So I’m assuming most of you – like me – won’t be “crossing the pond” anytime soon (unless you’re braving the crowds for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London), but if you have a hankering for a slower pace and a simpler time, “Downton Abbey” is the quintessentially British departure from all things American-summer-crazy. And if you’re a mom, you’ll be doing yourself a massive favor by catching up on seasons 1 and 2 before the 2013 debut in the U.S. Perhaps the culture of today calls your routine a walk in the park, but hearken back to the beginning of the twentieth century (well, at least in large English estate houses) and there was a staff of, oh, about fifty who did all that stuff you’re currently tackling by yourself. In a day. All while a herd of kids run around asking you to wipe their bums and noses and make them macaroni and cheese – no, a quesadilla – no, a peanut butter sandwich. (This is where you stop and pat yourself on the back. Several times in a row.) Why wouldn’t every overworked, sleep-deprived, nutritionally-deficient, lives-in-the-car American mom enjoy a week in Lady Grantham’s shoes?
In that spirit, here’s my personal to-do list for the staff at the Abbey. Hopefully they can keep up.
1. For my lady’s maid:
Your job is simple. Call me ‘lady’. All the time. Even when I look like I haven’t showered in three days and the last book I actually finished was “Go Dog Go.”
2.For my chauffeur:
Here are the keys… I’ll be napping in the back. Wake me when you’ve fetched the dry cleaning, the groceries, and the kids. Oh, and please don’t turn on the DVD player. Episodes of “Doc McStuffins” on repeat have been clinically proven to keep me from reaching REM sleep.
4. For my cook:
We technically eat three times a day. But let’s be honest: there’s a lot of snacking in this house. Could you keep a fresh supply of organic, homemade, awesome-tasting goodies just lying about for my children to sneak into the kitchen to munch?
5. For my butler:
Here’s the password to my e-mail account… please respond to the pediatrician, the school and my husband – tell them no, I simply can’t, I’ll be out volunteering. Oh, and my cell phone is your new best friend. I’ll check in on him when I go to bed.
6. For my housekeeper:
I know it’s not physically impossible to follow all three of my children around all day, picking up every single dropped toy, but could you rotate according to highest dropping-rate? That’d be great. Oh, and go ahead and spot clean the carpet where my three year-old peed last night. And my closet needs reorganizing. Or Elfa. Whichever you happen to be in the mood for.
Moms, what would be on your staff’s to do list? Go ahead and dream. It’s the closest we’ll come to having a team of 20+ at our beckon call!