Staying with my mother-in-law for the last week gave me the privilege of playing with some of her fabulous small appliances and gadgets. She is the best resource for homemaking tricks. Really.
I didn’t embrace my role as a homemaker when I first got married, and would bristle with indignation whenever I received a kitchen gadget as a gift. As if! When I married her son, he and I both worked about the same amount of excessive hours that is typical for New York couples. Maybe we’d leave the office around 7 or 8. Have dinner and put in a few more hours from home. Boy, I don’t miss those 60 plus hour work weeks with a pager on call 24 hours a day. Pagers, remember those? Although today I continue to be on call 24 hours, 7 days a week, my clients (kids) are much cuter than those cranky old Wall Street techno nerds (I say that lovingly because I married one, ha ha) and significantly more pleasant.
Where was I? Oh, the kitchen gadgets. Indignation. I wasn’t exactly a hard core feminist when I met my husband, but I had been a professional woman supporting myself long enough in the wilds of Manhattan to have a heavy dose of tension when trying to divide up domestic duties with my new spouse. Call it practical feminism, perhaps. He worked for money. I worked for money. While the paychecks weren’t exactly equivalent, the time spent to earn them was. We both needed and deserved equal rest and recreation, so it made perfectly good sense to me that we would both contribute equally in the care of our household. So when I received gifts for the home and he got, well, socks, ties, games or puzzles, I wanted to shake my fists and scream. This is not what I signed up for! I’d swallow that lump of rage and try to accept my tools of domestic enslavement with as much graciousness that I could muster accepting that the culture from which he came would likely not be changed by me.
Time passed, babies came, and I’d like to think that I’ve mellowed with age. He runs a company and I run a household, a couple of them, even. Our roles and responsibilities are about as traditional as it gets and I consider it good fortune that I get to choose a career as flexible, creative, compassionate and gratifying as raising up my kids. Not everyone finds satisfaction with child and household care, so I applaud all women who find work that fulfills them best. Happy, responsible mommies, are the best mommies. The end. Only, to settle the age old pick-up-your-socks fight, we’ve hired a housekeeper.
Today, I’m thrilled with my mother-in-laws nifty little gadget discoveries. We get together and have a lot to share. Last year I was all fired up from my Vitamix. She was like, yeah, I’ve had one of those for ages. My new dehydrator? She scoffs (not really, because she’s too nice to scoff), kid, have you been living under a rock? Ah, but I got her with my spiralizer. Finally I have something fun and quirky (and useful) to share with her for our next visit – zucchini noodles.
What nifty little gadget can you never part with?