A Suggestion for the Anti-Moms: Martha Stewart’s Homekeeping Handbook

Martha Stewart’s Homekeeping Handbook is huge. As in, over 700 pages long. Evidently, that is nothing compared to some of the home Homekeepingkeeping handbooks roaming the world. Martha informs the reader that one such book is some 1600 plus pages in length. That seems a bit daunting but I believe I’d still read every word of it. There is something about page after page of house cleaning tips (not to mention a schedule) that just compels me. If you’re rolling your eyes, well, what can I say? I’m a sucker for a clean house and love a woman who writes a book on how to do it.

My hairdresser, Anna, noted, at my last highlight and cut visit, that there is a trend among moms NOT TO CLEAN. They don’t like doing it, they don’t feel like they should be the ones doing it (why do they think they had kids???), they can’t afford a maid to do it, their husbands aren’t taking the initiative on doing it (really, how surprising…), so they simply don’t do it. They refuse to clean and the mess piles up.

I really don’t know how to address that.

Anna referred to it as the “anti-mom” movement. This not cleaning the house business has an actual name. So if the mom is busy being the anti-mom, who is being the mom?

It does stink that moms went to work but dads didn’t jump in on the household chores. It really does. Because the math on that is simple. For the women it looks like this: A career + a clean home= 2 jobs. For the men it looks like this: Wife goes to work + a dirty house= he doesn’t care about a dirty house but loves the extra income.

So, yes, it stinks but as for me, I could never stand a dirty house. I still can’t. Ask my kids how many times they had to re-clean the bathroom while learning that particular chore. Right down to the baseboards. 

What a shame I didn’t have Martha’s handbook then. I could have posted her weekly schedule for them. Here’s a sample just for the kitchen. Once a week you should:

  • Wipe all surfaces including sink, ventilation hood, outside of refrigerator, cupboards–basically all surfaces and doors including shelves in cabinets and furniture.
  • Discard all food and drink past its prime.
  • Wipe out the garbage bin and recycle bin (both inside and out).
  • Vacuum and mop the floor.
  • Flush drain with boiling water.

Lord, I love this woman. Of course, you should do all of that. And, if you’re thinking that is simply too much for one week, do one thing a day. If you wait until it piles up, well that does become impossible. I suggest moving at that point.

Here’s the thing. Beauty takes effort. But that’s what cleaning and taking care of our homes really is–creating a space of beauty for everyone (the mom included) to enjoy.

photo 1

Martha would be proud. My living room (and my legs, which don’t look as good as the living room).

And, before you get all bent out of shape here and groan about not having the time, the energy, the whatever…I ain’t talking perfection, here, just a bit of a reality check. Moms judging moms is likely what created said Anti-Mom movement in the first place. Chill on one another. Help one another. My BFF Debbie cleaned up my rotting potatoes (that were dripping brown goo from the cupboard under the sink onto my kitchen floor). She didn’t hesitate in her skinny jeans, french manicure, and fashionista style (on the way to dinner), to get down on the floor, find the rotting potatoes, toss them out and then clean up the mess. Take note and follow suit.

Dating, Iced Tea and a Year of Silence

English: A Glass of iced tea.

English: A Glass of iced tea. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1. When you’re young and single, people ask you if you’re ever going to get married.

2. When you’re newly married and without children, people ask when you’re going to start having children.

3. If you have an only child, people ask when you’re going to get pregnant again.

4. If you have over four children, people ask if you’re going to stop now.

5. If you’re divorced, people ask when you’re going to start dating again.

Perhaps we should all just stay at question number one because question number 5 seems to just cycle back around to it.

But, to answer question number 5, since that is my current situation, and everyone does seem curious.

If, and that is a big if because I do not have a line of men outside my front door (or any other place for that matter), but IF some guy came along and wanted to date me, well, here’s what he would have to do.

He would have to sit across the room from me. In a chair. I’m probably on the couch. He would have to sit quietly in the chair for say, about a year. Just silence, no words.

After about a year, he could ask me if I would like some tea (iced tea, of course). I’m not going to answer verbally, but depending on how the year of silence has gone, I will either shake my head yes, or simply not respond at all.

If it is a yes and he brings me iced tea (with lots of ice…just saying) then he must return to his chair, and we would resume sitting in silence again. I really don’t know how long this second round would go for. I just can’t say.

So, what d’ya think?