Friday, May 15, 2009

I Ain't No Donna Reed!

Anyone ever heard of Donna Reed? Remember her? 1950's and '60s television icon? On "The Donna Reed Show," she was a stay-at-home mom, vacuuming and ironing in wrinkle-free skirt and heels. Lovingly tending to her doctor husband and two beautiful children. Providing her family with an endless supply of fresh-baked goodies. Making wonderfully wholesome meals, served with pressed napkins, milk delivered via milkman and a gleaming white smile? She appeared to be the Martha Stewart of her time. Now that I am a wife and mom, I realize what a crock that was! No wonder my grandmother spent most of her adulthood depressed and medicated! Who could live up to that ideal? Certainly not me.

Case in point: It was almost 5 o'clock. My husband was on his way home. I looked around and realized I had to warn him about what he would find when he entered our home. I dialed. "Hi, what's up?" he said. "Um, honey. I thought I should warn you: Dinner is partially burned, but we'll just call it "blackened;" leftovers from lunch lay scattered across the kitchen table; peanut butter is still smeared into the chairs and your daughter's hair; a terrorist must have sneaked in our house and unleashed a laundry bomb because there are clothes lying in clumps everywhere; watch out for an assortment of puzzle pieces and empty Disney movie boxes you might encounter underfoot near the front door; I haven't showered today (actually, wasn't sure if I had brushed my teeth, but I didn't tell him that); our daughter is still running around in her jammies--Christmas jammies and if I'm not mistaken, it's May."

His reply: "So what else is new?"

If my mother could see me now, she would be appalled. Actually, during this conversation the doorbell rang, and I freaked. No! No visitors! Not now!!! Especially not Mom!!!

It was a man trying to sell landscaping services. I told him I couldn't talk. Something in the oven was burning. He didn't believe me. Poor young fellow. If he only knew that rare is the day when something isn't burning in our oven!

So what? So I'm no Donna Reed. Or Martha Stewart. To me, at the end of the day, success is getting my family fed and in clean (albeit, most of the time wrinkly) clothes and spending time with them. And we spend a lot of time together. Playing, going the park, swimming, planting gardens and flying kites. Better Homes & Gardens would not want to feature my home. But who cares? You don't fill up scrapbooks with pictures of your living room furniture. You don't savor memories of a clean rug or polished bathtub (actually, it's quite possible that my mother does. God bless her!). I couldn't tell you what we had for dinner last week, but I can tell you how much my daughter laughed when she and my husband wrapped me up like a burrito in a beach towel. But please, if you ever stop by for a visit, call waaaayyyy in advance! And don't mind the smoky haze in the kitchen!

'Til next time!


  1. hi erin,
    thanks so much for your sweet comments and stopping by my blog! i thought i would drop by and see what was happening in your neck of the woods, and boy did i laugh! do you think anyone actually lives like donna reed? maybe in the town of stepford but other then that nahhhh lol... but anytime you want to hop over feel free!

  2. Wow. What a great description of a day in *my* house! Thanks for the laugh!

    I am following you from the MBC Under 100 Club. I look forward to reading more!

  3. AMEN!! You just described my house to the puzzle pieces!
    I've come to the conclusion that anyone who lives like donna reed must be boring! I think my mother in law has a plaque like that in her house (to make up for the tornado that is usually her house!)