What’s to be done about lazy housewives?

I have always enjoyed home-making, even when I worked full-time before we had children.  I don’t mind cleaning, and I love cooking, baking, gardening, canning, and decorating.  After we had children and I went down to working very part-time, one of the things I most enjoyed was having more time to devote to home-making activities.  Now that all the children are in school and no one is currently being home-schooled, I asked my husband if he would like me to go back to work full-time, but he was quite opposed to it.  He appreciates the work I do at home for our family and prefers for me to continue in that role.  He got no argument from me.

So, it was with interest that I read a series of posts from other lady bloggers recently explaining what a day in the life of an average housewife is like.  You can find their posts here:

Stingray: A Day in the Life

Margery: Day in the Life

Lady Sigyn: A Day in King’s Haven

Their days look a lot like mine except that I work part-time, and I’m not home-schooling this year.  For those of you who work full-time but are interested in housewifery, you may enjoy reading Mary Ellen’s blog:

The Working Home Keeper: Celebrating the Domestic Side of Working Motherhood

We lady bloggers use our down time to work on our blogs but for much of the day we are busy with mothering and home-keeping.  There is, however, another kind of housewife that doesn’t often get talked about: the lazy housewife.

I was thinking about the lazy housewife recently when I was reading a sad story about a man who had gone through a divorce after supporting his home-maker wife for many years.  He described what a terrible housewife she had been; the children and home were not cared for at all, but he couldn’t force her to work.  His story reminded me of a girl named Beth whom I met in graduate school when I was working on my Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology.

Beth told me that she was trying to use the speech therapy techniques we were learning with her two young nieces, both of whom were very language delayed.  She told me that her brother’s wife, who was a stay-at-home mother, did basically nothing to care for the children.  From the time they were babies, she would drop them in their playpen with a bottle or an open package of crackers and leave them there all day, every day.  The house was a mess, she didn’t cook, she didn’t exercise, and the children were unkempt and under-stimulated. Beth said that the youngest one was about to start school and that her sister-in-law was panicking because Beth’s brother wanted her to get a job; she began pressuring him to get her pregnant again, even though she didn’t really want any more children, just so that she would have an excuse to continue to sit on her lazy bum at home all day.

I thought about that sad story a few years later when I had an acquaintance whom we’ll call Sue who was a housewife but confided in me that she hated housework and was bad at it.  She was very obese but always looked clean enough, and her two school-aged children appeared to be cared for.  Sue and her husband were going through a nasty divorce, and she told me that one of his reasons for leaving was because she wouldn’t take care of herself or the house but also refused to go back to work.  She had a lot of excuses as to why she couldn’t keep her home or have a job, none of them particularly valid.

One day she called me and another friend and asked us for help.  Her husband had filed a petition to be granted sole physical custody of the children and the court had ordered some kind of home-check, which would happen the next day.  She asked if we could come over and help her clean up the house, and we agreed to do so.  I had never been to her home before, and when she let us in the front door, this is similar to what we saw (this is not her actual home):

I did not want to be rude to Sue, but I just looked at her and wondered, “What do you do all day?  You don’t cook, you don’t clean, you don’t exercise, your children are in school, and you don’t have a job!”

What is to be done about lazy housewives?  They give all of us a bad name, and they do their families no favors.  If a lazy and rebellious woman is refusing to keep her home, ought she not to get a job and use the money to pay someone to keep the home for her?

 The problem is that in both of my anecdotes above, the husbands did get tired of their wives refusing to keep the home and tried to get them to return to the paid workforce, but the women refused.  What can a man in this situation do?  When we lived in a time when men were not hogtied by our legal system and could actually enforce some consequences to maintain an orderly household, a husband could send such a wife back to her father or even threaten to turn her out.  But now?  He’s stuck with her.  If he divorces her, she is going to collect child-support, which was the motivation Sue had to get her house cleaned up; she simply couldn’t lose custody of those kids because otherwise she’d lose out on child support and have to get a job.

Once a man is in this situation, he’s basically stuck.  Therefore, one of the things men should vet for ahead of time in a potential wife is home-keeping skills.  He ought to view her apartment, including stopping by unannounced.  If she lives with her parents, he ought to expect to see her room.  If it’s messy, that is a bad sign; if she can’t keep a room or apartment clean when it’s just her, how will she manage when she has an entire family and a larger home to manage?  No matter how pretty a girl is, she’s just not wife material if she can’t keep a tidy, organized home.

Because it is Friday, let us end on a pleasant note by encouraging one another to be useful keepers of the home, whether we work or not.  Is there an area of mothering or home-keeping that you aren’t doing well at?  Share it in the comment thread and let us exhort one another to improve.  Also, if you have a favorite home-keeping skill or tip or a favorite recipe, share it in the comment thread.  Even the men can participate if they’d like. One final thing I would ask the men to comment on is what kinds of things men appreciate having their wives do so that the rest of us can check ourselves and make sure we’re taking care of business properly.

And now, here is a perfect recipe for this time of year, when cold viruses are making the rounds and a nice, hot homemade soup is just what is needed:

Sweet Garlic Soup from Meals that Heal by Eileen Behan

image

Image copyrighted sunshinemaryandthedragon.wordpress.com

Ingredients:

  • 10 large garlic cloves, peeled, sliced thin (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 small onion, peeled and sliced into thin rings
  • 2 T butter
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice

In a heavy soup pot, saute the garlic and onions for two minutes until soft, but do not let them brown.  Add the chicken stock and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.  Puree in a food processor or blender; return to heat.  Stir in the lemon juice, cover, and simmer for another 60 minutes.  Serve warm with a few croutons or fresh herbs on top if desired.

242 thoughts on “What’s to be done about lazy housewives?

  1. DT2

    SSM, have you written a book? Or considered doing so?
    Your voice would be powerful.

    [ssm: Thank you for your kind words. I have not written a book and currently have no plans to do so.]

  2. earl

    Good advice.

    Granted I live by myself…but it takes all of a couple hours a week to make the place look presentable. And the energy expended is barely above laying on the couch. Plus I listen to music while I do it so it isn’t that boring. Other than legit illness there should be no reason why she couldn’t spend some precious free time keeping the place in order.

    I would think with kids running around messing things up it would be a bit harder to keep things up…but certainly not impossible.

  3. sunshinemary Post author

    In addition to training, it seems like some girls just come into the world wired with neat or messy genes. I am an absolute neat-freak, to the point of having to watch out that I don’t become sort of obsessive-compulsive about it; my mother and grandmother were the same. Yet somehow I have produced one daughter who did not inherit this tendency:

    I just snapped that picture a couple of minutes ago; it represents ONE DAY of mess. Seriously, I made her clean her room Wednesday evening; yesterday I had to work from 3-8 p.m. and when I got home, I didn’t check her room. This morning, I walked in and found the above mess. Although I will keep training her, I might encourage this daughter to be one of those working-wife types, LOL

  4. Scott

    “Lazy” is a personality trait. Some of us are worse than others. If you have this bug in you, you MUST fight it within youself daily.

    I have this problem and to combat it, I take on way more responsibility than I probably should. That way, I cannot sit back and relax, pretty much ever. That tactic keeps me running, riding my horse, taking care of a big piece of property, got me through graduate school, participating in music ministry, etc…

    Taking it all on is like self-imposed lazy therapy. I feel guilty if I don’t get up and get to work. Otherwise I would sit around and do nothing all day. Like the guy from “office space.”

  5. The Woman Margery

    That hoarders picture looks like the house I grew up in. My mom was, technically, a “housewife” though she wasn’t married. Or dating. The government was her man. Yeah. Anyway, she stayed home and did nothing all day. I learned how to clean a bit from my aunt but mostly taught myself after marriage. I remember going to my husband and saying “Did you know you have to wipe down doorknobs and light fixtures?!” My mind was blown by that. His was too as he came from a similar background.

    I am planning on a whole series at GBG about teaching one’s self how to clean (and cook and knit).

    That all said…

    Is there an area of mothering or home-keeping that you aren’t doing well at?

    Cleaning. The big issue is we have 5 children and keeping up after unruly twins is difficult. I touched on this problem a bit in my “day in the life”. My house is just never as clean as I want it to be. How do you all get your kids more involved? How do you teach them to be clean themselves, is my big question. They have chores that they do but they are failing at picking up after themselves and keeping their rooms organized. One thing I have done is shown them pictures of really nicely cleaned and organized rooms and we’ve watched some cleaning and organizing YouTube.

    [ssm: It's a never-ending battle, isn't it? I tie cleaning up their rooms to other activities they want to do, as in "We'll only leave for Family Fun Night at the rec center pool when everyone's rooms are completely cleaned up." I've been known to withhold dessert for cleaning violations.]

  6. Scott

    “How do you all get your kids more involved? How do you teach them to be clean themselves, is my big question. They have chores that they do but they are failing at picking up after themselves and keeping their rooms organized.”

    When you figure this out, please let us know. Even when “pick up your room every day” is a required chore, it still looks like crap.

  7. LP

    So did you help Sue or not? Seems like you should have refused to help so that her husband would get the kids. Why would you help her?

  8. The Woman Margery

    Scott, I find that laziness can have a root, too. I know that even though I want a really really clean house and even though I have maintained that in the past that these days when the kids repeatedly go behind me and mess everything up I sort of shut down and just don’t have the drive to get it done again. I think a lot of people can tend to get caught up in the whole “what’s the point?” mentality. So find a point and obsess about that point. I like to look at pictures a lot to get motivation and inspiration “there’s your point”.

  9. Scott

    “Scott, I find that laziness can have a root, too. I know that even though I want a really really clean house and even though I have maintained that in the past that these days when the kids repeatedly go behind me and mess everything up I sort of shut down and just don’t have the drive to get it done again. I think a lot of people can tend to get caught up in the whole “what’s the point?” mentality. So find a point and obsess about that point. I like to look at pictures a lot to get motivation and inspiration “there’s your point”.”

    This creates a compatibility issue in marriage as well. You are lucky if you and your spouse have a similar “clutter threshold” when, upon reaching it you both say “OK, this is too much. Lets get the house cleaned/organized right now.”

    Mychael and I are very similar in this way.

    [ssm: Oy, count your blessings. My husband doesn't mind clutter but it drives me insane. He keeps his basement workshop in a state of disarray (in my opinion; he says it's fine and that I just need meds for OCD or something). I try not to look at it when I'm in the laundry room next to his work shop.]

  10. Lee Kensington

    SSM, I am curious why you agreed to help her clean up at all. Even before seeing the house it seems you were aware she wasn’t really good a being a parent. after seeing the mess did you still help her clean? and did she end up getting the kids?

  11. Molly C

    I definitely fall on the obsessive end of neatness. I have to keep myself in check so cleaning doesn’t get in the way of spending time with my kids (3 & 1) or letting them play. The best thing I’ve found for that is to do a thorough cleaning of the whole house on Friday (possible for me because we live in small apartment), and just keep up with tidying, dishes, sweeping, etc throughout the week. And that way I can relax a bit on the weekend, which my husband appreciates.

    I think women underestimate how much tidiness actually matters to men. Well, I can’t speak for all men, but my husband is definitely that way. When he lived alone, his space was a MESS. Absolutely unlivable by my standards. But he definitely notices and appreciates that I hang up his pants, pick up his socks, and keep the kitchen clean. I became aware of this during the second year of our marriage, when I was pregnant and would occasionally let the kitchen slide (and “letting the kitchen slide” by my standards is nothing compared to his old kitchen – months-old broken eggs crusted on the bottom of the fridge, anyone?). He would actually step in and clean it, which both surprised me and bothered me because he works all day and I don’t.

    And Earl, haha yes, it changes when you live with people, especially kids. If I don’t sweep the dining room floor AFTER EVERY MEAL, there will be food in every corner of the house in a matter of minutes. Making a house a home is a lot of work (productive, pleasant, and fairly easy work, absolutely, and I’m grateful to be doing it).

    My biggest struggle right now is cooking. I enjoy cooking, and do it all from scratch, but I’ve been resisting making and sticking with a meal plan, so I have to come up with something to cook three times a day. I end up getting bored and feeding the kids whole wheat pasta with frozen broccoli over and over, and letting things rot in the fridge. I need to get on a meal plan. I don’t know why I’m resisting that so much. Do any of you ladies (or men, I suppose) have a meal plan system that works well for you?

    [ssm: Elspeth at Loving In the Ruins does weekly meal plans. Have you tried something like that? What I do is just keeping a running list of meals that I want to prepare; once I make it I cross it off the list and add something else.]

  12. sunshinemary Post author

    I am curious why you agreed to help her clean up at all. Even before seeing the house it seems you were aware she wasn’t really good a being a parent. after seeing the mess did you still help her clean? and did she end up getting the kids?

    Yes, I did help her; the other woman and I cleaned all afternoon and we only made a dent in the mess. This was about ten years ago, so I didn’t have the understanding about divorce that I have now, but also, I simply didn’t know before I got there what I was going to find. I had never seen anything like that before and I didn’t quite know what to say. I wouldn’t have volunteered to help her if I had realized how bad it was.

    The last I knew, she and her husband were sharing temporary 50/50 custody and she was substitute teaching (she was a teacher by profession before marriage). I don’t know what the final result was because I did not want to continue my acquaintance with her after that.

  13. Frank

    I just snapped that picture a couple of minutes ago; it represents ONE DAY of mess.

    Now that’s what I call a natural born home wrecker.

    [ssm: Yep. Our little Suzie Homewrecker. :) She is our extremely high IQ daughter whom I've mentioned before, and I think she gets really distracted by her own thoughts and has trouble with some of life's more mundane tasks. ]

  14. dannyfrom504

    you need to meet my mom. seriously. you 2 would get along SOOOOO well. and my cousin Cherie, you and her could talk bible and church stuff for hours. she actually takes yearly trips with her church (catholic) to fix villages and offer medical support while of course repairing churches.

    i think, if women can be lazy house wives- men should be able to spend thier paychecks on whatever the hell they want after the bills are taken care of. if lazy lass wants something, she can procure her own money for it.

    fair is fair.

    [ssm: LOL, your mom and I sound like we'd get on great.]

  15. Molly C

    “Sheesh, why clean stuff? It’s just going to get dirty again. ARE WE SO VAIN!??!?!?!?!?!?!??!”

    Frank, I think you’re joking, but I’m not sure. :) For me it isn’t all about vanity (though that is definitely a part of it – I clean like a madwoman if someone’s coming over), it’s also about my own sanity. I’ve actually had to practice conversing with my husband or tending my child if I see something that needs to be put away. It screams in my mind at me until I take care of it. I think it does probably border on OCD.

  16. feeriker

    I asked my husband if he would like me to go back to work full-time, but he was quite opposed to it.

    My wife asked me the same thing and I gave her the same answer as your husband gave you. I gave her the answer that I did not so much because I wanted her to stay at home, but because I didn’t want her to feel obligated to have to go out and work for someone else as a wage slave. I’ve told her repeatedly that only one of us should have to suffer indentured servitude in corporate hell (it might be a life sentence for me), and that that’s my job as the husband and provider. There’s no reason both of us should have to suffer.

    If she wants to work, I’m fine with that – but I would prefer that she started something of her own. (She loves clothing and jewelry and has been a successful seller of it in the past and is also a great cook who has catered meals for family and friends before. Let her discover the entrepreneur within herself!)

  17. Alina

    I am such a neat freak that I drive myself insane sometimes. We are moving into a new house soon and so I’ve been packing, and our current living space is small and I just hate seeing all these boxes everywhere. I struggle to let things go when I’m not feeling my best and I’d love to be able to be more laid back about everything. I can’t really let go of any cleaning/organization stuff when I’m not at my best so food is usually the first thing to suffer. When I have morning sickness in my pregnancies I can’t stand the smell of anything and I become such a lazy cook. My poor family, lol. In those times I rely on a lot of stuff like frozen vegetables, raw vegetables, pasta, canned beans, etc. I stop cooking breakfast and rely on boxed cereal.

