A few random thoughts on a book--
I just finished a Newbery Award-winning book that has been on my shelf for a while. I was pleasantly surprised. Essentially it's about a girl working through the fact that her mother has left her. At the end of the book, you find out that "leaving" means dying.
At one point her Gram tells her, "Being a mother is like trying to hold a wolf by the ears. If you have three or four--or more--chickabiddies [children], you're dancing on a hot griddle all the time. You don't have time to think about anything else. And if you've only got one or two, it's almost harder. You have room left over--empty spaces that you think you've got to fill up."
In the book, the main character, a thirteen year old named Salamanca, tells the story of her friend Phoebe. Phoebe's mother was a perfectionist housewife until the day she left. She just couldn't handle not feeling like herself. I'm pretty sure a lot of us housewives can end up like that--"pulling up our bootstraps" so that we look perfect. And just like Phoebe's mom, we can either whither away or snap.
As always, I advocate reading fiction for learning. And maybe this book is a good one for learning, as housewives and homemakers, to lean on Someone who really can handle all that we must do.