I'm still on this crazy curve where I have decided to drop back a notch and embrace the inner housewife, not only excepting where I am at this stage in my life, but doing it with a bit of style and fun of the 50s (see my explanation here).
So what does this mean? For the modern women out there, which really is all of us, DON'T PANIC!!!! I'm not submitting to a life of servitude and cleaning with a rosy cheeked complexion and a corny smile on my face, but rather changing a few things to make my days more cheerful, take a bit of pride in my appearance, make life more simple and let my husband...shall I say.."wear the pants" in our relationship. And honestly, if you're a stress head like me, it takes away so much unnecessary worry in your life if you let your partner take care of things just that little bit more.
So what is going to change? There are two easy categories and I shall label them "What I plan on doing" and "What I plan on cutting out and not doing." Alright, I need to think of some better category names, but you get the general idea.
What I plan on doing
Baking - I really like baking. I'm not brilliant at it, I can make some good things, but my repertoire is pretty limited despite the fact that I own a great stack of lovely cook books. I find it a good stress reliever, strangely, and nothing beats the smell of home baked goodies. Baking is also a big money saver and the things you make, despite the sugar, are better for your kids to consume in their lunchboxes because everything is minus all those nasty preservatives, colours and weird ingredients. This category also stretches to general cooking and here I aim to use as much fresh ingredients (so no packet stuff) as possible. Not a big change here because I generally don't rely on pre-made stuff and we butcher our own lamb and pork (literally...my husband does it), so I have a freezer full of meat. Nothing beats home grown lamb! Nom, nom, nom.
Gardening - We've done a bit of work on our garden in recent times, although it is still fairly sparse, but I found I really enjoyed it, even the weeding. There was something therapeutic and totally simplistic about it that was quite calming. I also plan on putting a vegetable garden in and have asked my husband to build me a veggie box, so I will just have to keep reminding him about it. Being winter here it's a good time to get the soil prepared for planting in spring so I need to get on to it. Ok, I need to get hubby to get on to it!
Glamour - Ok, when I say glamour I just mean taking a little more pride in my appearance. As mentioned in my previous post about this, I am a jeans girl...like all the time. This is usually teamed with a check shirt and cowgirl boots, or my R. M. Williams boots, so basically the wardrobe is pretty boring. I also look like a boy, despite my long hair. Actually my hair is always scraped back in a fairly messy ponytail so it's really neither here nor there. This week I have made an effort and worn skirts, put on some makeup (although not to the full 50s pinup girl look...I don't think I'm brave enough to rock the bright red lipstick!....I will do a future post on my 'toned-down 50s style')...and done my hair a little more interestingly (is that a word!). For example I did an interview on Tuesday for the magazine and I went dressed like this...
The skirt I picked up from the charity store the other day for the grand sum of $3. It's quite a full skirt and a bit of fun! The cardigan I already had. It's Merino wool and is very cosy. I mucked about with my hair (for ages...I'm hopeless at doing hair)...and came up with this...
It was nice to look a little dressy for a change!
Relationship - I think this warrants a post of it's own at some point because this is still a work in progress, but as I mentioned in my last post, I think there is a lot to be said for the attitude that women held towards their husbands in the 50s. Of course some of that thinking is severely out of date nowadays and anything that reduces me basically to being a slave to my husband is totally out, (honestly, he wouldn't want that anyway), BUT the idea of letting him lead the decision making process is quite appealing. Having input and my own ideas is definitely still going to happen, but I think that trying to let go of the reins a lot is going to reduce a significant amount of stress for me and make life a whole lot more simple. I find this a good thing. The whirly gig of this technological world, the mass of confusing decisions and feeling like the weight of the world is sitting squarely on my shoulders is getting tiring. I am perfectly happy to hand it all over to hubby. Don't get me wrong, however, I'm not passing on major stress and an early heart attack to my husband (!) He's the most laid back, easy going guy so he will certainly take it in his stride. I know he will also take great joy from looking after me and the family so it's a win win situation. The other side of this decision is that there will definitely be a lot less head butting going on. Where we might normal disagree over things I can just simply walk away, happy with the knowledge that he is quite capable of taking care of it without me (having to get the last word!) Where you might think I'm handing over all the power (this is not the case), it's actually a relieving thought.