    I am like earl – I listen to music when I do mundane chores as it makes it more enjoyable.

  18. Lord Highbrow

    Mary, serious question (in a bit). I’m a single man who lives alone. I like to keep a clean home. When I lived in a two bedroom place, I spent a sum total of about two to three hours a week doing household chores. These days, I live in a 1 bedroom place and spend about two hours a week doing chores.

    Assuming you live in a 3+ bed home, what do you do all day as a STAW that you need an entire week to maintain the home?

  19. Scott

    “Assuming you live in a 3+ bed home, what do you do all day as a STAW that you need an entire week to maintain the home?”

    Add chidren to this equation. If I could have my house look the way my apartment did when I was a single, Army E-5 (scared to death that my unit was coming to my off post place to do a “health and welfare inspection” at any moment) I would be in heaven. I spent a similar amount of time on that place as you report.

    With little ones, all bets are off.

  20. Alina

    I also like to break up chores according to the day of the week. Laundry on Tuesdays and Fridays, floors on Mondays, thorough bathroom scrubbing on Wednesdays, making meal plans/grocery lists/doing finances on Thursdays (I call Thursday “Office Day”), grocery shopping/errands on Saturday, and on Sunday I do 1-2 random cleaning tasks (just any other random things that need to be done like dusting, windows, etc.)

  21. Alina

    The one room that should be cleaned daily is the kitchen, in my opinion.

    I do not use disinfectant on anything in my house except the toilet. I make all of my own chemical free cleaners *pats self on back* :D

    [ssm: Nice! Do you have recipes to share? I've wanted to try making some of my own cleaners. I've heard you can use vinegar with lavender oil in it to wash floors.]

  22. Molly C

    Hm, I should clarify that my intention was not to sound braggy at all. My house is not always neat. The real reason my obsessive neatness is a problem for me is that I am perfectly capable of ignore the voices of things screaming to be done for the sake of my own comfort or laziness. It’s much, much more difficult for me to ignore that voice for the sake of someone else. It’s my own selfishness combined with my obsessive neatness that is hte problem.

  23. Sarah's Daughter

    I taught my children the standard. It’s called “the way I like it.” I cleaned with them the first few times, showing them how to sort things, where to put clothes that no longer fit, how to organize all of their little things etc. When they tell me they’ve cleaned their room I ask if it is “the way I like it?” At first I would go and inspect their rooms, pointing out what more needs to be done. Now when I ask, they are well aware if they’ve tried to short cut things, they turn around and try again. I’ve intentionally not told them to clean their rooms for weeks on end so that when it was time, it was a huge, daunting chore that took hours to complete. Eventually they figured out that keeping their rooms clean is easier than having to do it after they’ve successfully destroyed all of their previous hard work. It takes time and patience but is very well worth it.

    When my son was little there was a show called “Bear in the Big Blue House.” I still sing one of the songs from that show. “Everybody clean up the house.” It takes less than thirty minutes for the four of us to work together and the house goes from cluttered and dusty to “the way I like it.”

    If you have toddlers who aren’t putting their toys away, try this. Have a very specific and easy place for them to put their toys away. Show them how to do it the first few times. Then tell them to do it on their own while you’re not in the room. Give them praise for doing it right or show them where they did it wrong. When they understand (ie they’ve done it successfully a couple of times) and fail to do it when asked, present a bin that is kept out of their reach. Have the child pick up the toy they failed to put away and have them put it in the bin. Have a set period of time before they can retrieve the toy.

  24. Alina

    I agree with Sarah’s Daughter on getting the children involved in the cleaning. My 18 month old girl really surprised me when it comes to this, how she will put her toys away and tries to ‘help’ me clean the floors and things like that.

  25. Molly C

    “Mary, serious question (in a bit). I’m a single man who lives alone. I like to keep a clean home. When I lived in a two bedroom place, I spent a sum total of about two to three hours a week doing household chores. These days, I live in a 1 bedroom place and spend about two hours a week doing chores.

    Assuming you live in a 3+ bed home, what do you do all day as a STAW that you need an entire week to maintain the home?”

    A whole lot. I have two little kids at home all day, though, and intend to keep it that way as long as possible (we’re planning on homeschooling). Balancing keeping the house clean with attending to the kids’ needs and desire for attention is not always easy (again, I want to clarify that I’m not complaining; I love what I do, but it’s a lot of work). Add in cooking from scratch, gardening, doing some piece-meal blog work for cash, practicing an instrument, balancing the family budget, getting the kids outside, etc., and it adds up.

    I don’t usually comment on here, so I hope I’m not commenting to much. I love this topic, though. My husband has given me the gift of remaining outside the workforce and home with my kids. I love learning more and growing in my ability to manage that gift well.

    [ssm: You aren't over-commenting. I figured this post might be of particular interest to the ladies.]

  26. Velvet

    If you have this bug in you, you MUST fight it within yourself daily.

    This. The other problem of having a LAZY personality type is the pendulum can swing in such a way that feeds a little ocd, fully the opposite direction of “do nothing”, not that I would know anything about that. My husband prizes competence, and my competitive nature is well-channeled into keeping our home. While I’m a natural cook, I had to learn the discipline of neatness. I have to watch it, though, because I get a little freaked out about delegating to the kids, and I have fired more than one cleaning service on design jobs and just did it myself because COME ON! can you not see that’s not clean?!?!? My husband has to remind me that the opposite of laziness is not perfection.

  27. Velvet

    Oh, and I work part time, my husband really doesn’t like the “full time monster” that takes his wife over. I make more money part time anyway, the time pressure thing works for me.

  28. Sarah's Daughter

    Lord Highbrow,
    All by yourself you manage to create two hours of chores/week in your home. So just multiply that by 5 for starters. Cook for five people vs.1 – how many more dishes do you have? Multiply that by three times/day. Laundry, same thing. Sludge on the shower walls, same thing. Now, you’re a grown adult that likely doesn’t have the energy to play with 15 toys simultaneously while slobbering on them, spitting up, while pooping in a diaper. And that’s just five minutes of an average 5 month old’s life. She does that while the two year old decides that while going potty like a big boy, he should also investigate what this non water soluble substance in the diaper cream tube is. Turns out it is the most fun substance ever that can be rubbed all over his hair, all over the mirrors, carpet, dog etc. Again, that’s five minutes of life that will take at least an hour to clean up.

  29. earl

    Heh…hence why I said I was single in my last post, but took into consideration children when it takes more to keep a house clean.

    I was a kid once…and my brother and I must have liked ways to make the house messy for mom. And my father wasn’t too fond of stepping on legos during the night.

  30. Velvet

    I laughed at that picture, SSM. I have one almost tragically neat child, one marignal pigpen who like me is slightly germophobic so there is at least that to keep the mess in check, and one who could live in a landfill and would just be glad on the days they pour the dirt over the whole thing so he could start over.

    [ssm: It's funny how they are all so different. I just walked into another child's room - and she's younger than Messy Girl - and found this:

    Bed is made, dirty clothes were put in the hamper, toys are picked up...and she does this all without needing (too many) reminders.]

  31. Velvet

    And my father wasn’t too fond of stepping on legos during the night.

    My kingdom for an unbruised arch. I think I’ve had sore feet – Lego foot should be a diagnosis – since my first was 9 months old. You can pick them up all day long, and still, one lurks exactly where the middle of my foot lands, on a near weekly basis.

  32. Treep

    I am a long time silent reader and took this topic to make my first comment since it’s a pretty hot topic for me.
    I am one of those messy types, when I was a kid my room basically always looked like your daughter’s, SSM. I always had problems with cleaning up, and I still have, now living in a dorm room. I have a high tolerance for clutter and even if it starts to annoy me, I can’t find the motivation to finally clean up the mess. On the other hand I do really want to have a clean, nice home now and I want to keep a tidy home once I marry, so it bothers me that I seem to be unable to keep my surroundings clean.
    From my parents I have seen that tidiness is learnable, so I hope that I can learn it too. I will definitely watch out for Margery’s series, also for the cooking part.

  33. Stingray

    Thank you for the link, Sunshine Mary!

    I stopped working when I had our first child. With a year or two of being home I asked my husband if he would be put out if I never wanted to go back to work again (him knowing that I would should he ever want me to or need me to). He looked at me and beamed. He was so pleased that I didn’t want to go back to work and would rather stay home and care for him and the house, even when the kids are no longer here.

  34. Stingray

    what do you do all day as a STAW that you need an entire week to maintain the home?

    It’s what everyone else said with kids in the equation, but one can add so much more to it as well. It's apple season, so drying apples and canning applesauce will be done. Hunting season is coming so it's time to make beef jerky as a snack. Gardening, making bread, jams and jellies. I'd like to learn to make soap at some point, making laundry detergent.

    The possibilities are only limited to what the wife wants to do. If a house wife is bored, it's her own fault.

    [ssm: Just so. I take the girls berry picking and we make homemade jam and can it. I plant and maintain a garden. I harvest and dry my own herbs. Oh, speaking of herbs, here is a tip for pesto-lovers. Store-bought pesto is expensive and this is much cheaper:

    Grow an enormous amount of basil. It's easy to do.
    Harvest the basil and make an enormous batch of pesto.
    (Now here is the clever part.)
    Portion the pesto into ice cube trays and freeze it. When frozen, dump the pesto cubes into a large ziploc bag and store in the freezer. Whenever you need a bit of pesto for something, just portion out however many cubes you need.

    I can't remember where I learned that tip but it's a good one.]

  35. Lee Lee Bug

    As a working mom and wife I feel like I am perpetually overwhelmed when it comes to keeping my house tidy.

    I wake up early enough where i can do the basics — wash, dry and fold a load of laundry, unload the dishwasher, give the bathroom sinks and toilets a quick swipe to make sure they’re clean. At night, I try to sweep the downstairs floors, put away the mail and paperwork that always collects on our kitchen island, and straighten up the mud room, which at any given time can have 20 pair of shoes and almost as many jackets, fleeces, snow pants, etc.

    On the weekends, I deep clean the bathrooms and kitchen, vacuum the upstairs carpets, do extra laundry and do more time-consuming chores like washing windows, organizing closets, etc.

    I also have a messy daughter and a neat daughter. Unfortunately, due to the small size of our home they must share a room. It’s quite a disaster. If our home was ever burglarized, they probably wouldn’t even notice as every surface in their room is covered with stuff.

    My biggest obstacle to keeping a neat home at the moment is the amount of toys in our living room, which also serves as our three-year-old’s playroom and my older girls’ teen hangout.It’s chock-a-block with everything from American Girl dolls, to a wooden kitchen set, and a miniature shopping cart, plus a video game system.

  36. Mychael

    Good Day. I struggle with feeling like I’m not doing enough at home. I still work full-time (soon to change). I’ve started getting up an hour earlier so that I can pack lunches for the family & then off to work.

    Anyway, Scott & I have to deal with a little clutter as we just don’t have the time to keep a perfect home. I look forward to the day that I do have the time & pray that my lazy side stays stiffled.

  37. everydaybride93

    I was one of those lazy housewives when I was first married. Looking back it was honestly a rebellious thing. I thought my husband should love me for me and his approval of me shouldn’t be based on my housework abilities. It didn’t quite get to hoarder status but it wasn’t good. I also justified it because he was a minister and I thought it was more important to spend time with people and I made sure that happened quite a bit. I eventually went back to work and always did well there. Many times my husband questioned why I did such a good job at work but couldn’t at home. Looking back almost twenty years later it makes me ill. In the last year we have been working on our roles in the marriage and even though one son is out of the house and the other one is in high school I would do anything for another opportunity to be a housewife…not so I can catch up on tv shows but because I understand my role and my desire is to soley take care of my husband, son and house. Its a hard balance to work and try to fulfill this but the consequence of my past actions is I have no choice but to balance it. By the grace of God not everything is horrible. My sons are turning out to be fine, Christian, young men and we are getting ready to celebrate 20 years of marriage. If I could go back in time and change things I would. I try to encourage other young mothers to treasure the opportunity tobe housewives if they can. Its an honor to God and your family.

  38. Elspeth

    Very busy day hope to add more later, but what I’m good at: meals. Planning, executing, serving. Makeing sure it’s very good food.

    My weakness: combatting clutter, paper specifically. It’s a never neding battle, the one thing that makes me feel like a failure.

    That, and socks. Ugh!

  39. Scott

    “I’ve started getting up an hour earlier so that I can pack lunches for the family & then off to work.”

    The sammiches are nice, woman.

    [ssm: Awwww...you two are cute. :)]

  40. Elspeth

    One more thing: find out the top three things that matter most to your husband, and make sure they’re done well and completely no matter what else doesn’t get done. Also, teach your kids good skills so that as they get older you can relax a little.

    I have one girl who rivals me in coking skill, another who is a master at making lists and organizing so that she gets things done in a timely manner. The third young lady is not as adept around the house but she’s growing. More importantly she’s eager to please so whomever gets her will be able to direct her energies withot a lot of hassle from her about what she’d prefer to be doing.

    And thanks for the honorable mention of my menu plans, Sunshine.

  41. sunshinemary Post author

    My strengths are cleaning, cooking, and organizing. My weaknesses are spending more time messing around online than I should, being obsessive about cleaning, and not being good at knowing when I need to stop cleaning and sit down with my children just to talk or play.

  42. Stingray

    That, and socks. Ugh!

    SOCKS!! Socks are a bane. A bane I tell you!!! I hate them. I have a basket of about 15 – 20 socks without a match. Every once in a while I will throw them away (and sometimes find the match right after I do even after months). Even after I buy the kids news socks, it never fails that they will wear them one time and then the match is gone for ever.

    Sorry. Just had to get that out of my system. :)

  43. Mychael

    Yes. The sammiches are yummy. Even our son loves getting his lunch packed & thanks me for it. All it takes is MORE time.

    Just out of curriosity, does anyone out there know of a Bible study or a book study on being a submissive wife? There seems to be a plethora of information on how husbands can keep their wives happy by being better husbands. SNORE.

  44. bike bubba

    I can understand Scott’s (?) argument of personalities, but a lot of it has a tremendous amount to do with basic character–do they, instincts/personality aside, see the things that need to be done, and do them? And the Scriptures have some answers for us.

    First, the husband/dad considers himself and pulls the plank out of his own eye–how much of the mess is his own correspondence, beer cans and pizza boxes? How can he set an example–he wears clothes and eats, he can help with some of it. Matthew 7:1-5. Then it’s off to Matthew 18, first with personal confrontations (probably including both housework and “chick porn” like soaps and Cosmo/People), then to the church (make sure you’re catechizing your own family per Ephesians 5-6 and such), and finally if it’s a real hazard to you and your kids, a separation and a call to social services may be in order.

  45. Velvet

    find out the top three things that matter most to your husband

    Co-sign. I laugh at women who load all this stuff onto their own lists and then complain that they just can’t get it done. Duh. What does your husband want done? If you start there, the rest really seems to fall into place. A clean house is great, but I don’t know of a single husband who wouldn’t prefer a flirtatious, smiling wife over an empty sparkling sink. Push up bra and sandwiches, ftw.

  46. Stingray

    Treep,

    Start right now. Unless you have some place to be, I mean get up right this second and choose something. One thing to tackle, your desk, your bed, your closet. One big thing or one little thing and clean it. Then tomorrow do one more thing. Then, make sure the thing you did yesterday is still clean. If it’s not, take 5 seconds to make sure it still is. Keep going like this.

    Or, conversely, take a Saturday, turn the radio on and clean the whole room. Once you get into it, it can be quite satisfying. Then make sure you keep up with it a bit everyday.

    I don’t tell you this as any kind of expert. I tell you this because I AM you. I know how to clean, but it gets away from me. Once it does, I have the hardest time finding the motivation to get it back to where it needs to be. This is what I’m finding works really well for me. Try it. Over time it gets much easier.

