Un-domestic bliss

Pregnant with my first child, I often daydreamed about what motherhood would be like.

I imagined three or four golden-haired cherubs playing happily together in the rumpus room, while I hummed Doris Day style in the kitchen baking wholesome treats and meals for the family to enjoy.

Dave would come home from work and we’d all sit at the table to devour one of my delicious and nutritious home cooked meals.

I know it’s all very 1950s and not very pc, but that was my dream for awhile – my idea of pure domestic bliss.

Seriously, what was I thinking?

I must have been on crack with that vision, or more likely the victim of weird pregnancy hormones causing me to lose all grip on reality.

I don’t think I could have been anymore deluded.

Cue reality.

I’m in the kitchen with my slow cooker meal burning as I shout, ‘No hitting, gentle hands, share, and don’t lick your feet,’ to the kids who are in the rumpus room beating the crap out of each other.

There is chaos, mess, screaming, crying (and not just from the kids), fighting, burnt food, sloppy food, grey food and not a damn Doris Day in sight!

Let’s face it, kids will be kids, but the thing that really gets me is how completely and utterly hopeless I am in the kitchen.

While my Facebook news feed is full of mouthwatering gourmet creations, I battle to make a basic cheese sauce.

I don’t know why I’m surprised or why it’s taken me 37 years to realise I can’t cook. My grades in year eight Home Economics should have been a dead giveaway.

The thing is I want to be able to cook. I really do.

My limited expertise in the kitchen is not for lack of trying.

I am continually experimenting with new recipes. I mostly read the instructions and cook things on medium rather than high now. (I mean, who has time to let things simmer on low for 20 minutes? Sheesh).

Let’s take a look at some of my recent experiments.

Zucchini brownie slice

I’ve been working my way through the recipes in Sarah Wilson’s latest book and thought I’d try the zucchini brownie slice. It looked delicious and I thought it would be the perfect afternoon treat for the kids and a way to get some greens into Smiley.

The recipe required nut butter, but I didn’t have any, so I threw in some regular butter instead. Who would have thought nut butter was such a vital ingredient?

brownie

Zucchini and chocolate soup anyone? This one went straight into the bin.

Homemade pizza bases

For this little number, I borrowed my parent’s bread maker, bought all of the ingredients, skimmed the instructions, tossed the ingredients into the bread maker and crossed my fingers.

As the bread maker began to whir, I peered in to see how the dough was forming. It didn’t seem to be doing much, so I left it for five minutes and then had another look.

I repeated this exercise for close to one hour.

I texted my brother, who had used the bread maker before.

He told me to read the instructions again. This is when I found a funny looking metal thing lying on top of the instructions.

As I turned it over in my hand, I realised it was the blade for the bread maker. I had forgotten to insert the blade.

My brother happily announced to me that I had been looking at ingredients in a bowl for one hour.

pizza

My horrendous cooking doesn’t seem to bother my family too much. Dave is always very generous giving me a thumbs up after every meal even though he surely must get sick of Spaghetti Bolognese (one meal I can cook) every second night.

My littlest one is not as kind regularly giving me an overall rating of ‘yucky’, or running away from the table screaming.

In saying that, it’s not all bad and there definitely are a couple of Doris Day moments here and there.

For now though, I’ll stick to the basics and keep my 1950s vision of domestic bliss where it belongs.

Are you a domestic goddess, or a little more challenged like me?

Linking up today with Jess for IBOT.

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70 comments on Un-domestic bliss

  1. Susan Tyler
    August 12, 2014 at 5:44 am (3 years ago)

    Oh Renee- I just get the best chuckles from your blog!!!!! I too tried to do some homemade hamburger buns for the 4th of July( I refused to go to the store) – they served as hockey pucks for the local team….. our poor donkey at the ranch could not chew them!!! But- Never Give Up as PM Churchill said. For me- cooking ain’t all that anymore but I do not have a family to feed- just Larry and he has learned thatthumbs up works for more meals too! Keep writing- it is far more fun for us to read your blogs than for you to worry about theDoris Day Delusion- love to all the Wilsons,Susan

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 12, 2014 at 11:34 pm (3 years ago)

      Ahh Susan! And now you have me laughing. Those hamburger buns sound dreadful πŸ™‚ Glad to know I’m not the only one causing chaos in the kitchen. Love to all in Texas πŸ™‚

      Reply
  2. Jody at Six Little Hearts
    August 12, 2014 at 6:56 am (3 years ago)

