Domestically Challenged and Loving It

I have a subscription to Good Housekeeping.  I’m not really sure why.  Maybe I thought it would inspire me.  Perhaps one day in desperation and looking around at a house that completely overwhelmed me I “turned over a new leaf” and decided to become Martha Stewart and June Cleaver.  Or, more realistically, I probably entered a contest online one day to get something like Dunkin Donuts coffee for life and forgot to select the box that said, “No, I don’t want a subscription.”

The point is, it now comes monthly, fills me with guilt and I resent it.  It is a screaming monthly reminder that I am not June Cleaver. 

June Cleaver never had safety pins where buttons used to be.  June Cleaver was interested in seasonal table decor.  June Cleaver probably felt grown up enough to buy a whole chicken or turkey from the grocery store.  I also bet June Cleaver never EVER lost her vacuum cleaner.  

Andy, stop nodding your head.

The magazine has people like Heidi Klum on the cover talking about her domestic bliss with her four children, two television shows and her rock star husband…okay her easy listening star husband.  Heidi Klum does it all by “maintaining balance”.  What does this mean?  This is not how real women function.  If I had millions of dollars I could pay for balance, but I don’t and unfortunately for me balance doesn’t offer a payment plan.

See, unlike June Cleaver, women today have more roles.  We are spread too thin.  I mean I’m a wife, a mother, a working woman, a Sunday School teacher, a Facebook-er, a blogger and an up and coming Words with Friends competitor.  Plus, there’s all that extra time I spend trying to figure out how to become a Black Eyed Pea.  I’m literally swamped.

Let's face it.  I am not Super Woman.  I am Decent Enough Woman. 

The magazine doesn’t stop there.  It also contains articles about things like freshening up your washcloths, cleaning leather gloves and droopy flower fixers.

If I had a nickel for every time I sighed in exasperation over my droopy flowers…

Also, I resent women that can find a washcloth in their house when they need one, much less take the time to freshen it up.

Wait. Does opening the linen closet to spray a few squirts of Febreze inside and slamming the door shut before everything topples out count?  No?  Okay, then yes, I resent these women. 

Most of the time I just thumb through the magazine while actively hoarding electrolytes (this is what happens when you drink an unnatural amount of 0 calorie sports drinks, but don’t actually exercise) and roll my eyes at the articles. 

I think if Good Housekeeping were to feature me in their magazine, the interview might go something like this:

GH: So, Rachel, you work 30 hours a week, have one child and a husband that does all your laundry, tell our readers how you manage to “do it all”. 

Me:  Well, I’ll tell you Good Housekeeping.  It’s not easy.  It’s really hard to fit everything into my day and still have time to take my pre-dinner nap and follow new episodes of Storage Wars, but I have a few secrets that help me sustain my Decent Enough Woman status…and I’m going to share them with you now.    

1.) Wake up 5 minutes before you have to walk out the door.  It’s really important to get your rest and I find that the adrenaline rush everyone gets from all the yelling and screaming as we try to get out the door on time really wakes us all up.

2.) Rotate your morning routine to give you more time.  On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I brush my teeth and on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I brush my hair.  By just creating that simple hygiene rotation I free up a few precious minutes that I can spend looking for my car keys and digging change out of my old purses to buy some coffee on the way to work.

3.) Find three pairs of black pants and five shirts to wear to work and rotate them.  There’s just no time to get creative when you are always on the go. Plus, you never have to shave your legs again…another great time saver.

4.) Don’t offer anyone breakfast. Nobody ever agrees on what to eat anyway and if they are THAT hungry they can get it themselves.  I keep PEZ and Kit Kats in easy to reach places so my son at least has the option. I mean I don’t want to be a  “bad mother.”

5.) Never bring a list to the grocery store.  Grocery shopping eats up so much time when you are a busy mom of one like me.  I find that if I just sprint through the store and throw things in my cart as I go I get out so much quicker.  Sure it costs a few hundred dollars more a month and I never actually have the ingredients for anything, but it just works for us.      
6.) Skip the exercise and remove all mirrors in your house.  I don’t think I need to insult anyone’s intelligence here. This is just good old fashioned common sense.

7.) When it comes to housecleaning, all you need is Febreze and baby wipes.  They clean everything.  Your couch, your oven, your kid.  No time to bathe your child? Just give him a good wipe down and chase him through the house with your favorite Febreze scent. 

So, while its not easy to be me, I think I’ve shared some excellent wisdom to help get you started.  Good luck and just start slow.  Don’t overwhelm yourself.  If you need to stop to play a round of Angry Birds, please do.


I spend time trying to figure out how to become a Black Eye Pea....hysterical!

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