Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Do I secretly want to be a Stepford Wife?

So the Rock God came home from work at 4pm the other day and had a meltdown about the state of the house.  I admit it wasn't a pretty sight.  Last night's dishes were drying on the kitchen drainer.  The kids breakfast dishes were sitting in the sink, there was still breakfast stuff out on the benches and the kids plates and cups from lunch were on the kitchen table.  The floor had crumbs all over it, the kitchen could have done with a mop, the mountain of washing that had been sitting on the hall table for 2 weeks was still sitting on the hall table and there were toys from one end of the house to another.
I don't know why I can't seem to get the "domestic goddess" thing together....well actually, I have a pretty good idea and its boils down to 3 main problems which I have analysed and sorted into order of significance from least level of impact to severest level impact (see, I will do almost anything to avoid doing housework haha) -

1.  Environmental Background

My mother is the antithesis of a Domestic Goddess herself.....its just not her bag, baby.  She doesn't like to cook (when my mum and dad divorced we had fish & chips every night for 2 years!), she doesn't like to clean (don't you know that's what you pay people for) and she has an almost OCD perfectionist streak which manifests itself in bizarre ways such as spending 6 hours of the day polishing every door knob in the house until you can no longer look at them without being blinded while 2 days worth of dishes are starting to take over the kitchen.  Perhaps I can explain it better.....picture Martha Stewart for a moment....home baked cookies, handmade Christmas wreaths colour coordinated to your front door, attending school council meetings in a cashmere cardigan twin set in a lovely shade of lemon.  Righto, now imagine the extreme opposite of that and you have my mother.  And I'm not saying that like its a bad thing, my mother is a very intelligent, interesting, artistic and creative lady, but a Domestic Goddess?  Not on your life!
2.  Employment at the Siberian Salt Mines

Well, I shouldn't complain, its not soooooo bad....I work 5 days a week from 9am to 3pm as a graphic designer.  I am lucky in that I get to work from home but as I am contracted to a big software development firm in another state I must be at my computer for 6 hours every day.  This does not mean I get to vacuum my floors while talking on my mobile and tapping the keyboard every now and again.  Occasionally, if I am super organised I might get a load of washing on and get to hang it out in between phone calls, emails, ridiculous deadlines and spur of the minute video conferences.

At the same time that I am battling the corporate world,  I have a 3 year old and 4 year old at home with me who have to be fed, watered and entertained while I attempt to work.  Hence the toy chaos.

My day starts at about 7am with -

  • making breakfast for the boys (none of whom will eat the same thing on their toast grrrr)
  • making school lunches (oh thank you Miss XYZ in Year 1 for your helpful note on only packing healthy items in their lunchbox, its no extra trouble at all to cut up a mixed salad for a snack instead of throwing in an LCM bar and may I just remind you of this fact when you have 4 children of your own, double grrrrrrr)
  • getting the boys ready for school (where is your other shoe/jacket/lunchbox/drink bottle/library book/oh what's this note about needing a zebra costume for assembly today).

Then its time for the dreaded school run from hell, battling all the other mothers who have also had to make last minute zebra costumes and are driving to school 10 minutes late like a bat out of hell.  After making a detour on my way back to get a large extra strong espresso, I get to come home and start what the Rock God refers to as my "real work" which makes me want to stab him in both eyeballs.

 3.  My Complete Inability to Give a Shit

Unfortunately, the biggest hurdle to me becoming a Domestic Goddess, is actually ME.  I hate housework with a passion.  I detest dusting, I cringe at cleaning, I mope if I have to mop and scrubbing my shower is something I simply was not born to do.
My complete lack of domestic inclination probably has a lot to do with No. 1 - Environmental Background because as hard as I try to 'not turn out like my mother' at the ripe old age of 39 I am realising on a daily basis I am becoming more and more like her!  Its almost like some kind of sick evolutionary process - I have made hundreds of decisions in my life which have purposely been made to  forge my own path and strike out from beneath the shadow of my parents influence and yet, inexplicably, I am becoming MORE like her.

