I'm the worst housewife ever!!!

I recently (about a week ago) switched from being a medical transcriptionist working from home to being a full-fledged housewife because doing medical transcription sucks. It’s boring. Mind-numbingly boring. Not to mention that even the doctors who claim to have English as their first language don’t speak proper English. I did it for 12 years. I have a husband and two kids to take care of and I was turning into a hermit because I never saw anyone but my husband and my kids unless they came to see me because I never had time to leave my freakin’ house and I had almost lost the ability to have a conversation without typing.

I decided a couple of weeks ago, with the help and support of my wonderful husband, that I just wasn’t going to do it anymore. We have a good family thing going on here, and it would be nice for our boys to have a parent around the house who didn’t have to hollar at them every time they made a noise because she had to listen to some stupid asshole with the letters “MD” at the end of his or her name because he or she couldn’t figure out which end of the goddamn phone receiver to talk into!

My last official day of work as a “home executive” or whatever the hell you want to call it was last Sunday. The night before last, after giving myself a week of summer vacation, I decided it was time to find that thing that used to motivate me to work 10 hours a day sometimes 7 days a week. What’s that called again? Oh, yeah…self-discipline.

Yesterday I was golden…up at 6:30, rode bikes to work with hubby (his work, not mine…I don’t have work anymore), exercised when I got home, showered, made myself presentable, went to the grocery store, came home and scoured the entire kitchen. You could eat off the floor in there, off the walls, even gasp the kitchen table, which up until yesterday at 10:00 am-ish was always covered in piles of junk mail. I made a lovely dinner that we all got to enjoy together as a family at our kitchen table (even lit candles!).

So, today…not so good. I did get up at 6:30 but thanks to a freak hail storm last night, W (aka “hubby” from previous paragraph shiver who from here on out shall be referred to as W because the word “hubby” gives me seizures) had to leave his bike at work and catch a ride from a coworker. No bike ride this morning. Instead, I drove him to work and then went to the grocery store to get what we needed for me to make dinner tonight. I did exercise when I got home. Then I put all the stuff for dinner into the crockpot. After that I did…nada…nothing…zip…zero. I’ve been sitting here reading the SDMB all day long and it’s damn near 3:00 p.m.

PLUS…Dinner is ready. It’s ready but it doesn’t look good. It tastes really good. But it really, truly looks like something from a horror movie. I had the intention of making chicken and rice soup. Used a recipe and everything. I had to have a friend look up a recipe for me because I really am that much of an idiot when it comes to the internet. But it’s not soup. It’s chicken and rice goo. The rice is no longer rice…it’s a big smooshy white mess. You can tell that there were carrots and celery put in originally, because when you stir it…there are orange and green, uh, smudges amidst the rice goo and the chicken.

I originally started posting this because I was going to ask someone, ANYONE! (hopefully there’s at least ONE professional housewife who reads this) to help me fix it. But I realize now that it’s beyond fixing. Like I mentioned before, it DOES taste quite good, but my children will scoff at putting something that LOOKS like this into their mouths. Maybe I should blindfold them and tell them it’s a new menu item from BK?

So, I’m going to change my original goal to be just plain 'ol HELP ME!!! I’m only 34, so I’m young enough to learn how to do this right (I think). Any dopers out there who have been in a similar situation? Changing careers in midstream? Any advice will be appreciated. Even if it’s bad advice. Especially if it’s bad advice, actually. Then I can read it and go “Well, at least I don’t do THAT!”

For the soup: Garnish is your friend. Cheese, parsley, a dusting of paprika, breadcrumbs, whatever, just scoop it into bowls and cover the mess up. If it tastes great, it won’t matter how it looks once you get past the first bite.

Dilute the soup with chicken bouillon or some other flavorful broth. Not water, that will just make it bland and, well, watery. Since the rice has already lost all its rice-grain integrity, stir or whisk the soup up vigorously after adding a little of the extra liquid to get it a nice even, creamy consistency.

Cut up a few more carrots and celery and put them in the soup to simmer just about 15 minutes before serving, to provide some texture contrast. Call it “cream of chicken gumbo with vegetables”.

Can’t help you with your career questions, I’m afraid, but that should fix the soup.

Pick up the phone and order a pizza?

Rice, pasta, etc. shouldn’t be added to the crockpot until later (the last hour or so) in the recipe because it becomes a big smooshy white mess. Vegetables only need about half the cooking time (4-5 hrs). Basically, the only thing that needs to cook all day long is the meat/water/broth.

