On Domesticating Myself.

I’ve been thinking about the ‘good old days’ a lot lately, you know…the days before the Internet, smartphones, and all that jazz. I wonder what they were like. All I can picture when I think about ‘the good old days’ is Stepford wives complete with dresses and hairdos from the 50s. Were people genuine then? Were they as judgmental as they are now?

I keep thinking about the lack of filter that everyone, myself included, has now. The Internet and social media websites have allowed us to speak our opinions freely without so much as a thought towards the other person. I’ve had so many people tell me I’m doing stuff wrong with my kids because of this, that, or the other and I wonder…did stuff like that happen in the old days?

From simply seeing how my Granny is, how respectful and dignified and classy she is, I have to wonder. Is my Granny a rare breed, or is that how they all were? Respectful towards one another? Offering kind words of encouragement instead of bashing? I know for certain that they didn’t broadcast everything. My Granny {and my dad, and my older sister for that matter} all don’t understand things like Facebook and Twitter. They don’t see the need to broadcast your every thought and random tidbits from your day.

I bet it was isolating, I know how isolating it is to be a SAHM and I have an entire world at my hands thanks to the Internet and social media websites like Twitter. I can interact with any number of people, from any distance, whenever I like and I still feel isolated.

My Granny is my hero. I look up to her so much because she’s such a remarkable woman. I know she probably had her share of parenting dramas, but she’s like the only lady I know who washes her baseboards and scrubs her floors every week. I bet she did it when she had 4 kids at home too. I can’t even manage to stay on top of laundry, and I know it’s because I’m sitting here blogging/tweeting/Facebooking instead of doing it. I could blame the fact that we’re on Smart Meter and the cheapest time to do laundry is after 7pm anyway, but I know it’s mostly because I sort of fail at being a housewife.

I’m still trying to find the balance between having two kids and staying on top of all my chores 24/7. I’m deeply curious if my Granny’s generation had that issue. I’m guessing…no. In fact, I’ve whined to Granny before about how I want to move back home because I have no friends and I’m lonely and I’m bored and WAAAH and Granny just doesn’t get it. How can I be bored? I’ve got a house to clean, children to raise, and if I don’t have friends? Go out and make some. But HOOOW Granny?! How do I make friends?! I’d whine. She’d tell me to go to a church group and join a sewing club, things that she did. Her answers are SO FREAKING OBVIOUS.

Truthfully, I don’t really treat staying at home like a job. I get bummed out about all the stuff I see my friends doing {trips to Paris, YES, PARIS, new cars, first homes, vacations to Cuba…and even just the ability to go out and get plastered on a Saturday night} that I end up doing none of the things I should have time to do because I’m too busy sulking about it all, you know? Housework sucks, it totally does, but I still need to {or should, anyway} do it instead of cruising around Facebook looking at how better everyone else is at everything else.

I want to kick ass at being a SAHM. I want to kick ass at everything I do. I don’t think that saying that sets back feminism or anything, because I’m still totally for full-time working women too {and in fact, when my kids are in school I’ll be going back myself to get a career going and then I will want to kick ass at that too}, it’s just…right now I’m a SAHM and I’m not embracing it, I’m not enjoying it. I’m just whining about all that it entails and barely getting anything done {aside from the daily kitchen cleaning and toy pick up/vacuuming, which really isn’t all that much}.

So starting today {or maybe tomorrow}, I’m gonna make some changes:

  1. No more computer during the day {starting tomorrow, since, you know, I already blew it today}.
  2. Actually STICK to my “chore wheel” and get shit done.
  3. Force myself to get out of the house at least three times a week.Β 
  4. Cook and bake more.
  5. Make a recipe book, cause when I use the computer or my phone I end up getting too distracted to focus on baking and then I end up screwing up everything.
  6. No Twitter/Facebook/phone calls until I’ve done at least some of my chores for the day…{seriously, I’m grounding myself….no social media until I’ve done my housework}.
  7. Stop whining that Matt doesn’t do this, that, or the other. Because neither do I.
  8. Take the kids grocery shopping and regular shopping more, because they’re just not gonna learn how to behave if I keep avoiding this task {yes, I totally avoid it}.

I took a lead from AP and made a chore list for myself:

Pretty nifty, huh? Only so far…I haven’t stuck to it at all and I made it weeks ago. So, starting today I’m going to stick to it. I’ll have to play catch up for this week, and since Matt’s going to finally be bringing over our new couch {to go along with our new love seat and chair}, I’ve really got to deep clean the living room.

All that being said, I’m still 100% grateful for all that the Internet and social media offers {I just really need to learn how to utilize my time better}. I would have probably lost my hat many times in the past 24 hours without helpful advice from my Tweeple on Twitter. Archer is still on a nursing strike, but I’ve been able to feed him a little breast milk every few hours via pumping and a medicine dropper. I’m hoping this strike ends soon because I don’t know one breastfeeding mama who actually enjoys pumping, but at least I’m a lot more level headed now that I know he’s not dehydrated or starving.

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About J.C. Hannigan

25. Mother. Wife. Lover of words. Weaver of stories. My first book, Collide, is available in e-book for Amazon Kindle and Kobo.
This entry was posted in housewifey stuff, I don't really know, motherhood, not so perfect, rambling, SAHM, self improvement, thoughts. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to On Domesticating Myself.

  1. Isha says:

    I enjoy pumping πŸ™‚
    Or rather, I definitely don't hate it.