  47. Velvet

    SOCKS!! Socks are a bane.

    I learned a sock trick from a family with 9 kids – they do one kids sock load a week, mom puts them in a laundry basket and it goes in the hall closet. No sorting, no turning, no matching. All white, with different color toes for different sizes. It has saved us hours of misery. I do mine and my husbands the “right” way, and the kids keep their dress socks separate, but other than that, I guess you’ll be getting swamp foot if you didn’t get your socks in the dirty clothes. In my opinion, if you can write your name, your equipped to do a load of laundry. I haven’t done kids clothes in years, other than to touch them up with an iron for Church or something.

  48. earl

    “find out the top three things that matter most to your husband”

    I thought it was universal knowledge. Chris Rock said it:

    Food
    Sex
    Silence

  49. bike bubba

    Another point here; my truck (who gets invited to help a lot of people move) reminds me that a huge source of messy homes is the amount of stuff brought in. So one HUGE help that husbands can offer their wives is to take a look at things and ask ‘do we really need this?’. Lead by example in the garage and man-cave, proceed to one’s own closet, make a point of commenting to the wife and kids about how nice it is to go into the shop or closet and find what you need in a minute or less. It takes some repeating, but they eventually catch on. If you’ve worked in a manufacturing setting, the “5S tool” (the real one, not the imitation Martha Stewart one many companies do) is incredibly helpful.

  50. Jenny

    It might sound strange but when the husband works and supports his wife isn’t it her job to look after the home? I mean if they discuss roles and he is going to go out and earn the money and she is a stay at home wife / mother then she isn’t holding up her end of the bargain. If her husband didn’t do his job properly then he wouldn’t get paid.

    I am not an obsessive neat freak but I like cleaning and I like things tidy. I also like knick knacks or dust collectors …… according to more minimalist people. Watching Hoarders is pretty motivating though! x

  51. bike bubba

    Mychael; Mrs. Bubba would recommend “The Excellent Wife” by Martha Peace.

    And socks; I’ve made a rule that we buy at least six pairs of each type so that when one is lost, we haven’t eliminated 100% of our investment. From 5S, Seiketsu or “standardize.” And then you do calisthenics and sing the company–er I mean family–song.

  52. Mary Ellen (@WorkingHomeKpr)

    “I’d like to learn to make soap at some point, making laundry detergent. ”

    I’d love to get into soap making as well. But, I think I’ll wait until the children are older and are not under foot. I’ve just started making my own laundry detergent. It’s simple, but I’m not certain if it’s really cost effective in our situation. The homemade detergent lasted about the same amount of time as a large box of Gain from Costco. And, the cost of the ingredients are about the same as the Gain. But, I do enjoy making/producing my own things for the home. That’s why I love canning!

  53. Sarah's Daughter

    That’s great advice, Bike.
    In our home, however, I’m the one who gets rid of things. My husband and son keep things, weird things. I tried to throw away a vacuum that didn’t work, son salvaged the hoses and attachments – cuz you never know. I tried to throw away the empty container of the Ortho bug spray, my son salvaged the sprayer – learned my lesson that time, he overfilled the truck’s engine coolant and used the sprayer to siphon off the extras. So now I have bins labeled “strange things they won’t throw away.” I’ve had to show them my abundant collection of old clothes that are now rags just to be able to throw away socks with holes in them.

  54. Stingray

    Mary Ellen,

    May I ask what you are using for ingredients? I use Fels Naptha, borax and Arm and Hammer washing soda. It makes an enormous amount and I only need to use about half a cup a load.

  55. Jenny

    Mychael – I have seen recommendations for books like Fascinating Womanhood, Created to be his Helpmeet, Feminine Appeal, and The Excellent Wife.

    I have the singles versions of FW and CTBHH and the others are recommended a lot.

    I like The Hidden Art of Homemaking too and Personal Help for Girls and Preparing Your Hope Chest (both by Pearables) would be good for daughters. x

  56. ballista74

    And socks; I’ve made a rule that we buy at least six pairs of each type so that when one is lost, we haven’t eliminated 100% of our investment.

    This is what I do too. I don’t pair them up or roll them up (that destroys them), so all it takes is matching them up generically and the work ends up being a lot easier (just throwing all the socks in a drawer). If one sock wears out or gets a hole in it, it just gets thrown out and the other one can be mated with other socks. Eventually, I end up buying similar socks when it comes time, so it evens out in the end anyway.

  57. bike bubba

    Sarah’s Daughter, it’s evident that your ever-lovin’ man and I are probably separated at birth. :^) Seriously, 5S is called a discipline for a reason, and (per Matthew 7:1-5) the best advice I can give anyone–including myself or my long lost twin safely in your arms–is to learn that discipline.

    One of my favorite examples of clutter is something a lot of us probably have; Bisquick or other pancake mixes. OK, so we’re paying twice the price to get….flour mixed with a touch of baking powder, salt, and some preservatives….exactly why?

  58. bike bubba

    One thing I disagree with is sending the wife out to work; when you process the cost of daycare, vehicle, clothes, extra meals out, taxes, and tithe, it takes a LOT of income for the wife to even break even working outside the home. So I don’t see that as a legitimate approach to dealing with a lazy spouse at all. Sending her out to work can just make the financial situation worse and obscure the character issues that need to be dealt with.

  59. sunshinemary Post author

    D’oh! My dentist’s office just called, wanting to know why I didn’t make it to my 10:30 a.m. appointment this morning. Gee, I’m sorry, I was too busy telling strangers on the internet how organized I am to make it to my appointment. LOL, anyway, uh…gotta run. :)

  60. Lee Lee Bug

    @Mychael,

    I’d recommend Love and Respect, which is written from a Christian perspective and The Surrendered Wife, which is written from a secular perspective. The first is a good spiritual guide; the second offers very practical tips on how to go about being submissive.

  61. Treep

    Thank you Stingray for the encouragement. I just cleaned up my desk and will continue with folding the laundry because now I am motivated! Tomorrow it’ll be the corner where I threw all my crafting equipment.
    You are right, once the mess takes over it is really hard to find the motivation, since it is so much to do to get it nice again.

    Also, because I saw the socks problem: at some point my mom bought a bunch of these (similar ones): http://www.amazon.com/SockStar-Sock-Clips-Colorful-Family/dp/B000NZSRUW/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1382721933&sr=8-10&keywords=sock+clips
    First I thought that this was a stupid idea, never gonna work with me and my equally messy youngest brother, but after some time we got accustomed to just stuff our socks into these things and my mom (and I, one of my chores was helping with the laundry) had way less trouble with finding matching socks.

  62. The Woman Margery

    @Mychael: “Just out of curriosity, does anyone out there know of a Bible study or a book study on being a submissive wife?”

    Fascinating Womanhood and The Surrendered Wife changed me.

    @MaryEllen re: laundry detergent- are you sure you aren’t using too much? I do the dry version of Fels Naptha, Borax, and Washing Soda and it only takes a tablespoon or two. Most people think it takes that huge scoop other dry detergents do but it’s super powerful.

  63. Happyhen

    Guess I am an oddball. I was not born with the neat gene and I am not a natural born house cleaner. I do many things well, with joy and gusto. Cleaning toilets is not one of them.

    I know I am not alone in this as my mother’s favorite grandmother was just like me… and its funny, that was the granny my mom enjoyed visiting with the most as a child. Her home was homey, welcoming, not always tidy but clean enough and her kitchen was the warmest and had the best food in the whole family. She made time for people over anything else. No one ever left her home hungry, even if all she had to feed them was cornbread and beans. I am proud to be like her.

    I felt really horrible about not being an enthusiastic house cleaner for years because women quite simply brag about everything they do well and I just could not brag about how shiny my toilets were or how you could bounce a dime off my bed sheets because well, my toilets were toilets and my sheets while clean were not tucked in with hospital corners. Those of us who just get by, just get the job done, and are not doing it all in heels and pearls feel inadequate for some odd reason. I do clean and can clean very thoroughly when I need to but more often than not, I get the job done and move on to other stuff. We homeschool so I always have stuff to do and most of it is preferable to house cleaning, in my opinion.

    Homemaking to me is not cleaning house. Cleaning house is a necessary job yes (or eventually everything would collapse into a smoldering crater) but homemaking is making the home your family wants and needs. I keep house fine for my husband who also is not a neat person. What I had to realize is if he is happy, I am happy. He loves coming home. Home is his retreat, his oasis, his soft place to land after rough days. THAT makes me very happy. THAT makes our house a home.

    My husband grew up in a untidy, disorganized home. I grew up in a home where it would have been preferred if you levitated everywhere, shluffed off no skin cells if you could help it, and if a coaster wasn’t used, you were going to hell!! Neither were homes in which their families were comfortable. We don’t want that.

    As an aside, having a mother who kept her house in museum order and thought THAT was the only way to keep house was miserable. I could never clean anything to her satisfaction as a young lady learning to take care of a house. She always huffed and puffed and just told me to go away and she would do it herself. That was very hard because THAT was exactly where I should make mistakes and learn how to remedy those mistakes without judgement. Instead I was told no matter how hard I tried, I was a filthy pig and was an embarrassment. And just like men that get brow beat by their nagging wives, when you can’t satisfy someone no matter what you do, you finally…. give up. My dad and I always shared that reality of our home, neither of us was good enough and boy, did we know it. The tyranny a woman can exert over HER house is amazing. I guess that is why dad and I were always so close. We were in it together. BUT all that made for some hard baggage to get rid of once I got married and had my own home to keep.

    Also remember that many times people who have issues with keeping things tidy and in order may get easily distracted by other things that need to be done. It’s not always laziness. I am not lazy in the slightest. I do however get distracted and time just runs away from me. I have had to work on that my whole adult life. I find making short lists, keeping my expectations reasonable, not beating myself up if tasks take longer and things get missed (tomorrow is another day), and taking rooms one at a time and even one wall at a time helps me focus.

    Also.. your daughter’s room has a floor O.O (hooray!!) and looks to just need some clothes put away… really not bad. Maybe half an hours work. She probably just needs to make herself a morning/nightly tidying list. That is what I have. Not too long, or I will get distracted, just the quick basics. Doesn’t mean she won’t be a perfect home-maker for her husband, just might be that her home won’t be like your home but will make her husband very happy all the same.

  64. Alina

    [ssm: Nice! Do you have recipes to share? I've wanted to try making some of my own cleaners. I've heard you can use vinegar with lavender oil in it to wash floors.]

    I’ve read that lavender can lower testosterone in men so I don’t use that in the house but yes, you can use vinegar mixed with ANY scented oil and it’s a lovely all purpose cleaner. Not just for the floors, but you can also use it on anything – I use it on windows and mirrors, wipe it off with some newspapers, and they look just as good as if you used windex!

    I use baking soda for scrubbing soap scum in the bathroom, and also in the kitchen for getting grime off dishes.

    I make my own powder laundry detergent and I find it does a wonderful job cleaning and is also less harsh than commercial laundry detergents. I use a 50/50 mixture of Borax and Linda’s Laundry Soap grated up with a cheese grater. I was making a liquid one for a while but it was more time consuming and took up more space than this simpler powder one.

    You can make a homemade air freshener by simmering water on the stove with fresh ingredients added. If you let it simmer for a few hours it will make your house smell great while you make it, and then you can strain the liquid and put it in a spritz bottle and spritz it around when you need some in the future. You can use anything – mint leaves, cinnamon sticks, orange slices, whole cloves, ginger. If you have a place in your house that smells bad regularly (closet, bathroom, etc) you can set up a mason jar with holes poked through the lid (you can use a nail and hammer) and put some baking soda and a few drops of any scented oil in the jar. Then just leave it high up somewhere and stir the contents around every now and then :)

  65. Alina

    Regarding socks,

    I learned this the hard way and now we are transitioning into buying ONLY plain white socks and plain black socks. Then even if a few get lost, you will still be able to partner them again as opposed to if you have socks of a bunch of different styles/patterns/colours/etc.

  66. Maeve

    Ladies, y’all impress the snot out of me. Yesterday, say 1700, I look up from my monitor (my office is in my sunroom) and into the LR. There is light streaming in from the very-high-up window over the front door. This shaft of light reveals every last mote of dust swirling in the air and clinging to the floors and book cases. I did the only sane thing. I shut the blinds on the window between the sunroom and LR so that I couldn’t see and continued working until the light had passed and the dust and dog hair were no longer visible. OTOH, I’m a veritable nazi about cleaning the kitchen and my bathroom. Seriously, I’ve gotten up in the middle of the night to check and make sure that there wasn’t an unwashed glass on the kitchen counter.

  67. The Woman Margery

    My absolute favorite glass and electronics cleaner is a 50/50 mix of water and rubbing alcohol. Makes everything so shinny and clean and it’s dirt cheap.

    I also use baking soda to scrub things in the bathroom and kitchen. I discovered that if you add dish soap (Dawn), peroxide, and water to it to form a paste it makes an amazing soft scrub for greasy stoves AND a great laundry stain remover. I saved my husband’s dress shirt with this mixture the night before a funeral. Also, mix some dish soap in with baking soda until it’s clumpy and store in a mason jar. Pour some of that and some vinegar in the toilet bowl and let it sit for a few minutes before cleaning. Sparkly and deodorized! I also like to add tea tree oil to the mix.

  68. The Woman Margery

    Am I the only person that doesn’t have the missing sock problem? I think it’s because I went into housekeeping with that on my mind after seeing it mocked in like every cartoon and sitcom I ever watched. So I have always had a little box next to the dryer where every single sock gets thrown in out of the dryer. I go through the dryer and pick out each sock first, throw it in the box, and then when I’m done with all the laundry for that day or week I go through the box and pair them up. If there are some without a pair they stay in the box. I repeat this and always manage to find all pairs. Sometimes my kids will throw one sock in one load and forget one under the bed or something. By the time the next 5 loads goes through the socks are reunited in the box.

  69. The Woman Margery

    “You can make a homemade air freshener by simmering water on the stove with fresh ingredients added. If you let it simmer for a few hours it will make your house smell great while you make it, and then you can strain the liquid and put it in a spritz bottle and spritz it around when you need some in the future. You can use anything – mint leaves, cinnamon sticks, orange slices, whole cloves, ginger. If you have a place in your house that smells bad regularly (closet, bathroom, etc) you can set up a mason jar with holes poked through the lid (you can use a nail and hammer) and put some baking soda and a few drops of any scented oil in the jar. Then just leave it high up somewhere and stir the contents around every now and then”

    I love doing all of the above! I want to find one of those tiny crock pots from the second hand store so I can have this going all the time. Another thing is I obsessively air out my house. Rain or shine, hot or cold out my house is opened up every single morning for an hour or more.

  70. Alina

    Thanks for the tip of that stove cleaning mix, Margery. The landlord here wants the place in perfect clean condition before we move out so I’ve got to scrub the stove spotless and I don’t want to use commercial oven cleaner as I’m concerned about the fumes. I usually use just baking soda which gets it clean enough by my standards (I don’t scrub it spotless since it’s going to get dirty again that evening anyway), but probably not clean enough by the landlord’s standards.

  71. Scott

    “Am I the only person that doesn’t have the missing sock problem? I think it’s because I went into housekeeping with that on my mind after seeing it mocked in like every cartoon and sitcom I ever watched. So I have always had a little box next to the dryer where every single sock gets thrown in out of the dryer. I go through the dryer and pick out each sock first, throw it in the box, and then when I’m done with all the laundry for that day or week I go through the box and pair them up. If there are some without a pair they stay in the box. I repeat this and always manage to find all pairs. Sometimes my kids will throw one sock in one load and forget one under the bed or something. By the time the next 5 loads goes through the socks are reunited in the box.”

    Ladies, this woman has taken home making to a new level.

