Housework, Decorating and Raising a Family: What You Won’t Find in a Magazine

As much as I pride myself in the art of design, home decorating and housekeeping (ok, that last one’s a stretch), a sense of creative humor can be absolutely necessary while doing these things in conjunction with raising a family. I have found some great photos and ideas in magazines and websites for do-it-yourself projects, but I have yet to see the one for making a plant stand from the tower of accumulated schoolwork, field trip notices, fund-raising catalogs and other assorted papers that come home weekly in my kids’ backpacks. What about small electronics cozies made from no-match-em socks at the bottom of every laundry basket? And has anything been published in the way of art appreciation for things such as front-door shoe-pile sculptures? As far as organizing closets, I’ve never seen the recommended safe floor-space allowance given for hide-and-seek participants.

I’ve been considering teaching my children the beautiful techniques of Mehndi henna art for those times they feel motivated to draw with their little fingers in the dust on my mini-van. And on the subject of discipline and housework, a time-out never worked as well as being sentenced to clean out the kitty-litter box. This is how I get most of my housework done, so don’t get in trouble in my house. Which reminds me of my all-time favorite housecleaning quote from dearly missed Erma Bombeck, “My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint.”

My husband would like to see where I read that there’s therapeudic value in rearranging furniture weekly or changing the color scheme of a room completely every season. He never knows from day to day where we keep the salt & pepper shakers. I don’t like things becoming stagnant.

So although there are many great tips, projects and inspiration to be found in periodicals, websites and books relating to making a house a home, sometimes you just resolve to grin, bear it and come up with your own.

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