Friday, 2 September 2011

Dull women have immaculate houses?

Hats off to those super mums out there. How on earth do you manage to work, run a household look after your children and write blogs too! ? Today I'm gearing up to be a great housewife alongside re-thinking my career choices yet again. I'm officially on a blog break from scrubbing down the kitchen floors and wiping down walls and surfaces. This place is going to look immaculate once I have finished with it.

I'm discovering that although cleaning can be immensely satisfying and relatively pain free (unless you're cleaning an oven - or reaching on tip toes to get to that last cobweb in the corner) it can also be time rather tedious, repetitive and time consuming.

However it keeps you busy and focused. My cleaning repertoire is relatively mundane. Being a household of just two with the luxury of a dishwasher and a Dyson - there really isn't that much to do. Maybe that's where I am going wrong - perhaps there is a lot more to do than the bi-weekly wall and skirting board wipe and the bathroom and kitchen scrub down. (incidentally I hate having a white kitchen). Maybe cleaning is the answer - but what is the question...erm.. how long do you spend cleaning your household? And what is the must-do cleaning job of the day, week, or month?

Do people actually have daily cleaning chores. Perhaps I should recreate a Shirley Valentine style life - cleaning the fridge on a Friday - the TV on a Tuesday and the Microwave on a Monday? Hell no, she was stuck-in-a-rut and stagnant - that could never be me. But does having an immaculate home make you a dull person? Mmm. I know enough amazingly fabulous people with fabulously immaculate homes and they're far from boring. My personal opinion of cleaning is that the art of cleaning itself is dull. Unless you whack on some Tina Turner, draw the curtains, get naked and clean away those cobwebs...

This contagious cleaning cloud of thinking got me daydreaming about my nephews again... the little tikes make so much mess with their toys littered everywhere, their spillages, painting escapades and not to mention food eruptions. Having children must seem like one big operation tidy up?

Is no wonder that so many mummies are back into their skinny mini clothes weeks after child-birth - because with children there is so much to do around the house - endless chores and special requests. How do you ladies ever manage to get out of the house!?

Even without child there is - but you have to be that way inclined. I'm no show-home Schammy so for those of you who know me - this blog may come as a surprise. I'm not messy - but I'd rather be out hop, skipping, or jumping than indoors cleaning - today seems like the exception.

I've always believed that a 'Clean house is a sign of a wasted life.' But today I feel deflated or defeated - six of one and half a dozen of the other - so donning the marigolds, popping on the pinny and dancing with the duster seems like the shake-this-feeling-off-fast solution.

After all 'A tidy house is a tidy mind' I was reading some Zen warblings that said when you keep a tidy home not only will you feel better, but you will also become for efficient and clear in the vision of your goal. This will allow you to leapfrog your progress and achieve the results you want in record time. Umpph. Our house is always tidy (ish) John is the tidier of the two - (verging on OCD) but I admire his dedication to the cleanliness cause.

The kitchen is now sparkling - having sat down I feel side tracked to A.) Start looking for new jobs, B.) Google up on what makes a good housewife (yes, these sites actually exist) or C.) Wake up Johnny to get him to admire the kitchen.

I chose B and could not believe that advice like this existed. Googling is one of my favourite hobbies - try it - you might like it. Start with ex boyfriends, old friends, new friends etc - this is the funny part. Remember Peter from Drama group - look he turned out to be Peter the pornstar. Be warned you could be disappointed with the results (clearly not the Peter one!). It's a bit like the Facebook Guess Who game - only you can find out a lot more details!

Anyway - I clearly need to get out more. Back to the How to guides. Seriously why has someone written a how to be a good housewife guide - and why have I just spent time reading it. It's funny - take a look:

  • Have dinner ready. Plan Ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for his returm. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and a concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they get home and the prospect of a good meal is part of the warm welcome needed!
  • Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, but a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been to work with a lot of work-weary people.
  • Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.
  • Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives - run a dishcloth over the tables.
  • During the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will fee he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering to his comforts will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
  • Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Encourage the children to be quiet.
  • Be happy to see him
  • Greet him with a warm smile and shoe sincerity in your desire to please him.
  • Listen to him. you make have a dozen of important things to tell him, the the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first - remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.
  • Don't great him with problems or worries.
  • Don"t complain if he is late for dinner - or if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through at work.
  • Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or lie him down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.
  • Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.
  • Don"t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgement or integrity, Remember he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.
  • A good wife knows her place.

