thinks, “She’ll do it.” He puts dirty cup in sink and heads for his Barcalounger.

Teenage son enters bathroom to take shower. In one Houdini-esque fell-swoop, he heaps his clothing on the floor as follows: socks bunched up, jeans with phone and various wrappers still in pockets, belt still in loops, boxers still inside jeans, sweatshirt, and t-shirt still inside sweatshirt. Some items need to be washed and others are relatively clean. Approximately one foot away is the laundry basket, and son’s dresser is down the hall. Son thinks, “She’ll do it,” and throws entire lot into laundry basket.

Teenage daughter comes home from school and bursts in the front door with backpack, gym bag, and Vera Bradley lunchbox. Her mother has considerately provided bins with children’s initials on them on stairs inside front door, a basket in nearby laundry room for emptied lunchboxes, and a shelf for each child’s school books in nearby office. Standing only a few feet from each of these organizational aids, teenage daughter thinks, “She’ll do it,” and drops all of her belongings in the middle of the front hall.

Note the handy but conspicuously empty tote on the stairs.


Middle school daughter runs into kitchen after tennis practice, famished. Everything is put away, and there are no crumbs or other debris on counters. Taking out a pot, she proceeds to make a batch of her all-time favorite, mac-n-cheese. When finished, she carefully puts the leftovers in Tupperware bowl in refrigerator. Remembering that her father likes to confiscate her precious leftovers, she takes at least 5 minutes to find construction paper, a marker and tape, and affixes a homemade sign to her refrigerated bowl that reads, “Do Not Kill.”  Before plopping onto the couch to watch reruns of “Dance Moms,” middle school daughter glances at her cheese-sauce enameled dish, fork, pot, wooden spoon, and measuring cup laying on the formerly clean countertop, and thinks, “She’ll do it.”



Mom comes home from grocery store to find dirty dishes in kitchen, backpacks in hallway, and laundry in bathroom. Growling under her breath, Mom wonders why, despite years of stating otherwise, the family still thinks she’ll do everything. She contemplates blowing a royal gasket, telling everyone to go pack sand, and leaving town for a week; but thinks it might be easier to just clean up the mess and go microwave herself a cup of coffee.

Later the same week, Husband needs reassurance after a bad day at work. Teenage son wants someone to come watch him receive an award at school. Teenage daughter needs a shoulder to cry on about her biology test. Middle school daughter needs a Band-Aid and a kiss for her freshly scraped knee. And the family dog wants a snuggle.

There is no hesitation. No need to think twice. Without doubt in hearts, they know, “She’ll do it.”

"Who's gonna ride the roller coaster with me?"Weeeeee!


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Comments: 16

  1. Ray York December 10, 2013 at 11:46 am Reply

    Get over it women; when GOD created woman he said man needed a helpmate! & that’s why he created you, otherwise you wouldn’t be here, women are too liberated in this mans world. there was a time women appreciated a man going out & bringing home something to eat now all they do is bash him because they don’t want to do what GOD created them for.

  2. Anonymous March 20, 2013 at 4:12 pm Reply

    I blogged on a similar subject but from a different point of view today. Seems life’s frustrations are widespread among moms and wives.

  3. studentlondon3 March 18, 2013 at 4:03 pm Reply

    This made me laugh so hard. As a child I drove my mam mad by just leaving my stuff everywhere – most noticeably, a snail trail of books throughout the flat. Although I like to think I’ve grown out of most of my bad habits, I still have a tendency of forgetting to hang my coat up when I visit home, and she’ll still say something along the lines of ‘so will your coat be putting itself in the cloakroom today or does it need a hand?’
    It has a comforting familiarity to it at this point!

  4. cathyturney March 18, 2013 at 3:20 pm Reply

    Loved this, Lisa! Posted a comment. Can’t wait to hear you speak at NSNC!

    Xo, Cathy

  5. Cathy Turney March 18, 2013 at 3:19 pm Reply

    Can’t wait to hear you speak at NSNC, Lisa! Love this story!

  6. patricia60 March 18, 2013 at 1:57 pm Reply

    I will just say – I had a woman student in my class who went on strike – truly on strike for 46 days before everyone wanted her back. Our class helped her set up a cleaning schedule for the whole family to participate in at a specific time each week. After the strike, She still did all the cooking but almost none of the laundry or cleaning after that event. 22 years later I ran into her at the grocery store and she thanked me for letting the class be her support system – because the wives of her 3 sons are so thankful that their husbands clean the bathrooms, make the bed, do laundry well, know how to put on a button, and put the seat down consistently. They feel like they have a truly equal relationship and a true partnership in their marriages. I do not think nagging does it – I think respect for each person’s tasks and relationships is they way to go.