  72. Michelle

    Our house is reasonably clean, but I do have a problem keeping closets and cupboards organized. If I can close the door on it- out of sight out of mind. My husband is the opposite; he will leave dishes in the sink before and opt to organize the pantry cupboard instead. I also have trouble with meals when I’m pregnant. I’m a blessed woman because my husband loves spaghetti!

    My husband never complains about the state of the house, but a clean house makes everyone happier. I make a point of thinking of him like a guest. I never fail to get everything done before someone comes over for dinner, so I try to extend the same courtesy to my husband. He is the most important guest, being king of the castle and all.

    When I moved in with my husband, I knew nothing about cooking or cleaning. I would try to help my Mom growing up, but she would get irritated and redo it herself. It was a huge discouragement to meet with nagging every time I tried to clean. Homemaking isn’t a hard skill to learn, thankfully. I do make a point not to nag my children if they’ve done their best. That doesn’t mean I don’t redo their chores behind their backs sometimes!

    Margery, on getting your kids involved: It’s difficult for us too! We spend about 30 minutes cleanup two or three times a day. We clean up before lunch, before dinner, and before bed if needed. It seems to help my little ones if we do it as a team. It also helps that they are usually hungry and ready to sit down for a meal! Food is a great motivator. Proverbs 4:14 helps me guard against shutting down when it seems like I’m getting nowhere.

    “Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.” I know children aren’t oxen; but I would rather have a full, messy house than an empty one!

    Mychael, These books all have sections on submissiveness that I’ve found useful. Love and Respect was good too.
    The True Woman by Susan Hunt- one of my favorites
    Biblical Femininity in the Home (I can’t remember the author)
    Life Management for Busy Women by Elizabeth George (This one is very practical)
    Womanly Dominion by Mark Chanski

  73. FuzzieWuzzie

    Where do the socks go? Hungry washing machines.

    About the messy room, this daughter is in a passive mode of rebellion. Since I’m not a parent, I have no advice but, I hope this gives you a direction to go in.
    She has to get with the program. If you’re selling your house, it has to be ready to show at a moment’s notice. That’s hard on families who are living there while the house is on the market.

  74. Alina

    I’ve found the best way to keep garbage cans smelling fresh is to just eat oranges often :D lol I’ve never known my garbage to stink when there are orange peels in there because the scent of the orange peels just overpowers any other scents.

  75. feeriker

    Jenny: It might sound strange but when the husband works and supports his wife isn’t it her job to look after the home? I mean if they discuss roles and he is going to go out and earn the money and she is a stay at home wife / mother then she isn’t holding up her end of the bargain. If her husband didn’t do his job properly then he wouldn’t get paid.

    Stop using so much logic, woman! You’re making the rest of the hive look bad! :)~

    On a related note, I feel a massive rant coming on (to posted elsewhere on one of my other blogs) about married UMC women with kids who work full time and who feel no compunction or second thoughts whatsoever about dumping their work responsibilities at the last minute onto their male colleagues/subordinates in order to go off and play mommy/homemaker. I’ve been burned TWICE by that at work over the last 24 hours (and not for the first time by either offender) and it’s getting to be really irksome.

  76. Mary Ellen (@WorkingHomeKpr)

    Stingray – “May I ask what you are using for ingredients? I use Fels Naptha, borax and Arm and Hammer washing soda. It makes an enormous amount and I only need to use about half a cup a load.”

    The dry detergent I make uses 3 bars of Fels Naptha, 1 box Borax, 4lb baking soda, 1 box A&H Washing Soda, 4lbs Oxi-Clean and 2 bottles Downy Unstopables (optional).

    Margery – “@MaryEllen re: laundry detergent- are you sure you aren’t using too much? I do the dry version of Fels Naptha, Borax, and Washing Soda and it only takes a tablespoon or two. Most people think it takes that huge scoop other dry detergents do but it’s super powerful.”

    That could be. My mother lives with us and handles most of the laundry and ironing. She is accustomed to using commercial detergents. We also do laundry twice a week (about 4-5 loads) each time.

    “Fascinating Womanhood and The Surrendered Wife changed me. ”

    Me, too!

  77. Elspeth

    @ Happy Hen:

    I am no master house cleaner, sister. My husband has a few things he is stickler about: clean floors, laundry, and pantry/refrigerator. So long as those three things are kept in check and neat (and I look nice), the rest of it is almost moot, really.

    Honestly, the whole job is as easy as you are willing to make it.

    This is true up to a point Ballista, but babies/children add another dimension, and lots of children requires a lot more concentration and effort. It’s doable, but not always “easy”.

  78. Maeve

    @Feeriker – that’s completely unacceptable and unprofessional and you should not have to take it. Is there some way you can make yourself unavailable? Maybe you could contrive to have some engagement with Mrs. Feeriker at the same time?

  79. Mary Ellen (@WorkingHomeKpr)

    “I’ve read that lavender can lower testosterone in men so I don’t use that in the house”

    Wow, I had no idea! Lavender is my favorite scent. I use it often, especially as a carpet deodorizer (baking soda + drops of lavender in a parmesan shaker). Guess, I’ll go back to using Sweet Orange essential oil in my cleaners.

  80. feeriker

    Bike Bubba said One thing I disagree with is sending the wife out to work; when you process the cost of daycare, vehicle, clothes, extra meals out, taxes, and tithe, it takes a LOT of income for the wife to even break even working outside the home. So I don’t see that as a legitimate approach to dealing with a lazy spouse at all. Sending her out to work can just make the financial situation worse and obscure the character issues that need to be dealt with.

    Yes, exactly, and I’ve brought this up before. Amerika’s fascialist tax code is structured to pretty much guarantee that a working spouse means that more of your money will be confiscated by Caesar, which is one of the two main reasons why I’m not anxious to have my wife work at anything outside the home that requires her to fill out a W4. It’s just NOT worth the hit you take at the end of the year, and the amount of money she brings home doesn’t make a significant positive difference in the household budget. And we’re “empty nesters,” so I can imagine what the story is for couples with kids.

  81. Elspeth

    @ SD:

    My husband has lots of things he won’t throw away either. I’m learning that this isn’t all that unusual for men and I’m also learning that often these things come in handy.

    Recently my husband was called by our neighbor who suspected his brand new car battery was defective. SAM tells, him it’s probably not. Might be a switch thingy somewhere that people often overlook and assume it’s the battery. When he got there he fixed the guy’s problem by creating the part they needed (parts store was closed) out of what I would have considered a big box of junk in the guy’s garage.

    “See”, they told us (the wives), “These bins are not full of ‘junk.’”

    So now I just try not to focus on it too much when I’m in that section of the garage.

  82. Alina

    I know its too bad because I love lavender, too. I’ve got some lavender skincare products and I can’t even use them until I find out whether I’m having a boy or a girl, and if this one is a boy I’ll have to wait until after he’s born before I use them. I just don’t want to take any chances, you know? There are lots of things everywhere that lower T levels in men, it’s so sad, and it’s impossible to escape completely 100% but it is good to at least try to avoid some of the things shown to lower it.

  83. feeriker

    @Maeve:

    @Feeriker – that’s completely unacceptable and unprofessional and you should not have to take it. Is there some way you can make yourself unavailable? Maybe you could contrive to have some engagement with Mrs. Feeriker at the same time?

    Of course not, and I’m not even going to bother making an issue of it with TPTB. To do so will only invite additional grief. There is NO WAY that any man can make an issue out of this institutional abuse in today’s corporate Amerika and not get burned by blowback from doing so. Yes, this disgusting practice is as rampant as the Black Death was in mid-14th Century Europe, but the Black Death didn’t have social and political approval.

  84. taylor

    My husband and I both work a lot, but we don’t have children. We live with a bit of clutter, but not with dirt or filth. I clean daily, and our home (which is small) gets a deep clean every 2 weeks. In line with what Elsbeth said, early on I learned my husband disliked the hemming and hawing that came with trying to decide what to cook for a meal. Often, that would lead to ordering in or eating out (which is never good for the budget or waistline). So, I have taken to menu planning and cooking on Sunday/Monday. Last week I made a big pot of soup and a crustless quiche so he would have easy and healthy breakfasts and lunches. We have a loose meal plan for dinner, and we stick with it about 75% of the time. We both exercise in the evening, so we share the dinner prep, and both cook around our workout schedules. One thing I am absolutely terrible at is laundry. We live in an urban area with a shared laundry in our building, so it piles up often. This thread is a good reminder that I need to get into a better laundry routine. I like what Alina said upthread, and think I will schedule a specific day to be laundry day. Lately that has been Friday, so I guess I am doing laundry tonight.

  85. Alina

    A cleaning schedule is def the best thing to do whether your tendency is towards ‘lazy’ or ‘neat freak.’ If you have lazier tendencies, the schedule makes sure everything gets done regularly. If you have neat freak tendencies, the schedule helps you put things aside. I am the type where if something gets spilled on the floor, I want to clean the entire floor. But with a schedule I can tell myself ‘floor cleaning is for Mondays, so for now just spot clean the spill and wait until Monday before doing them properly.’ Instead of wasting time on cleaning more than you need to, you can put things off and rest easy knowing it will get done, and then spend the time you would have spent cleaning instead spending time with your loved ones or something like that.

  86. Mychael

    Socks. Hmmmm. I have a small tote bag that I had embroidered with “Lost Soles” on it. It is in our laundry room. When it fills up we try to find the matches. It’s not 100% but its better than nothing.

  87. Stingray

    Mary Ellen,

    I would bet that your mother is using too much of it. I make the liquid kind and it lasts for a couple of months. The recipe is here but I might start using Margery’s instead. I’ve just never used a dry detergent and neither did my mom. It’s one of those weird things that is hard to change for no good reason.

  88. tbc

    Well I’m a man and I agree with Elspeth (yet again.. it seems we are often agreeing). The key thing is to find out what is important to your man and do that. Most everything else can slide a bit. My dear loving wife is definitely not the neatest person. She cleans well and all, but she inherited the ‘clutter’ gene from both parents — one which I also share. So I can’t be too hard on her. For me though where you clean yourself and where you prepare & eat your food have to be clean. Everything else I can deal with.

    What my wife excels at though is cooking. Grocery shopping is her favourite thing to do and I can be sure she would never let me go hungry. There is ALWAYS food in the house and she really works hard to cook things I like, which has been interesting because she has made great effort to learn how to cook ‘soul food’ (i.e southern food) since she didn’t grow up on it and I did. She has done well so far which is really saying something since I am a very good cook.

  89. AJ

    The lazy housewives in your post seem like they needed therapy for depression and whatever else it is that causes people to be hoarders. Hoarding is a sure sign of a mental illness and the woman’s husband probably should’ve insisted on her getting treatment instead of a job.

    I have a maid service come in once a week, so I never have to do more than light cleaning myself. They also wash the clothes, fold them, and leave them on the beds to be put away. I hate housework and decided to stop torturing myself. I’m great at cooking and organizing but only OK at cleaning.

    [ssm: Hoarding itself isn't so much a sign of depression. I read a whole book on this awhile back called Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things, and hoarding is more linked to OCD as I recall. But what happens when the hoard is removed is that hoarders become extremely agitated, anxious, and depressed. People who have their hoards removed are at high risk of suicide. For the record, my acquaintance was cheerful and not depressed at all. She truly was just kind of lazy and disorganized.]

  90. Flaming Man of Iron

    My wife works part time @ 2 or 3 days a week as a nurse over the weekend and is home with the kids most days during the week. She struggled with keeping the house clean when we first got married, and it got drastically worse once kids were born. Que post partum depression & a mood disorder.

    What I’ve noticed is that she gets easily overwhelmed and gives up rather than deal with reality. What started to solve the problem was a couple things:

    1.) She got a book on how to maintain the home. Now she focuses first on the laundry and then once that is done
    2.) We started picking up after ourselves more so things wouldn’t get so out of hand
    3.) Picking up the kids toys every night (which we have been lax about lately and I need to tighten up on)
    4.) Separate some household duties so she wasn’t in charge of cleaning EVERY thing. I do have to do a bit more than I should, but I’m not dealing with a paralyzed anxiety ridden basket-case useless wife like I used to either.
    5.) Just lay down the law and be the man of the house. I told her it was her job to do more cleaning than me because I work, and boohoo cry me a river I don’t care. I may have thrown in some dread but I can’t remember.

  91. Elspeth

    I’m not much into homemade soaps and whatnot, but I found that mixing baking soda, white vinegar, and a few drops of dish soap (Dawn only for me, please) makes an excellent abrasive cleaner for scrubbing tubs, sinks, etc. It’s safer and cheaper than the commercial ones as well.

  92. Flaming Man of Iron

    I’m also thinking of the other things that went on along with that. Part of it was she was always saying things like “I run errands for you, you don’t appreciate anything I do for you etc”. I said something along the lines of “If the house is dirty my immediate feeling is that you’ve done nothing for me all day, and that isn’t going to change.” She also got into the habit of telilng me what she got done during the day so I had a better idea of what had gone on during the day.

  93. Scott

    [ssm: Awwww...you two are cute. ]

    That’s right, settle down. That is all the theatrical romatic hijinx I have in me for this month. I ration it out so she doesn’t get too used to it. She has to keep her eyes peeled for more in November.

  94. jamesd127

    A man should not be allowed to divorce his faithful wife for keeping a house like that depicted in the photo, or neglecting his children.

    But he should be allowed to beat her with a stick no thicker than her thumb.

  95. Lee Lee Bug

    The lazy housewives in your post seem like they needed therapy for depression and whatever else it is that causes people to be hoarders. Hoarding is a sure sign of a mental illness and the woman’s husband probably should’ve insisted on her getting treatment instead of a job.

    Yes. Hoarding can definitely be a sign of depression.

    When my older kids were young I was a SAHM and president of our local Mothers of Preschoolers group. One day, one of the moms, whose husband was deployed in Iraq, confessed that she’d fallen way behind in her housekeeping and didn’t know how to catch up.

    I offered to bring a bunch of ladies from MOPS over to help her. We arrived to find an absolute horror show. It had gotten to the point where she stopped even emptying the trash. Her kitchen floor had food wrappers on it, including those styrofoam meat trays. There was also rotten food all over the place.

    We broke into teams to tackle different rooms. I worked on the bathroom. I got into the tub to clean it and pulled out handfuls of human and dog hair from the drain. Her counters were covered with a layer of toothpaste, hair and skin care products.

    We barely made a dent after spending hours cleaning. One of the ladies in our group was a military wife and suggested we call a local group that provides support services to the families of soldiers deployed overseas. I called and they sent half a dozen National Guardsmen and a huge Dumpster.

    The guardsmen were a big help and a few neighbors assisted by doing about a dozen loads of laundry that was scattered all over the house. Eventually the house got clean and was presentable when her husband came back from his tour.

    But, we didn’t realize how depressed she was or that depression was the underlying cause of her hoarding and messiness. We just thought she was overwhelmed because she’d been on her own for a year.

    She ended up walking into the woods behind her house a few months later and disappearing. When police found her a few days later she had committed suicide. We felt horrible, especially b/c we had all judged her (even though we never said anything out loud). I still think about her and feel sad whenever I drive by her road.

    [ssm: See my comment above, but to recap, depression is not the underlying cause of hoarding. It is thought to be an OCD or anxiety-based disorder. Depression often occurs after the removal of a hoard, though, and some cities have stopped doing forced hoard removals due to the incredibly high risk of suicide such individuals suffer afterward.]

  96. Happyhen

    “My husband has a few things he is stickler about: clean floors, laundry, and pantry/refrigerator. So long as those three things are kept in check and neat (and I look nice), the rest of it is almost moot, really.”

