Showing posts from September, 2011

The Secret life of a pretend housewife: Finale

All my dirty secrets are aired.  Here we at the finale.  It's been a long hard road of consistent blogging on a topic (although, not surprisingly, here I am a few days late).  A tough three weeks...

Just a few thoughts.  Part of why I wrote these posts is because there is a tendency out there to celebrate the women who are routine type people.  They are the women who do caring for their families 'properly'.  They are the women on the TV ads for cleaning products.  Not a bit of clutter, dirt, unwashed dishes in sight.  I have friends who are great at housekeeping.  I envy those women.  I want to be more organised, have more predictable systems and routines.  I've tried many times to be that person.  But it is hard, and frankly, I'm just not great at it.

So where am I now?  As always, coming to terms with the limitations of being 'me'.  I'll always have to work hard at keeping on top of housework.  I like having a clean house, but the process of housekeepi…

Useless advice from the frontline

One of the struggles I'm facing as my kids get older is to be empathetic to people who have younger kids than mine.  I know it's hard, I remember that it was hard, but NOW also has its challenges, and they often feel just as overwhelming as those early years.  It can be tempting, at times, to go, 'you thought that was bad - wait until they're 13'.

Which is not actually true in my case.  And is immensely annoying to hear when you are sleep deprived with tiny kids (so I don't say it).  I actually much prefer 13 to the psycho toddler years when complete irrationality reigned at every point.  It's just that there are always aspects of the 'now' that are stressful and scary too.

The tendency though, is for me to be slightly vague and fairly unhelpful at answering parenting questions.  I've been mentally developing a list of questions that I don't think I'm helpful at answering.  But probably should be.  I'm often your 'go-to' gir…

The secret life of a pretend housewife: Episode 3

'Failing at getting kids to do chores' is the title of this episode.  (And btw.  Wow. Episode 3.  This is very unlike me.)

One of the common assumptions about large families is that of course my children will help me.  That by somehow being in a largish family, their desire to serve one another will be stronger than other kids.  It's not true.  They're as lazy and self focused as everyone else.

So I still have to work hard to get them to help out and contribute.  Which is a problem, when you're as haphazard and disorganised as me.  So they'll make their beds diligently for a few weeks and then I'll run out of 'hassle-puff' (as I call it) and the whole thing collapses again.

Is it possible to get them to do housework without the charts and chore list? I think so.  As they've got older it's become a norm that if Mum asks for help, you need to be obedient and contribute.  So they do actually do lots of housework, but it still requires me to …

The secret life of a pretend housewife: Episode 2

So here's episode 2 - let's see if episode 3 ever appears.  A series is a struggle for me.  I'm not much of a routine person, which is, of course, what this series is actually about!

Episode 2: 'The Visible Dirt Line (VDL)'.  This is all about my haphazard cleaning strategies.  As I was cleaning the bath last week, I realised that I was motivated by (a) the visible line of dirt decorating the bath and (b) we were going to have a guest to stay.  So the dirt line motivated me to clean because I could see it and more importantly someone ELSE was going to see it.  Same goes for the mould in the shower, the footprints all over the bathroom floor and the toothpaste squirted all over the side of the basin.

I also swept the kitchen floor because it was crunchy and I was concerned I might slip and kill myself while swanning around the kitchen in my Ugg boots.

I tend not to preventative clean - it is reactive.  This is probably freaking out all my readers with great cleani…

10 years ago

10 years ago I was lying on the lounge with terrible morning sickness, eating Saos and cheese, watching the endless replay of the twin towers destruction.  It was surreal.  I wondered (in my hormonal haze) if I was going to meet my third child that morning - it did feel a little like the end of the world was coming.

What does memories does today bring back for you?

Does anyone listen to me? Umm ... well apparently not.

Last night we had the pre School Fete pep talk.  'No soft toys are to be bought at the white elephant stall' I proclaim.  'They are dusty and plus, we already have lots'.

'But Mum' they reply.  'You should have seen how cute they all were, piled up in the hall today'.

'No, I really mean it.  Please don't'.

So we get to 11am this morning and the 11yo comes up to Rowan with a giant cow.  'Please Dad, can you carry this for me?  It is very heavy'.  Of course, Dad is not too pleased about this and tells her that she needs to lug around her cow, since she was the one that purchased the cow.

This is soon followed up by the appearance of a giant, mangy looking dog that the 9yo has bought.

People are now laughing at us.  Fair enough.  It is ridiculous.  We now have two toys that are almost the size of small children.  We don't need any more items the size of small children.  We already have enough items this size - they are the actual sm…

Book week update

I survived my first Children's Book Week as a children's librarian.  It was full-on in the lead up.  Mostly because I work part-time and it felt like I was preparing forever.  Partly also because, as usual, I don't really know what I'm doing, so I'm making everything up as I go.  But I managed to pull off a 45 minute program for groups of 60 school kids (we had 10 groups through).

The program included a dramatic reenactment of the book 'My Uncle's Donkey'.  I was the donkey (see the photo) - it was exhausting because the donkey is quite busy.  Some of the teachers asked if I was a professional actress - ha, ha, ha (fyi - I looked miserable walking down the aisle at our wedding because I was so overwhelmed having everyone looking at me - and here I am.  Weird how things turn out).  Apparently I moved some of our staff to tears (tears of laughter).

I thoroughly enjoyed having the kids in the library.  Much more fun than the many meetings that I attend a…

The secret life of a pretend housewife: Episode 1

As I was driving into an empty car park at the shops at 7:36pm last night I thought 'last time I was here it was also empty because I was here at 7:11 am, what is my problem? Why can't I shop like a normal person?'

I also pick up a shopping basket, rather than a trolley, since hey, I only have to get a few things.

$50 and a half broken, displaced back later (since I couldn't resist the cheap toilet paper and I can't buy anything less than 2kg of self raising flour), I'm starting to acknowledge the need for therapy or at least a better shopping routine.

Oh no. But there's that word again. Routine. The bane of my life.
I don't like shopping. I find it tedious and draining. Which is a problem with so many people in my family who are only getting bigger and eating more and going through vast quantities of toilet paper. And we get our milk, bread and veges delivered so it shouldn't be that bad.
Yet I'm always at the shops at wacky hours buying only &quo…

The Reveal

So it's time for the 'reveal' (you know, those things they have at the end of makeover shows).  After 15 months of orthodontic work I have lovely new teeth that are all mine.  I'm happy with the outcome but happier that I don't have wobbly, fragile teeth anymore.


I had two baby teeth (my eye teeth) that had never fallen out and there was nothing else behind them.  They were sore, wobbly and due to fall out any day.  Two years ago I bit on a hard chip, I was in excruciating pain, my tooth started bleeding and it motivated me to get them looked at properly.