    I highly recommend Dr. Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent communications/Compassionate communications Workbook. It has put my children way ahead of the game for conflict resolutions and communication with respect….and learning how to speak and interact this new way – wow is it funny stuff and powerful.

    If we can not take care of our space and our family, how can we be expected to take care of our community or our earth?

    I love what you write and share – I am also so pleased that years ago an other mom taught me a better lesson to share with my children. I am just saying, if we don’t model and change the ways of doing things we are encouraging the same behaviors and expectations that are not working so well.

    • Lisa Smith Molinari March 18, 2013 at 2:20 pm Reply

      Wow, thank you for your thorough and thought provoking comment! Let’s get a real discussion going on the strike strategy. I’m intrigued …..

      • patricia60 March 18, 2013 at 3:23 pm Reply

        The full strike was really hard to pull off – as one of her sons was still in diapers, but she called a family meeting and told them what she was going to do, if they did not meet her list of mandates. They all thought it was silly and and quit complying after a day or so, by the end of the month she was just tired and exhausted. She got up an hour before the rest of the family and moved out to one of the other student’s houses, her family did not know. Her husband was beside himself trying to find daycare and get to work. The other 2 boys did not make it to school or out of their PJs.
        A member of the local state union association came to class and helped her formulate clear cut requests and expectations ( the family was not even middle class income) and they took over communicating with her husband. They also helped him hire someone to manage the kids and the house – something that they could hardly afford but the student thought it turned out to be “strike pay”

        The class also spent 30 minutes a week working on Compassionate Communications and Mediation skills. We rented a couple of videos to add to the system. We started keeping journals of our attempts and changing our communications with our children and spouses…All 30 students were having some kind of success.

        Knowing that Dr. Rosenberg had mediated the Hutu and Tutu’s war and often worked in Gaza Stripe was very motivating to us all.

        I have a personal friend who is a mediator by profession and she got certified in his techniques and has been teaching NVC in all the Kindergartens and Elementary schools in our area – and the teacher who makes HOLLY HOBBY greeting cards for American Greetings is also a Certified teacher trainer…

        Liv now has an on going group at one of the HS.

        The second very important thing that happened was that the teens were not such a problem or as argumentative with their parents – there was more respect and desire to communicate as equals. The woman on strike found she had more time to parent and play with her children also after the strike was settled and her children understood more how civics works in real time.

        LIV kept my youngest child from running away and helped her deal with her anger issues better than all the counseling we tried and she refused….and now she uses her skills as a manager (#1 in the state) for a huge National Company because she can go into falling apart franchises for them and bring them back to good working order. She is not afraid to fire anyone…She is only 27….it just keep getting better and better.

        I am playing around with the idea of how we could start a support/discussion group on line – I teach a lot of this information on WISE….my professional listening services site….I am wondering if we could SKYPE a group or FACETIME….just running through my word processing brain here… I would love to be in conversations.

        Liv also teaches Algebra and mathematical thinking to 2nd graders as her volunteer job now that she has retired – well sort of!
        hmmm…thinking thinking….

        on PatriciasWisdom I have done a number of posts on decision making, emotions and other areas of NVC too…

  7. Denise Mercier Stanley March 18, 2013 at 11:53 am Reply

    I loved the husband part… all I ask is for the dishes he’s used to be put in the dishwasher and the empty beer bottles put in recycling- ugh! Spot on Lisa

  8. lauriebest March 18, 2013 at 11:14 am Reply

    I wonder what would happen if you had a meltdown in front of them…tears, the whole bit. Maybe they would actually notice and get the message?? Kids can be dense, but sometimes extreme measures get their attention…at least for a while. Good luck!

    • Lisa Smith Molinari March 18, 2013 at 11:16 am Reply

      I hate to say this Laurie, but I have broken down in tears on so many occasions, they are desensitized to it!!

  9. energywriter March 18, 2013 at 9:45 am Reply

    Loved it – as always. Keep up the good work. Left a comment. sd

  10. Sharon March 18, 2013 at 9:44 am Reply

    Wonderful! You’ve really captured the “mom” experience.

  11. Susan March 18, 2013 at 9:29 am Reply

    So true!

  12. Anonymous March 18, 2013 at 9:19 am Reply

    That was awesome Lisa! I just cried. 🙂 Juls

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