Archive for February, 2010

Being a woman

Being a woman comes with many responsibilities- earning respect at our jobs through hard work, raising children to be the best they can possibly be, making relationships work by always listening and giving advice- and often, because of these responsiblities, we let our own well being fall to the wayside.

When was the last time you did a breast exam? Had a pap smear? Got your teeth cleaned?? For many, finding the time for these kind of appointments is difficult enough. Add to that a sense of fear or even just being uncomfortable and the days, months and years seem to fly by before we realize that they are well overdue.

A breast exam is easy and you can do it yourself at home with no appointment. To make it easier on you, I found a site that tells you exactly how to do it here. Still unsure? Check out YouTube for videos if you’re a more visual person. It’s not hard and could save your life.

A pap smear is a little more challenging and has three difficult steps. You have to call and make an appointment, which for some is the hardest part. You obviously have five extra minutes in your day if you are sitting here reading this. Go ahead and call now. I’ll wait.

Great! Now is the next hard part- actually going to your doctor’s office, putting on the flimsy gown (does the opening go in the front or back? For these appointments, have it open in the front. They will probably do a breast exam for you as well), and showing off the goods to your doctor. Even after having two kids and going to these appointments for 10 years, this is still difficult for me. Easier, yes. But still not fun.

Now comes the last hard part- waiting for your pap results. This can take anywhere from a week to a month, but if you haven’t heard from your doctor after two weeks, give them a call!! No need to stress out for any longer than you have to. Usually if everything is okay they will send you your results in the mail and if something was abnormal they will call. Ask your doctor at your appointment what to expect.

And now, the dentist. We’re supposed to go every 6 months to get a cleaning. If you have cavities or any other dental work that needs to be done, you may have to go back for a second appointment. A lot of people are afraid of the dentist or the dentist’s drill. But keep in mind that 30 minutes of you, gaped-mouthed with that bright light shining in your face is WAY better than years of pain and lost teeth. If you brush at least twice a day and floss regularly, you shouldn’t have too much to worry about anyway.

So ladies, consider this your wake-up call. You are important! You deserve to be healthy! And trust me, you will feel so much better when it’s all out of the way and you know everything is okay. Do it for yourself, do it for your friends, do it for your family. Because no one wants to lose you to cancer. Or smell your nasty breath.

Respect

Recently a friend of mine from an online forum I frequent posted about respect in a relationship. We all want to feel respected, especially by our significant others, but sometimes over time we lose touch with one another. Things become routine and we forget to go the extra mile to make sure those around us feel special. There are even times when we can go the extra mile but choose not to because we don’t feel it will be appreciated or returned.

I sat down with my husband that night and asked him “what makes you feel respected?” He sat there for a while and couldn’t really come up with a good answer. I asked him “what could I do to make you feel more respected?” and he jokingly answered “if you and the kids met me at the door when I come home, all dressed up with smiles on your faces and the house was clean and dinner was on the table.” He immediately laughed it off and we made some jokes about ’50s housewives meeting the husband at the door with a smile and a scotch and the smell of meatloaf wafting in from the kitchen. But even though he laughed it off, I knew a part of him really did want that. Mental note.

The next day I made sure the kids were dressed (I always dress them in the morning but they somehow manage to lose clothes throughout the day) and I fixed my makeup right before he came home. We all greeted him with smiles and hugs and you know what? He was in a good mood for the rest of the night, which in turn made the rest of the family happy.

Then last night I was being super lazy and didn’t manage to start my routine until late in the day. I was still exercising when my husband came home, the kids’ toys were scattered all over and dinner wasn’t started. I could sense this made my husband a little stressed, which in turn made me stressed and of course the kids could sense this, and they became agitated. I felt really guilty.

So today was back to my normal routine. I started dinner on time and made sure all the little messes around the house were taken care of. It took my about 15 minutes to get the house in order. Not much time at all! Husband came home after a 14 hour work day, kids ran up to give hugs, I greeted him with a smile and handful of broccoli ready to go in the steamer and lo and behold, he was happy again. Even when his work called and asked him to drive all the way back to let someone in, he laughed it off.

I have to marvel at how easy it is to make a man happy. Attention, food and maybe a beer here and there. I put so much work into making my kids happy- my whole day, in fact- that taking 15 minutes out of my day to make sure my husband is happy is a walk in the park.

So ladies, sit your husbands down. Ask them what makes them feel respected. You may be surprised at the answer and even more surprised at how easy it is to make him feel important.

2000 Flushes Coupon

If you’ve been reading, you know I recommended using a drop-in toilet bowl cleaner to make those horrid toilet scrubbing sessions a little less frequent.  Here’s your chance to try it cheaper! Get $1.00 off 2000 Flushes Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner here!

Clothing Challenge

To start off The Perfect Housewife with a bang, I am proposing a Clothing Challenge.  This is something we’ll be doing every once in a while to get you dressed for success- whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, student or business woman.  The challenges could be easy…  this one is not.  You are not going to like it, but I guarantee everyone around you will.  Are you ready?  Then read on.

First, I want you to go through your dresser drawers and pull out every single pair of “sweat” anything that you own- sweatshirts, sweatpants, sweat shorts, whatever.  Now I want you to throw them away.

Catch your breath!  Let me tell you my reasoning for this first.  It’s two-fold, really.  First of all, sweatpants are UGLY.  I’m sorry, they are.  They do nothing for the figure and make even a hot celebrity look like a slob.

