Ok, so I came across this picture today and the title at the top was "Are You A Radical Homemaker Failure?"
Did that mean was I a failure as a radical homemaker or a radical failure as a homemaker? Man, sometimes I feel like a radical failure as a homemaker. I'm a good cook....I have my downs, but they are few and far between. Most of what I make isn't gourmet, but there's variety and I'm not afraid to try something new. I cook with mostly fresh ingredients these days, and out of necessity, I can make something gluten free, dairy free or vegetarian (at least pescatarian) without stressing too much over it. I think presentation is important. My mother always said, "Pretty food tastes better." She rarely (and never when my dad was home) served dinner out of the pots and pans it was cooked in.
For a long time, I thought that "pretty food" just meant moving it from a pot to a serving dish. If the serving dish was decorated, BONUS POINTS! And, don't get me wrong, that DOES count! Really, I think it "counts" anytime you make dinner, no matter what it looks or tastes like.
But lately, I've thought more about the actual presentation of the food on the plate (think Iron Chef America, where judges can award points based on taste, appearance and creative use of today's secret ingredient). When it looks interesting or different...when you pair flavors together on the plate....it makes dining more interesting....more enjoyable. Most of all, it makes the other adults (namely my husby) feel like I cared enough to spend the extra time on plating.
I would say I am *not* a failure as a cook.
What about being the primary educator of my children? Well, having been a teacher for 8 1/2 years gave me a bit of a leg up, but even so, I think I'm doing ok. (Insert laundry list of things my "unschooled" (learning more and more about what that means...basically it's what most people do with their children before they hit "school age"...there's just some people now who do it a bit more deliberately and for longer) preschooler can do that many kindergarteners cannot). Without going on a prideful binge, let's just say I think M and S are doing just fine.
So, no, not a failure as the primary educator of my children.
Let's move on to house work. Um....maybe let's skip talking about house work.
This is the point that if I could be, I'd SOOOOOO be fired as a homemaker. This place is a disaster. There's just stuff everywhere. In fact, there are times I'm feeling good about how the place looks.....and then I step back and realize there's still a light fixture in the corner in the living room, a box of dominoes, sewing scissors and some mis-matched candles on the window sill and a stack of mail taller than the children (not really) on top of the microwave.
I have ideas....and excuses. I have physical limitations (my back can only handle so much, my thyroid is WAY out of whack right now and I have this crazy knee thing that's getting better, but still prevents me from kneeling), but they don't stop me from doing other things....
My Confessions of an Organized Housewife talks about doing things "better". It doesn't mean doing it all....just doing one thing better. Her theory is that when you're good at something, you're happy to do it. I just don't know, no matter how good I am at it, that I'll ever be happy to clean a toilet. Perhaps happy the job is finished. Perhaps happy the bathroom looks and smells clean...but happy to do the job? I'm not holding my breath (well, sometimes I do when I'm preparing to clean the bathroom, but you get the idea).
So, 2 outta 3 ain't bad right? Though last time I checked, 65% was still a failing grade....even in college it was a D. Not my idea of excelling at my job.
But why do I have to do it all? If I'm a good cook and a good teacher, why can't I do those jobs for three or four families and someone in those families who's not a great teacher or who thinks a microwave is the greatest invention since sliced bread....why can't those people come clean my house? Kind of like a mommy co op, right? (ok, just fyi....I love my microwave, since we don't do dairy anymore, we've realllllly cut out most processed foods and other than leftovers, I really don't use it anymore.) All I'm saying is why are we expected to be good at all of it?
After having all of these thoughts, I followed a link to the article and realized that it was more about "going green" and all of that. Not quite the article I thought it would be, but still interesting. If you're interested in following it, here's the link.
As for today, the washing machine is running, the dishwasher just finished and I'm hoping to tackle the pile of laundry on the couch and clear the kitchen table before the kiddos come down from rest time. Not sure I'm gonna make it, but I'll try.
Wish me luck!