I’ll bet the dog will like the stuff in the crockpot. :smiley:

AFAIK not fixable, rice or pasta in soups only needs to be cooked for 20-30 min or so. After that you start getting rice or pasta flavored mush.

Maybe for next time you could consider trying to make your own fresh pasta since you have time to kill.

I am about to have a career change myself, just put in notice at work. I am starting my own business (goodbye frying pan, hello fire). I am looking forward to some additional “flexibility” in my life schedule even when it means working 10-12 hours a day. OR at least if I am working big hours…its cuz I have the money to show for it.

On preview I see Kimstu is a better cook than I. <bows humbly>

Casual housekeeping. The Pit.

Nah.

Off to MPSIMS.

Veb

Sorry, Veb. This is my first day of actually posting anything and I guess I don’t have a handle on all the rules yet. I’ll get the hang of it eventually. :smiley:

You are certainly not the worst housewife ever! I’ve been doing it for over 15 years now, and I am currently sitting in front of my computer, as I have been doing for most of the day, surrounded by unfolded clean laundry on one side, dirty laundry in front of the utility room on the other, and an incredibly filthy living room behind me.

As for dinner - oh, Lord, they’re going to want dinner again??

InternetLegend, I love you. Can I curl up in your lap and call you “mom” while you stroke my hair and tell me everything will be okay? I’m tellin’ ya, this housewife shit is HARD when you try to do it right. I might need to go back to a work for a month just to get a rest, after only 1 day of balls to the wall housewifery!

Ahaha, no advice on the housekeeping bit, but GOD I share your pain on the transcription. That’s what I do; and, yes, it’s mindnumbingly fucking boring and perhaps one of the most frustrating jobs I’ve ever had. I love somehow translating “Theadfjanjshmscracklepopsmof” into “The patient was alert and oriented.” Fucking shits, they KNOW someone is transcribing this stuff and that it’s IMPORTANT, why in the blue fuck can’t they SPEAK HALF-WAY COHERENTLY?

Uh, good luck with your dinner and stuff.

Since no one else has posted them yet, I’m going to offer you a couple of popular and useful web sites.

Flylady.com offers some useful approaches to keeping the house clean and organized. Following her advice has definitely helped me keep my house. It’s a little cheesy, but under the heartwarming glurge is practical, useful systems. Sign up for her mailing list, then use your filter to block whatever you don’t use- she keywords them for easy filtering.

Saving Dinner, for about the price of a cookbook, offers weekly menus and categorized grocery lists for easy shopping. I’ve been using her service for about a year now, and am eating a lot better than I used to, including more vegetables. I’ve also learned how to cook a lot of foods that my mother never used to make.

Dear Fisher,
I get Flylady’s emails every day, and she’s great. But sometimes after a day of working on the house and chasing kids I want to send a reply to her “Start your evening routine now” message that says “go fuck yourself, I’m gonna sit here with a beer and relax!!!”

Let me second “Flylady”.

She’ll send a ton of emails you don’t need, so just go ahead and delete them and don’t feel like your missing anything- she’ll send them again. I’ve ‘graduated’ myself so don’t go there anymore, but learned how to get things done by her program and with her gentle prodding. See how you went to the grocery store twice in two days… that’s a waste of time and money.

Housewifing can be hard without routine and some discipline. I used to think “routine” meant “boring” but now I think of it as “efficient”. Once you get your routine together, you can use your spare time to do fulfilling things. I work part-time, volunteer at the kids school, dabble in a little woodworking, and post here (guilt free!).

Chat…

They get worse and even MORE foreign when they specialize. I am (err, was) an ESL specialist (what a stoooooopid thing to be) and have done nothing but OPs for the past 5 years. I got paid more per line/character, but typed less because I could hardly understand the bastards at first. I decided to quit when I actually started understanding them. The thought of having to work in the morning just made me wanna cry. And, yeah…they know that there’s someone on the other end of the phone line, they just don’t care!

Ca37,

Thanks so much for your reply. I really do love flylady and most of the time her emails make me smile, but…ugh! Who does all that stuff EVERY day? Where’s my laundry??? Well, it’s in the hamper. Where are my shoes? They’re in my closet! I really do like her system, she rocks. I’m breaking the “no whining” rule, I know I am but dammit! I need a freakin’ break!!!