What I plan on cutting out and not doing
Television - I actually don't watch a lot of television. My children hog it during the day, mostly playing different kids DVDs, which usually they then wander off and go do something else while it's still on. In the evenings after they have gone to bed at 8pm, hubby and I will venture off to our room and sit up in bed and watch TV then. There's never much on, and most of the time I am reading anyway and he is playing a game on his iPod thingo that requires him to build a fortress, keep his troops alive and go and attack other cities. No idea what it is called. Anyway, the TV is pointless and I am going to shut it down during the day so the kids are really limited to the amount they watch and I am going to stop my habit of turning it on in my room first thing in the morning (before I've even got out of bed), to watch the morning news program...which is usually depressing anyway. I think a little bit in the evening is ok but I am going to try and ween us off it, because really, it's usually only on in the background anyway.
Technology - This is a big one. I decided a little while ago that I am sick of how it is infiltrating every aspect of our lives. This fact is really highlighted when you have children. It's amazing, and quite frightening, that my almost 2 year old daughter can operate the iPad...and when you take it off her she screams. When you take the iPad off my 4 year old and 5 year old sons they also scream and cry. This is bad. How quickly do kids become dependant on these things? What happened to having a game of Tiddly Winks or going outside and building a cubby house? How often am I having to yell at my kids and get frustrated at them for this behaviour and slowly and sternly say... "Back away from the Technology"!! Enough. I think the iPad has it's place, and admittedly it is really handy when we have to wait in a doctors waiting room and that type of thing, but every other time they can stop using them. Technology also applies to me too. Now I know I am writing this on the Internet....so there goes that idea....but really limiting technology can make a huge difference to your life and save you SO MUCH time!! Other than using the Internet to write my blog, here is what I plan on cutting out. No wasting time on Facebook, which basically is full of ads and crap and nobody needs it. Seriously. I broke my smartphone last year while riding my horse and since I was in the middle of a plan I bought a simple phone to take its place. Honestly, it was liberating. I had a phone that I used just as a phone. Incredible! What a concept! I noticed immediately how much more time I had to do other things. Like live! I do like to take photos on my phone, being a photographer and all it's something I find enjoyable, and do like popping them on Instagram, so I shall do this on occasions, but I don't spend ages surfing that anyway so I think this is ok. I'm not big on Twitter either, only sharing blog posts, so it's not like I really need to limit that either. I do, however, check my email a lot on my phone because it's so easily accessible, so I plan on checking it once in the morning and once later in the afternoon, and that's really only because I do have a job and get the odd work related thing landing in my inbox.
Jeans - Alright, so I won't cut these out completely (!) because sometimes there are days when it calls for jeans (like today...tonight we are going hunting...which would be ridiculous in a dress....and horse riding...because I DO NOT ride side saddle.....) BUT it will be nice to wear them less.
Crap food - We actually don't eat a lot of processed food, as mentioned, so this won't be too hard. And I do enjoy making up meals from scratch and trying new recipes so this will be quite enjoyable.
Wishing I was somewhere else - Yes, this sounds weird, but as mentioned in my previous post I have been finding that I wish I wasn't stuck doing the housework and left home with the kids. But, this is where we are at now and it's no point in wishing myself to the next phase of our lives....because a couple of decades would zoom by and I've already hit the dreaded 40! I don't want to speed it up even more!! Accepting what is going on now and being happy in the moment it hugely important. I have to look at what I am doing now as being vital for the team (ie. my family unit), and really, without me, nothing would function well at all. Cooking, washing, cleaning and childcare might not sound important...but really...life would stop without me, there would certainly be no clean clothes, and hubby would go to work naked!
Stay tuned for more on my Step Back in Time!