Wednesday, August 11, 2010

This is Not a Book Review


A semi-controversial book came out back in 2006 called TO HELL WITH ALL THAT.  Flanagan caught a lot of flack by talking about how conflicted modern mothers feel and how many of us may just want to be a housewife deep down. Whether or not this is true, much of the book resonated with me. I was just about to get married at the time I read this book. It isn't a great book and many complained about how Flanagan was often self-contradictory. But I think she also revealed how difficult it can be for many women to play so many different roles.

I am a wife and mother but I also work full-time outside the home and help to care for my mother. Until recently, I served on at least one non-profit board at any given time. I spend any spare time with either books or crafting supplies. It can be very hard to keep all the balls in the air and the one that usually falls is housekeeping. After being gone all day long, do I want to spend time with my family or do I want to spend time cleaning the bathroom? The same applies on weekends. So, I have piles of clothes sitting next to my closet and spots of toothpaste in my sink.

This state of affairs has brought Flanagan's book to mind recently. I don't necessarily agree with everyone she says but part of me sometimes thinks it would be nice to be a stay-at-home mom and housewife. I have fallen pray to the dream of the sit-com housewife who keeps a clean home, has fresh-baked cookies for the kids when they come home from school, has a martini ready for the husband when he walks in the door and manages to have her makeup and hair perfect in her New Look dress with the cute half-apron.  I would like to be the kind of women who does homemade everything while maintaining a spotless home and a size 6 figure. I would like to throw dinner parties and backyard barbecues while serving on the PTA. Maybe I will someday.  But right now, I would be happy if I could just clean the toilet bowl.

(The above book link will take you to IndieBound. I'm an IndieBound affiliate and receive a small commission on any sales.)


文王廷 said...
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Saretta said...

Work inside the house is valuable and important, but work outside the house will keep you alive and sane. Get a cleaning service once a week! ;-)
Following you now from MBC, please come follow me at

Victoria's Voice said...

After I got out of the military I stayed home with my kids for a few years. It was nice and sometimes I miss it now that my kids are 21 and 16 and I am back to work. But you do go a little stir crazy.

I am following you. Stop by and say hi sometime.


Gary said...

Seems to me that you've found a good balance, Amy. You have a lovely home, you find time to read and craft, you have friends and family who love you, you're a great mom and spouse, and you look fantastic (who cares that you're not a size 6? Curvy women are IN!). You've always been an inspiration to me.

Jewel said...

This looks like a very interesting blog and I am looking forward to reading more.

I found you via MBC and am now following.

Visit when you have a chance.

Have a great day.


Kim said...

Oh, my goodness! Your post struck me to the core, even as a (and these are some massive quote marks) "stay at home mom". I'm here to say that in this day and age, I think that the June Cleaver thing is a fantasy, even for those with time and money. I soooo crave it, JUST like you are saying, and I theoretically have the means to do it. But no day is long enough. I have so many theories on why this is true. June did not have a cell phone or the internet; it was such a simpler time! All the information and all the options we have of things to have our kids be involved in...I'm not sure it's 100% beneficial. Heck, you know I've said, sometimes I pass right by June Cleaver, and want to be Olivia Walton--regularly! I don't think these women, the Martha Stewart's or whomever, really really exist in reality. I know some pretty amazing women, but if I really think about it, I don't know anyone really doing the domestic thing on a daily basis in the way I fantasize about it. I don't know if I just made you feel better or worse.

Anonymous said...

I'm a hearth and home kind of person, but my ability and interest to do these things have changed over the years. I used to love gardening, and then all of a sudden felt like a slave to weeds so removed every flower bed, put in a walkway and shrubs. I used to make everything from scratch when my children were little, and then found it cost more and involved more work and gave it up for store bought goodness! Now that the kids are grown, I'm interested in doing both things again. We can't do it all - all at once - but it is fun trying these things at different times in our lives.

Marie said...

What you describe as your life is a lot closer to reality as most people actually live it, and I think the June Cleaver fantasy is just that- a fantasy. Nobody lives that kind of life, and holding yourself up to such an unrealistic standard will only make you feel bad about yourself, no matter what you do.