Also see Mother Humor, Cooking, and Parenting Humor.

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Husband: "I don't want to go to work this morning. Now, women are lucky because they don't have a structured day. They have a choice...
Wife: "Yeah. Good point. Should I scour the toilets before I fold the laundry or vice versa?

Housekeeping Tips

If it's loose, pick it up;
If it isn't, dust it;
If it moves, feed it.

Come on In

Although you'll find our house a mess
Come-in--sit down--converse.
It doesn't always look like this;
Some days it's even worse.

And They Say Blondes Are Dumb!

A housework-challenged husband decided to wash his sweatshirt. From the laundry room, he shouted, "What setting do I use?"
"It depends," the wife replied. "What does it say on your shirt?"
He yelled back, "University of Oklahoma."

Go On--Ask Me If I Work

(Rochelle Distelhel)

Why is it when a man is a chef or chauffeur,
Or designs interior decoration,
Everybody understands he's working.
Ready for some startling information?
So am I.

Why is it when a husband is a teacher,
Or talented at making sick children well,
Everybody understands he's working.
Ready for less show and more tell?
So am I.

Why is it when a man repairs appliances,
Or practices guidance and counseling,
Everybody understands he's working.
Ready for an important announceling?
So am I.

No Social Security, no old-age pension,
No titles, not even honorable mention.
But if you wonder how much I'm earning,
Even though I'm not working for pay,
Figure out what it would cost to replace me
If I didn't show up just one eighteen-hour day.

Thoughts of Home

(Leonhard Dowty)

Home is where the heart is,
Where the children's scribbled art is,
Where the random blocks and skates are,
Where the socks without their mates are,

Home is where the bills are,
Where the fevers and the chills are,
Where the crumbs of bread and cakes are,
Where no one knows the rakes are.

Home is where the weeds grow,
Where all except the seeds grow,
Where the dogs and frogs and cats are,
Where the scratches, cuts and spats are.
Home is where the salami is
And, thank heaven, where the mommy is.

A Mother's Prayer

Dear Lord, It's such a hectic day,
With little time to stop and pray,
For Life's been anything but calm,
Since You called me to be a Mom,

Running errands, matching socks,
Building dreams with building blocks,
Cooking, cleaning, finding shoes,
And other stuff that children lose,

Fitting lids on bottled bugs,
Wiping tears and giving hugs,
A stack of last week's mail to read,
So where's the quiet time I need?

Yet, when I steal a moment, Lord,
Just at the sink or ironing board,
To ask the blessings of Your grace,
I see them, in my small one's face,

That you have blessed me
All the while--
And I stoop to kiss
That precious smile.

Just a Housewife

Hello, Mrs. Jones, I've just called to say,
I'm sorry I cried when you phoned today.
No, I didn't get angry when your call came at four,
Just as eight Cub Scouts burst through the door;
It's just that I had such a really full day.
I'd baked eight pies for the PTA;
And washing and ironing and scrubbing the floor
Were chores I had finished not too long before.
The reason I cried and gave that big yelp
Was not 'cause you phoned just to ask for my help.
The comment that just about drove me berserk
Was, "I'm sure you'll have time because you don't work."


(Leslie Prest)

Housework can wait,
my children need kisses.
They want me to play,
I'll put off the dishes.
When they're grown,
I'll keep the house spic 'n' span . . .
But children grow fast so
I'll play while I can.

Living Rooms

(Nova Trimble Ashley)

Some rooms are done in Danish mode,
Contemporary, French abode,
Colonial, or border
On modern Japanese decor;
But mine is none of these--it's more
Like Permanent Disorder!


(Irene Fischl)

Miranda's gone to med school,
Her true self to fulfill;
And Ann's into photography,
Both motion pix and still.
Nancy, who's a lawyer now,
Discusses torts, not tarts,
While off to Group to find herself
Ms. Ella Sue departs.
Karen's bought an alto sax
And even learned to play it,
While I'm enjoying keeping house
But much too scared to say it.

What Do Women Do All Day?

(Marshall H. Hart)

Every minute, to and fro,
That's the way my hours go;
Bring me this, and take me that,
Feed the dog, take out the cat.

Standing up, I eat my toast,
Drink my coffee, thaw the roast.
Empty the garbage, make the bed,
Rush to church, then wash my head.

