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Happy Housewives- In 10 Easy Steps

Happy Housewives- In 10 Easy Steps

4.0 16
by Darla Shine

Says former desperate housewife Darla Shine to stay-at-home moms everywhere: What have you got to complain about? A modern-day guide to keeping house, raising kids, and loving life.

Darla Shine was once a desperate housewife. Being at home with two small children and a husband who was rarely home was enough to drive her crazy. She left her high-profile job


Says former desperate housewife Darla Shine to stay-at-home moms everywhere: What have you got to complain about? A modern-day guide to keeping house, raising kids, and loving life.

Darla Shine was once a desperate housewife. Being at home with two small children and a husband who was rarely home was enough to drive her crazy. She left her high-profile job as a television producer after her son was born, while her husband continued to move up the corporate ladder. Like many of her stay-at-home-mom friends, Shine employed a housekeeper and baby-sitters so she could spend her time running to the salon, the club, and out to lunch. Then one day she was whining to her mother about how terrible her life was, and her mother yelled at her to wake up and stop being so selfish. It was just the wakeup call she needed!

The desperate housewife craze of today is sending the wrong message to women and their children everywhere, says Shine. When did being a good mom and being proud to stay home with the kids go out of style? When did it become acceptable to cheat on your husband? When did mothers start dressing like their teenage daughters? Shine finds the standards of today's desperate housewives astonishingly low, and she has set out to teach women how they can be good mothers, look good, and feel good about the choices they make. Being a housewife does not mean you are on house arrest or can't be satisfied in your marriage. So step up, realize that you want to be home with your children, and embrace your life.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.37(w) x 9.12(h) x 0.86(d)

Read an Excerpt

Happy Housewives

By Darla Shine

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 Darla Shine
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060859202

Chapter One

Step 1

Please Stop Whining!

Let's stop acting like desperate housewives

Snap out of it!

Shut up!

Count your blessings every day

Please, I cannot take another minute of hearing women talk about how desperate they are. What's going on? When did it become fashionable to be an out-of-control mother on the edge? When did it become in style not to have your act together? When did it become popular to be a desperate housewife?

What on earth is going on in this society when one of America's highest-rated shows promotes drug abuse, adultery, statutory rape, murder, bad mothering, and the basic breakdown of family values?

When did we women decide that we wanted our image to turn from happy homemaker to desperate housewife? Is this really the image we want?

Do you think I'm overreacting? I don't think so. I'm sick and tired of hearing women who have it all bitch about how hard they have it and how much more they want. I'm so disgusted with it all that I had to sit down and write this book. I want to help all women out there who think they're desperate to stop, smell the roses, and wake up before it's too late -- before you lose your marriage, before your children are ruined, before you destroy yourself in the process.

Let's Stop Acting Like Desperate Housewives

I want mothers everywhere to dismiss this horrible image of desperation and come together to promote the image of the happy housewife, the mother who has her act together, the woman who has a strong marriage, the mother who wants to be with her children, the woman who is proud to be raising her family.

You can do it. The first step you need to take is to stop whining. Stop complaining. Stop it now!

We really are tired of hearing how hard your life is. We're all struggling to do the best we can. All moms are in the same boat. We all want the best for our children. We all want to keep our marriages alive. We all want to be happy. We all want to raise our families without losing our minds. Hey, I know it's hard. It's a struggle. I work hard every single day to pull it all together, but you know what? I make it work.

I do think some of us work harder than others. I see a lot of moms who are at home but not really there. These are the moms who are out all day shopping, playing tennis (well, I do this, too, but there's a limit), and going to the salon, and yet they never seem to have time to play with their kids, cook a meal, or clean their own house. I have noticed that the women who have the big houses, the housekeepers, and money to burn are the ones who seem to complain the most.

I know. I used to be one of them. I had a housekeeper, I was going to the salon at least twice a week, I was going out every weekend with my husband, and mostly I was turning into a lazy, self-absorbed blob. I didn't know it then, but looking back now I can see how much time I spent complaining about my life, whining about being a mom, and trying to keep myself superbusy so I wouldn't have to face the dreary monotony of everyday mommy/housewife life. I left my career to be with my children because I thought I had no other choice, and I was full of resentment. I refused to let myself feel like a housewife. I rejected the idea of motherhood. I told myself it was all temporary, like a criminal sentence -- and I was doing my time.

