Wednesday, February 18, 2009

To Love, Honor and Vacuum: book review

I finished reading "To Love, Honor and Vacuum", and as planned, I'm posting a brief review. First, let me say that Sheila did a good job with a book. It's a great, practical survival guide for any wife and mom who is trying to maintain her sanity while keeping the house livable. The book also deals with deeper matters, such as the attitudes behind housework and why women define so much by it.

Many portions of the book are dedicated to how to get children to actively participate in household chores, which of course better suits families a bit older than mine: 1-month-old Shira can only "help" me by taking a nice long nap, and my husband, realistically, has so little time off work that I use his help for more urgent matters (for example, holding the baby while I shower, so I won't feel guilty if she starts crying when I already have shampoo in my hair.)

The book is very well-organized, which makes it pleasant and easy to read. Each chapter is divided into smaller bits of well-definded ideas, which are presented in a clear and straightforward way.

Other important subjects covered are budgeting, promoting our spiritual well-being, and the ever-important issue of married love. There's also an appendix devoted to homeschooling families. I'm certain I will re-read this book as our family expands and we embark on new adventures in parenting.

I found it very helpful that at the end of each chapter, there's a short section encouraging the reader to think in-depth about what had just been discussed. This reminds me a bit of a school book, and I mean it in a good way.

I will be honest with you: the book is written from a thoroughly Christian perspective, so as an Orthodox Jew, I often found myself skipping paragraphs. Still, I think it contains a good bit of practical wisdom a busy wife and mother can benefit from.


Where My Treasure Is said...

I've never heard of this book, but it sounds great! I will definitely add this to my list of books to read! Thanks for sharing the info~


Bethany Hudson said...

"holding the baby while I shower, so I won't feel guilty if she starts crying when I already have shampoo in my hair"
haha! Just giggling to myself as I remember... In three more months, I'll be doing it again! :-P

Ways of Zion said...

Thanks for sharing, is it worth buying do you think?

Deb said...

Thank you for your thoughtful review of this book. It sounds like something I'd like to buy for my daughters, one of whom is married. I did smile at your comment that it is written from a thoroughly Christian perspective so there were paragraphs you skipped. I tend to forget you are an Orthodox Jew, except when you are explaining something specific to your faith (one of the things I especially enjoy in your blogging).

Candylei said...

So good to hear you,your husband and Shira, are doing well and resting some. Thanks for the book review.

colourdujour said...

like Bethany, commenting above, I also smiled with rememberence about baby/showering/shampoo. Baby #2 makes it even more interesting to get a shower, especially if baby #1 likes to play enthustically with baby#2 while one is showering! LOL

Enjoyed your book review. Still hoping for another photo of your babe. :)

PS how is the colic with Shira? I asked a lady that does contact body reflexology about it and she gave me some specific tummy rubs that may help. leave me a comment if you're interested.

Coffee Catholic said...

This book sounds interesting. I'll have to get it!

I can't say anything about this book because I haven't read it but I must admit that with regards to several other "housewife" books, I've been disapointed. They are full of "so, you're miserable and feel unfulfilled..." Geez. It makes us housewives sound like a miserable lot. I tend to avoid them now because I get depressed wading through chapter after chapter of, "so you hate your life..."

I wish someone would write a book that's about being a happy and fulfilled housewife!

Sheila said...

Thanks, Anna, for reviewing this! (I'm the author!). I'm glad you liked it, and don't worry at all about skipping some parts :). I understand!

As for Coffee Catholic, I totally understand what you're saying. I think a lot of books do make it sound like staying home is unfulfilling. I think the exact opposite; it's the most fun I've ever had. But there are things that get frustrating, and I think women can make it worse on themselves if they don't enforce certain rules.

If you train up your children well to participate in family life and do their own chores, and if you learn how to nurture your marrage, your life will be so easy. But if you don't, then life gets awfully difficult.

Anyway, drop by my To Love, Honor and Vacuum blog for more on housework and staying at home!