    I find parenting much more in line with Lucille Ball!
    I love your breadmaker tale.
    I find it so frustrating to bake something that fails. I have a knack for making every Women’s Weekly recipe a huge failure. How is it their books are best sellers?! As long as you can bake 7 meals well you’re set I reckon Renee! X

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 12, 2014 at 11:36 pm (3 years ago)

      I have no idea either, Jody! Every women’s weekly cake I bake looks nothing like it should. Your Lucille Ball comment made me laugh. I think you’re spot on πŸ™‚

      Reply
  3. Lauren @ Create Bake Make
    August 12, 2014 at 7:01 am (3 years ago)

    Your dinner time chaos made me smile, it sounds very similar to what happens in our house! It must be nice to have a supportive husband, mine will happily tell me when he doesn’t ‘rate’ a meal I’ve made πŸ™‚ Thankfully my boys are little piggies and will happily tuck into whatever is put in front of them – I am now touching every piece of wood I can find so I don’t jinx myself for writing that!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 12, 2014 at 11:38 pm (3 years ago)

      Lol. Yes, I seriously hope you don’t jinx yourself. They are such good little boys you have. I must say a couple of your recipes are winners at our house, especially the chicken fried rice.

      Reply
  4. Lucy @ Bake Play Smile
    August 12, 2014 at 7:08 am (3 years ago)

    Oh those brownies!!!! Hehehe it’s not what they look like that counts anyway! Trust me I am equally un-domestic in the whole sewing area!! Cant even sew a button on!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 12, 2014 at 11:38 pm (3 years ago)

      I can’t sew a button on either, Lucy. Ah there is no hope for me πŸ˜‰

      Reply
  5. Zanni Louise
    August 12, 2014 at 7:15 am (3 years ago)

    This made me laugh Renee! These days Greg does most of the cooking. I always considered myself a good cook but the first night I cooked for him I undercooked the brocoli and burnt the kangaroo. Someone it set the tenor. X

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 12, 2014 at 11:40 pm (3 years ago)

      Lucky you, Zanni! And good plan to spoil the first dinner you served him πŸ˜‰ x

      Reply
  6. Jen Dev
    August 12, 2014 at 7:52 am (3 years ago)

    You made me laugh out loud! Thank you for sharing!

    I do dream of the 1950’s Doris Day one day…. Thankfully I’m alright at cooking but make so much mess that I will never have the energy to clean all the dishes I create. Like you I’ll be trying to work as well so chances are it won’t be what I envisage!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 12, 2014 at 11:41 pm (3 years ago)

      It will be an adventure at any rate that’s for sure, Jen! Thanks so much for supporting my blog, lovely. I really appreciate it x

      Reply
  7. Bec @ The Plumbette
    August 12, 2014 at 7:55 am (3 years ago)

    Oh Renee, you made me laugh this morning! I had exact visions of being a domestic goddess too when I was pregnant with Esther and hello I got a big reality check!! I love to bake, but even I have had some disasters and the worst part is you’ve wasted time and money on ingredients to produce something inedible!! I think a lot of us can relate. πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 12, 2014 at 11:43 pm (3 years ago)

      Oh I know! That’s what got me with the zucchini brownie slice. All of that good food down the drain. I’m glad I gave you a laugh though πŸ™‚

      Reply
  8. Erin
    August 12, 2014 at 8:23 am (3 years ago)

    Taken a lot of years to get to where I am, I guess I’m a work in progress that started out so so and I’ve experimented and improved over the years (poor family guinea pigs). So hang in there, you’re improving, master the basics first. I also have a theme each year, like ‘this is the year I’ll master bread or scones etc’ taken alot of duds before I hit the jackpot. Have learnt some tips and tricks, mm maybe I should do a post on tips and tricks, some things are like s secret club or something

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 12, 2014 at 11:45 pm (3 years ago)

      I definitely need some tips and tricks from you. I love the idea of having a theme each year. You are so good at setting yourself a goal, Erin, and challenging yourself. Very inspirational.

      Reply
  9. Vicki @ Knocked Up and Abroad
    August 12, 2014 at 8:37 am (3 years ago)

    ha ha… I can relate to this. Pre children you have no flippin idea do you?? Completely deluded about the realities. I mean, how hard could it be??

    I have only just been thinking this week how completely feral my house is looking and how I really desire to cook home made treats and unleash my Jamie Oliver.

    It never happens. Some people just have a natural knack for the cooking stuff. My husband can make brilliance out of nothing. No recipe required. I follow a recipe and it’s not quite right.

