I’m Not Martha Stewart. Nor Do I Play Her on TV.

I realized that I have less than zero domestic related skills. Actually, I’ve known for a while. But I’ve only just now admitted it. Out loud. On the internet.

Hi. My name is Kandice. I hate housekeeping.

My parents were born poor. Only when I say it in my head it comes out sounding like poh. My mom is the oldest of six and as a child she literally had one dress. My grandmother washed it every night for my mom to wear clean the next day to school. My dad has three brothers, his dad worked a factory job and there weren’t many extras. My parents married at 18 and 21 and they lived in a mobile home, sometimes not eating for days until the next paycheck arrived. I say this only to clarify that my family comes from very humble beginnings.

I didn’t know my parents lived paycheck to paycheck when I was growing up, which is a testament to them. When I was 11, I was old enough to realize that not being able to get a new pair of Kaepas simply because they’re the coolest new trend in footwear stinks.

Do You Remember These?

Do You Remember These?*

But then my dad got a job in Saudi Arabia. We moved to Dhahran and immediately commenced a lavish expatriate life, complete with a driver and a houseboy (one who cooks and cleans). My indoctrination into the religion of not having to clean up after myself began. It continued in college when I lived in the dorms, then in the sorority house.

Stephen grew up the youngest of three boys with a working dad and a stay-at-home mom who was, and is, a domestic engineer goddess. He didn’t clean either.

Laundry Isn’t My Best Talent Either

I suck at laundry, too. Talk about a man trying to woo his future wife, Stephen did my laundry when we were  in college. Yes, you read that right. Did I mention he lived in a fraternity house? He got all manner of unmitigated crap from his fraternity brothers. (Can you imagine?) But, dude, did that boy love me.* He still hates the way I do laundry. He actually sorts. Me? I just throw it all in there, say a quick prayer and hope it all comes out okay. I mean, at least it’s done.

Starting Out Poh

When Stephen and I got married at 22 and 24, we were poh. Our biggest splurge was a monthly trip to the CiCi’s all-you-can eat buffet. It cost $7.68 for two buffets and two drinks. I know this because I found the check register. We didn’t have money for someone to step in and clean for us. So, our apartment was disgusting. I admit it.

The first thing I did when I got a job as a law clerk during law school? Hire a housekeeper. We’ve had a housekeeper pretty much ever since.

The Housekeeper Was Downsized

Did I mention we suck at keeping house? But part of our Simple Year involves learning how to clean, organize and know what we need or don’t need in order to run a household. I’ve never had to do it and, honestly, it’s very easy to outsource when you’re working like a maniac and barely make it home in time to tuck the kids into bed. And you can afford it.

But we are doing our kids a major disservice here. I want them to be able to be self-sufficient and know how to take care of a home. We are, after all, raising someone else’s future husband and wife.

For us The Simple Year 2 isn’t just about de-cluttering and downsizing our home, but also about the domestic education of the Bridges family. And that’s not a bad thing.

*If you are the owner of this picture, please let me know so I can properly attribute it to you.