Tell the family it’s chicken risotto. Put some cheese on top. Or tell them it’s congee or something.

After that, have a drink.

Why the hell do they want dinner, anyhow? They got dinner yesterday!

I don’t do Flylady emails, they would drive me crazy. I borrowed the book and used the ideas I wanted, plus a couple of other books and organizedhome.com 's printable forms. I’ll give you the book titles if you like. I’m not a perfect housekeeper by any means, and I don’t do all I should, but I do better than I used to. I too thought routine = boring and stultifying, and found that it really frees up my mind and time for better things.

OK, so, the housewife thing is really pretty great, but you have to get used to it. No one is going to tell you what to do, and you are entirely self-directed. This means that you can do whatever you want, as long as everyone is decently clothed and fed and there’s no typhoid. But everyone is happier, and you’ll feel better, if you learn to do things the way that makes you happy and competent and that makes for a reasonably ordered and cozy home. You don’t have to be Martha Stewart, you just have to find the level that suits you and your family. You should not be cleaning all day long.

You now have a lot of freedom and some time to pursue your own interests! Yay! You can get out and see friends, or take a class, or start learning that skill you always wanted to learn, or take the kids to the creek and spend the afternoon wading and finding rocks.

I should really get a Crock-Pot. I have no idea how to use one. But since it’s over 100 degrees here, I’ve been feeding everyone sandwiches. DangerGirl wants macaroni and cheese tonight, the kid has no concept of seasonal appropriateness…

Um, so I hope you have fun.

Ive gone back and forth over the years, working outside the home - then in - then out again. Currently, I’m outside at a great job that I love, but it’s just a job not a career so that makes it easier knowing I’m not dependant on the money and just enjoy being around other grownups.

I went through spurts of loving to stay at home and hating it with a passion because I was bored out of my mind. DH says I’m happiest when I feel like I’m contributing something to a worthwhile cause and he’s right.

Preparing a fancy, schmancy nutitionally balanced meal for their family is considered worthwhile to some women - just not this one. I could eat out every day for every meal and be happy, happy, happy. Dusting my stove once a week is a goal of mine. Unfortunately, when I DO cook, it turns out decent so the family clammers for homecooked meals often enough that I won’t reach that goal anytime soon, but a woman can dream, right?

Hobbies are good. Do you have any? When I had time I liked to design and sew quilts. I love flowers but hate to weed, so once the flowers are taken over by weeds I rip it all out and plant new ones. Works for me.

I like Flylady’s concept, just not her system so I took from her what worked for me and ditched the rest. I also declutter like hell so there is much less to clean. No one will ever call me Susie Homemaker, but the floors aren’t sticky (much) and social services hasn’t taken the kids yet so I think I’ve found my happy balance. I hope you do too :smiley:

Don’t forget to schedule time to keep the homemaker content. In the first place, you owe it to yourself since you are part of the family you are trying to nurture and second, you won’t feel guilty if you write it into your schedule.

Make a list of “to do” things. Start the list with “Make a list.” As soon as you’ve made the list, mark it off. See? You’re on your way already…

Do you meditate? Some people have more energy if they start the day with twenty or twenty-five minutes of meditation – or work it in mid-morning.

Are your children home with you?

I feel your pain, having come to domesticity late in life myself.

I won’t bore you with the back story but I was 45 when I found myself at the helm.

That was a few years ago now, and I’m still learning. I have developed new respect for domestic goddesses the world over.

Cooking meals was the worst. Three times a damn day. Are you kidding me with that? For the first two years it seemed like I’d just get everyone fed, the mess cleared up, a couple of hours would go by and they’d all just want to get fed again. Damn.

I have learned a couple of things which I consider nuggets of wisdom.

Firstly, it’s much easier to keep your house clean than to get it clean. So take advantage, whenever you have to do the ‘big’ cleanup, (y’know, when company’s coming, holidays etc.), and invest some discipline and organization in just keeping in up. You will reap great rewards, believe me, but you do need to be organized.

And secondly, (and this is REAL wisdom), when you just don’t have time to clean up and company is on it’s way, get out a ladder, spread some newspapers underneath and set the ladder up. You see, a ladder in open view indicates home repair or renovation, in which case, any guest must accept conditions graciously and non judgementally.

That’s all I’ve got in 4 years, hope your results are better.