Who says what?

Novelist, mother, minister, and yoga teacher muses on books, babies, motherhood, and what matters with reverent humor.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Donna Reed vs. Donna Reads A Lot

I'm not one for public confessions, let alone blogger confessions, but let me just say that, given the opportunity, I would rather read than clean the house.

Not the juicy life details you were looking for? I beg to differ. What a stay-at-home mother does with her "free" time is , in fact, the stuff of day time (and Lifetime) TV. Some bored housewives, for example, have sex with the postman. Some, dust. I, read.

In her very excellent book, TO HELL WITH ALL THAT, Caitlin Flanagan delineates the difference between a stay-at-home mother and a housewife. To simplify, the housewife, once the children are napping quietly, cleans, irons, bakes, or engages in some other domestic chore. The stay-at-home mother? Well, who knows. If she's me, she steals into her secret room, breaks open her personal chocolate stash, and devours a novel.

You can tell these two women apart. All you have to do is enter their homes. Ever been in the sparkling home of a mother with two toddlers? Either she's got a lot of domestic help or she's spending all of her "off" time scrubbing the toilets. (And don't get me wrong. I do spend some of my down time cleaning the toilets. Because they smell. And I don't want them to smell. I just only do it once a week.)

So, who are you? What are you doing during the private moments of your day? Five minutes here or there? Oh, wait. Don't tell me. You're on the Internet. Reading blogs. You're Donna Blogs A Lot. Well, God bless you. Some one's got to read this thing.


  1. I am definitely a housewife. A super awesome badass housewife who cooks, bakes, cleans, AND works from home all while watching the kids. ShaBAM.

  2. Badass housewife. The only housewife worth being. In my defense...I did just bake cookies on Saturday night!

  3. minfulmama, will you marry us?

    Cuz Bad Cohen and I could really use a housewife... (we can't afford to actually a pay a full-time housecleaner/chef/laundrywoman/butler/chauffeur/nanny)

  4. For the record:
    Every mother needs a wife.

    Though preferably one who won't sleep with her husband.