Friday, August 21, 2009

"The Passion of the Hausfrau" - My Sardonic Companion

After I had my son, I virtually stopped reading altogether. I was barely sleeping and eating, so needless to say reading went on the back burner. The only book I seemed to keep reading over and over again was "Goodnight Moon," and it wasn't for my own benefit. I will say, though, that my son starts to beam each time I say "In the great great room there was a telephone!" The first line of this classic children's book.

Recently, my friend Josina recommended a book to me that she really enjoyed.

"You must read this book, Sarah!" She said "You will love it!"

The book she spoke of was "The Passion of the Hausfrau" By Nicole Chaison

I finally got it together and requested the book from the Brooklyn Public library.

As soon as I started reading "The Passion of the Hausfrau," I fell in love with Nicole Chaison. She is the sarcastic yet sensitive and thoughtful voice that I could not find within the pages of "Goodnight Moon" no matter how many times I read it aloud to my son.

Nicole Chaison epitomizes how I feel on a daily basis. I particularly relate to this passage:

"The day started like any other. I awoke to the heaping piles of unfinished business and other people's crap that lay about the house, and so I rolled up my sleeves and made a big pot of coffee, drank it, and then became a jittery, scattered, overwhelmed shrew unable to deal with any of it." (Chaison, p. 169)

I love this woman. Nicole Chaison is not some generic mother who doles out boring parenting advice. She is a hilarious, intelligent human being who happens to have two kids that frequently appear in her anecdotes.

The headings of her vignettes are clever and often made me laugh aloud. Here are some examples of her chapter titles: "The Tale of The Dunkin' Donuts Drive Thru Debacle," "The Tale of Republican Man," "Home Renovation, or How it Came to Be that I Sat in Cat Diarrhea."

Chaison's book chronicles her life with her husband and two children in a brutally honest way. She admits when she makes mistakes with her kids, like when she decided to write a "love note" to her eight year old son and leave it in his lunch box. When he came home, he told her that she had embarrassed him in front of his friends.

There is a particularly funny section where she recounts how the events of the day surrounding her children lead to the depletion of serotonin molecules in her brain. Such events include her daughter peeing on the living room floor and her son refusing to eat tofu.

When I read "The Passion of The Hausfrau," I felt like I had found a book that portrayed motherhood as it really is; funny, challenging, maddening, rewarding and heartwarming.

For more information on "The Passion of The Hausfrau." visit Nicole Chaison's website here.


  1. I really enjoyed this blog and will surely read this book. She really captures the comic humor of parenting in a very funny, upbeat and self deprecating way. Oh to be able to see the humor of our suffering.

  2. My favorite book was "Runaway Bunny" by Margaret Wise Brown. Here's a you tube reading although the pictures and artwork add so much to the story.

    After listening to this, I realized how much this explains my relationship with my mother...

  3. Mom- You won't be disappointed. Great book!

    Marjorie- I LOVE "The Runaway Bunny" too! So does Ari, as a matter of face. I understand exactly how you feel about this book. I, too, feel that it sheds some light on my own relationship with my mom. Great you tube reading! Her voice really captures the essence of the story. I do love the pictures in the actual book.


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