Children & babies · General parenting · Home and Family

Ode….to be a Perfectly Normal Housewife

Esther’s first day at Big School prompted the resurrection of the Ironing Board. OK so perhaps use of the word “resurrection” is wishful thinking. Rather more truthful would be: Esther’s first day at Big School prompted the erection of the ironing board. For the first time. In 5 years of marital bliss and pseudo-domesticity.

A culmination of guilt,  embarrassment and one too many of those disapproving up-and-down looks [that we all know so well] dragged me kicking and screaming to this point. Let’s face it, deep creases, curled edges and crumpled hems are simply not cool at any time but sported by my poor daughter on her first day at Reception, is frankly speaking, pretty G’damn brutal and just not very normal. So it was finally time to take stock, re-evaluate and do some serious homework on my “Household Management” skills.

Oh how ignorance really is bliss! Just moments after taking hand to iron, my wrist was aching something rotten and I managed to manoeuvre it [in such a talented way] so as to burn my right thumb. Ironing boards are not made for left-handers. [Or so I tell myself.] But slave to my conviction and with piles of crisp, geometric school uniforms later, I actually found myself feeling somewhat calm and even, dare I say it, fulfilled?  In fact, so excited was I by this novel experience that I was forced to Social Network it and moments later, the comments came flooding in. Apparently non-use of the Iron is really quite normal these days. Phew! So perhaps I won’t make it a regular thing then.

But let’s not stop at my neglect for the Ironing Board. You ask my dear mum. Mother Hen, The Epitome. Gliding through the house under the guise of doting Grandma, her covert purpose is actually to score me on levels of cleanliness and tidiness that I persist are just not normal for a mum with two young kids. Her face falls at the sight of yesterday’s pants strewn across the floor. Her blood boils when she spots a filled nappy sack at the top of the stairs [might i add, ready to go down the stairs and into the bin]. Her lips curl when she goes for the bin and it’s overflowing [and worse, stinking]. Her teeth grind when the downstairs toilet needs flushing and the hand-towel has that damp, i’ve-not-been-washed-for-ages feel. And that’s just the beginning. Disappointment, dismay and disillusionment resound.

Forget the A to Z of culinary virtuosos lining the bookshelves, the recipe cut-outs doubling as bookmarks and the one year’s subscription to “Delicious” piling up [in the loo]. Forget the pre-prehistoric-labelled, dishwasher-safe [but still bolognese-stained] collection of tupperware crowding the cupboards and the honorary Kenwood displayed proudly on the kitchen shelf [if you look closely, there is a very satisfying finger-full of dust waiting to be swept off]. And forget the ritual that is the monthly batch cook-athon, mincemeat staples and thick winter soups [throw in a few lentils and you’re really up there]. It’s all a token effort.

It’s hard to handle. This.

Mrs Me, modern career mum and reluctant house-wife-in-training has just not stepped up to the plate.

I think I’ll stick to internet shopping.

Oh to be a Perfectly Normal Housewife!

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