Friday, January 1, 2016

Preparing to Enter Stepford

Hi, y'all!
I just wanted to drop a quick line about things I'm trying to do to make this transition to the January(well, today) Stepford Challenge as smoothly as possible.
Stepford really isn't an exclusive concept. I mean, the writer had to get an idea from somewhere, right? After watching the movie, I started to see that in all honesty, the concept of a humble, obedient, put-together wife is not really something original. I had watched clips from the 50's and 60's long before I had watched the movie. If I'm being honest, I had strived to be this idea to some degree since I heard of the Quiverfull movement. It seemed the two went hand-in-hand.
Anyways, I looked on the websites I had mentioned in my previous post, and started to see some similarities to those of a retro homemaker. So, to prepare for my self-proclaimed "challenge", I thought of a few things that might help....
-I got back into the habit of making a meal plan. I know y'all would like to think I stick to one religiously, but I don't. With the holidays and just overall fall/winter activities, I really haven't stuck to one since maybe August. I changed this in that, instead of week to week as I had been doing, I did a monthly menu for everything- breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners, and weekend desserts.
-One of the things my husband and I have been attempting to do for several months now is adhere to a budget. Guess who is the one more likely to overspend when shopping, especially with Thanksgiving and Christmas and birthdays? *raises hand* (*-_-). So, in order to hopefully stay on course for our budget and do it the Stepford way, I took it upon myself to start going to the "market"(our local grocery store) daily. Our local grocer is less than a mile away, so if weather permits, I may alternate between driving and walking.
-As I mentioned in my previous post, the website I preferred the most on how to be a Stepford Wife did have a reading list. But due to the above "help", I am somewhat banned from buying anything extra that's not really a need(plus, with all this cleaning, do you KNOW how much my budgeted amount for household cleaning products is going to jump :O?!?!). So, the books I will be doing my best to read daily are- the Bible, The Duck Commander Devotional(I...I mean, dear hubby bought this for me for Christmas! ;) ) , Created to be His Helpmeet, and The 5 Money Personalities(hubby gave the okay on buying this).
-I have told the kids about the challenge, which meant, for them, no more "full-on" chores(since, as far as I know, most Stepford Wives cleaned the whole house themselves, daily.). They will still be expected to pick up their own toys/clothes/books. Although I will be doing all the cleaning, I don't expect them to be slobs. Since yelling clearly doesn't work, and money seems to talk around here, I'm providing a money-based incentive for them to keep up this little bit. Let's see if it makes my job easier or not....
-I am "testing the waters" in several areas of submissiveness to my husband. This is probably the hardest area for me to give way to, because, although I do like and fully embrace the Biblical definition of submission to one's husband(which is partially similar to the Stepford Wives way), I have not practiced it fully. While the Bible gives a loose definition of what submission should look like, the Stepford Wives Associate has not. They have everything from how to act in public to how to act in the bedroom. I'm not kidding. Everything in their world shows total and complete submission to one's husband...and this is something I am totally not used to.
*Note- Depending on what area we're talking about, so far this has frustrated either me or my husband, or it has been good for me or my husband. Part of it's due to the website I mentioned previously expects your husband to be home daily. My husband is a truck driver and is only home a maximum of two(full) days a week-two half days and(usually) one full day. This is the area I personally wanted to work on the most, so maybe that's why it's becoming such an uphill battle(?)
-I have noticed they have a dress code. I do attempt on some level to dress modestly; however, the idea is to dress for your husband. While my husband has said repeatedly that he could care less about what I wear or don't wear, I have noticed that he does, through body language, etc. respond to certain items. I'm not saying he's a pig about it(far from it!), but he has started to say a thing here or there about wearing dresses, dress/skirt lengths, head coverings he prefers, and the presence of cleavage or lack of. I'm going to run past hubby if or if not I should buy any additional items to keep with the Stepford ways.
-I have started to get into the habit of trying(not always succeeding!) to make sure I'm presentable before leaving the bedroom for the day. As far as I know, Stepford's don't start the day without making sure they are "neat as a pin" most days.  If I'm going beyond the house, I have started to apply a small amount of makeup and run a brush through my hair. As it gets closer to the challenge, I will probably start putting on more make-up before coming out of the bedroom for the day, regardless of if I actually go beyond the house or not.
-I have noticed a lot of women(in the movie) do an awful lot of baking. I'm not exactly sure how this is going to help my attempts at "looking fragile for my husband", but with Christmas and all the cookies I've made during that time...and the oven on anyhow...I have started to get up earlier to ensure the kids have a fresh baked breakfast of some kind, in addition to making snacks here and there(not too hard with all the Christmas cookies), and lunches and dinners myself.
*I have to make a note here-
This, for some odd reason, has brought more joy and warmth(and I'm not just talking because it's winter) into our home than I expected. My previous way of cooking for meals went something like this- make a huge batch, eat for several days until we either get sick of it or until it's gone, make another huge batch of something, repeat...repeatedly. I did this for several years when first learning how to refine my cooking as a single mom because 1. I held jobs on and off 2. I often had more than my kids to feed on any given day(gave some to neighbors, family that "just stopped by", or children I was babysitting and could never tell what would be loved and requested seconds/thirds, etc.). The habit stuck. But since cooking and preparing the food, all the food, we HAD to sit down at the table and we HAD to do it at the same time. I have also been adding a bit more of a loving gesture to each meal-serving it on platters, trying to arrange it to look a little better on said platters, etc. I don't understand why exactly this is making such a difference, but it has. I may strive to stick with this after the challenge.
-I have also noticed that the women are supposed to be constantly dieting and trying to be a healthy weight(well, they specifically say "thin", but I have tried thin and the only thing it makes me look is gross.). So, I'm going to be working out and trying to incorporate more produce and smaller potions in my challenge.
-This week, I'm starting a "Homemaker System for the Domestically Challenged" e-course, which you can sign up for here, and also downloaded and printed off the planner mentioned in the course. I'm hoping this will help me in my attempt at adhering to "A Stepford Wife Schedule", while not becoming too...legalistic(?) about it.
So, here's to Stepford!
Until Next Time,
Mama Jenn

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