So which vision of motherhood is ideal? Which mom had it best?
While on the outside the 50's housewife seemed to have it all under control, on the inside she was screaming. She was never really her own person. She was thriving to fit the images in her women's magazines of perfectly coiffed ladies pulling roasts out of the oven as the children played quietly and her husband read a newspaper and smoked his pipe. That bitch NEEDED her nap time martini! More often than not it was the only moment in her day that belonged to her.
So while it may seem she had things perfected to a T, let's examine today's mom and the advantages we have.
Rise and shine!
The 50's house wife no doubt had to wake up an hour before her family to shower, do her hair and press her dress so that she looked lovely for her husband when she went to wake him. She gets the older children dressed and ready for the bus while making a 4 star breakfast of pancakes, bacon, eggs, and fresh squeezed orange juice. After serving breakfast, she hands her husband his briefcase and kisses him gently on the cheek and sends him off to work. Now it's time to shuffle the children onto the bus, baby on her hip, looking bright eyed and bushy tailed. She waves to the bus as it pulls away and heads back into the house to begin her day!
The modern housewife slams her hand down on the alarm and tells it to fuck off. Then she punches her husband in the should to signal him that it's time to wake the hell up. She pulls herself out of bed and throws on the cleanest pair of sweats she can find on the ground. She heads to the kitchen because she doesn't even want to see the kids until her coffee is made. Once coffee is made she wakes the little monsters. She pulls a somewhat matching outfit out of the closet and tosses it on their beds and tells them breakfast is in five. Back to the kitchen she goes to make breakfast. But what will it be? Pop Tarts? Frozen Waffles? Lucky Charms? Pop Tarts win because mama's tired after being up late chatting on Twitter. The kids come screaming into the kitchen and sit at the table to scarf down their Pop Tarts and Sunny D. Mom is leaned up against the counter drinking her breakfast (coffee) and hoping the baby doesn't wake up until after the kids are on the bus. Dad darts through the kitchen tossing Pop Tarts in his brief case and filling his travel mug with coffee before running out the door. Mom glances out the window and sees the bus making its way down the street. "Dammit! Kids let's go!" Mom throws a couple bucks in each of the kids back packs for lunch and tells them to hurry up or they'll miss the bus. She slams the door after them and watches out the window hoping they make it so she won't have to drive them to school. YES! They're on the bus! Morning success! Now for round two.
The Days Of Our Lives.
The modern housewife's day is just a bit different. She still hasn't showered by the time the kids have left for school and now the baby is awake. So she pulls the exersaucer into the bathroom and hops in the shower to hose herself down super quick. Of course the baby gets bored in 2.5 minutes which reduces mom's shower time in half. Once her "shower" is done she leaves baby in the exersaucer, rocking the base with her foot while juggling the brush and blow dryer. She slaps on some make up and some (semi)clean clothes. Now it's time to feed baby so you plop him in the high chair and pour some Cheerios and Puffs on the tray so you can gather the dirty clothes from EVERY ROOM IN THE HOUSE. Because heaven forbid anyone place their clothes in the hamper. Once mom has a load in the laundry it's time to pick up around this pig sty but baby has different ideas. He's blown out his diaper and painted the tray of his high chair with the contents. Awesome. Before mom cleans it up, she takes a picture and Tweets it because her Twitter moms "get it". It's bath time for baby which causes her to run late to drop off snacks for her daughter's kindergarten class. After dropping off snacks she runs errands. It's time to pick up her husband's dry cleaning, drop off over due library books, hit the gym- hahahahahaha just kidding!- pick up more formula, order balloons for the birthday party this weekend, get an oil change for the mini-van, Gymboree classes with the baby are next, swing a box of baby clothes you don't need any more off at a friend's house, and grab some fabric from the craft store. The baby slept in the car so there's clearly no martini at nap time. Now it's back to the house because the school bus will be dropping the kids off any minute. You pull in just as the bus is arriving. Sweet. Once inside the house you realize you forgot to pull that damned chicken out of the freezer for dinner so you text the hubby to pick up some KFC then tell the kids to get to the table to do homework. The fighting between the kids started almost instantly. "He took my pencil!" followed by "She's looking at me!" completed by "I hate you!". Ugh. Just shut up and do your homework! You still haven't offered up your version of cleaning the house yet and you really don't have time for this. Stop to Tweet how the kids are driving you bonkers. Then grab some crap off the floor and toss it in their rooms. When will this day end?!
Honey! I'm Home!
By the time her husband arrives home from work, the modern housewife kisses her husband and hands him the baby as soon as he plops the KFC on the counter and tells him she needs a break because these kids are driving her up a wall. "What about dinner?" dad asks, baby dangling off his hip. With one glare from mom he understands that dinner will wait. Mom heads to her room and flops onto the bed and pulls out her iPhone. It's time to catch up on her Tweets. But 5 minutes in, the kids are fighting again. She heads out to find out why dad isn't handling it wherein she finds she's lost him to ESPN. REALLY? After a frank "discussion" about this mess it's time to slap some KFC on some paper plates and feed the family. This modern family sits around the table chatting about their dad. The kids boast about what they did at school. Mom vents about what a busy day she had and Dad talks about the deal he closed and how glad he is to be home with his family.
After dinner dishes are
So while it may appear that the 50's housewife had it all and that the modern housewife's days are far more chaotic, I'll take my modern day family any day! My husband is my partner and my best friend. I have a voice through my blogs and Tweets that my 50's counterpart didn't get the privilege to have. My days change every day and I never know what's going to to happen next. My kids are crazy and out of control but that is there personality and we embrace it. I may not get my martini at nap time, but I get my happy hour with my girls on Friday night. I may not be perfectly coiffed each day but my husband thinks I'm a hottie in my sweats. And each night I roll over and go to sleep happy about this life I have helped to build. Crazy and all.