    Exactly Elspeth, and that took me by shock really. My husband saw me freaking out because I was feeling so inadequate and overwhelmed, and truly with the example I had, I could never live up to this perfect cleaning lady I had concocted in my head from all my previous experiences. I doubt anyone really could. Plus, it is just not one of my gifts and I had to come to terms with that. My husband’s requirements were very few and I was meeting those. He knew I was being far harder on myself than he would ever be but I really am like that in almost everything. Yep, baggage… /sigh

  97. Amanda

    I am stronger at cleaning than cooking. I do make three meals a day most days and I prefer everything homemade, but I haven’t gotten to the level of making my own bread or anything. I struggle to try new recipes because my children can be a bit picky at times. That and even though I am a sahm, I find myself really busy most days. We attend church, MOPs, homeschool coop, soccer, and Boy Scouts, so there is something almost everyday. Plus daily schooling, laundry, housekeeping (I do light housekeeping daily and heavier cleaning twice a week), family finances, and grocery shopping. I go to the gym or walk for an hour about 6 days a week. My children are all still very young, so they depend on me for mostly everything. I would really like to improve at getting it all done, and doing a good job, too lol!

    @Lee Lee Bug

    What a horribly sad story!

  98. Happyhen

    “She ended up walking into the woods behind her house a few months later and disappearing. When police found her a few days later she had committed suicide. We felt horrible, especially b/c we had all judged her (even though we never said anything out loud). I still think about her and feel sad whenever I drive by her road.”

    What a horrible place to be in that that would be her solution. We never know what burdens people carry around in their souls and minds. Just so tragic.

  99. Mary Ellen (@WorkingHomeKpr)

    Elspeth – “I’m not much into homemade soaps and whatnot, but I found that mixing baking soda, white vinegar, and a few drops of dish soap (Dawn only for me, please) makes an excellent abrasive cleaner for scrubbing tubs, sinks, etc. It’s safer and cheaper than the commercial ones as well.”

    I’m currently using Dawn (the blue original) + Vinegar as a tub, sink and shower cleaner. Works wonderfully! Plus, I can get the Dawn really cheap (.25 – .50/bottle) by combining coupons and sales/triple coupon events at the grocery store.

  100. Ellie

    For a pre-packaged cleaning routine, flylady.net is the best.

    First rule of thumb: shine your kitchen sink. And dress to heels. Funny thing is, it works to get me in the “cleaning mood”.

  101. Ellie

    Do any of you clean best to loud music? My favorite is the Amelie soundtrack. Or something else really peppy.

  102. Lee Lee Bug

    @MaryEllen
    Plus, I can get the Dawn really cheap (.25 – .50/bottle) by combining coupons and sales/triple coupon events at the grocery store.

    I get most of my cleaning supplies, including Tide detergent for free or close to it by doing this. I buy them at my local Rite Aid, which puts them on sale at regular intervals. I use coupons and combine them with credits that Rite Aid gives for certain purchases (i.e. they give you $5 for every prescription you fill).

    Today I paid $1.50 for a container of clothing detergent and two bottles of dish soap. It’s probably cheaper for me to buy my supplies this way then to make them myself. Plus, my husband despises the smell of white vinegar, which seems to be the base for most homemade cleaning products.

  103. Lee Lee Bug

    For a pre-packaged cleaning routine, flylady.net is the best.

    I love flylady. She’s the best, especially when it comes to organizing and removing clutter.

  104. Maureen

    First time commenter here! Love this place, it’s taught me so much in the few months I’ve been reading.

    This brought me out of the woodwork because it’s something with which I have long struggled. My mother was an….indifferent housekeeper. Not nearly as bad as your friend, but she just didn’t keep up with things. I think when girls don’t have an example or someone to learn from, it can be hard. Especially since home ec isn’t taught anymore.

    It’s not that I didn’t know how to clean things…cleaning a toilet or mopping a floor isn’t rocket science. But there there are skills and knowledge that help to keep the whole ship running. And I didn’t have them. I actually enjoy keeping house. I just wanted good at it.

    An awesome book that really helped me is Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House, by Cheryl Mendelson. Great information about all sorts of things…but most of all, it talks about the process of managing a home. It totally turned things around for me. Suddenly this never ending series of tasks and errands and jobs was manageable. I’m still not perfect (as the dished from breakfast still sitting in the sink will attest) but our home is neat, tidy and comfortable.

    I highly recommend it! She also wrote a follow up called Laundry, which i didn’t enjoy as much.

    Cheers!
    Maureen

    [ssm: Welcome Maureen!]

  105. Cautiously Pessimistic

    Regarding spousal cleaning threshholds, both my wife and I are fairly relaxed about how tidy our place needs to be. However, we have different understandings of clean. Cleanliness to her is found in lack of filth (dusting, wiping surfaces, etc). Cleanliness to me is lack of clutter (furniture is a necessary evil, but knick-knacks are the tools of Satan).

  106. Scott

    “See my comment above, but to recap, depression is not the underlying cause of hoarding. It is thought to be an OCD or anxiety-based disorder.”

    It is probably best conceptualized as “what happens to OCD when it goes horrible wrong.”

    Note the two shows on the topic–”Hoarders” and “Hoarding: Buried Alive.” In the vast majority of the cases, the person looked VERY OCD before there was some tragic incident or trauma. OCD is of course, an anxiety disorder, and folks with anxiety issues are wound pretty tightly. They are well defended (to use Freudian terminology) but those defenses are often times holding in some pretty weird stuff. (Eating disordered folks have the same flavor of personality). If you hit that tighly wound exterior just right, it comes unravelled and produces essentially the “oppposite” of OCD–Hoarding.

    [ssm: Ah, that's interesting, thanks for explaining. One thing the book I read said was that hoarders often don't "see" the problem, which is one way they are different from both people who have OCD or ADHD and people who are just lazy - apparently those groups can see that there is a problem with their messiness but hoarders can't. That subject touches close to home for me because we have a family member who hoards, which is why HHG and I read the book about it. It's hard to know what to do; it seems awful to leave them in their mess, yet if you insist on removing it, they might kill themselves.]

  107. hurting

    I’m calling BS on the idea that someone can not be good at housekeeping. It’s just not that hard.

    Also, all that canning, homemade bread making, yada yada doesn’t mean diddly if the home fires do not stay regularly and sufficiently stoked if you know what I mean.

  108. bike bubba

    I will take no position on knick-knacks; all the authority I can see is in the Apocrypha, and since, I’m a Protestant, that’s not Scripture as far as I see it. :^)

    I would be very interested in learning a bit more about what one might do to help someone with an anxiety disorder/OCD. LIke it or not, I see a TON of people who are drowning in their stuff, and while I assume that part of the answer ought to be “competent counselors”, and that not everyone drowning in their stuff is OCD/anxiety disorder, I’d LOVE to have a tip or two as to how to avoid making the problem worse.

    Or, to draw a picture, at some point, I’m going to be meeting with my brothers-and-sisters-in-law at my in-laws’ house to get rid of about 40 years of stuff, and as much as I’d like my mother-in-law to be able to enjoy that, I’ve suspected for a while that there is something more than just laziness that’s in the way of getting rid of the mess.

  109. Elspeth

    I’m calling BS on the idea that someone can not be good at housekeeping. It’s just not that hard.

    I don’t think we’re saying that no one can be good at it. It’s just that striving to be perfect at it is kind of counter productive, particularly when you have lots of children underfoot. It isn’t hard at all, but it does require a bit o thought and setting of priorities.

    For example, the first few years after I cam ehome I was obsessed with making everything perfectly clean all the time. I thought that since I wasn’t working I should have a home that reflected what I had been doing all day, even though I had 3 children under the age of two.

    The problem was that I wasn’t much fun to be around. My husband would come and command me to put down the cleaning cloth, stop wiping, stop sweeping, and come sit next to him for a while.

    The trick is to find that balance between a clean, comfortable home and one that is pleasant and engaging. Often SAHM’s especially fall into one of two traps. The first is believing that they have to have everything perfect as justifucation for not earning a paycheck, which is where I was.

    The second is using the kids as an excuse for not ever getting anything productive done around the house.

    Balance, balance, balance. When you do so much homemaking that you can use it as an excuse to fend off your husband at evening’s end, you’ve done too much.

  110. Sarah's Daughter

    “See”, they told us (the wives), “These bins are not full of ‘junk.’”

    So now I just try not to focus on it too much when I’m in that section of the garage.

    Yep, bins with labels in a section of the garage that I don’t touch. I neatly fold all cords (those attached to things and those that have lost their purpose in life in my eyes) and put a zip tie around them. They go in smaller bins labeled “misc cords” another bin is labeled “phones” – You never know when you might need that vintage Startac again. One very large bin is the PC/laptop graveyard.

    I’ll admit, though, they don’t have as many of these bins as I have that are labeled “Christmas”…yet. :)

  111. feeriker

    The greatest cleaning substance ever devised/discovered by humankind: Oxyclean. Whether in powdered or liquid form, it removes every stain imaginable without damaging the object(s) your cleaning, but it clothing, walls, furniture, porcelain, whatever (at least we’ve never seen anything damaged by it; I’m certainly open to cautionary testimony otherwise). NOT an endorsement here, just a statement of observation based on our own usage experience.

    [ssm: See my comment above, but to recap, depression is not the underlying cause of hoarding. It is thought to be an OCD or anxiety-based disorder. Depression often occurs after the removal of a hoard, though, and some cities have stopped doing forced hoard removals due to the incredibly high risk of suicide such individuals suffer afterward.]

    I’ve always been curious as to where the line is drawn between “compulsive collection/accumulation” and “hoarding.” My dad, God rest his soul, was a practitioner of the former, and it drove my mom nuts. After Dad’s passing two years ago, my wife and I spent an entire Thanksgiving weekend clearing out Mom’s garage, which was full of five decades worth of Dad’s “stuff” – including what turned out to be eight boxes full of containers of old solvents, chemicals, and even gasoline (LEADED, no less!) that required two trips to the HAZMAT disposal center. What I think distinguished Dad’s behavior from hoarding was the fact that he never let it get completely out of control and he never put an obsessive and unhealthy value on anything he collected and saved. He would’ve been upset if Mom had just gone in and thrown something away without asking, but he would not have turned it into a marital or psychological crisis.

    Mom has always been a compulsive housekeeper and it irked her to no end to see Dad hog up the garage with his tools and “junk.” Dad wasn’t even freshly in his grave before she started begging me, my wife, my cousin and her husband, and my brother to “PLEASE get all the crap out of the garage!” I guess it was a testament to the strength of their Christian marriage that she spent nearly 53 years with Dad without ever letting his “collection” affect her. (The only place and time where she drew the line was when he brought paperwork home from his CPA business and tried to clutter up the dining room table with tax returns. Mom would have NONE of that.)

  112. an observer

    Sheesh, why clean stuff? It’s just going to get dirty again. 

    If its dusty and isnt bolted down, it isnt being used enough. Bin it.

  113. lovelyleblanc7

    I’m happy somebody addressed this issue especially cleanliness. Also don’t worry about your daughter SSM. I was messy when I was a kid. I grew out of it by high school and am very much like my mother now (which I don’t know if borderline obsessiveness over cleaning is exactly a good thing). Anyway, I sadly knew a few women whose husband’s divorced them because of their uncleanliness. Even people who don’t like to clean, still appreciate clean…they’re are just too lazy to clean it.
    I do not agree with your suggestion though on popping up unannounced. Even though my surroundings are always clean, I do not let men in my dorm room at college or my bedroom at my home. I think that should be reserved for if he is in a close relationship with her. I don’t know, maybe I’m just being funny…I just see personal living quarters (such as bedroom or dorm rooms) as something private and personal that any guy shouldn’t just walk in. If a woman lives in an apartment then I guess it is easier cause she doesn’t have to necessarily invite him into her bedroom and that also gives her chance to impress him with not only her homemaking skills, but cooking as well :)

  114. Alina

    Elspeth you are so right with your attitude on cleaning. There is a such thing as “too clean.” My great aunt’s house was so perfectly spotless that us kids were afraid to really play in it for fear of messing things up, and there were knick knacks everywhere that we were afraid we’d end up breaking. I remember always being so bored at her home because of it. There is definately a middle ground and when you have lots of littles you certainly shouldn’t go overboard.

  115. an observer

    married UMC women with kids who work full time 

    Simple answer: they dont work full time, they just get paid for it.

    I too have been burned by this, and have abysmallly low expectations of the women in question. If they fails to deliver the goods, thats situation normal. ‘But she has children…….’

    Yeah, yeah. Cry me a river.

  116. an observer

     There is a such thing as “too clean.” 

    Tell me about it; Happyhens experience rang some bells. Some mothers used to compensate for their ‘lack of fulfilment’ by making home unpleasant for the people that live there.

    Nowadays, they can go to work and make even more people unhappy. Bliss.

  117. an observer

    Alina, your great aunts house sounds like my own, when growing up.

    I broke one of the knick knacks in the mid seventies. Pretty sure mom still hasnt forgiven me for that.

  118. an observer

    . Cleanliness to me is lack of clutter

    +1

    Had a massive cleanout last year, just prior to Christmas (and no, the place didnt fill up again).

    Threw out or sold almost anything unused, or unneeded to maintain the house. Sold some stuff on ebay and made some cash. Whoot!

    Clutter really bugs me. I would go minimalist, but its just not possible.

  119. an observer

    mother was an….indifferent housekeeper. 

    Multiple postings = cumulative tiredness. Oops.

    Indifferent describes my parents in laws housekeeping, contrasting my own parents strongly ocd tendencies. Somehow the child bride and i meet in the middle. Not always easy.

  120. feeriker

    Simple answer: they dont work full time, they just get paid for it.

    Yep.

    A couple of very prominent and very rare exceptions in my experience notwithstanding, that is indeed the rule.

  121. John Pryce

    My sister’s room was much worse than mine for many years. She is now married and expecting her second child; her house is actually VERY neat, and was for the entire duration of her engagement and the period that she was living with her boyfriend before they were engaged. So there are exceptions to this rule. But then again, I stopped seeing what my sister’s room looked like long before she moved out, so it may have changed roughly at the 24y mark (she is 6 years older than I).

  122. Mary Ellen (@WorkingHomeKpr)

    “Today I paid $1.50 for a container of clothing detergent and two bottles of dish soap. It’s probably cheaper for me to buy my supplies this way then to make them myself. ”

    That’s awesome, Lee Lee Bug! When I first discovered couponing, I did the drug stores (CVS and Walgreens) along with grocery stores. Eventually, I became overwhelmed trying to get each and every deal at every store. These days, I’m much more relaxed in my couponing. I do one grocery store and coupon for primarily non-food items. I do a mix of homemade and store bought (with coupon) cleaning supplies. It’s good to have the know how of making my own when the budget is tight or a good deal is not available.

  123. Morvena

    I’m another one who is the type to let myself get overwhelmed if I’m not careful. We have no children but we both work full-time. I work three 12 hour shifts each week, but while the hours are usually the same (9a-9p EST) the days are not set, so it’s more challenging to try to set a schedule for cleaning or cooking (or exercising, for that matter) on the days I’m not working. My husband is pretty laid-back about everything, so he suggested that I pick just two or three tasks for a given day and just focus on getting those things done. If I get those done and have the energy to keep going to get more things done, then that’s great! If I don’t, then at least I was still productive and got *something* done that day. Honestly, the only thing he’ll ever specifically ask for is to make sure I don’t let the dishes pile up.

    So, my effectiveness at *cleaning* can vary, but I do much better at keeping clutter picked up and laundry done. My cooking abilities leave a lot to be desired, but this is something that I’m working on as well. I do wish I could’ve been one of those women who were born with a natural love of cooking and baking; I do feel satisfaction when I manage to make something, but I don’t particularly enjoy the process, either.

  124. CK

    I see several above me already mentioned Flylady. She helped me SO much. I believe it was her emails or book where she talks about the mindset of “if I can’t do it all right now and make it perfect, I might as well not bother.” She helped me to break it down room by room, set a timer, and really focus on that one area. I really was surprised at how much I could get done in 15 minutes. Previously, I would spend hours sometimes and you couldn’t tell I’d done a thing.

