A semi-controversial book came out back in 2006 called TO HELL WITH ALL THAT. Flanagan caught a lot of flack by talking about how conflicted modern mothers feel and how many of us may just want to be a housewife deep down. Whether or not this is true, much of the book resonated with me. I was just about to get married at the time I read this book. It isn't a great book and many complained about how Flanagan was often self-contradictory. But I think she also revealed how difficult it can be for many women to play so many different roles.
I am a wife and mother but I also work full-time outside the home and help to care for my mother. Until recently, I served on at least one non-profit board at any given time. I spend any spare time with either books or crafting supplies. It can be very hard to keep all the balls in the air and the one that usually falls is housekeeping. After being gone all day long, do I want to spend time with my family or do I want to spend time cleaning the bathroom? The same applies on weekends. So, I have piles of clothes sitting next to my closet and spots of toothpaste in my sink.
This state of affairs has brought Flanagan's book to mind recently. I don't necessarily agree with everyone she says but part of me sometimes thinks it would be nice to be a stay-at-home mom and housewife. I have fallen pray to the dream of the sit-com housewife who keeps a clean home, has fresh-baked cookies for the kids when they come home from school, has a martini ready for the husband when he walks in the door and manages to have her makeup and hair perfect in her New Look dress with the cute half-apron. I would like to be the kind of women who does homemade everything while maintaining a spotless home and a size 6 figure. I would like to throw dinner parties and backyard barbecues while serving on the PTA. Maybe I will someday. But right now, I would be happy if I could just clean the toilet bowl.