    Let’s be terrible chefs together k?

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 12, 2014 at 11:47 pm (3 years ago)

      For sure, Vicki!! I definitely do not have the knack!

      Reply
  10. Michelle@myslowlivingadventure
    August 12, 2014 at 9:20 am (3 years ago)

    That’s hilarious Renee!! I am sure you aren’t as bad as you think, and if you are it sounds like you’ve picked the right family. I’m actually a really good cook, and it’s taken nearly a decade for my husband not to critique my work as though I’m on Masterchef every night, and realise there’s a problem with doing that!!! It was terrible, and he seemed to think it was OK. In the end we had some counselling and he finally understood!!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 12, 2014 at 11:48 pm (3 years ago)

      I’m glad he finally did, Michelle!!

      Reply
  11. Kathy
    August 12, 2014 at 9:45 am (3 years ago)

    Doris Day was pretty funny, so maybe your cooking antics aren’t far off. I do enjoy cooking, but only when I have time and space and let’s face it, that doesn’t happen that much. Thanks for the laugh Renee.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 12, 2014 at 11:49 pm (3 years ago)

      Yes, I am a bit of a loon like Doris πŸ™‚ Glad you had a laugh.

      Reply
  12. Lydia C. Lee
    August 12, 2014 at 10:12 am (3 years ago)

    I believe all photos of cooking should look like that first picture, with the tag line ‘totally nailed it’ otherwise it should stay off social media because who cares?…but that’s me…

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 12, 2014 at 11:50 pm (3 years ago)

      Lol. I love you, Lydia. I actually love looking at meals on social media. If only I could cook them or get somebody to cook them for me!

      Reply
  13. Toni
    August 12, 2014 at 11:08 am (3 years ago)

    Bahaha bread makers are evil. I could never get ours to work. Much easier to go to the shops and buy it.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 12, 2014 at 11:50 pm (3 years ago)

      That’s for sure!!

      Reply
  14. steph
    August 12, 2014 at 1:14 pm (3 years ago)

    Ah Renee, your cooking is fine! I have sampled first hand ;). I think its great that you dare to step outside the box and try something new. Most of us stick to what we know for fear of a culinary disaster! You take it on, head first! Awesome. My problem is I hate the kitchen, anything baking or cooking related. I even start getting a niggling resentment if I have to cook for more than two nights in a row, wishing I was the one working late, and not stuck in the kitchen. Thank god David is an ace chef, he is my sanity and my domestic goddess ;).

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 12, 2014 at 11:53 pm (3 years ago)

      Lol Steph!! Those salads you made on the weekend were divine though or was that the work of Dave also? πŸ™‚ I totally get the resentment thing. Maybe if we didn’t have to spend so much time in the kitchen we’d be better cooks??

      Reply
  15. Hugzilla
    August 12, 2014 at 1:51 pm (3 years ago)

    OMG you are like my soul sister in the kitchen disaster department! LOL! *high fives* And gosh I was nodding away at that tranquil little family vignette to open the post. I got taken in by that scam too!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 12, 2014 at 11:53 pm (3 years ago)

      High five back at ya, sista πŸ™‚

      Reply
  16. Jodi Gibson (JF Gibson Writer)
    August 12, 2014 at 1:57 pm (3 years ago)

    Ha! I remember day dreaming about being a Mum. Couldn’t be further from the truth! My friend and I always laugh, as we were pregnant at the same time and had these wonderful visions of lovely play dates and coffee dates. Sure we had play dates but they weren’t like we imagined lol!

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 13, 2014 at 8:54 pm (3 years ago)

      Isn’t it crazy, Jodi!! Some things you just can’t predict xx

      Reply
  17. Josefa @always Josefa
    August 12, 2014 at 2:37 pm (3 years ago)

    Oh I gave up on weeknight cooking ages ago! It is not worth the heart ache. Weekend cooking for family and friends is so very different. Manic rushed weekday cooking is no longer on my list of things to worry about. If there is a hot, yummy meal on the plate for everyone at dinner time, then how it gets there and who makes it is not so important for me πŸ˜‰ As for Doris Day, maybe she has a lot to answer for πŸ˜‰ xx

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 13, 2014 at 8:55 pm (3 years ago)

      Great attitude, Josefa. So how do you get by? Do you do takeout or pre-cook and freeze meals? x

      Reply
  18. EssentiallyJess
    August 12, 2014 at 3:04 pm (3 years ago)

    Oh this made me giggle. I too had that Doris Day dream. And I’m still waiting for the day it happens πŸ™‚
    I’m not too bad in the kitchen, but being a fussy eater means I don’t eat a lot, so we don’t have a very large menu base. I need to get a bit more experimental I think.

