Friday, February 26, 2010


I am quite the klutz at homemaking, and I have finally discovered why! I found a blog entry called "The Seven Habits of Highly Successful Homemakers."

To be blunt, I have none. Let me show you...

First, Cheryl says that all children must be over five-years-old. Nope. I'm in Toddler Land. NEXT!

Second habit: start the day with a plan. My daily plans are limited to dragging myself out of bed when B awakens, making sure I'm wearing deodorant, grabbing my make-up bag, and high-tailing it to our baby activity du jour. Not exactly the plan that makes for a successful homemaker.

Third habit: basically, don't procrastinate. Ummm, did I mention that I went to law school? It was an exercise in procrastination. Technically, I am now a professional of a habit that DEFINES me as an unsuccessful homemaker.

Fourth habit: don't allow clutter to accumulate. Despite my persistent efforts to "simplify" my life, I have not mastered this habit. Specifically, I have an issue with books and magazines. Oh yes, and clippings therefrom. I haven't read much about managing that chaos. Maybe I'll shoot some emails into the blogisphere.

Fifth habit: good homemakers are "wizards at organizing it all." I'm so overwhelmed with my STUFF that I don't even have a chance to broach the subject of organizing it. See, I told you things weren't looking good for me...

Sixth habit: control the clutter during projects. Nope..."F"...Come on, it's a big deal for me when I get past the "fantasizing about a project" stage and actually make it into the "during the project" stage.

Seventh: the job is to make a home for the family. I might not really fail at this one. We always have food in the house. We always have laughter roaring. The highlight of all of our days is when we come together in the evenings. (It sure did take a long time for me to get to success territory, right?)

Despite my big "F," I really enjoyed reading this article because it highlights some goals I will (eventually) set for myself. While it's humorous to itemize my shortcomings, the truth is that I sure would love to be a genius at the work I do everyday. Oh well, maybe that day will come in my next career...or lifetime!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I haven't taken much time to read my favorite blogs lately, so in catching up I was interested to read about a new phenomenon: no adults working outside of the home. Yes, one of my favorite bloggers, Mandy, keeps a very interesting website called "Organizing Your Way." Her husband had worked for many years to support their ever-expanding family. In Mandy's last post on her personal website she mentioned that the hubs was selling his business to come home, become a stay-at-home dad, and assist her with home-schooling their four? five? daughters. Apparently her blog generates enough income to support the family. And I am impressed. I will be further interested to follow how this plan works for this family.

Admittedly, I was a fan of "Jon & Kate Plus Eight." When Jon was able to quit his job and come home to help raise the family, I thought it was brilliant. Despite the anti-social arguments to people becoming completely home-based, I think it is an ideal situation for raising young children. Ryan and I decided long ago that it would be optimal for our family if I were to be home with kiddos. I enjoy observing the milestones and playing at Gymboree. I wouldn't trade this time for the world. It has given me an entirely new, more enthusiastic perspective on life. Having said that, wouldn't it be special for Ryan to have the opportunity to partake in these moments? While I know that his contributions to our children's lives would be distinctly different from mine (rough-housing, playing ball, etc.,) I do believe it would be well worth the time spent to engage in all of the daily routines.

Here's the downside. First of all, it is a difficult task to accomplish. In order to enjoy the full effects of two stay-at-home parents, at least one parent would have to have a part-time, home-based occupation that generated a substantial income. While this is quite possible, it is an exercise in both creativity (to find the task,) patience (to build the business,) and discipline (to create a balance.)

The other potential downside of both parents at home is the way it COULD affect the husband's perception of his role. Men often identify themselves by their professions. They pride themselves on the money and accolades awarded by an employer. In my opinion, this was one of the two fatal flaws in the Gosselins' plans. Jon seemed to lose his sense of identity when he no longer worked outside of the home. He sought to reconnect with the man he remembered being prior to his role of "Daddy" consuming his identity. I think this could be tough for any man to overcome. More often than is mentioned, it is also tough for some women to overcome.

Nevertheless, I will eagerly follow Mandy and her family as they explore how this new arrangement works for them. For now, for OUR family, divided roles give us a satisfying balance, but I can imagine a day when these roles will change. It will be a new and exciting adventure, for sure!