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When is it okay to ignore the dog hair on the staircase?

When is it okay to ignore the dog hair on the staircase?  Is it possible for a woman to not clean every day, and still be considered a woman? Should we feel shame if there is dog hair on the carpet?



What do you think?

I am in the middle of drawing forty cats for a coloring book. There are dishes all over the counter, and in the sink. Dirty ones that is. There is a load of clean dishes in the dishwasher that needs to be put away. There is dog hair on the carpet on the staircase, and there is unfolded clean laundry on the sofa.

Sometimes, I think I am a failure as a woman. As though I am defined by how clean my carpeted staircase is, or I am defined by how long the dishes sit on my counter.

Someone from the Society of Disapproval and Not Minding Their Own Business will knock on my door with a little clipboard and a grading sheet, and they will walk through my house and grade me on my housekeeping skills. They will grade me and I will come up lacking. As though how often I sweep is a reflection of my character.

I might get a C. The last few days, I might get a D.

But, it they came into my studio, they would see that I chose to draw cats and make a coloring book to share. Making art to bring joy to others. And if they gave me an A for being creative, I would tell them to mind their own business. I would take the graded sheets. The D for housekeeping and the A for drawing and rip them up into ten million pieces.

Because I don’t want anyone else to define me. The nebulous , they. They might not approve. They think we should clean more often. They think the kitchen should be clean every day. They think women should always do this or that. They think women should _____. Fill in the blank.

There really are no rules. Besides the ten commandments.

But often I make rules up because I am trying to understand how culture works. How people think, all the unwritten rules of society. Do this, don’t do that.

Stop seeking approval for who we are and how we define ourself. Click To Tweet

“One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.”
― Shannon L. Alder

When is it okay to ignore the dog hair on the carpet?

  1. Leave dog hair on the carpet when you need to collect enough to make a sweater.
  2. Leave dog hair on the carpet when you know you won’t have company. Only clean if company is coming.
  3. Leave dog hair on the carpet when you plan to rip up the carpet and paint the wooden stairs.
  4. Leave dog hair on the carpet when you are busy living. What is a little hair?


Do you ever feel like you would get a D if an inspector from the Society of Disapproval and Not Minding Their Own Business  came to your house?

 Do you base your worth on what you do?

“Sometimes the hardest part of the journey is believing your worthy of the trip.”
― Glenn Beck, The Christmas Sweater


I am not my house.
I am not my dirty carpet.
I am not my husband.
I am not my debt.
I am not my children.
I am not my past.
I am not my cancer.
I am not my parents.
I am not my mistakes.
I am not my…

I am a child of God.

I am forgiven.

We have value because of who we are and not what we do. Click To Tweet

When is it okay to ignore the dog hair on the staircase?

Please tell me in the comments I would love to chat.





About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • La McCoy

    Hi Martha. WE like your hat.
    I now have a corral instead of a grassy back yard. I have to vacuum frequently or the floor gets slippery and i could slip down. in hair season i have to vacuum the hair for the same reason. i slide around on it. So i do not have to make myself guilty to vacuum. i want to prevent broken bones.

  • KH

    It is okay until they turn into mini tumble weeds rolling in front of you! I spent more years than I want to think about constantly cleaning, losing out on precious time and moments I can’t get back. Hindsight can be an ass kicker.

    • Yes, mini tumble weeds would need a broom. Except, now I have a Golden Retriever, and there are tumble weeds every day.
      Now I create first and, sweep once a week or when company comes. Like you I have wasted precious time constantly cleaning.
      Wishing you all my best, sunshine and hours and hours of being creative.

  • And here’s our cat. His name is Einstein. The only thing he works on is napping.

    • Hello Einstein,
      You are a smart cat. Taking naps is the best part of being alive. Besides buttered popcorn and sunbeams.
      Oh, I forgot one thing. Clumping litter.

      • Ms. Pamela,
        I just wanted to say that I was a fan of Pooh Hodges, the famous blogging cat. His contribution to feline literature is not forgotten! Love and purrs,

        Einstein Weiss

  • Or better yet, put your dog to work. Here’s my KleeKai dog, Nanuk, working on a pochade box study.

    • John,
      You are in law enforcement, so I know you will be honest with me. Do you paint those wonderful landscapes or does your dog?
      Perhaps Nanuk would like to be in the dog coloring book that comes out next year?

  • The dog hair can wait. Do your wonderful cat coloring book!

    • Oh thank you John.
      You are so kind. Thank you for the word, “wonderful.” A really nice word to give to someone as a gift.
      I may ask for no presents for Christmas, just nice words.
      I finished drawing all the cats last night at midnight. I didn’t know having fun creating could be so much work.

  • Jennifer Seraphin Mossholder

    Any time you live with a dog, it is okay 🙂

    • Jennifer,
      That is great advice. Really. I meant to answer sooner, but I was drawing cats until I was dreaming about drawing cats. Then I was attacked by a bad cold, snuck up on me when I wasn’t looking.
      I would rather have dogs and hair then no dogs and no hair.

  • Bob Ranck

    “I am a child of God”. That’s all that really matters – everything else is hardly in contention.

    That means everybody else’s opinions on my house or workshop (or my mind for that matter)are so far out there that they are barely visible.

    This is a good article – rational acceptance of reality must be the ruling principle.

    • Hello Bob,

      Thank you for pointing out what really matters. Not the dog hair, or what other people think. It is we are children of God.

      I love what you said, I may have to write it on my wall with chalk.
      “rational acceptance of reality must be the ruling principle.”


  • Robn Patrick

    OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH! I have my very own Society of Disapproval in my head! Never stops. I live in my home but forget it’s MY home.At 60 I would think I could start taking ownership of my life but it seems impossible. Didn’t we start out trying please people? I started out pleasing people so they wouldn’t leave me. And I still do that. I have to be “good” to have friends and family like me so they won’t go away. And yes, I’ve had tons of counseling and it has helped — just need to keep learning and growing. And remembering who I am in God!

    • WOW, WOW, WOW,
      I am so happy you told me you have the Society of Disapproval in your head, I wonder how we can get rid of that committee.
      Pleasing people so they wouldn’t leave. The stuff we do as children to survive stays with us until we can do a root canal with Jesus and therapy. You are really special, because God made you.
      My suggestion is to draw a big circle on your mirror with red lipstick, then stick your face in it. Then write beside it, I am enough.
      Smile at the women you see in the mirror.
      Pamela, your friend for life

      • Robn Patrick

        It’s a plan! Robin, your friend for life.

  • Berdeane Bodley

    There are no rules for how we live our lives, we each have our priorities, the only rule of thumb is what works best for you. What ever works for each & every one of us , then that is the proper way. Never feel you have to conform to what the other guy thinks you “should” be doing. 🙂

    • Hello Mother Dearest,
      Or Dearest Mother, You always shed wisdom on my life. Thank you. Yes, what works for each of us. As long as we aren’t stealing our neighbors air vents in the laundry room. All is well.
      Love your daughter, the one with the long neck