In the end though it comes down to my personality.  I spend most of my time in complete creative over-drive.  I am really not happy unless I am creating, designing, writing, singing, enjoying art, studying history, the list goes on.  But there is only 24 hours in a day.  Somewhere in that 24 hours I have fit in being the best mother I can be (a role I take very seriously despite the lack of mixed salads in their lunchboxes), working six hours a day, running around between Scouts, football and cricket, and getting enough time to sate the creative beast.  Something has got to give and unfortunately, its the housework.
There are just so many things I would rather do than mop floors.  Of course this is very bad news for the Rock God - particularly as his environmental background is that of a very traditional immigrant family.  My mother in law is a Domestic Goddess demon - the woman cannot sit down!  The Rock God did not have to lift a finger the entire time he lived at home because my mother in law did EVERYTHING.  Some people hate it when their mother in laws come to visit and start cleaning up the house.  I LOVE it, infact I wish she would move in!
Now, although I say I don't really give a shit about being a Domestic Goddess, that's not exactly true.  I hate it when the house gets completely feral, as it does at times.  I wish I was super organised and on top of everything.  I would love the house to be tidier, the bathrooms cleaner and my laundry baskets emptier.  Deep down inside, there is a little teeny tiny part of me that secretly wants to be one of those Stepford Wives  that turns up at school without a hair out of place, in my perfectly colour coordinated gym clothes, smiling with my perfectly bleached white teeth at my perfect 2.5 children.  I love the idea of sitting at home baking a perfectly decorated Toy Story birthday cake instead of buying one.  Or hand painting Christmas ornaments and constructing an elaborate 25 day Advent craft project.  I even secretly like the idea of opening the door when my husband gets home with my hair done, lip stick on, a smile on my face and a spotless house.
Thank goodness, the voice of reason has managed to squish the teeny tiny anal retentive part of me that thinks being a Stepford Wife is a good idea.  Who gives a shit about whether the vacuuming is done tomorrow or the next day......I'd rather play hide and seek with the kids while the sun is out!

Are you Stepford Wife material?  Do you have any Christmas advent craft projects to share?


  1. Lol that is gold! and so true!! I swear I never have enough time for housework and I don't have 2 kids! I think it's totally justified. You should tell the Rock God he has to work harder so you can get a cleaner ;)

  2. actually, I have a cleaner hahahaha, but she only comes once or twice a week and with the 4 boys its practically back to a state of chaos an hour after she leaves :) what i need is a full time housekeeper *sigh*

  3. I love this post!
    I have always dreamed of being a "stepford wife", yet I know I don't possess the qualities those perfect, immaculate women have.

  4. Oh Eloise. It's like you wrote that post how I told it to you. Right down to the Environmental Background. Except minus the work hours bit. And add 3 kids under 3 instead. Only, now that my mother is getting older I am finding she is becoming more and more clean... I'm hoping my domestic goddess follows her trend. But I hear you - I would rather be mucking about with the kids with the blocks or reading them books then doing my dishes or sweeping my floors!

  5. Perfect and immaculate I am never going to be! But that's okay because there is something highly suspicious about those people....its like those people that go around smiling all the time....what are they hiding hahaha

  6. Hmmm.... I don't know what to make of this post. I am sitting here amongst sewing patterns, pins and scissors. I made a cute Paris inspired skirt. I have done some ironing. I made some cheese scrolls for afternoon tea and I am about to quickly tidy up the house (about 5 mins worth of work) before school pick-up. I have a nasty suspicion that I am a Stepford wife... today anyway. Yesterday - I was not. It comes and goes.

  7. lol B. I think its perfectly okay to have a Stepford Wife moment every now and again - I wish I had more of them hahaha. But I know I could never keep it up, which is probably just as well otherwise I would start wondering where to insert the batteries!

  8. @Beautiful NothingsIve had a cleaner after attempting to be the Stepford Wife i the modern world when i worked with small children and had a melt down trying to do it all! fortunately I could afford to pay the cleaner a decent wage and she did a great job It was a win /win situation. Now the boys are men and I only work 10 hours/ week for $. I must say that My expectations on the house-proud thing have diminished over the years as I am a lot more lay -back.


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