This week there’s been a lot of backlash against a British woman who says her life is hard because she is so beautiful. Men buy her things and women hate her. (By the way, does anyone know what “beautiful” means in British? Because we’re guessing it means something different than it does here over the pond.)
But despite the backlash, The Mouthy Housewives must support Samantha, our brave sister in delusion. Because like her, we are also very much despised–both for our beauty and our Domestic Goddess skills. In fact, it’s probably hard for you to imagine what we’ve all had to endure, so we’re providing you with a list.
Read it and weep.
And then get us a box of bon-bons.
HOW BEING PERFECT DOMESTIC GODDESSES HAS MADE OUR LIVES MISERABLE:
The insurance policies on our vacuum cleaners cut into our silver polish budget.
Our poor husbands don’t know WHAT do to when they check into a five-star hotel on business. Those maids and butlers could stand to learn a thing or two from us.
It’s so embarrassing when other mothers come over and realize they’ve been throwing their kids crap birthday parties for years.
Good Housekeeping and Ladies Home Journal are constantly calling us to fact check.
Our immaculately spotless minivan lacks “character” and “edge.”
Constant worry about dangerous slips and falls due to our hardwood floors being cleaned and waxed to perfection.
We bore our friends to death with the tale of how one of us once found a single stray dog hair on the couch cushion back in 1983. Oh, the embarrassment of that day!
The people at Febreeze forever bothering us about how we get our homes to smell so perfect. How do you bottle perfection?
The overwhelming fear of the other mothers that it’s Picture Day at school when we show up with our perfectly polished children.
Dust runs away from us in fear.
Nobody believes us when we tell them that that cracker ass Martha Stewart steals all of our ideas.
Whenever the Merry Maids see us, they become the Crabby Maids.
We have PhD in ironing (that stands for PutTheIronDown, right?)
Our cleaning women just sit and gaze lovingly at our faces instead of doing their jobs.
So, you see? We know exactly how Samantha feels. It’s tough to be so perfect.
So very, very tough. 🙁
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My 14 year old daughter does some cleaning jobs around the house to make extra money. My son (12) recently asked if he could do that too, and I agreed. Should he be paid the same as my daughter is even though he is younger and doesn’t do as good of a job as she does?
Oh, how I envy you. At the moment, my kids are still only 3 and 5, and think “cleaning” means throwing things into a corner while simultaneously sobbing about their torment and petitioning the cats for amnesty from their wretched mother. (And that’s WITH bribery, unfortunately.)
But back to your situation. I firmly believe that there is no reason to pay both kids the same amount “just because.” Is this how the real world operates? Hell no! In fact, when one of them complains, tell them to just be happy they aren’t being TAXED! Or that the national gender wage gap doesn’t apply this fiscal year! OR THAT THEY AREN’T WORKING IN SWEATSHOPS, you ungrateful little–
Where was I?
I think the important thing to remember here is that, before you set up any type of allowance agreement, think about age-appropriate chores for each child. Also, be clear about what type of performance is expected from each one of them. For example, having the five year-old manage the electric bill will not “help him learn responsibility” as much as it will “show him how quickly his parents break with the power shut off for DAYS ON END.”
Not that I’m speaking from experience.
Especially since your kids are a little bit older, you don’t need to stress as much about being “fair.” But if you are worried about that, I’d suggest going with a performance-based pay scale. If they’re both doing the exact same quality of work, then perhaps they should be paid the same amount. I’m guessing, however, that there will be a bit of a lapse between the two, in which case, pay accordingly.
Of course, this will be a bumpy road at first, as you’ll probably have to deal with some fallout regarding gender relations and glass ceilings and possibly a civil lawsuit that leads to parental emancipation, but these can all be learning opportunities, amirite?! Minor squabbles and doubts about the validity of your love as a mother are nothing when compared to the glimpse of the “real world” you’ll be giving them.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
Over a month ago I threatened my 5 kids that still live at home (I have 8 total) that unless they cleaned their rooms and the upstairs hall we would NOT get a Christmas Tree. The younger 3 girls replied ‘we don’t care—we are getting a tree at Dad’s!’
Now, I have stuck to my guns, yet am crying inside …. I need a tree!
Welcome to Threat Regret. Threat Regret occurs almost immediately after you’ve issued a threat that you know you cannot carry out or the carrying out of which will punish you more than the kids.
Every parent there has experienced Threat Regret. Even me.
Last week I told my kids that if they didn’t fold their laundry by the time I counted to three–ok, ten (thousand)–they wouldn’t be allowed to watch TV and the Good Lord in Heaven help me, I was going to cancel the trip to see their grandparents for Christmas, no matter how much I’d hate missing out on holiday air travel.
Then I had to take it back. Stupid adulthood.
I had to say things like “sometimes, mommy gets very angry and says things that she shouldn’t. What mommy should have done is taken a deep cleansing breath and thought of a better consequence for your self-centered and lazy behavior. Mommy will think of that consequence now and also will start speaking in the first person.”
Then I’d sit around pensively while the kids wondered what I was up to. (Spoiler alert: I was sitting wondering how long I had to sit around looking pensive.)
The point is, if you’re experiencing Threat Regret, admit to making a mistake. I hear it makes children see their parents as humans and not just god-like creatures.
