Once you get married, you’ll become a regular Betty Crocker. That’s what I thought. I mean…I bought every cookbook I could find!
Who cared if I didn’t cook or clean before I got married?!?!? Once my husband and I tied the knot, I would magically become domestic. I thought I’d cook and clean, do the laundry, take care of my husband. Wasn’t that was a good wife was supposed to do? Your husband gets home. You’re in an apron putting the finishing touches on dinner. The table is set. He comes home from a long day of work just ready to put his feet up and eat. And afterwards you clean up after him (and the kids) while everyone else rests.
What is this? The 1950s? My grandma tells a story about when she went into labor with my mom. She was on the floor scrubbing her baseboards!!!! Why? Because her mom was coming into town. And she knew that she needed to clean them before her mom could chastise her for not cleaning better. Isn’t that ridiculous?!?! Nine months pregnant…on the floor…scrubbing baseboards! Every time she tells me this story, I ask myself why. Why did my grandma think the baseboards were so important? Because that’s what her generation was brought up thinking. That a clean house was a must. There were no exceptions.
Now my mom’s generation… the 60s and 70s. This was a time of peace, love, and happiness. Women didn’t feel they had to conform to the mold of a Betty Crocker. They felt they were more than that. More women were working outside of the home. My mom cleaned the house, did the laundry, made dinners. But she wasn’t religious about it. She didn’t scrub the floors every day. I sometimes remember “family cleaning days.” But those were few and far between. My room was never fully clean. If I was supposed to clean it, most of the things found their way under my bed and that was usually good enough for the time being.
With our children today, are we teaching them the responsibilties they’ll need to know by the time they’re adult age? That’s what I had to ask myself and I answered no. This is the main reason for my change of attititude. How can I teach my daughter how to take care of a home when I don’t show her?
By doing everything for our children, we teach them nothing.