Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Good (enough?) Housekeeping

Recently, we went on vacation. We packed up the entire stock of Babies R Us that it seems our babies require just to meander down the block, boarded a plane and headed north.

Airtran was kind enough to offer that we could pay to upgrade to business class which is their first class since no one sat in front of our section besides the pilot. We accepted because we needed the space and because they also offered free baggage checking for the first four bags of our 400.

Fortunately for our fellow travelers, they also offer free cocktails in business class. Since the Husband and I were not allowed to share the same row because we each had a baby in our laps (some nonsense about needing enough oxygen masks for EVERYONE or something), we each had to sit next to a total stranger.

Oh, they weren't strangers for long. What with crunching on the boys' Cheerios under their feet, picking up toys and sippy cups, tolerating the hour long wail fest that was the first half of the flight, we became fast friends.

Of course, our friendship relied heavily on the steady stream of rum and cokes the stewardess supplied to our respective row-mates.

Finally, the boys fell asleep and I was able to hear myself think about something other than how to quiet my boys short of stuffing them in the cargo hold. I hear they frown on checking babies as baggage.

I started thinking about what in our lives was going to be different when we got home. I think of vacations as natural breaking points for life. Time to leave home, gain a fresh perspective, and come back with new plans and hopes.

Still considering what kind of changes I wanted to make, we made our way to the Husband's Uncle's house which is in a beautiful setting. It is on a lake and nestled among hundred year old trees. Every room has a view of the trees and the water and the family room has wrap around windows which make you feel like the furniture is perched in a treehouse.

I am always mesmerized by the view out the windows but, what caught my attention on this visit was the view inside. The carpets were immaculate. No dust to be seen anywhere. There was a longhair cat but, I didn't see any fur anywhere. All meals and sweets were made from scratch- Husband's Aunt even commenting that she "didn't eat store bought". Even the bathroom cabinets (which I had to shamelessly raid in my dire quest for some Advil for a headache one morning after an all nighter with Baby A) were perfect and clutter free.

I thought about how Husband's Aunt was the perfect housewife. She's about the age to have been a perfect young mid-century modern housewife- always ready with homemade cookies at the end of the day and a homecooked meal at dinner time- all in heels, no less. And, while I don't agree with the semi-indentured servitude attitude of that era, there is something to be admired in taking so much pride in the role of homemaker.

Surely, there had to be a way to find my place somewhere between Hoovering in heels and feeling that a good day was when I pushed the Swiffer around the floor after dinner.

So, on our flight back, after the rum and cokes had been enjoyed by all (sadly, not enjoyed by my boys...) and the first hour screamfest had subsided, I decided that I wanted to find a way to take pride in my homemaking efforts. For that, I had to actually MAKE efforts.

That is what this blog is all about. Becoming a modern housewife- complete with mothering and cooking and cleaning, organizing and crafting, gardening and entertaining. Don't forget penny pinching. Some things will work out, others won't. Some food will get burned, some clothes will be ruined but, some days will be examples of glorious success.

What I know for sure is that I will learn how to show my love to my family in new ways and that I will feel a new sense of pride in this career I've chosen.

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