Get the tree and enjoy it.
Or get the tree and insist that it’s yours only. Any time you see one of the kids looking at the tree and enjoying it, yell “avert eyes! avert eyes until your room and upstairs are cleansed!”
And have the kids sweep up the needles.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My boyfriend moved into my place about a month ago, and I just barely moved in myself, so it’s a work in progress. So while I try to work on it in my very limited free time, there’s still a lot to be done.
As my boyfriend and I were working around the house the other day, he was going through a pile of things that were mine/my family’s, and he started throwing some of it away. For example, I got upset because he tried to throw away sunglasses that belong to my niece.
We started arguing over the things he was trying to throw away, and he told me that he’s trashed other stuff of mine too. I was appalled. He said that I wouldn’t miss these items, and claimed that I’ve been hoarding too much stuff.
I’ve tried to reason with him. I’ve tried explaining that I have anxiety over the littlest things and he is stressing me out more. His excuse is that these “items” aren’t that important at all. Please help.
If I Wanted My Boyfriend To Throw My Stuff Away, I Would Date A Sanitation Worker
Of course this stuff isn’t important to him. It’s not HIS stuff. He doesn’t see the importance of a jean jacket from 1983 with a “Men at Work” pin. Or your Go Go’s concert t-shirt. Or your x-rays from when you broke your nose in the 7th grade.
I’ve noticed in life that there are two kinds of people – those who like to keep stuff and the ones who like to throw out stuff. Personally, I like to get rid of stuff pretty much as soon as I buy it. But my husband – he’s your kind of guy. He’s got a pile of crap on the dresser that never budges.
So the good news here is that your boyfriend and you are perfectly suited for each other because you balance each other out. And dating him means you won’t die in a cluttered apartment with newspapers up to the ceiling.
Now first, we need to determine if you have a problem…
1. Has more than one friend suggested you go on the TV show, “Hoarders?”
2. Have you ever said to your boyfriend, “There’s so much crap in this living room, I can’t find the couch. Have you seen the couch honey?”
3. You have all 88 episodes of “Punky Brewster” on VHS tape.
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you may indeed need to seek professional help. But if you answered no, then your boyfriend needs to back off a bit. Yes, there can be some growing pains when you move in with your significant other. That’s to be expected. But he’s being very disrespectful when he throws out your belongings without your permission.
Sit down and have a discussion with him. Tell him you do not want any more of your things thrown out without your consent. And then make a real commitment to spend a few Saturdays going through everything together. And make him a deal. He can keep his 9th grade wrestling trophies if you can keep the jean jacket. Fair is fair.
Good luck, Kelcey
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
When your flip flop comes off of your foot because it stuck to the kitchen floor, does that mean it’s time to mop? Can you tell me any other signs that scream someone needs to clean house? Like when the dust bunnies race to the vacuum cleaner, did I wait too long between vacuuming? I’m afraid I’m not very good at this.
Your question is leaving me a little misty-eyed, thinking back upon my days in college. I was infamous for leaving my dishes in the sink until they bonded to the stainless steel in a blanket of mold and decay.
Sometimes, if I felt the need to enter the kitchen, I’d spray some ammonia in the sink to cancel out the stench. A week or so later, I’d cave and just throw the dishes in the garbage. Cleanliness and domesticity weren’t exactly a strong point, I’m afraid.
Once I got married, however, and started introducing offspring to my toxic ecosystem, I realized I needed to get myself together. Overwhelmed, confused, and saddened by my incompetence, there was an especially dark moment when I considered buying a Martha Stewart book on how to clean your house.
But that was then, Pig-Pen, and this is now. Since my BC (Before Clorox) days, I’ve learned a few things about keeping my home sanitary, and I’m more than happy to share them with you here. So, keep in mind that it’s time to clean when you encounter the following:
1. Your children start naming the houseflies, field mice, and cockroaches.
2. There’s a ring around the bathtub. And the floorboards. And your boyfriend’s collar.
3. You’re considering calling your homeowner’s insurance and claiming a total loss due to “natural disaster”.
4. You start treating your bathroom like a public restroom, complete with squatting, hovering, and that thing where you use a paper towel to open the door.
5. Visitors think you’re jumping on the eco-friendly-home bandwagon with what appears to be a dirt floor.
6. If you’ve emptied your Fantastik bottle and replaced it with acetone before cleaning the countertops.
7. When you find the children/spouses/housemates/guests under the kitchen table declaring, “Snack time!”
8. Going camping in the mountains for some “fresh air” is more of a medical necessity than leisurely activity.
9. You find yourself kicking the laundry pile toward the washing machine because you don’t want to aggravate a previous back injury from that time you actually lifted the basket.
10. Have you seen that movie Pink Flamingos? (Yeah, me neither.) If you watch it and ever sigh with recognition…well…skip the cleaning and just move to another house, sister.
::powders face with Comet::
Now, I know this is a lot to take in, and I don’t want you to feel overwhelmed. It’s taken me years to get to a place where my husband has stopped suggesting we apply for a spot on Hoarders. That said, if this all sounds like too much work, you could always just remodel your home with black paint, carpet, appliances, and furniture. Dark hides the dirt really well. Trust.
::dabs Pine Sol behind ears::