    I have no excuse, my mother was a SAHM until we were all in school and she hardly ever sat down. Not once in my life did I wake up before her (except maybe Christmas morning hah!), she always dressed nicely, and stayed very busy. Our home was clean and tidy and she taught me how to do everything. Somehow, I’m just not very good at it. I tend to get distracted by my own brain, thinking and mulling over some interesting topic and not really paying attention, and with internet, I can stop and go pursue those things at any moment. I have a fairly high tolerance for clutter. My husband does too but his tolerance is lower than mine. We both work and so there is a limited number of hours in the evening that I can spend on home stuff and I try to make up for it on the weekends.

    I have often felt bewildered at the state of my home. We don’t have children and my husband is mostly very tidy plus he works out of town a lot of time so I KNOW it’s me. I try very hard to be aware of what I’m doing because I really can be in an entirely different world at times. Who left all the cabinet doors open in the kitchen? (Me). Why is my hairbrush in the freezer and my ice cream is melting in the bathroom cabinet? (Oops). How did this candy bar end up in my sock drawer? (Not sure, but yay!) In fact, as I typed this I glanced around my mostly neat and tidy (for the moment) living room and noticed a can of french-fried onions is sitting on a bookshelf on top of some photo albums….I’m sure I did that but I have no earthly idea why I would have carried them in here in the first place.

    I’ve been focusing a lot of attention on this area of my life lately and one of the nicest things my husband has said about it was last week when he returned home after working in another city for 5 days. He said how wonderful and relaxed he felt just walking inside with everything so clean and tidy. I want him to feel like the weight of the world just falls off his shoulders every time he walks inside.

  125. Bucho

    All these years of being a single male has turned me in to a laundry expert. If I ever get married, I’ll never give up washing my own clothes. Not to sound gross, but learned years ago that a good way to get blood out of clothes is to dab it with saliva. The enzymes in your spit will break down the proteins in the blood. This works best if you catch it before the blood dries.

  126. Carlotta

    I cleaned professionally when I owned a cleaning business and I think many think that things are way too difficult, will take too long or need to be done too many times. Time it, have a plan, right tools and make it fun (I listen to crazy radio shows on head phones from my phone).

    Now I triage my house according to my Husbands preferences.
    The main floor and basement areas are public and will need to be used at the drop of a hat. Dust quickly and vacuum once a week. Before every meal there is a quick pickup or you do it alone while we all eat.
    Heavily used areas get vacuumed once a day before he arrives.
    The upstairs private areas get once a week deep cleans. I have daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal chores. I keep a list in my head and hit them and move things around if necessary.
    My children contribute as soon as they can crawl. It takes time and effort but the payoff is huge. 8 year old is learning the kitchen and does great on bathrooms. She is a great organizer. She and my 6 year old deep clean the appliances, bedrooms and basement. 4 year old is learning laundry, dishes etc.
    Soon I will be able to go on a date with Dad and come home to a clean house like my parents did.
    Consistecy is key. We dont play till breakfast is cleaned up. We dont get booktime until the laundry is going. Etc.

    If I am doing it all I have been lazy in training them.

    Btw, add a spray head to a bottle of hydrogen peroxide. Spray anything you need to disinfect ( spot test first).
    Laundry soap or shampoo cleans plastic bath tubs and showers.
    I have been known to use unwanted bubble bath to clean tile floors.
    Spray head in rubbing alcohol for glass.
    Little bit of baking soda and vinegar in toliets.
    White vinegar cleans anything.
    Set a timer, have everything you need to clean, assign tasks (little guy does baseboards, middle child scrubs walls, oldest feather dust), play music and offer reward only when all is done.

  127. Carlotta

    Lest I seem like a know it all I have a love hate relationship with cooking and I constantly wait too late in the day to exercise. Also I hoard my ironing for times when Dad takes the kids and I can watch a show in peace.

  128. Carlotta

    Lol. I see I have a laundry twin. We do the sock basket method as well. Socks come out of the dryer and go into it to be sorted and put away by anyone who misbehaves or they get to do it as a race and whoever wins picks the dvr show we watch.

  129. Sarah's Daughter

    I am just learning the magic of hydrogen peroxide. Pit stains….why did I not know this earlier? Soak your nasty smelling yellow pit stains in hydrogen peroxide overnight – voila. No need to buy new t-shirts.

  130. Amanda

    ** “I am just learning the magic of hydrogen peroxide. Pit stains….why did I not know this earlier? Soak your nasty smelling yellow pit stains in hydrogen peroxide overnight – voila. No need to buy new t-shirts.” **

    Well God bless America! For real? I’m totally trying this, thanks!

  131. songtwoeleven

    My adoptive mother was a feminist who stayed at home with me until I was three and then promptly began schooling to finish her degree so she could spend time with other people’s children and get paid for it. I fondly remember how wonderful my early years were before she entered the workforce full-time: she was extremely talented at the domestic arts and cooked wonderfully. She taught me to bake complex desserts. She was an artist; we had such incredibly creative days together. After she graduated with her bachelors, we ate McDonalds and Taco Hell. She hired a maid. I had grown accustomed to the chores and the level of tidiness and I resented the maid, who moved all of my belongings and “over-cleaned” everything while we were gone.

    I’ve always struggled against cleaning too much to the exclusion of time with the children, but since CJ was born (our son with Down syndrome), I see that I am NOT in control of much of anything – something I hadn’t yet completely learned (guess God knew that – ha!) and now I see that I truly believe that poem that’s been hanging in the nursery for two years now (Song for a Fifth Child). Babies don’t keep. The dirty floor will be there, and if it gets too danged dirty, well, my husband and I clean it together. I find that we have abandoned hard and fast rules about who does what, and we just work together as a highly effective team now (not in an egalitarian way – I still do all the laundry and most diapers changes and washes – we use cloth, and I still cook, but he grills, too…it’s a sweet balance) whereas we were once very divided into rigid roles about the household. This was largely my fault, and due to my control issues (OCD, anyone?) and anxiety about “who does what.” Several years ago, I disliked him being in “my” kitchen…doing things in the kitchen that I supposed were “mine” to do…I was totally sold out to traditionalism. Since CJ has joined us, we just “flow”…if it’s time for dinner and I’m still feeding him (he’s tube fed and doesn’t eat anything by mouth yet…that will change after his heart is repaired next month), well then Mister just grills something wonderful or makes a quick casserole. Having a child with special needs will blow all of your conceptions of “housewife” clean out of the water. I am still a housewife, but I have learned to let go in so many areas and realized that a clean house, a perfect meal and heels and pearls are not my identity in this family. Nice, but not my identity. Further, Mister knows that this is a season…it will be different one day, and he will have more time to see me running around our bedroom in lingerie he likes and heels and stuff…and our house will be more organized…but not in this season.

    Once, I remember finding Mister in the kitchen, cleaning the filthy ceiling fan which was clearly overdue and covered in dust-bunnies. He was just quietly cleaning, not saying much of anything, when I broke and exclaimed, “I feel like a FAILURE as a wife! I didn’t even SEE that! Now you are having to do it! Ugh!” and he thought this was hilarious. He looked at me strangely and said, “Do you know what I’m thinking when I’m cleaning this ceiling fan?” and I expected him to launch into some kind of harsh rebuke toward my failure as a housewife. I said, “What?” and he replied, “I’m thinking the danged ceiling fan needs to be cleaned. That’s it. That’s all.”

    We laugh about the differences in men and women’s minds, and we love our life.

  132. Legion

    Alina October 25, 2013 at 1:46 pm
    “But I always wonder, where do the lost socks go?”

    I have collected about 4,000 of them by now.

  133. Jenny

    Love all the cleaning tips!

    The only household chore that really is a chore is ironing. Cheerful sing a long music helps quite a bit though! x

  134. RS

    I was the messy kid but I’m actually a fairly tidy adult. For some reason I took a lot of pride in having a clean apartment when I first moved out on my own and I kept the place immaculate- so much so that the property manager used to show my apartment to prospective renters because she knew it would always be clean.

    The challenge after marriage has always been in keeping the home clean after having kids. Oy. I try to have a normal rotation of chores every day to try to keep up on things. Naturally you have to straighten up every day and pick up toys, but I vary chores by day. I dust one day, vacuum and mop floors the next, wipe down at least one bathroom and the kitchen, do a couple loads of laundry, go to the grocery store (I go often because I like everything to be fresh)– and so on. I’m not perfect by a long shot but I do try to keep to a schedule to make my life easier.

  135. freebird

    I’m renovating,each day yields a blackened dust pro-grade dust mask.

    I’ve been washing the clothes with my feet in the bath tub as I shower,It saves water.

    I can do my clothes by foot easier than listen to a woman brag about how much she’s done for me by turning the dial on a washer.

    (am actually avoiding this situation)

  136. Miserman

    I wonder how the drive to accumulate stuff and complicate our life is related to how much of a pain it is to clean up the clutter caused by stuff. Here comes the UPS truck again.

  137. Adam

    One day she called me and another friend and asked us for help. Her husband had filed a petition to be granted sole physical custody of the children and the court had ordered some kind of home-check, which would happen the next day. She asked if we could come over and help her clean up the house, and we agreed to do so.
    ..
    If he divorces her, she is going to collect child-support, which was the motivation Sue had to get her house cleaned up; she simply couldn’t lose custody of those kids because otherwise she’d lose out on child support and have to get a job

    And yet you helped her clean her house? Why oh why did you go and do that for.
    Instead of shunning this vile behaviour you encouraged it.

    I really need to know who got the children? I hope it was the father.

    Not married but if I was, beside a tidy home, one important thing is she needs to be presentable and warm when welcoming be back from work. When I mean presentable I mean just feminine. A dress and a genuine smile on her flour smudged face is more welcoming than a sexy mini-skirt outfit. I wouldn’t expect it daily but on occasion its nice,

  138. songtwoeleven

    Adam: What you spoke about the attitude of a woman welcoming her husband home is vital. I think there are so many women, even the ones of us who try not to be wearing yesterday’s yoga pants and a tee when our husbands come home, who fail to realize that true beauty is cultivated from the heart (soul) of a woman.

    It is wonderful to have a tidy home. It is thrilling for my husband to see me dressed nicely with make-up and my hair the way he likes it. Icing = clean, happy children not quarreling or crying when he arrives.

    However, the house can be spotless and the children angelic, and if my attitude is not gracious and peaceful and appreciative and I don’t have a SMILE…it’s all lost. He’d rather have a lovely attitude ALL of the time and sacrifice some of the tidiness and perfection on the outside than suffer through the misery of an ungrateful woman.

    A grateful woman will cultivate beauty in her heart and this WILL flow outward to her appearance, her home, her children…her husband will be proud to have her.

    I think it’s the gratitude that’s missing that is the major contributor in these women who refuse to lift a finger as housewives. I think it’s an attitude of entitlement, as many have alluded to prior.

  139. songtwoeleven

    Addendum to my last post, sorry, not enough coffee yet…

    Reading the Bible, Fascinating Womanhood, and cultivating the fruit of the Spirit (temperance) will cause gratitude to flow from a wife freely, in my experience as a reformed (reforming) ungrateful wife…

  140. Jenny

    I like that Fascinating Womanhood has been recommended here – I really like that book as well as The Fascinating Girl. It really resonated with me and I loved that it showed another way to be. Not the popular way of taking on the men at their own game but embracing your femininity. When I first found the book I was amazed that it existed – it just seemed so different to the culture all around.

    I know there are generally comments about it being manipulative but I really like the Domestic Goddess chapter and there is some really good advice in that book. x

  141. Elspeth

    However, the house can be spotless and the children angelic, and if my attitude is not gracious and peaceful and appreciative and I don’t have a SMILE…it’s all lost. He’d rather have a lovely attitude ALL of the time and sacrifice some of the tidiness and perfection on the outside than suffer through the misery of an ungrateful woman.

    We have a winner!

  142. Carlotta

    Songtwoeleven
    I can so relate. A huge burden came off of me when I realized being a homemaking is just like being a sexually attractive wife. I only have to meet the needs of my family and to prented ti be anyone else is onky going to hurt us. If your a rancher wife and he needs help roping a calf, get on your boots and jeans and go. Insisting on making beef stroganoff and wearing heeks and pearls while he has to handle the calf alone doesnt help him. It is actually rebellion.

    Do what YOUR family needs. And thank you for being a great Mama to someone who needs extra. And I am glad your Huband has his priorities straight.

  143. Carlotta

    Created to be a Helpmeet is good on some things and not on others. It can help if the whole concept is foreign to you.

  144. Carlotta

    I apologize. I am in a constant fight with this stupid autocorrect and no matter how many times I go back and fix words it will change them again. Whats weird is it is often to non existing words.

  145. Elspeth

    Created to be a Helpmeet is good on some things and not on others.

    I agree. There were some things that I took issue with theologically. But for a woman grounded in her faith though, there is plenty to glean from it. The first part was far, far better than the second in my opinon.

  146. songtwoeleven

    Carlotta/Elspeth:

    The biggest thing that my husband taught me about our home and maintaining such was this: Following a rigid set of rules (law) about gender roles and responsibilities can be dangerous, as for a married couple to truly unite as God writes and become one flesh, the two must flow together freely without the obstruction of the law.

  147. Farm Boy

    SSM,

    Probably your older daughter is organized on the inside, and the world, messy or not is not of as much interest

  148. Pingback: Put Those Lazy Housewives to Work

  149. FuzzieWuzzie

    Farm Boy, You were missed! “T” can’t have all the missing socks. What would she do with them?

  150. Farm Boy

    it changes when you live with people, especially kids. If I don’t sweep the dining room floor AFTER EVERY MEAL, there will be food in every corner of the house in a matter of minutes

    Get a dog.

  151. songtwoeleven

    T has likely woven all of the missing socks into a feminist tapestry depicting the woman standing authoritatively over the man and his laundry basket, flogging him with knotted, sweaty foot coverings if he failed to launch his dirty socks into the basket the first time. In the middle of the tapestry there would be a huge phallus braided from the foul footwear, symbolizing her disgust and resentment toward all men and their authority over women and laundry baskets.

    At least that’s what I imagine she’s done with the socks.

  152. Farm Boy

    All of these comments about spic and span houses seem silly to me. My grandmother worked hard to maintain the household because she had to. Things like keeping the fire going, fetching water from the river, tending the farm animals, etc. Now, with labor saving devices, women feel compelled to create higher standards for themselves, at least partly for bragging purposes. All of this “germ killing” stuff keeps kids from getting exposed to the germs such that they do not build the needed immunities. I caught lots of colds and stuff as a kid, but now I never have one.

    Perhaps we are keeping them clean so that they will be pristine when the catch their first STD.

  153. Farm Boy

    About hoarders.

    Really, what is so bad about being a hoarder, as long as it does not affect the community? There are TV shows that shame them, and lots of people get laughs out it.

    Yet there are no TV shows shaming sluts, which really is a much bigger problem.

    Disclaimer: I am not a hoarder.

  154. Farm Boy

    if my attitude is not gracious and peaceful and appreciative and I don’t have a SMILE…it’s all lost.

    Agreed. I just returned from a gathering with my nephew and his business partner. The business partner’s wife is one of those sassy fat women with moxie that will never shut up. She clearly thinks that she and her fat girls are awesome. I can see why the husband works long hours.

  155. feeriker

    Jenny said The only household chore that really is a chore is ironing.

    Me too, but I really lucked out there: I married a woman who used to work as a professional presser for several dry cleaning shops.

  156. Molly C

    Farm Boy:”All of these comments about spic and span houses seem silly to me. My grandmother worked hard to maintain the household because she had to. Things like keeping the fire going, fetching water from the river, tending the farm animals, etc. Now, with labor saving devices, women feel compelled to create higher standards for themselves, at least partly for bragging purposes. All of this “germ killing” stuff keeps kids from getting exposed to the germs such that they do not build the needed immunities. I caught lots of colds and stuff as a kid, but now I never have one.”