Sweep the kitchen, wax the floor,
Scrub the woodwork, clean the doors;
Scour the bathtub, then myself;
Vacuum carpets, straighten shelves.

Eat my sandwich on the run . . .
Now my afternoon's begun.
To the baseball game I go,
When will there be time to sew?

Meet the teacher, stop the fight,
See the dentist, fly the kite.
Help with homework, do the wash,
Iron the clothes, put on the squash.

Shop for groceries, cash a check,
Fight the crowds, now I'm a wreck;
Dinnertime it soon will be,
"What's for dinner?" they ask,
Wait and see.

Dirty dishes crowd the sink,
Next there's popcorn, then a drink.
Will they never go to bed?
Will I ever get ahead?

"Bring me water." "Get the light."
Turn off the TV, lock the bike.
"Where's my pillow?" "Hear my prayers."
"Did you lock the door downstairs?"

At last in bed, my spouse and I,
Too tired to move, too weak to cry.
But e'er I doze, I hear him say,
"What do women do all day?"

Dust if you Must

Dust if you must.
But wouldn't it be better
to paint a picture or write a letter,
bake a cake, or plant a seed.
Ponder the difference between
want and need.

Dust if you must.
But there is not much time,
with rivers to swim and
mountains to climb!
Music to hear, and books to read,
friends to cherish and life to lead.

Dust if you must.
But the world's out there
with the sun in your eyes,
the wind in your hair,
a flutter of snow, a shower of rain,
This day will not come round again.

Dust if you must.
But bear in mind,
old age will come and it is not kind
and when you go, and go you must,
you, yourself, will make more dust.

Home Furnishings

(H. Grenville)

Some folks seek the unique.
Some insist on the antique.
Some are charmed,
while others snicker
at chairs and tables
made of wicker.
Solid types, no-nonsense folk,
like the honesty of oak.

Some want chairs to look obese,
with frills and flounces.
You can please
others with the frugal line
of a more austere design.

All I ask (and all I've got)
is furniture that's used a lot;
that fits where it is meant to fit
and doesn't care the slightest bit
if we don't have a matched decor
or noble rugs upon the floor;
that serves its purpose without fuss
and sort of likes to live with us.

The Housewife

(Leonhard Dowty)

A very much deserved LABOR DAY SALUTE to that grand and glorious American institution: THE HOUSEWIFE.

Women, they say, are the weaker sex,
Simple-minded, nervous wrecks,
No match for men in brain or brawn.
But who gets up at crack of dawn
To start the coffee perking
Long before her sleeping spouse has
cocked an eye at working?

While he has dreams to caper in,
Who brings the morning paper in,
Oh, so careful not to tear it
As though it were his best white shirt and
he was going to wear it?
Half-asleep on still-tired legs,
Who squeezes juice and scrambles eggs,
And, agile as an ath-e-lete,
Runs from toast to Cream of Wheat,
Turning bacon as she goes--
A perfect act for Ringling Bros.?

Even on her day of rest,
Who gets the children up and dressed?
Who shines their shoes and darns their socks?
Who nurses them through chicken pox?
Who's in charge of pocket tissues,
Stomachaches and moral issues,
Mislaid mittens, wayward caps,
Malted milks and gingersnaps?

Who's part-time doctor, full-time tailor
Letter-writer, package mailer,
Ironer, washer, drier of tears,
Waxer of table and chiffoniers?
Who calls the plumber, the cleaner, the vet?
Who changes diapers whenever they're wet?

Who plans the meals to everyone's tastes,
Lets down the hems and lets out the waists?
Who winds the clocks and sets the alarm?
Who closes windows in case of a storm?
Who gives the parties? Who makes the dates?
Who stands and serves and who also waits?

Who cleans the closets, the books and the shelves,
Pretends to be monkeys, soldiers and elves,
Fired at by hunters, riddled by guns,
Stepped on and slept on and captured by Huns?
Who, when it rains, is the teller of tales
Of wizards and witches and windjamming whales?

Who is the queen of the broom and the mop?
Who knows what is needed and just where to stop?
Who shines the silver, the copper and brass?
Who fills the tank when the car's out of gas?
Who makes the curtains, fluffs up the pillows,
Tends to the roses and waters the willows?

Who puts out the cat and lets in the dog?
Who feeds the turtle, the fish and the frog?
Who wraps the presents? Who saves the cord?
Who never spends more than they can afford?
Who vacuums rugs, who makes the beds,
Who cuts the toenails and washes the heads?