G and M  

Second, there is no appropriate time to wear sweatpants.  If you wear them to bed, wear pajamas instead.  If you where them to workout in, buy some running shorts or a pair of yoga pants.  Old Navy makes super comfortable Fold-over Yoga Pants for less than $20.  The reality is, you should not be lounging around the house in sweatpants all day.  I understand you want to be comfortable, but you can be comfortable and not look like hobo in actual clothes.  I guarantee that you will feel better about yourself if you are dressed nicely than if you’re wearing a holey pair of sweatpants and the stained sweatshirt from your freshman year at college.  Added plus, it’s easier to just get up and go if you’re already dressed (please, please don’t tell me you’re okay with leaving the house wearing sweatpants).  As an added plus, your significant others will notice that you look 8000% better and may even hand out one of those elusive man compliments we’re always looking for.

The “Perfect” Housewife

In case you haven’t noticed, this blog name is kind of a joke.  No one is perfect.  The point is that we are all on the road to being the best woman we can be- whoever she is.  TPH is here to make that road a little easier.

A while back my online friends and I came up with this obnoxious list of what makes a “perfect” housewife.  I’m posting this to get you to roll your eyes at how ridiculous it is.  Try to remember that we should all try to be the best we can be for US, not just because that’s what society or our mother-in-laws say we should be.

The Perfect Housewife always keeps the entire house spotless.

The Perfect Housewife only wears pajamas at night time and sweats to the gym. Otherwise she is dressed for company.

Hamburger Helper? Goodness, no! Everything is made from scratch in the Perfect Housewife’s home.

The Perfect Housewife gets up at 5am to make her husband a nice breakfast before work.

The kids are always dressed at the Perfect Housewife’s house. Ne’er a diaper showing or a stained bib here!

And speaking of stains, the Perfect Housewife always has a load of laundry going! Idle hands…

The Perfect Housewife laughs in the face of an empty fridge- she knows how to throw together a gourmet meal using a pound of chicken, 5 peas and an apple core.

The Perfect Housewife has sex with her husband every night and of course has an orgasm.

The Perfect Housewife is always cheerful and refreshed after her relaxing day of not working.

The Perfect Housewife welcomes her husband home with a 6 pack in one hand and the TV guide in the other. She knows the importance of encouraging his extra curricular activities.

The Perfect Housewife never ever gets sick.

The Perfect Housewife never worries when her husband stays out late. He must just be having too much fun to call!

The Perfect Housewife is sure to lose all the baby weight in a respectable amount of time. What man likes extra tub around the middle?

Split-ends and hangnails are just not in a Perfect Housewife’s vocabulary. Dishpan hands are so 1953!

The Perfect Housewife loves to vacuum. The more you vacuum, the more slender your arms get!

Take minutes off your cleaning schedule

If you were to Google “best cleaning shortcuts” you’d probably come up with a bunch of sites with advice like “clean up as you go!” and “fold laundry while you watch TV!”  If  had time to clean up as I went, my house would be spotless.  As for using my relaxation time at the end of the day for MORE chores?  No thanks.  

Over the past few years I have come up with several REAL time savers that are easy and quick.  Most of them are no-brainers, but if you’re anything like me (hello, mommy brain!), you’ll read some of these and kick yourself for not thinking of it sooner.  

  • Buy drop-in toilet cleaners.  Seriously.  Even if your toilet isn’t 100% clean, it still looks like it and if you have company coming over in 15 minutes, you have way more important things to be doing than scrubbing the ring in your toilet. 
  • Throw out your broom.  “But I have linoleum/tile/hardwood floors!” you say.  So?  Slap that Dyson on the bare floor setting and go.  So you might look a little weird vacuuming your kitchen.  Who cares!  At least you don’t have to deal with the dirt particles playing peek-a-boo with the dustpan.  They even make special vacuums for bare floors now and they’re not that expensive.
  • Keep a tub of cleaning wipes in your bathroom.  That way you’re not running back and forth to the kitchen or pantry or wherever you keep your supplies every time you want to wipe down your counter or your husband peed on the seat (again).  I love Clorox Disinfecting Wipes because they’re antibacterial and they smell good. 
  • Figure out where the major Points of Interests (POIs) in your house are.  When you walk into your house, what’s the first thing you see?  Your sofa?  Make sure the pillows are always straightened.  The staircase?  Always keep it picked up or buy a cute stair basket to stow toys or shoes that make their way to the staircase throughout the day.  The broad expanse of white carpeting?  Vacuum, baby.  What about your kitchen?  The first thing I see when walking into my kitchen is the sink.  I’ve found if the sink is empty by the time my husband comes home, he barely notices if the rest of the kitchen looks like I held a cooking show for trolls.  Don’t hesitate to ask your good friends what they notice when entering your house.  Tell them to be honest!
  • Clean your shower while you shower.  I keep a bottle of shower cleaner and a sponge on a shelf in the stall and every time I get in there I spray and scrub.  I do this BEFORE I clean myself, otherwise I feel gross and like I need to wash again.  This is an awesome excuse to spend a few more minutes under the hot water.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of stank.  Buy a candle, some spray or my new favorite, the Febreze Flameless Luminaries.  They’re a little pricey initially, but the refills aren’t bad.  It’s really pretty, safe to have around kids and with scents like Green Tea Citrus, Cranberry Pear and Willow Blossom, they smell awesome.