Let’s set the scene: Your husband has invited you to a work do and you will be meeting his clients and some of his new work colleagues, so you slip on some hold-you-in undies, dust the cobwebs off your most flattering ‘going out’ ensemble, add a touch of lippie and mascara and you’re set. You might chuck a swift glass of Sauvignon down your neck before the cab arrives to steady your nerves (well, you’ll be meeting people other than your usual school run mums and Mrs Patel in the post office and will need to speak ‘real person’ not just ‘mum’ language). In the cab your husband says you look lovely and you begin to look forward to the evening ahead.
Fast forward an hour into the work party: You’re talking to a smartly dressed young man/woman who you’ve just been introduced to and they tell you all about the contract your husband is working on with them and then comes the inevitable question”…and so, what do you do?” Erm…do you say “I’m a housewife” in a strong, confident, manner and hope you’re coming across all cool Betty in Mad Men (oh, if only!) or do you say “I used to be a ……(add old profession before kids) but I’m at home with the kids now? Either way, unless husband’s work colleague is very polite, you might notice their eyes glaze over before they rush away pretending they’ve got to say ‘hi’ to somebody (more interesting and important) who has just arrived.
Sadly, it is due to such scenes over the last decade or so, that has given rise to a flurry of alternative names other than housewife, such as the Home Life Co-Ordinator or Domestic Operations Manager. Big LOL. I mean, as far as I’m concerned, anybody who doesn’t ‘big up’ those of us bringing up the kids and running the home doesn’t deserve your precious time anyway. And I’m shouting out for all women out there – working mums, stay at home mums and all of the in between mums and domestic dads; there’s nothing belittling about being great at keeping the house spic and span and the husband/wife and kids well fed and happy. And I’m getting on my high horse about this because? Well, because…I’m a crap housewife!
I want to be a domestic goddess and I read all the great blogs and articles on how to be one, but if you’re not born with the gene of domesticity then you’re buggered with a broom (omg, don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean literally, it isn’t some awful punishment for being a untidy – it means you don’t know how to use one)! I know this is true because I have friends and family members who know what to do with a steam cleaner – and actually use it. They clean their skirting boards with warm, soapy water, make apple turnover bed sheets, cook wholesome meals for 5 and freeze (and label) the leftovers. They have small animals (dogs and kids) in their house and it’s still tidy and smells of lemons when you turn up unexpectedly. See? I’m convinced you can’t just do that, you have to have the gene.
One good thing about Stressed Husband is (of course he has more than one good thing, but this is a specially good thing) he always claimed he knew I’d never be a typical housewife. He said he was alerted to this fact the day he stepped into the bedroom I shared with my sister and balked at the piles of clothes strewn across the floor and shoved into my wardrobe and the heaps of books and makeup that made a mountain under which hid my bed. Luckily for me, he had almost brought himself up as a boy, so he knew how to iron, cook and tidy up. In those days (I think because I was young and firm of flesh) he thought my slovenly ways were cute and ditsy and so I carried on I turning his white shirts pink, losing important letters, keys, money and burning his beans on toast. Nowadays, after almost 19 years of marriage, I think he’s beginning to tire of it though because he was so delighted when Mean Teen bought me this book for Christmas…
It’s a brilliant (I’ve read the reviews) little gem with lots of time saving tips on how to get your home sparkling clean and tidy with minimum effort. I’ve been a bit busy to read it yet, but it makes a great platform on which to rest my coffee cup. Well, what can I say? It’s not my fault – I haven’t got the gene!