Housewif-ing (is that a word, because it should be) is hard work ladies and not a job for the faint hearted. Throw people who just won’t stop asking ‘but what do you do all day’ into the mix and it’s a wonder murder-by-housewife isn’t an actual section of the penal code by now. Homicidal housewives aside though, more and more women are choosing to be housewives or stay-at-home-moms these days and there seems to be a lot of talk and worry about what makes a ‘good’ housewife. The internet at least seems to be overflowing with guides on how to be the most perfect housewife there ever was but don’t worry, contrary to the title above, this isn’t one of those so-called guides. At best it’s a guide on how to be a sane housewife who didn’t murder anyone with the saucepan today, which when you think about it, is probably more useful then a guide on how to properly fold napkins into swans for Tuesday night dinner.
So for what it’s worth, here’s my guide to being the best housewife that you can be:
1) NEVER ask anyone in the house what they want for dinner unless you’re in the mood for extensive cooking. Odds are everyone will want something different (or extravagant) and when you can’t manage it at least someone will be disappointed, which in turn will probably make you feel bad at first and under appreciated later on when you think of all the effort you did actually put in. Simply cook whatever you can manage depending on your energy levels and call it a day because let’s face it, not every day is a roast-chicken-with-all-the-trimmings kind of day. Some days are just serve-ramen-noodles-in-a-plate-and-call-it-spaghetti kind of days and thats fine too.
2) When the stress gets too much, stop whatever it is you are doing, put your feet up and have a nice cup of tea (or a glass of wine if that’s your beverage of choice). The stress, the worry and the work will still be there when you’re done but you’ll be in a better frame of mind after your tea (or wine) and therefore able to handle it better.
3) No matter how much you clean, tidy up or organise the house, someone or the other will always manage to make you feel like it’s not good enough. So stop overdoing it with the housework before you keel over from exhaustion. I’m not saying of course that you should give up housework altogether and condemn yourself (and your family) to living in filth, I’m just saying that do as much as you are able and then don’t feel guilty or apologise for how not-perfect the house is! Perfection is overrated and trust me, no one’s going to care how well polished your door knobs are if you’re tired or crabby from overwork all the time.
4) Repeat after me: ‘Killing this idiot who keeps trying to tell me how to do things ‘better’ will only get blood on my pretty shoes and blood stains are really difficult to get out’.
5) No matter how clean the house, how delicious the dinner or how fabulously dressed your children are, it’s not going to matter unless you are happy too. A happy you equals a happy family so make the time to do the things that make you happy whether it’s gardening, blogging, reading or colour coordinating your massive shoe collection (shoe addict? Me? Surely you are mistaken).
6) Never argue with people who, at the end of the day, will go home and can’t force you to do things their way. Zone out if you must, nod along to whatever they are saying and let the subject die out. In the end all that matters is that you, your husband and your kids are on the same page and are happy with the way things are done in your home. There’s really no point ruining your day arguing with idiots who really need a reeducation in what falls into the category of ‘none of your beeswax’.
7) When in stress, break that diet if all you need is a double chocolate fudge brownie to make you feel saner. A few extra calories is better than a stress-induced ulcer before you’re 30.
In the end, there can be no definitive guide to being the perfect housewife simply because ‘perfect housewife’ can mean different things to different people. What really matters is that you are a happy housewife with a happy home and a happy family. Perfection can wait.