Channeling my inner Martha

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September 8, 2010 by Ellen V

The blog I present to you contains within it the story of my own successes and failures in becoming a housewife.
Definition of Housewife (n.) according to the Dictionary of Ellen:  One who maintains the home.
I am a wife (since January!), but not yet a mother.  I live in a home, but I work fulltime outside of it, which does, in fact, make housekeeping more difficult.  I have a truly wonderful husband who treats me much better than I deserve, and who is, according to my own definition, a much better housewife than I.  He brought a beautiful and sensitive shepard/collie/mutt of a dog named Dallas to our marriage.  I work for a church, and Eric is earning his PhD.  Together, we live on a lean, though sufficient, income.
Eric is an intentional guy, and it comes through in just about everything he does.  He is intentional about his hobbies, and he rarely starts anything he can’t master.  He is a really impressive photographer, and every time he pulls out his guitar he amazes me.  Recently, he began running–a hobby of my own–and, while he may not be finishing a marathon any time soon, he has quickly adapted to waking up an hour earlier to complete his workouts and wants to know everything he can about shoes, workout gear, techniques, recovery, etc.  Eric brings this same intentionality to his housecleaning.  He cares about the details and is always certain to be thorough and frequent.  Projects that make our house into a home–big or small–have generally been his area.
But recently I got a new job which leaves me a reasonable amount of time on my hands to recommit myself to housewifery.  Over the summer, we put some strategies into place to help me be more involved in the caretaking of our home.  We created a schedule of chores to be done each weekday.  We planted some pots with our favorite veggies.  We learned how to make our own laundry detergent.  I feel as though we’ve laid a foundation for me to step it up a notch!
I officially began my quest on Monday.  Labor Day, ironically.  Eric had a full day’s worth of homework, and I had a full day’s worth of freedom from work or my typically over-scheduled life.  I didn’t overdo it, but I made sure to accomplish the basics:
  • I made our bed, a task I have done only rarely and only when necessary my entire life.
  • I cleaned our bathrooms, our Monday chore.
  • I took our trash to the curb.
  • I made dinner for Eric and I, something he usually does alone or we do together.  While he was studying, I made pizza dough from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook, let it rise for 30 minutes, and rolled out 2 pies.  I made one with tomato and fresh basil from our pots, and one with Boar’s Head pepperoni, lots of red pepper flakes, and green olives.
  • I cleaned up after dinner, including hand washing the pans and emptying the dishwasher.

So you can see, I’m trying.  And while I feel accomplish, a busy week for both of us has meant a lackluster attempt to continue the trend.  All to change soon!


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