Alice, you’re always welcome to clean my house

My house is never ready for company unless I clean right before you get there.

Actually, I take that back. If my kids are spending the night with Grammy and Papa, our house looks pretty darn good. Add our offspring to the equation, and be careful that you don’t trip over toys as you cross the threshold.

What I really need is a full-time housekeeper like Alice from “The Brady Bunch,” a television show that continues to mess with my mind.

“The Brady Bunch” normally gets a lot of flak for presenting an unrealistic depiction of blended families.

I think it deserves even harsher criticism for its imaginative description of home economics. How many people do you know who have a full-time housecleaner like Alice?

Melinda Gates, please put your hand down.

Part maid, part cook, part personal shopper, Alice keeps the Brady household humming.

All Carol Brady has to do is keep track of six kids. That should be a piece of cake! Especially since Carol has such a sweet station wagon to drive them around to all of their activities like football, student council, debate, singing, Scouts and drama club.

Fun, right?

Both Alice and Carol have the comfort of knowing that Mike Brady’s job as an architect pays enough money to support nine people in comfortable style. Their mortgage is never underwater, and I bet they all have health insurance, too.

When Mike Brady gets home from work he can count on the house being clean, dinner being served, and homework being finished and corrected.

That leaves him plenty of time to head to his den and check his email. Oh, wait! Email isn’t invented yet. What’s Mike doing in there anyway? Relaxing?

I can be Carol and I can be Alice, but I can’t be Carol and Alice at the same time.

Either I can keep my house spanking clean and feed my family nutritious meals (like Alice) or I can be a super awesome and attentive mom (like Carol).

But I can’t pack lunches, volunteer at school, run to the grocery store, pay bills, dash to preschool, take my daughter to the park, rush home to the bus stop, check homework, feed everyone dinner before soccer practice and also manage to vacuum. (Unless I turn on Roomba that is.)

Working moms are probably thinking I’m pretty pathetic right now. Go ahead and judge me because I amaze myself with my own slovenliness at times. I just emptied the dishwasher an hour ago, and it’s already time to reload!

Don’t even get me started on my rant about cleaning the toilet and little boys …

My hat is off to all working women for keeping the workplace a friendly place for women and forging new opportunities for our daughters.

I bet working moms wish they had an Alice just as I do. Coming home from the office to Carol Brady might be handy, too. Especially when Peter has a volcano project due tomorrow at school that he forgot to tell you about until now.

Jennifer Bardsley is an Edmonds mom of two and blogs at teachingmybabytoread.blog.com.

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