    I agree with you here, and with the commenters who have pointed out that having a sweet attitude towards my husband is far more important than having the house just so. It’s a struggle for me, and it’s good to be reminded.

    Part of the deal my husband and I have made is that, for the time at least, he will work hard in corporate America, and I will work hard at home, doing as much myself as possible so we can save every extra dime. We don’t want him to have to be in a cubicle any longer than necessary. All that saved money and learned skills will free him up to work as he pleases sooner rather than later. It’s a blessing that comes with living in a wealthy society. You can opt out of a lot of spending.

    The commenter above who pointed out that housework is as much work as you make it is largely correct. We’ve made it more work than strictly necessary buy opting to keep as much of our money as possible. This has also, ironically, made it less work than it could be, because we don’t have a ton of stuff lying around to clean. It works for us. :)

    There may be a bragging rights element to housecleaning. If there is for me, I think it’s mostly about proving to my mom that I can actually keep a house, :) as well as generally feeling that I’ve done a good job. I haven’t branched as far into the do-it-yourself territory as some of the women here have, but I’m sure they’d agree that that kind of housekeeping can actually create distance in friendships. I’m much more inclined to down-play what I do here to my real-life friends so they don’t feel I’m bragging, and so it doesn’t hurt our friendship, than I am to brag about it.

  157. FuzzieWuzzie

    Farm Boy, “I can see why the husband works long hours.” This prompted a concern for your nephew. What if “moxie” forces a situation wherein the business has to be monotized?
    This is something that has to be prepared for.

    Song, “T” making a tapestry? That one put you up there with Farm Boy for jocularity!

  158. Lee Lee Bug

    Just found a site that might be helpful for ladies who need to cook easy, quick dinners: http://www.sidetrackedsarah.com/2011/10/once-week-cooking-from-freezer-to_17/ The woman who runs the website is a busy, homeschooling mom of six.

    I was in a panic b/c I’m having surgery this week and I won’t know how long it will take to recover until they actually do the procedure. So, I have no idea whether I’ll be able to fix dinner the following day, or if I’ll be out of commission for a week or so.

    I found the above website, which has crock-pot meal plans where you assemble everything ahead of time, stick it in a freezer bag, and put it in the crockpot when you need it. So, I’m off to the grocery store where I’ll buy enough food for a week’s worth of meals. All my husband will have to do is take them out of the freezer and stick them in the crockpot.

    They are not as gourmet as what I prefer to make and they are fairly calorie laden, but they will provide my husband and kids with hot and nutritious dinners until I can cook again.

    This could be a good plan if you know you have a busy week ahead with your child’s extracurricular activities, or if you’re having a baby and want to stock your freezer before you give birth.

  159. songtwoeleven

    Thank you, Lee Lee Bug! I have wondered where to find such recipes! We love our crockpot; in fact, we have two, and we have been known to have both going at once…

    Thank you, Stingray – we appreciate your prayers. He’s having a sedated echocardiogram on Nov. 4; open-heart on December 4 if all looks good on the echo. He has one hole of unknown size between his right and left ventricles, and a cleft mitral valve which probably doesn’t need any work. It doesn’t leak.

    Fuzzie, glad you got a laugh outta’ that…

  160. FuzzieWuzzie

    LeeLeeBug and songtwoeleven, may your upcoming surguries go smooth and may your recoveries be speedy.

    Farm Boy, Vladimir Ilyich was just full of bad ideas. There is one good thing that did happen then, they turned literacy rates around from ten percent to ninety. Literacy is essential to good representative government. So, it can be said that the Bolsheviks sowed the seeds of their own destruction.

  161. Carlotta

    @ Elspeth
    I agree. There were some things that I took issue with theologically. But for a woman grounded in her faith though, there is plenty to glean from it. The first part was far, far better than the second in my opinon.

    I read your review years ago and I thought it was a good one. I think she relied on histrionics in some areas and you pointed them out. I was so glad you did because yours was the only one that seemed balanced. Everyone else seemed to either love her or hate her. I had some serious questions on some areas so I was glad I wasn’t alone.
    I do think she gives good guidance though for someone who the whole thing is completely out of their experience like mine was. She started me on this journey along with you and some other bloggers. For that I am grateful. But for a Bible Believing Christian there are some areas that you need to be discerning.

    @ songtwoeleven
    The biggest thing that my husband taught me about our home and maintaining such was this: Following a rigid set of rules (law) about gender roles and responsibilities can be dangerous, as for a married couple to truly unite as God writes and become one flesh, the two must flow together freely without the obstruction of the law.

    I agree with this. One of the sad things that was almost destroyed by feminism was the uniting of two people with ONE purpose. The family. The Husband provided and protected by whatever means necessary. The women helped with whatever was most needed. It isn’t about following some ridiculous standard set by others. It is about being a unique helpmeet to one man and one family. Until you do that, it is not possible to help others. Otherwise you are basically taking bread out of your own child’s mouth to feed someone else to show off.

    If a man had a store, the wife would help with the books and ordering, etc. If the man was a farmer, guess who helped sow seeds? If he was a cop, she made sure his uniform and gun was ready. If he was in the military, his uniform and home was always read for inspection.

    It is POSSIBLE for someone to do any of these things alone. However it is much nicer and easier to have success when doing it as a team and it would bond them together.

    You have a certain circumstance. Cleary you and your Husband have chosen the right thing. Focus as a team on caring for that angel and may the Lord richly bless and keep you all. Our family will be praying for you.

  162. Carlotta

    @ Farm Boy
    Love the comments.
    It is a little hard to worry about dirt in the corner when you have to feed a ton of animals, kill a coyote and chop wood. LOL. Amazing that they had time to make so many children.

    Also, second the dog. I have two and they always enjoy doing the preliminary vacuuming as well as being wonderful guardians.

    @ LeeLee Bug
    Hope your surgery goes well. We will pray for you.

  163. Farm Boy

    Amazing that they had time to make so many children.

    Seven kids, it was. On scrubby farmland in northern Wisconsin.

    Eventually, my grandfather slept upstairs with the boys so as not to go beyond seven.

  164. songtwoeleven

    @Carlotta: Thank you for your prayers; we greatly appreciate it. The Lord bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you and give you peace in the name of Jesus.

  165. Winter

    I see taking good care of my home as my job, just as my husband considers it his job to earn money to support his family. I find it fulfilling and challenging and fun. I can’t imagine refusing to do my job. We’re a team. If I decided to watch t.v. and eat Pringles all day long, our structure would just fall apart. While he does enjoy a tidy home (he’s a keep-the-fridge-and-floors clean kinda guy), he enjoys a happy wife and children more. He’d rather come home to a few clutter piles than to a frazzled wife and frantically cleaning children. The cleaning always manages to get done before bedtime.

    I find it very useful to have a monthly calendar that helps me stay on-task instead of running around the house trying to put out mess-fires everywhere. With the exception of bathrooms and kitchens, which I believe need at least a little attention every day, most household chores can be staggered so as not to become overwhelming…wash curtains every 4 months, wash windows every third Monday, laundry every Tuesday and Thursday, etc. I’ve also gotten into the habit (and am trying to teach my children this as well) of wiping down surfaces every chance I get. When I finish brushing my teeth, I wipe out the sink and dry off the counter, when I leave the kitchen for the last time at night, I wipe the light switches with a disinfecting wipe. A quick wipe on a regular basis takes two seconds and wards off hours and hours of deep cleaning.

    One way we keep our kids’ rooms and play areas tidy is to have a place for everything. We don’t buy garbage we don’t need. We don’t have 9,000 Happy Meal toys piled up everywhere. With everything easy to find and easy to put away, we also save a lot of time by not having to run around the house looking for the car keys or so-and-so’s game shirt.

  166. elsie

    My mother’s house reminds me a lot of your daughter’s room SSM. From time to time I get so frustrated when I visit her that I’ll go over and spend a few days just cleaning one room like the kitchen or the bathroom. She is of course very thankful but without fail when I visit again in a few days it is back to the way it was. I wouldn’t say that she is lazy, she works extremely hard in her profession, but she is not even remotely a gifted housekeeper. My father is retired how and doesn’t seem bothered by the piles of junk building around him either. I guess at least they each married someone with a similarly high tolerance to clutter.

    I unfortunately gained some of that high tolerance to clutter after growing up in their house. I really enjoy domestic tasks like cooking, cleaning and sewing but can very easily shrug off things like a pile of unfiled paperwork in favour of half an hour browsing the internet. My husband on the other hand won’t stop twitching until the pile is sorted and everything on the desk is straightened up. We both appreciate a tidy house but sometimes I need a little reminder that the clutter is taking hold.

  167. Farm Boy

    My mother’s house reminds me a lot of your daughter’s room SSM

    This would be my Mom. When she got older, she did not have the energy to organize stuff. And she did not want anybody else to do it. It drove my brother nuts. But it really did no harm.

  168. Matamoros

    Having raised several daughters, as well as sons, I can definitely say that not only are girls harder to raise, they are also messier than boys.

    The boys may have stuff scattered around, but it not knee deep like the girls’ rooms.

    However, I have to say that when the girls got married, somehow their parent’s training kicked in and their homes are very clean. It was amazing, actually.

  169. songtwoeleven

    Winter: that’s awesome about the “wiping down” – I do this, too, with light switches, edges of cabinets, counters, doorknobs…Mister laughs at me sometimes, but this truly saves a day of deep cleaning, having to scrub debris off of the aforementioned surfaces. Keeps bacteria to a minimum, as well, if anyone is sick in the house.

    I saw a really amazing version of this occurring at the Ronald McDonald house when we stayed as our son was in the NICU in May. The volunteers come in with those Lysol wipes and just hand wipe every light switch, every doorknob, every cabinet knob…because they know that families with children are not allowed to continue to stay there if anyone gets a runny nose, a cough, a fever, a sore throat, etc.

    It was the cleanest place I’ve ever lived, and we were there for five weeks and NO ONE was ill, even sharing a community kitchen and coming and going from That Petri Dish that is Children’s Hospital!

  170. sunshinemary Post author

    Just a friendly hello from your blog hostess. I’ve barely been home this weekend and will be swamped Monday and Tuesday, so I may not post again until Wednesday. Sorry about that!

    But some nice news – one of my daughters’ volleyball teams won their division championship this Saturday and is now headed to regionals, which is pretty exciting. The team decided they all wanted fancy matching hairbows in their school colors, and guess who got volunteered to make them? Have I mentioned before my complete lack of craftiness? I spent several crabby hours burning my fingers with a hot glue gun and accidentally sticking lopsided hairbows to my tablecloth before I finally got the pattern down. Now I just have to make a dozen more…

  171. Carlotta

    Beautiful blessing songtwoeleven. Thank you and back at you.

    SSM, yikes. Hope all goes well and fast :)

  172. elsie

    @Molly C I went went back over the comments and saw you were asking about meal planning. I prefer to loosely plan my meals and have a selection of quick and more complicated dishes so that I can adjust as our plans change during the week. I just make sure that I have all the ingredients for those dishes and then either give the husband a choice in the morning or pick based on the weather and how much time I’ll have.

    We don’t do cooked breakfasts during the week so that takes some pressure off me and he often has client meetings or work provided lunches. I’ve never really mastered packing lunches.

  173. Ceer

    In the housework department, I’ve noticed that a whole lot is optional. Dusting can be kept to a minimum by having a place for everything inside of a cupboard or drawer, instead of keeping display pieces on the mantle or dresser. Have 2 hampers for clothes. Sort them as you take them off, rather than picking through the pile later. Personally, I have 3, the third being for my work clothes that I wash differently. Do you have pictures all over the walls? More cleaning.

    There’s a reason why men tend to prefer a sparser environment.

  174. Ton

    What’s to be done? Spare the rod, spoil the child. The answer is the lash

    In my bachelor pad I had one bed; one night stand; a small desk/ book shelf combo with a laptop on it; a really nice hand crafted wood bar; one small dinner room table; 4 chairs; 2 recliners, 1 TV;’ a PS3; 4 plates, cups, spoons etc.etc. never did have to clean the place once a week or what have you. I did dishes after every meal, dropped of my laundry, wiped down the shower daily etc etc.

    I get keeping up with kids, but women doing a lot just to keep up with stuff they don’t use or aren’t particularly fond of

  175. hurting

    Ton October 28, 2013 at 6:44 am

    Bingo. I have said on many occasions that women with small children get a pass, so to speak. By small, I mean under the age of four. At that point that need to be trained in helping out and becoming a net contributor to the household as was in the case of larger families generations ago.

    A few years ago (the summer before my wife nuked our family) I was transferring some home video to a digital format to preserve the content. In watching the videos and reminiscing I was amazed to find that my home was actually cleaner when my kids were little and my wife (who worked PT thoughout our marriage) presumably had a harder time keeping up than when they went off to school. She just hated doing housework, and yes, Elspeth, she was one (of several who I’ve heard, including some mentioned in the OP here) that she was just not good at it.

    If men sloughed off their paid employment the way the typical modern American woman does hers, we’d have even more families in dire financial straits than we already do.

  176. Farm Boy

    One would think that women like being moms. And that they would gain satisfaction from doing housework, which is part of that.

  177. Elspeth

    @ Hurting:

    One of the best ways to stay on top of a lot of things is to get up ahead of everyone. I know mothers need their sleep and I’ve had my assertion discounted more times than I can count.

    But before the clock struck 7AM this morning, I’d done read my Bible, done two loads of laundry, ironed my husband’s clothes for the next few days, and started breakfast.

    I was up late last night so it was hard to wake up, but I did it. It was easy when I reminded myself that I will be free to take a nap later this afternoon while he is out working all day.

  178. hurting

    Elspeth October 28, 2013 at 11:57 am

    It’s funny you should mention getting up earlier than the rest of the household. My wife hit the roof when I suggested that she get up earlier to tackle the day.

    Your comment about ironing your husband’s clothes makes me laugh. I always had to iron my own dress shirts; my wife would conveniently show up when I was and ask me to iron things of hers ‘while I was at it’:).

    My house is currently a wreck right now, but at least it’s my wreck. I’ve done all of the household chores and simply have no sympathy for housewives in general. As I said before, the work is boring and monotonous, but a little bit of energy put into planning would make it fly by. If wives were getting paid for it (or paying for it) they’d make sure it got done efficiently, but since neither of these premises are true, they don’t, with rare exception.

  179. Amanda

    I second that getting up earlier makes a world of difference in how the day goes. My littliest guy has started sleeping through the night well for about two months, and I hear that bell tolling for me — its time to return to an earlier schedule! It is truly amazing how many little household chores you can get accomplished when no one is interupting you. I can usually get my Bible read, work on laundry and ironing, empty the dishwasher, set out menu items for lunch and dinner, get myself ready for the day, and cook breakfast all in about 90 minutes if the children are still asleep. It also helps me to be more patient with my children when I am ahead on my chores.

  180. Matamoros

    Ton: What’s to be done? Spare the rod, spoil the child. The answer is the lash

    I had my own theories of child rearing, which did involve the “spare the rod…” axiom. It is the only way kids will learn to obey. Using psychological warfare on them only screws them up.

    What I instinctively knew (I was from a small family), was to start early on with the first child and get them well trained. Then, that child helps train the next, and so on down the line. That way the mother is not always having to do everything, nor is she required to have the discipline levels necessary if all the kids are running every which way. The father then, in this scenario, is the high discipliner, like the bull keeping the cows and calves in line.

    But his discipline is not needed as often, as the kids will keep each other in line, knowing their boundaries, and the family hierarchical structure with older kids getting more privileges and more responsibilities.

    The only reason a wife/mother would be frazzled is because this system of discipline and hierarchy has not been adhered to.

  181. Aservant

    What to do with lazy housewives?

    Kick her to the curb immediately. Don’t worry about the biblical sin of divorce in the least, she has completely failed as a wife and a human so you are no obliged to honor the contract that she broke.

