How Did She Do It?

My mother was a wonder-woman. She wasn’t the type of wife and mother who got up every morning and applied a face full of make-up before making breakfast. She wasn’t the kind of woman who always looked put together. She wasn’t even the most organized type of mom. BUT…in a time when there were no cell phones or home computers, she managed to care for a husband, six kids and two aging parents all under the same roof. Can you imagine? Dinners at my house growing up, were like your average holiday today. We had no dishwasher or clothes dryer. Ugh! I am soooo lucky. What I don’t remember my mom doing much of was reading. She never read romance novels. You know those old romance novels with the purple prose up the kazoo. The books of that generation were usually hidden under the mattress unknowingly next to your dad’s playboy magazines. As a romance writer, I can understand the need to escape into a fantasy world where every issue is resolved by the end of the book. The hero never says an unkind word to the heroine. He actually believes she walks on water. There’s no rush to get all dressed up while you’re trying to squeeze a once toned size six into a size ten dress all while covering the cellulite you just noticed with the thickest pair of nylons you can find. There’s no frustration of not being able to wear your hair the way you want because you noticed a few of those pesky wisdom hilights sprouting up and framing a face that resembles more of your mother every day. Everything is smooth and easy in a book, so unlike the real every day hectic lives we lead. Our men? They plug along, facing similar issues with aging I suppose. But, if they diet…they usually lose weight while our boobs shrink and our asses get bigger. They take their time getting ready while they watch you struggle to change a diaper, get snack, change the channel, give the babysitter instructions and search the closet for the right handbag to go with your outfit. After which, you’re in the car and he says, “You always run late. You should manage your time better. By the way, you look beautiful.” This insult/compliment is said while he hands you an oversized wallet wrapped with a broccoli rubber band to put into your clutch that fits just a lipstick and license. Really? It makes me wonder how in the world my mother lived the life she did without reading a romance novel now and again. Oh yeah. She probably had NO TIME!!!

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2 Responses to “How Did She Do It?”

  1. I also think back to how hectic and difficult taking care of a family was even when I was growing up. There were only 3 kids and we eventually did get a dishwasher, but my mom worked full time and still managed to get a healthy and home cooked meal on the table each night. What’s my excuse?? I fear we’ve become so used to convenience that even the smallest household tasks feel too challenging. Today I’ll be counting my blessings for all I have–including the time to read some romance novels if I wish.

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