I began to get disconnected from my home and my kids. I hired sitters -- any teenager Happy Housewives I could get my hands on -- to come over to my house just so I could get out for a pedicure. I was so desperate one time that I brought home some twenty-two-year-old girl I met at the beauty shop to play with my daughter so I could take a nap. I got so lazy that if I spilled some jelly on the counter I wouldn't even wipe it up -- I would leave it for the maid. I was out of control.

The saddest part was that even though I had all this help, and my husband could afford to give me new clothes and other pointless crap, I still wasn't happy. I still felt on the edge. I still couldn't appreciate any of the blessings in my life. All because deep inside I still felt as if I were too good to be just an at-home mom and housewife.

Then one day I said this to my mother. I called her while she was on vacation in Florida and asked her when she was coming back home, because I was exhausted and felt on the edge. I remember telling her that I wanted to drive my truck into a tree. I was being sarcastic, of course, but while I was whining and complaining, she began to flip out. My mother told me off good. She said that I had a lot of nerve. What the hell did I have to complain about? I had a beautiful house, two healthy kids, and a husband who loved me, and I should shut up and count my blessings. My mother proceeded to remind me about my cousin who was struggling every day to pay her bills, the woman in my play group who just died of lung cancer, my friend who had six miscarriages, my neighbor who had to deliver a stillborn baby. She told me that even though she and my father had me when they were only eighteen and lived in a tiny apartment with no money, no car, and no family support, she was happier than I was, and she never complained. She also reminded . . .


Excerpted from Happy Housewives by Darla Shine Copyright © 2005 by Darla Shine. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Darla Shine was a television producer who left the business to stay home with her children. She worked on several networks, including PBS and NewsTalk Television, one of the first twenty-four-hour cable news networks. Darla's podcast can be heard at www.darlashine.com. She lives with her husband and two children on Long Island, New York.

