Yes, Every Mom Really Does Need a Roomba

For Mother's Day this year, I did something a little crazy for myself. I did something that I hoped would transform my life for the better. Something that would give me back my freedom, my sanity, and maybe even my happiness. 

And what, you may ask, was this magical contraption that offered me so much happiness? As you may have guessed by now, it was totally a vacuum. Like the most mom cliche of all time, all I wanted this year for Mother's Day (which happened to fall right after my birthday, so really it was a two-for-one gift) was a freaking vacuum cleaner. But not just any vacuum cleaner. A robotic vacuum cleaner that may or may not be smarter than me. 

Meet my new BFF, the Roomba.

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I know several people who own Roomba vacuum cleaners and they have had nothing but incredible things to say about them. One woman I know who doesn't have any kids was astounded to hear that I have four children and was living in the dark ages of a Roomba-less existence. And one night, as I crouched in my kitchen vacuuming the floors yet again while my husband tucked the kids into bed, I vowed enough was enough. It was time to step into the future and take at least one task off of my plate. 

Here's the thing: I honestly have spent probably about half of my life vacuuming and that's not an exaggeration. I don't know if my kids are absurdly messy, I'm absurdly controlling about a clean floor, or some combination of the two. Either way, I feel like I've wasted a lot of time vacuuming. We don't even have pets in the house. But with four kids at home, two of whom are always with me at home full-time, and a job that leaves me munching in my home office, it feels like snacks and crumbs and messes are always everywhere. And that means I'm sweeping or vacuuming at least three times a day. 

And I'm over it. So I bit the bullet, saved up, watched the sales, and bought myself the mid-level Roomba. The 650 model from Walmart. Here's what I think of it so far:

  • Yes, it's expensive. At close to $300, the Roomba is an investment. But the way I think about it is this: a lot of housewives back in the day probably thought dishwashers were extravagant and now we wouldn't dream of not having one. A Roomba is just an early dishwasher. For our floors, so really, we're basically brave pioneers for getting one. 
  • It's not a miracle worker. I had high, high hopes for my Roomba. My seven-year-old asked me, in all seriousness, if it would do the laundry for us. And I have to admit, I wondered it myself. I have just heard such great things about it that it seemed like it would do it all. But the Roomba can't work miracles. And if you have anything small on the floor or curtains that drape, it can be difficult for the Roomba to really get the job done. I'm still picking up the floors meticulously every night to ensure that the Roomba is not clogged up with Shopkins, you know? Also, we had one unfortunate incident involving some toilet paper my daughter had left on the floor. That was not pretty to come home to. #shredded #butnotinagoodway
  • It's pretty loud. I was actually really surprised by how loud the Roomba is. I scheduled ours to run in the middle of the night so it doesn't keep the kids up, but I can still totally hear it and it did wake me up a few times. It takes some getting used to for sure. 
  • Depending on your floor, it won't eliminate vacuuming. I really had hoped the Roomba would mean that I would never have to vacuum again. Unfortunately, that hasn't been the case so far. We are still in the “getting to know you” phase of life together. But so far, my Roomba is more of an adjunct to my vacuuming instead of taking over it. I have laminate wood floors, a rather chopped up floor plan, and two rugs on my main floor where I use the Roomba. And it definitely does not clean everything. It helps a lot, but it hasn't eliminated my need to vacuum completely like I hoped. 

Overall, I'm glad I made the leap into the future, but I do think that if you're going to invest in a Roomba, it's may pay off to get a higher-end version. The “higher up” versions have more sensors, which equal better cleaning. So if you're like me and hate vacuuming but also have a lot of kids, the investment may be well worth it. 

For me, it comes down to getting help in the areas I need it the most at home. And the first night I was able to get the kitchen clean, hit the button on the Roomba, and make it upstairs to snuggle in for bedtime stories made it all totally worth it.

How about you? Are you Team Roomba?

What do you think?

Yes, Every Mom Really Does Need a Roomba

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

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