    Good for you for getting on top of things. I took a little social media break this week, too, to reset my priorities. It really helped me remember that my baby girl is priority one!

  2. Jessica says:

    First of all, you don't “fail” as a housewife! Maybe you are not up to the standards you'd like, but as long as your kids are taken care of and you love your family, you're not failing. Second, I agree that being a SAHM and a housewife doesn't set feminism back. I think lots of people have feminism flat-out wrong. I think that as long as a woman is able to make the choices she wants, it's feminist. Feminism is about women being able to make their own choices. You chose to have your kids and stay home with them, so if anyone says that's not feminist, they're misinformed. Next, I just totally relate to you so much on this post. I too feel isolated often, I too sulk about not being able to do the fabulous things my friends get to do, not being able to buy a house yet, being poor, etc. And then I get depressed that I'm not doing a good enough job at home. When all is said and done, if getting the chores done makes you feel better about how you're living your life (I know it does for me), then it's great to set goals to get them done. Just don't feel like a failure if you don't always live up. SAHM work is hard, so we shouldn't be too hard on ourselves.

  3. “Feminism is about women being able to make their own choices.” Yup! Exactly this!

    You're a wonderful mother. Be kinder to yourself! Love you!

  4. I'm probably just playing at semantics here, but Stepford wives are those robot types who cook and clean and make no time for themselves, even though they (may) desperately want to. I think you're referring to the baby boomers; those who were born in the early '40s, '50s, and early '60s. Please feel free to throw things at me; I'm just a history nerd who has no filter.

    I know many baby boomers who have no filters, but I do think that the self-centeredness we see in people our age is definitely a generational thing. I don't mean that we — those of us in our twenties — don't care about other people. We just, like you said, think that everyone wants to hear every thought we have. I don't know why we're like that. I've unleashed everything that came to mind since I was a kid. I like to think I'm just eager, but I often wonder whether that's really a good habit; maybe I'm just selfish (in the bad sense).

    I don't think there's anything wrong with setting boundaries for yourself. I need to do the same; I spend way too much time surfing and tweeting instead of doing my job (writing). I also really like your chore list. I need to do that, too. (I've been doing some serious dusting though; it hasn't been done in a terrifyingly long time.)

    I do think that you're being a little hard on yourself. Like Karen said, go easier!

  5. Your chore chart is an awesome idea. I keep saying I'm going to make a chore chart, an exercise chart, and a meal planning chart. I only tend to stick with it like…for a week or so though. I suck at that! My Gramma had 10 kids. She baked her own bread, made awesome meals like roast beef dinner everyday, and kept up on laundry. I don't even do that with 2 kids. Well I keep up on laundry but I certainly don't make roast beef and bake my own bread very often! Times are different I suppose. We expect more help from our men nowadays…which makes what they did back then seem that much more impossible. You're right, it doesn't help that we have all this technology to distract us in present times!

    There are things I like better about present day and things I think that suck compared to back in our Gramma's time. I think fathers helping mothers more and seeing more stay at home dads while mothers become the main breadwinners is a great thing. But I think our computers, tablets, smartphones, etc…distracting us from our children is pretty lame. I like that women are more equal to men now. I don't like how people pop out babies all over the place like it's no big deal (women like you and I got lucky). So basically, I think if there was a common ground between the 60s and now, the world would be almost perfect but let's face it, that'll never happen.

  6. I work part time, i'm home with my daughter Tuesdays, Thursdays and the weekends. I try to make the most of our time together. I was a SAHM for the first year after Alexis was born and it became all consuming. We lived in the middle of no where and just getting in the car and driving somewhere was a chore (it was 13 miles to the nearest store, 30 miles to my parents/friends). I was so pissed off about being stuck home all the time, with the husband working late with a colicky baby – it wasn't good for me.

    I believe in an equal partnership in my marriage. I work too so why should I get stuck with all the chores? But my husband works 70 hours plus a week so it is unfair to him to start bugging him about helping me with the laundry when he comes home at 8pm at night. My Grandma takes care of my Grandad 24/7. Ever since I can remember she has cooked every meal for him, done his laundry, done all the housework. I don't ever remember him vacuuming or cooking dinner. That wouldn't work for me!!

    Some days the floors don't get mopped because Alexis and I are out playing at the park or in the garden. I want Alexis to look back when she is older and think of me as a Mom who always found the time to be with her, making memories. They aren't going to be little for ever.

    She is at the age now where she want's to do everything I am doing, so she has her own swiffer duster and swiffer mopper. I dust the shelves, she dusts the entertainment center.

    You aren't failing as a housewife – I think as long as your kids are happy and healthy, you are doing an awesome job!

  7. I definitely need to let certain things go – and to my credit I do (like the damn baseboards NEVER get washed haha). I only really steam mop once a week. I have to vacuum more often thanks to Nolan. But I have this delusion that I'd be a lot happier if I rocked at housework? I know, it's weird haha.

  8. Your Gramma sounds awesome! 10 kids?! HOLY CRAP lol. And I'm complaining about two…see what I mean?! Common ground would be nice, for sure!

  9. Haha LIZ! πŸ˜‰ You're hilarious. But you're right, baby boomers I guess!! Either way they rock. lol

  10. Thanks Karen! Love you too xoxo

  11. Thanks Jessica ❀ you're right!!

  12. Haha maybe I'm doing it wrong? πŸ˜› Pumping that is bahah!

    Taking a break, even if it's a little break or from certain social networking sites, is important in my opinion. ❀

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