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Happy Housewives- In 10 Easy Steps 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought Darla found something to be happy about every day. I was a SAHM for years and then went back to work full time 'college for kids' and I found the book uplifting and energized me. The recipes are great, too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the premise and some of the ideas contained in this book that really gets us SAHMs thinking differently. But a lot of what the author says are things that women may think, not necessarily say, and that is what makes the entire book have a bit of an unsophisticated feel. I'm also amazed at what she wrote about her family members and friends. Her sister, especially, must feel tremendous embarrassment from how she is portryed as such a loser. I'm sure she isn't like that. It sounds like Darla still has sibling differences that never disappeared with maturity. And describing her friend, by name, as being there for her, unless she has a tennis match. That goes beyond humorous sarcasm. I would wonder if some people changed how they felt about her after reading how she used their stories in her book. If this ever comes out in paperback, it would be a better way to spend the money (although the recipes are super simple and good).
Guest More than 1 year ago
Darla tells it like it is and let's women know that they can be happy at home. I loved the supportive girlfriend voice she wrote this in, it's like having a good friend tell you to snap out of it when you need a good reminding of how good life can be if you quit whining and start enjoying it for a change.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book reminds me of the Slob sister's Home Executive books. Nothing new here but fun to read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you can already juggle the number of chores around the house and taking care of your kids, don't buy this book. If you left a job to be a SAHM and are feeling resentful or useless, please buy this book. When Shine left her career, she saw a stigma attached to housewives--frumpy, dowdy, out-of-style--which she later came to realize does not have to be the case. She uses her experiences to help other women who currently have or are recovering from her previous mindset to learn how to appreciate their families and homes. Shine's tone is conversational, yet direct. I like her breakdown of the chores according to frequency, as well as her daily schedule (I play with my kids a lot more, but that's just me). A few things I disagree on: 1. She says that you shouldn't expect a husband to do housework, but I believe that he can at least help out a little (trash, yard, BBQ...it's his house too. Our happiness is equally important.) 2. She says that sneakers and jeans scream homely mom I think they are cute and comfy (besides, you can find sneakers in all kinds of great colors). Has she ever chased a 19-month old through Target wearing even 1-inch heels or the mules she recommends? It's not cute. 3. Parents have to be careful of what kinds of accessories they pair with an outfit. Kids love to pull on anything shiny and/or expensive. Otherwise, she's right on the money about making marriage a priority (something many moms don't do after having kids) and looking your best every day. She suggests showering every 2 days (she goes 3 in the winter) because it saves time and frequent showering dries out the skin. However, there is a lot to be said about moisturizing bodywashes. A little effort goes a long way.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was truly offended by the Mindless Blather review. I am a suburban stay at home mother to two who found this book to be the answer to my prayers! Are you saying that all women who love this book such as myself who has a college degree is stupid? I think you took it too seriously. This book was light hearted, humorous and extremely helpful. I was a desperate houswife until I got the help I needed by reading 'Happy Housewives'. Thanks Darla for giving us stay at home moms a voice and an answer in helping us all become Happy Housewives!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If your children are important to you, you'll absolutely love this book. If your husband means the world to you, you'll appreciate this book. If your home is your temple, Darla will inspire you to 'take care of it'. If you already know that women have the innate sense of 'setting the tone of the homelife', then this book offers all of the support you need. And if you haven't read this book yet, don't mindlessly 'blather' on about what this book is or isn't.....And lastly if you have children and read the book and still don't like it...you might want to seek counsel at your earliest convenience.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Thank you for a great book. It's about flippin time someone is standing up for us MOMS THAT CHOOSE TO STAY HOME AND CARE FOR OUR CHILDREN AND HUSBANDS!!! LIKE THE AUTHOR SAID IF YOUR A WORKING MOM IT'S NOT FOR YOU!!!... Darla has a great sense of humor and gives great advice on how to organize our homes so that our days at home can run smoother and we can enjoy time with the kids and our spouses!!! It's not written for the rich, skinny stay at home moms it's written for all 'shapes and sizes'. IT'S A BOOK ABOUT HOW TO JUST ENJOY YOUR TIME AT HOME WITH YOUR KIDS AND HUSBAND, BECAUSE EVENTUALLY OUR KIDS GROW UP AND LEAVE and you don't want to be looking back and saying 'maybe I should have stayed home awhile'!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you stoop so low as to take advice from Darla Shine, you have more problems than you're admitting to. This book addresses real life scenarios, and fluffs over them with page-filling nonsense and useless little tales. So, let me get this straight, a rich pampered housewife from the 'burbs is going to tell real people how to live? Spare me, and spare yourselves the torture that is this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are between the ages of 25 and 50 and are a Mother or are planning to someday be one, don't miss 'Happy Housewives.' I haven't even finished this book and it has already changed my life. Darla has put the pieces together on what it means to be a woman of the 21st century. Through her humor and inspiring stories, I am finally discovering my true identitiy and purpose. I can't thank Darla enough!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Darla Shine lets you know for sure that you are not alone in the trials and triumphs of a stay at home mother. She shares her own zany and trying moments to ground the book in reality of what she has found really counts as far as priorities. It all makes good sense. The bottom line is simple, but not easy to execute...it's all about family...and prioritizing to meet the needs of the children, the husband and of course yours. It's an honest, positive and practical guide that offers information you already know while clearly reminding you (without preaching) what really counts in our often too busy and demanding lives in trying to do it all...and do it all well! I found the great recipes an unexpected bonus.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Darla's book is sensational! Her book is hysterically funny along with being informational at the same time. It will appeal to all who read it-men and women in any economic background. I can't wait for darla's next book-just so we can check in and see what new crazy antics are going on in the shine household. As an added bonus, there are fantastic recipies in the book-just in time for the holidays!! 'Five' shining stars review for Darla Shine!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Darla explains in her book, in great detail and honesty, about how she changed her priorities. It's a great book, very warm and personable.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Happy Housewives is that rare book that isn't afraid to push some buttons. It's honest, witty, and makes you feel like you're hanging out with your best girlfriend. Darla reminds us of what's really important - being a mom to our children, and taking care of our husbands and ourselves.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Darla's book is amazing. It's heartfelt, hysterically funny, but most of all real. As an at home mom with a former career, myself, I could relate to it all. Her journey from desperate housewife to happy housewife changed my own misconceptions and gave me my pride back. I was tired of apologizng for being a mom. It IS the most important job in the world!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is only intended for the wealthy, pampered 'cute', 'thin', 'girls', who have an option whether or not to work outside the home to help support their families. Very witty, with snappy one-liners, but no real advice on how to feed and clothe the kids on one salary. This book should have been one paragraph long, in an advice column, not a full length book. Yes I work part-time, and yes I clean my own house, and if I offend you in the grocery-store parking lot, move your Mercedes SUV out of my way.