Who drags in the bikes, the sleds and the wagons?
Who chases nightmares infested with dragons?
Who, without fail, attends PTA?
Who picks up pajamas and puts them away?
Who is the keeper of snorkels and flippers,
Knitter of sweaters, replacer of zippers,
Patcher of pockets, buyer of stamps,
Scrubber of tiles and duster of lamps?

Who puts whose slippers in front of whose chair?
Who's sweet as a lamb when he's gruff as a bear?
Who tints and bleaches, sprinkles and starches:
Whose spirits don't fall, but, oh, her poor arches?
Who is the lawyer who settles all quarrels?
Who is dispenser of spankings and laurels?
Who, for the dolls, sews miniature dresses?
Surely by now you don't need three guesses.
Woman, of course--that stanch household betterer
Whose life is a round of incessant et cetera.

For Mothers Everywhere!

One afternoon a man came home from work to find total mayhem in his house. His three children were outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front yard. The door of his wife's car was open, as was the front door to the house. Proceeding into the entry, he found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded against one wall. In the front room the TV was loudly blaring a cartoon channel, and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing. In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door.
He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she may be ill, or that something serious had happened. He found her lounging in the bedroom, still curled in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel. She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went. He looked at her bewildered and asked, "What happened here today?"
She again smiled and answered, "You know every day when you come home from work and ask me what in the world did I do today?"
"Yes" was his incredulous reply.
She answered, "Well, today I didn't do it."

Prison Versus Being a Housewife

Martha Stewart to Erma Bombeck

Hi Erma,
This perfectly delightful note is being sent on paper I made myself to tell you what I have been up to. Since it snowed last night, I got up early and made a sled with old barn wood and a glue gun. I hand-painted it in gold leaf, got out my loom, and made a blanket in peaches and mauves. Then to make the sled complete, I made a white horse to pull it from DNA that I just had sitting around in my craft room.
By then, it was time to start making the place mats and napkins for my twenty breakfast guests. I'm serving the old standard Stewart twelve-course breakfast, but I'll let you in on a little secret--I didn't have time to make the tables and chairs this morning, so I used the ones I had on hand. Before I moved the table into the dining room, I decided to add just a touch of the holidays. So I repainted the room in pinks and stenciled gold stars on the ceiling.
Then while the homemade bread was rising, I took antique candle molds and made the dishes (exactly the same shade of pink) to use for breakfast. These were made from Hungarian clay, which you can get in almost any Hungarian craft store.
Well I must run. I need to finish the buttonholes on the dress I'm wearing for breakfast. I'll get out the sled and drive this note to the post office as soon as the glue dries on the envelope I'll be making. Hope my breakfast guests don't stay too long--I have 40,000 cranberries to string with bay leaves before my speaking engagement at noon.
Love, Martha Stewart
P.S. When I made the ribbon for this typewriter, I used 1/8-inch gold gauze. I soaked the gauze in a mixture of white grapes and blackberries, which I grew, picked and crushed last week just for fun.

Response from Erma Bombeck:

Dear Martha,
I am writing this on the back of an old shopping list, pay no attention to the coffee and jelly stains. I'm twenty minutes late getting my daughter up for school, packing a lunch with one hand, on the phone with the dog pound, seems old Ruff needs bailing out, again. Burnt my arm on the curling iron when I was trying to make those cute curly fries, how DO they do that?
Still can't find the scissors to cut out some snowflakes, tried using an old disposable razor . . . trashed the tablecloth. Tried that cranberry thing, frozen cranberries mushed up after I defrosted them in the microwave.
Oh, don't use the Fruity Pebbles as a substitute in that Rice Krispie snowball recipe, unless you happen to like a disgusting shade that resembles regurgitation! The smoke alarm is going off, talk to ya later.
Love, Erma

A Tip About Dryer Lint Filters

It is not enough to always clean the lint from the filter after every load of clothes. You need to take the filter out and wash it with hot soapy water and an old toothbrush (or other brush) at least every six months. Dryer sheets cause a film over the mesh that can eventually burn out the heating unit because no air is passing through. You can't see the film, but it's there. Removing the film will keep your dryer working twice as long (and keep your electric bill lower)! (Note from Denny: This appears to only be a problem with certain types of dryer sheets because my dryer was several years old when I read this and my dryer filter didn't have any film over the mesh.)

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