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 13, 2014 at 8:56 pm (3 years ago)

      I can’t think of anything more experimental than floor pie πŸ˜‰

      Reply
  19. Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    August 12, 2014 at 5:04 pm (3 years ago)

    I am not a little challenged. I am VERY challenged. I don’t like to cook. I can make awesome wraps and salads and gourmet sandwiches. But forget dinner. It’s a chore. And my cakes come out of the Betty Crocker box. Luckily my husband likes to cook and my daughter likes to bake.

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 13, 2014 at 8:57 pm (3 years ago)

      You’re set with your husband and daughter helping you! Glad to hear I’m not the only challenged one πŸ™‚

      Reply
  20. Aroha @ Colours of Sunset
    August 12, 2014 at 5:06 pm (3 years ago)

    I think I am somewhere in between. I can cook a few things, but I am no gourmet by any stretch of the imagination. We tend to have about 5-10 meals in a general rotation in our house. All quick, none particularly healthy. x

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 13, 2014 at 8:57 pm (3 years ago)

      Ours is a bit the same, Aroha. Quick and easy is what wins at our house.

      Reply
  21. Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me
    August 12, 2014 at 7:36 pm (3 years ago)

    I reckon we were all on some sort of pregnancy crack years ago thinking that parenting would be as easy as pie! I can cook well, when I don’t have kids around, so that is never! I just tell myself it will get easier, even if I know I’m lying to myself! Em – visiting as part of #teamIBOT (but you know I’d come anyway)

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 13, 2014 at 8:58 pm (3 years ago)

      Surely it will get easier and we will get better. Here’s hoping πŸ™‚

      Reply
  22. Janet aka Middle Aged Mama
    August 12, 2014 at 8:57 pm (3 years ago)

    I had those same Doris Day visions prior to having children … and now I can see Miss 17 is looking at her future self as a wife and mummy with the exact same rose coloured glasses! It must just be a girl thing?!

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 13, 2014 at 8:58 pm (3 years ago)

      I think it definitely must be, Janet πŸ™‚

      Reply
  23. ann
    August 12, 2014 at 9:19 pm (3 years ago)

    I get into trouble if we have spag bol more than once a fortnight!! I can totally relate to this!!

    Reply
  24. Emma Fahy Davis
    August 12, 2014 at 10:05 pm (3 years ago)

    I’m the spag bol queen too – hubby moans about how often we have it but truth be told, I’m not a bad cook, I just cook the same four or five things in rotation because I know the kids will eat them!

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 13, 2014 at 9:12 pm (3 years ago)

      I do the same thing, Emma. I’m not cooking for fun, I’m going to cook stuff I know they will eat!

      Reply
  25. Tegan
    August 12, 2014 at 10:50 pm (3 years ago)

    I’m not a complete disaster but the fails definitely outweigh the wins.
    I make the 2 ingredient pizza dough from Kidspot and it’s so easy. It’s one cup of Greek Yogurt and one cup of self raising flour. Mix it all together, roll it out and you’re good to go!

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 13, 2014 at 9:14 pm (3 years ago)

      OMG! That sounds insanely easy. I am going to try it! Thanks.

      Reply
  26. Twitchy Sharon
    August 12, 2014 at 11:16 pm (3 years ago)

    Renee, when something in my kitchen works out, I know that (if they are not freezer kid meals like fish fingers, fries, pie) then the next 3-4 will not.

    I do not love the kitchen and my ‘get in, do your thing, get out as fast as you can’ Uncookery philosophy proves it. Perhaps a more sustained glance at the instructions next time wouldn’t hurt, huh?

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 13, 2014 at 9:15 pm (3 years ago)

      Yeah I think that’s not a bad idea and I love that philosophy of yours πŸ™‚

      Reply
  27. Carla from My Yellow Heart
    August 13, 2014 at 12:07 am (3 years ago)

    Oh those brownies look yuck!!! Sometimes I find it’s just easier to stick to recipes I know, that are simple and require standard ingredients. So many times I’ve bought fancy ingredients for a recipe that has just tasted crap and ended up in the bin!!!
    But thank you for educating me on not to swap nut butter for butter!!!

