The Case of the Hopeful Housewife


True story.  The other day my husband let some friends of ours know that we were heading to the museum with the kids and to his surprise they agreed to join us.  We were happy they wanted to come and knew the boys would be excited to spend the day with their kids.  They agreed to meet us at our home so that they could follow us there.

That’s when the panic settled in.  What if they decided not to just honk the horn to let us know they had arrived?  What if they wanted to -gasp- come in?  No word of a lie, the house was a MAJOR disaster.  My husband and I set to working at a feverish pace to get things into presentable shape.  And then it turned out they didn’t come in after all.  Note: I should define MAJOR disaster.  Toys everywhere, some dishes in the sink, stray cups in rooms, beds unmade, laundry piles, countertops cluttered.  You get the idea: not dirty – just untidy.

To say I felt guilty, ashamed, just downright awful is an understatement. I saw that my husband was frustrated and disappointed in our home.  He helped me clean and straighten up  without complaint, but his expression said it all.  While he would never say he was disappointed with me, he was frustrated by the situation.

Now, let me say that my husband is not one of those guys who expects to come home to a sparkling clean home and fancy dinner on the table.  He understands the limitations of having two small children who make a mess as soon as you clean one up.  He understands what happens when someone has been sick each of the last 4 weeks. But the truth is that he works hard to provide for our family so that I may stay home (for which I feel blessed  beyond words.)  I’m just not doing a great job of holding up my end of the bargain lately.  I’m not beating myself up here, but it needs to change.

I’ve come to realize (I guess I’ve known for a bit since I made it a goal for this year) that my housekeeping routine – or lack there of- really stinks.  We have no formal systems in place and we could stand to do some decluttering and organizing. I’ve been winging it for far to long.  So I am setting a goal for the month of March to develop a new housekeeping schedule. I am HOPEFUL that by the end of the month I have something I , I mean we as a family, can stick with. Once I have a routine I can ask for help when situations arise that I need it.  Before the major disaster happens.

In the end it isn’t just about making a tidier home for my family.  It is about the realization that this is my “job” and I want to be proud of the work I do.  It is about my own sense of worth and the reflection of myself in the cleanliness and appearance of my home.  It is about discovering a way to balance the needs of my family and home while making sure to have time for myself.  I hope that I can aspire to be the best housewife, mom, and me I can be.


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