I thought being a 1950s housewife would be easy... I was wrong

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock 

Last night's dirty dishes cover the sink. The table is stacked with paperwork and catalogues; I'm sure there is a fruit bowl hidden there somewhere, too. Someone has walked through the house with their shoes on, there's grass and dirt all over the floor. A mountain of washing needs to be put away and there's another load ready to hang out, but right now the baby is crying. He's hungry, so all that cleaning will just have to wait. 

I never imagined it would be so hard to get things done! When I found out I was pregnant with my first child, I was confident that I was going to be a traditional housewife, inspired by those of the 1950s. Mind you, I'd have to scrub all the dirty clothes on a washboard and wring them dry by hand if I lived back then. (How did they do it?!) I'd have made my family stay in the same clothes for as long as possible, and we'd have worn a lot of browns. I'm pretty grateful it's 2018. 

Since I planned to take some time out of my professional working life when this baby came along, I decided I would put all my effort into this new role, and treat being a housewife like a full time job. I planned to spend my days puréeing baby food and baking fresh snacks for my family, all while keeping the house in immaculate shape... I think somehow I must have forgotten I'd also be tending to a newborn child. 

I imagined that the floors would always be scrubbed and polished, the bathroom would be sparkling clean, the washing would of course always be carefully put away straight away, and dust? What dust! There would be no dust in my house! Not when I had all day to keep it clean, anyway. I mean, how much time would a baby really take up? My house would obviously be looking it's best at all times. 

Visit my home now and you'll see that reality paints a different picture. You might even say my life is the entire opposite of that housewife of my dreams, especially in those early days with two under two. The bathroom was (and still is) not what I would describe as "sparkling clean", my bed was (and again, still is) hidden under three large mountains of clean washing, and let's just not even talk about the dust, okay? (Still.)

In the first weeks and months, exhaustion doesn't even begin to describe the way I was feeling. Running on an average of two or three hours of sleep each night, sometimes all I could manage was to keep both my babies and myself fed and alive all day. The bare minimum was enough, because it was all I had in me. 

As the months went by, thankfully I regained some sleep and with that, I had more energy to devote to my cleaning tasks! Bless. Despite sacrificing what seems like every spare minute to keep the house in order though, no matter how I try, whenever I turn my back to complete a new task, my efforts from the last one are all but destroyed behind me in a scattered trail of crumbs. A quick snack for the kids is so handy when you need to get something done, but take your eye off them for just one second and there will be consequences. 

For some reason, my daughter finds the words "Play quietly in your room" to mean "upend every cube on your shelf", and upon my return I often find her swimming amongst every toy that she owns, which have all become a sea that covers her floor. Yay. If it's not that, she's found the Sudocrem. Let me tell you, that stuff does NOT wash off anything very easily. 

The inability to leave a toddler alone for even an instant can seriously hinder your efforts to get things done. Though sometimes they may make their own attempts to vacuum and mop along with you, don't be fooled. This will not speed up the cleaning process. (But it is pretty damn adorable.) 

Obviously with the struggles I endure just to keep on top of my daily chores, you can bet I have definitely not even started baking homemade treats for my beloved family today. Thank god for Tiny Teddies. Who even knows what's for dinner tonight? There's no roast cooking steadily in the oven, I haven't even got any meat out of the freezer yet. Lucky cereal is a healthy meal option any time of the day... right? 

Turns out I'm kind of hopeless at this housewife gig. Thank god it's not a paying job!