Pick me up from the floor - I can't stop laughing. Of course I'm not a wife - but near enough the next best thing. That has made my day. I need to get back to job hunting, or cleaning - being a good housewife sounds too much like hard work! Or perhaps I should go and by some red ribbon for my hair!

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Broody for a bike and a baby?

This week has been all about the running - or wunning as Toby likes to call it.

MadauntieSchammy is training for a triathlon! Most women my age are either tying the knot, expecting their first child, quite possibly their second, or, even just trying to fall pregnant...

But not me - the only thing I'm trying for is a triathlon. I am normal though (well, sort of) because I have considered the possibility of all of the above - they're just not at the top of my 'To-do" list right now.

Occasionally I worry I'll get to 40 and think 'Sh**t I forgot to have children' because there's so much more I want to do with my life. But do children really stop you from achieving your bucket/goal list or do they help you to rewrite it? Maybe they are the missing part of the game-of-life puzzle that make you feel complete?

Thankfully I am not alone in my thoughts. Uncle Johnny feels the same - and we're blissfully sailing along in the 'we're still not sure about children cruise liner' enjoying sleep filled nights and tantrum free days!

But... and there is always a but with everything - we love our little nephews to the moon and back - and our fun-packed munchkin days leave us feeling full of love and warmth - extremely tempted to climb back on the 'maybe we do want children one day fence'.

Today was one of those days, as was yesterday... and the day before. Because munchkin filled days are the bestest. Tobilicious always makes me smile ... so when Uncle Johnny surprised me with a Toby-lunchtime work visit my day got ten times better.

For anyone who has children, grandchildren, nephews or nieces you'll know how special it is to be greeted with a bright-eyed and warm rapturous reception. Before Toby got so cool he would shake his arms in excitement upon seeing his auntie Schammy - and it was the greatest feeling in the world. I felt extremely loved and wanted. Awww blesss.

No man has ever been that enthusiastic to see me.... and probably never will. Being an auntie is the best job I have ever had- which makes me think...if this is how I feel about being an auntie - wouldn't becoming a mother be more magical times ten?

Only the mothers out there know the real answer. But I'm sure they'd say yes! Making a baby is definitely the fun part - but bringing them up and nurturing them 24/7 - perhaps isn't quite so fun?? Especially when they don't sleep, throw tantrums and act up.

But they are completely priceless Last week at Shoreham Airshow Toby pointed to a aeroplane and told us it was one he flew 'I flyed that plane', yesterday he said my name badge said 'auntie Schammy' and today he told me he drove to this work in his Saab this morning drinking coffee'. Need I say anymore!

And today when my lovely friend Carli brought her beautiful one month old baby Evie round to meet us all - he offered her a piece of cheese! I couldn't help but look at them both adorably and coo.

She was incredibly cute and oh-so-very-tiny. It's amazing to think that just over a month ago she was curled up inside Carli's tummy.

What makes me feel all gooey is the thought of holding something you've made together - something that has your eyes, your partner's nose, or smile - it must feel rather special.

And as I held Evie I felt a pang of broodybabysyndrome. I caught a glimpse of Johnny and I think he was thinking the same too. Or maybe he was just anxious to watch the game of footy that was about to kick off on Sky, who knows!

But holding Evie made me think about a quote I'd once read.

'A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten and the future worth living for.'

Aww how sweet ... but we're not ready for that yet. Or are we? As they all dispersed... Mummy Carli, Daddy Paul, Baby Evie, Mummy Tanya and Toddler Toby - John and I had that do we really want kids conversation again weighing up the pros and cons.

'One day sweetheart, but let's enjoy each other first.' and on when the football - and out came the triathlon magazine.... a bike... a bike.. I think I want a bike first. A fast one with fancy wheels and go go gadget handlebars.

That will make my love for triathlons stronger - my days shorter - my nights longer, my bankroll smaller -ha ha ha! But I can't cuddle my bicycle - or can I?

And anyway 40 is the new 20. Why should I have them now. There seems to be a host of positives for us ladies who delay motherhood.

Halle Berry gave birth to her first at 41, J-lo at 38, and today 1 in every 12 babies born is born to a mother over the age of 35.

And it's better to wait... to be ready... in a book called Ready: why women are embracing the new later motherhood its universally agreed that older mothers are more emotionally able to cope with parenting. This sounds more like me. I can't even cope with a bike puncture, let alone a baby.

So for now, I'm going to be broody for a bicycle...and a baby... a baby later, much, much later!!

Today as John is watching the goal posts - I am moving them. 35. That is my cut off point. At 35 I will have completed that list..... watch this space... in five years time!!