I have been avoiding posting my review of To Hell With All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife, at first I was not sure why. It was a quick read (done in an afternoon), it had funny parts that I read allowed to my husband. It had interesting facts, reflections, and personal stories; some things I agreed with and some I did not. It bashed Martha Stewart a little, called attention the Housewife writers of the past, and compared in general terms the difference between modern marriage and the unobtainable ideal of Post World War II marriage. Yet I didn’t really want to talk about it. Half way through the book I stopped liking the writer, wait I take that back, I no longer respected the writer. And I think what it came down to is for the first half of the book she sites some facts and observations and then seems to not carry this knowledge on when she has her children and becomes a type of housewife. She also seemed to have no connection to the history she was reporting on, no correlation between the generations and how it influenced the next generation. Which I think for domestic observations, that is incredibly important. She reported it but did not come to any reasoning.
She was mostly writing about Stay-at-Home Moms, but referring to them as Housewives. It seemed she couldn’t decide if she pitied them or admired them. She herself was a stay at -home mom but she had a nanny, gardener, and an personal organizer on retainer. Now bare in mind she had twin boys and I completely understand why she would need help during the day, but she didn’t really talk about what she did durning the day. It seemed she hung around the house all day so that her sons would not like the nanny more than her. But I could be mistaken. The book was handed to me as a semi-joke, I cracked it open and it started explaining about the laughable nature if the modern “white wedding”-totally up my alley, so I got into it. I originally thought the book would go into the life of a Housewife,what the duties were maybe some methods of maintaing the home, methods of chores, and time rotation of activities (change your sheets every week, wash the inside of the fridge once a month, etc) but the book only briefly referred to old standards. One thing that she did mention of instructional books of 50s housewives, which amused me thoroughly
“She should take time to rest and relax during the day so that she is not exhausted and depleted come whopee hour” Whoops. 😉 No more six hours of yard work days for me.
Overall it seemed like a combination of essays where she should have limited reference to her own home life’s activities. Her reflections on her mom were very touching, the omission of her husband’s activities in the house and during the early years of her sons were suspect, and the point where she ended it seemed awkward. Overall I am not ticked off I read it, it gave me other things to think about but it was not the book I thought it would be.