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 13, 2014 at 9:16 pm (3 years ago)

      Anytime, Carla πŸ™‚ I get bored with the standard meals and like to experiment. I just don’t have a lot of patience πŸ™‚

      Reply
  28. Simone
    August 13, 2014 at 12:18 am (3 years ago)

    My tip darling is to keep it simple. Some of the best dishes I make are also the easiest to prepare. Maybe you could try some uncooking too- no way you can burn a raw food dish πŸ™‚

    That said, I am a whizz at soups and stirfries, but get me baking and it all goes pear-shaped- I guess we all have our strengths to stick with (nothing wrong with spag bol!)

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 13, 2014 at 9:17 pm (3 years ago)

      I definitely should try un-cooking. It will be perfect for summer. Healthy and easy. Yum. Thanks darling x

      Reply
  29. Sheridan Anne
    August 13, 2014 at 12:59 am (3 years ago)

    Oh Renee, you are too funny!!! I am not too bad in the kitchen but my husband doesn’t hold back when I cook something rotten, so I definitely know when I’ve had a doozy.
    You can have the Doris Day perfection, but unfortunately that’s only in your dreams!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 13, 2014 at 9:21 pm (3 years ago)

      Sad, but true, Sheridan πŸ™‚

      Reply
  30. Jess - Peachy Keen Mumma
    August 13, 2014 at 11:58 am (3 years ago)

    HA!!! Your stories of cooking are so funny. I would have thought using regular butter would have been an alright sub too? I’m surprised there. My mother inlaw used vinegar instead of buttermilk in the Banana Bread recipe I gave her. NO, it was not the same. She used salsa, instead of Korma paste in my Lentil Curry recipe.
    She just doesn’t care about food like I do. Shhhh. Hope she doesn’t read this, but I’m sure she knows it’s true. Breadmaker story – hilarious. I love making pizza dough in there, hope I never forget the blade. haha!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 13, 2014 at 9:22 pm (3 years ago)

      Your mother in law sounds like a hoot. That’s some interesting ingredient swapping right there πŸ™‚

      Reply
  31. Min@Minsmash
    August 14, 2014 at 11:03 am (3 years ago)

    LOL – oh my gosh you made me laugh!! By some miracle, I am not too bad in the cooking department but I do have my disasters now and then. Very important to read those instructions carefully πŸ˜‰ LOL xo

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 15, 2014 at 6:22 am (3 years ago)

      It sure is, Min πŸ™‚ x

      Reply
  32. Sonia Life Love Hiccups
    August 14, 2014 at 4:37 pm (3 years ago)

    yep there is a pretty good reason my hubby does most of the cooking in our house. Im not actually all that bad… Its just I dont really enjoy it that much lol xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 15, 2014 at 6:23 am (3 years ago)

      Oh I wish my hubby would do the cooking!! He just doesn’t get home earlier enough. I will keep powering on xx

      Reply
  33. Elisa {With Grace & Eve}
    August 14, 2014 at 9:11 pm (3 years ago)

    Oh Renee I feel so much better now! I love to cook but don’t get me started on baking!! I just can’t seem to get anything right even when I give it my all. Needless to say I’ve given up (lucky my mum is rather excellent at all things sweets) – I’ll stick with making dinner six nights a week πŸ™‚ xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 15, 2014 at 6:23 am (3 years ago)

      I think you’re doing pretty well there making dinner six nights a week, Elisa. Thank goodness for your mum. I hope she brings sweet treats around often x

      Reply
  34. Danielle @ Several Kinds of Crazy
    August 16, 2014 at 12:53 am (3 years ago)

    Thanks for the giggle tonight πŸ™‚ I’m definitely an un-domesticated goddess, Hubby is a much better cook than I, but I do continue to push myself & learn new things in the kitchen as food always looks too darn good & I’d love to create culinary masterpieces one day πŸ˜‰

    Reply
  35. Robo
    August 16, 2014 at 8:45 pm (3 years ago)

    Thi post made me laugh! The pics are too funny!
    I’m pretty good in the kitchen and can usually throw something together. I love to pre-cook and freeze meals. I’m a bit nutty about it actually.

    Reply
  36. WifeSylv
    August 20, 2014 at 6:26 pm (3 years ago)

    Oh that made me laugh. I can’t make pancakes to save my life. I’ve decided never again – after the last disaster!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 20, 2014 at 9:40 pm (3 years ago)

      Pancakes are surprisingly tricky!!! πŸ™‚

      Reply

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