    And for you guys that aren’t married, DO NO DO IT AT ANY COST! You don’t need to run the risk of having a wife like this. Believe me from experience, your life will be hell. And if she isn’t like this, she will be a nag, control freak, weirdo, something as such. Your chance of finding a decent woman these days is about 1 in 100.000. Honestly. That isn’t worth it.

    There are thousands of things a man can do to fill his life without a woman. That is why God made us the men and the leaders, for this ability. And there is so much needed work today, fighting evil, in which a woman will just completely drag you down. You can be so much more happy and effective on your own. Remember that this life is only to test your commitment to God, not to seek worldly happiness. Happiness comes in the next life if you have done your job well in this one. There was a time that marriage had its place in society, that time has past.

    So, to sum up: What to do with lazy housewives? First, get rid of them immediately and don’t look back if you have one. Second, if you don’t have one, don’t even come close to getting one by getting married or living with a woman.

  182. bike bubba

    Aservant, nice parody, but a little bit of subtlety would have carried it off a touch better, donchathink?

    Though I’ve got to admit that I’ve heard some preachers and teachers talk like that, sigh. Thank God that the real Gospel–Christ died to save sinners–bears no resemblance to that atrocity.

  183. Aservant

    bike bubba,

    It wasn’t a parody and I don’t think a little bit of subtlety would have carried it off a touch better. If I would have thought that I would have written the post subtlety. It is this pussyfooting around that has gotten us to the point to where we are.

    Christ also died to ensure that He would return to destroy most of humanity in a baptism of fire, as they deserve. You seem to adhere to the feminist, touchy-feely, form of Christianity, in other words, a lie, where it is preached that “God loves everyone”, although that is to be found nowhere in the bible. What is to be found in the bible is that God hates most of humanity, but loves His world, His creation, and will save the handful of elect in His creation for whom his Son gave His life, while burning the rest in eternal hell fire. This will include many that claimed to preach His word but were in fact the sons and daughters of Satan.

    Now you have no excuse.

  184. hurting

    Matamoros October 28, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Spot on.

    When Americans had larger families they had to utilize the approach you describe out of absolutely necessity. Somehow along the way parents convinced themselves they could parent 1 or 2 children better than 3 or 4 (or 6 or 7), but they ended up just catering to the 1or 2 instead of demanding that they take responsibility. They also deprived them of the unselfishness that comes from living in a larger family.

  185. songtwoeleven

    Somewhere between sloppy agape and hell-fire-and-brimstone-uber-condemnation lies the Truth.

  186. an observer

    they ended up just catering to the 1or 2

    I favour strauss and howes take on this, described here, though with reservarions.
    http://www.lifecourse.com/about/method/generational-archetypes.html

    There was a massive change in parenting style. As abortion, the pill and careerism decimated family size, children were more indulged. As i alluded to at donal graemes, i think this was a planned change, it was so extreme.

    We went from latch key to ‘let me buy you an xbox’ literally overnight. Bizarre.

    Neither extreme is healthy, and both approaches result in issues, just different ones.

    With no fault divorce, lots of kids got messed up as mom was encouraged to blow up the family in divorce. Guilt and parenting got heavily intertwined as kids got to play estranged parents against each other. Nasty little learning opportunity.

    The laziness becomes a potential moral hazard when no fault divorce produces more opportunity for the filing parent, usually the woman, to use custody as alimony ammo, making each one of them worth a monthly amount.

    Nothing like feeling valued, for the child, then.

  187. hurting

    an observer October 29, 2013 at 6:31 am

    Yes, I believe that the social upheaval of the 1960′s (probably even earlier than that) was designed to destroy the old insitutions that made Western civilization the envy of the world. The family was the signature high value target in that campaign.

  188. Sarah's Daughter

    And for you guys that aren’t married, DO NO DO IT AT ANY COST! You don’t need to run the risk of having a wife like this. Believe me from experience, your life will be hell. And if she isn’t like this, she will be a nag, control freak, weirdo, something as such. Your chance of finding a decent woman these days is about 1 in 100.000. Honestly. That isn’t worth it.

    Bedtime stories you tell your daughter? How not worth it do you make sure she feels? Do you inform her of what she will become? And of the slim to none odds that she will be a decent woman?

  189. Maeve

    Well, now that I read the post again (and all the comments), I guess I have to do some housework. UGH! Or maybe I’ll get lucky and have a ginormous pile of work dumped on me and then I can put it off another week.

  190. Farm Boy

    Bedtime stories you tell your daughter?

    Marriage is a good deal for women, so it is not a horror story.

  191. Farm Boy

    How not worth it do you make sure she feels?

    Perhaps if she “thinks” rather than “feels”, things will work out better

  192. feeriker

    Bedtime stories you tell your daughter?

    No, bedtime stories to tell your son. He’s just fresh meat for the grinder if he doesn’t listen to the warnings.

    How not worth it do you make sure [your daughter] feels? Do you inform her of what she will become? And of the slim to none odds that she will be a decent woman?

    It depends on the message she’s being fed and how she responds to it. If Daddy (or, in VERY rare cases, Mommy) is constantly telling her “don’t be THAT woman” and providing her with examples of how “being THAT woman” will hurt her as much as it will any man, and if she chooses to ignore both 1) the messages to the contrary washing over her from her daily interactions with society at large and 2) her inner hamster, then she should be on the road to becoming one of those “decent women.” OTOH, if she never gets this message (most likely) or if she ignores it even if she does get it (even more likely), then she might as well know the truth ahead of time before it ambushes her later in life.

  193. Sarah's Daughter

    If Daddy (or, in VERY rare cases, Mommy) is constantly telling her “don’t be THAT woman” and providing her with examples of how “being THAT woman” will hurt her as much as it will any man, and if she chooses to ignore both 1) the messages to the contrary washing over her from her daily interactions with society at large and 2) her inner hamster, then she should be on the road to becoming one of those “decent women.”

    Oh, okay, then Daddy’s leadership could possibly change her course and the outcome could be that she becomes a decent woman. Hmmm, I wonder if a husband’s leadership could do the same for a wife…

    then she might as well know the truth ahead of time before it ambushes her later in life.

    That truth being that she has slim to none odds of becoming a decent woman. Got it.

    I know the Bible talks about this none are worthy somethin’ or another. What was the purpose of all that again?

  194. Farm Boy

    That truth being that she has slim to none odds of becoming a decent woman. Got it.

    The allure of sluthood is strong.

    Control it, one must.

  195. Sarah's Daughter

    Little girl: “Daddy, I know mommy caused you hurt feelings and a loss of money, but aren’t I worth it?”
    Daddy: “No sweetie, nothing is worth marrying a woman.”
    Little girl: “So I will never be worthy of a husband, Daddy?”
    Daddy: “No, in fact I proselytize on a Christian, married woman’s blog for young men to not even consider marrying the likes of you.”
    Little girl: “Can’t you teach me how to be worthy, Daddy?”
    Daddy: “It’s unlikely, because hamster, because laws, because feminism, because hypergamy.”
    Little girl: “What about things being possible with God, Daddy?”
    Daddy: “Nope, not for you and not for men marrying women. Nothing is possible for God anymore because hamster, because laws, because feminism, because hypergamy.”
    Little girl: “Thanks daddy, you’re the best, everyone should listen to you.”

  196. Sarah's Daughter

    Little girl isn’t a modern woman, notice how she appeals to the Bible and God. Little Girl read in her Bible what God’s purpose in creating her was. And now she is very confused. Daddy has told her that she is not even suitable to serve out her purpose in life and she listens as Daddy tells other men they are not in need of a helper.

  197. feeriker

    Little girl isn’t a modern woman, notice how she appeals to the Bible and God.

    I’m sure plenty of “modern women,” when they were little girls, appealed to the Bible and God. One has to wonder at what point they went off the rails (probably was some man’s fault).

  198. Sarah's Daughter

    Guys,
    You know what happened with feminism? Some women started spouting crazy inanities that no one really believed would take hold. But over the course of time, those inanities were spouted more and more with very little resistance. Laws began changing, all of our institutions began changing. You know, it was like the frog in the pot long before the water began to boil. Now we have individuals so steeped in their ideology, that they willingly overlook some of the most horrific notions (like abortion on demand) just to toe the line with the fighters for the cause.

    One man here was willing to vocalize that which gave him pause (I believe it might have had something to do with this: “Don’t worry about the biblical sin of divorce in the least” followed up with a statement that this was not parody.)

    How steeped in this ideology are those of you who read that? Did it give you pause?

  199. feeriker

    One man here was willing to vocalize that which gave him pause (I believe it might have had something to do with this: “Don’t worry about the biblical sin of divorce in the least” followed up with a statement that this was not parody.)

    How steeped in this ideology are those of you who read that? Did it give you pause?

    Not wanting to speak on Aservant’s behalf, but when he said this: [k]ick her to the curb immediately. Don’t worry about the biblical sin of divorce in the least, she has completely failed as a wife and a human so you are no obliged to honor the contract that she broke.

    …it was probably an understandably visceral reaction to the obvious and stomach-churning hypocrisy and double standards espoused by the institutions that claim to be exemplars of the Word, but that in practice hold men to a far higher set of standards than women while effectively absolving women of any standards at all. Now it’s true that two wrongs do NOT make a right, which is why I emphatically disagree with Aservant’s advice as quoted (not to mention that it’s obviously unbiblical to its core). However, I can absolutely understand why any man, sitting in the pews of a typical church setting in today’s Amerika on any given Sunday morning, would look around him, consider the demographics manifesting themselves before his very eyes, and say to himself “these people obviously don’t take God’s commandments seriously, yet they demand that I do so simply by virtue of my having a penis? F*** that!”

    Again, it’s not even remotely Christian, but given the systemic spiritual abuse men suffer in too many of today’s churches, coupled with the free pass given the most unvirtuous of women (whether or not she has truly repented of her sins), one cannot seriously blame a man for becoming jaded very, very quickly. While I don’t excuse it, I absolutely understand it.

  200. Farm Boy

    One has to wonder at what point they went off the rails

    Probably when they as individuals realized that they had this enormous unearned power that they could exploit. The one that normally shows up at 15 years of age.

  201. FuzzieWuzzie

    Farm Boy, thanks for the link to Haley at 9:27am. The comment thread was an eye opener. We are headed to a crisis but, it’s not going to be the end of the world.

  202. bike bubba

    Sarah’s Daughter, thank you for your comments. My response on the lines of “this has got to be a parody” simply results from the fact that “Aservant”‘s comment was so far from the Gospel, it had to be ignorance or parody.

    Or, as I think over the matter again, it could be wrath. Wrath that the deal he’d (?) been promised one deal–something at least resembling Biblical marriage–but instead got something resembling the worst stereotypes of feminism–a wife burning her bra, waving divorce papers, and wielding the pruning shears to remove the family jewels if he didn’t comply with her desired terms. And all endorsed by the (theologically, culturally, and politically?) liberal church they attended.

    If there is even a shred of truth in this, hard to argue with the wrathful one. Just got to pray.

  203. an observer

    absolutely understand why any man, sitting in the pews of a typical church setting …

    Funny you should mention that. Recently heard two testimonies, from two diffferent alpha widows, one with a toddler in tow. Both attractive girls, but would they be wife material?

  204. feeriker

    Both attractive girls, but would they be wife material?

    No doubt according to their parents and their pastor they would (“YOU! Man up and marry…!”)

  205. Pingback: Lightning Round – 2013/10/30 | Free Northerner

  206. Kathryn

    Omg, sunshinemary, that photo of your daughter’s room…you call that MESS? “One day of mess” Big deal! She is creative right? I see the guitar in the background. That is not mess, and the bedroom does not look like a very large space either.
    Now the hoarder photo – THAT is mess I grant you. Though my own mother was never quite as bad, she spent most of the day either in bed or walking the dog. She did not do the laundry for my Dad and myself for up to 6 weeks whilst forbidding me to use the washing machine, cooked twice a week if we were lucky and left animal crap all over the front and back yards. On the other hand she had OCD about some things and was in a mood all day if I so much as left a crumb or drop of water on the kitchen surface. Screamed at us the whole time, I thought she was simply an idiot who could talk about nothing except home furnishings, she had no sex with my father for 5 years, he eventually gave up and went off with someone else, because frankly she wasn’t worth keeping…not value for money as some might say!!
    As a result I take a very dim view of homemaking and motherhood. I was married once to a boy-man who expected me to do everything whilst he lazed around at home all day (I was the opposite to my mum). I insisted he cooked as I can’t and he had to do something.
    Been single for 8 years and it is good not to have all that pressure. I now rent 1 room in a shared house as a creative, and whilst most of my generation are having babies, nothing could mystify or bore me more. I like to think I have a healthy sense of tidiness. I like things to be clean but not over the top. I find that people who focus overly on domestic issues firstly do not have enough to do and secondly have very little imagination. :P

  207. Kathryn

    Actually, reading through the comments and the seriousness with which some are addressed, cracks me up. I.e. there must be about 50 posts on how to wash and fold socks, no kidding. Are you guys for real and are you all separate people or one person, because this ubiquitous enthusiasm for housework seems unreal to me. I’m almost tempted to believe the OP is actually a man, simply because of their level of OCD which clearly puts them on the autistic spectrum which is typical of males, and/ or they are posting this to get a rise, it is so tongue in cheek. There is no such word as “feminist” or “antifeminist” these days (not even sure there’s any such word as “Christian” …shhh…:) Many of the posters sound like they are trying too hard to impress men.

    To give some of the Stepford wives on here a taste of real life (cough cough), most of my (single) friends live in apartments with each wall painted a different secondary colour about 10 years ago (which hasn’t been dusted since). This is usually finished off with Indonesian wall hangings and huge arrays of (dusty) artefacts belonging to whatever collection can be paired with the individual in question. The girls cook about once every couple of months, if at all. One sees eating as rather a bore, and eats baby carrots out of a tin. Now this would really upset Muscle Mary or whatever the OP’s name is…just think, your child could end up being a BOHEMIAN!! SHOCK HORROR!!

    [ssm: Curses, I've been foiled by a feminist. Yes, I really had everyone going there, believing that I was a traditionalist woman, but you, Clever Kathryn, saw through my ruse immediately and outed me as the smalled-penised man that I surely am. Well-done. Bye now!]

  208. Me

    Just thought I’d leave my two cents. Lazy housewife? After working full time as and OBGYN then throwing it all away to help my husband start his business. I wake up this morning on a metal sofabed with my 2y and 8mo, who cannot go for a walk because we are too busy. I have no clothes to look attractive in because we gave them away to move house and have not income to buy more, and even to buy cleaning equipment food clothes or toys for girls will stretch our budget, which my husband vetos. SO YES I DO NOT FEEL LIKE LIFTING A FINGER. whenever I get an opportunity to use my gifts its too expensive there is not enough time or I am trying to promote myself which is sin. The same hands that perfomed C-sections and delivery are now irritated from handwashing a household’s worth of laundry because we cannot afford a washing machine. I petitioned yesterday for a walk for myself and my dasughter because we only go out once a week and got haranged late at night because I did not do business and ministry work even though I cooked cleaned bathed girls twice per day.

    The reality is that this whole housewife rubbish does not work and the mistake I made was deluding myself that a career which was productive purposeful and utilised my mind and energies should be thrown away for poverty and no choices or freedom.

  209. Ren

    I just want to repent before my Saviour Jesus Christ and this audience for the false witness I bore of my marriage and home life which was a conception of sin I need to repent of. Really in truth, I have a wonderful helpful caring and more importantly God-fearing husband who wants be to partner with Him in following Jesus Christ, and living a Spirit-led life. This is way better than the sinful life I was leading and being complicit in a system that has no problems with butchering babies on a daily basis no matter how righteous is all looks. I pray that this has not been a tare sown in hearts. Please remove the above comment. God bless. Ren

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