Humor by Diane Farr

One hour into my new job on "Desperate Housewives," Felicity Huffman asks me, "You have three kids under three years old? How are you managing it all with work?" I can't even meet her eye as I shamefully reply, "Work is the best part of my day."

The 12-hour day I am just starting on this set will feel like a vacation compared to the 18-hour shifts I've been pulling at home for the last year with my three small children. Felicity may never know that she threw my entire existence a life preserver when she said, "Walk with me."

On our walk, my new pal shares with me how thrilled she was to come to work in the early years of this series and hide in her trailer. Felicity says she found her double-wide to be a peaceful oasis, in comparison to the high-octane energy of kids as young as mine are now. "It gets so much easier," Felicity gently adds. It takes everything I have to just smile at Lynette Scavo because this kindness makes me want to cry. As well as grab her by the biceps and make her swear to God she is telling the truth.

Two years ago, I found myself pregnant with my second child when my first was only 9 months old. This was . . . inconvenient. Finding out this surprise pregnancy was twins was . . . life-altering. With all those babies come to fruition now, but all three still under age 3, most of my time is currently spent wiping, cleaning, prepping, driving and worrying, with occasional kisses and renditions of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" that somehow keep me going.

The small percentage of my 20-hour days that I go to work -- and get my hair and makeup done, wear fancy clothes and use vocabulary words you must be 4 feet tall to understand -- is spectacular. It's my Disneyland. And I'm seeing, here at my second job since having Irish triplets, that some mommas need to work in the house and out of it, to keep their sense of self.

The only variation seems to be how much time each mother wants and how much she actually gets -- away from our most treasured people. I am sure of this by my third day on "Desperate Housewives" because I spend it working with Marcia Cross.

Marcia and I, coincidentally, got married on the same day and each spent the next year on television shows hiding our pregnancies. She had twins when I had just one -- all born in the same month -- but I quickly went on to have my own twins later that year. As I sat across from Marcia, 3 1/2 years into both our marriages, I noticed she has none of the skittish signs of exhaustion and post-partum that I do. And this on her 48th birthday!

I know I have more children than she does (and I don't have her tremendous paycheck every week) but I'm almost a decade younger than Marcia! She looks fantastic and I feel broken. As I watch her glide around the set, I finally realize what makes a housewife desperate: it's the house - or more specifically, being stuck in it when you don't want to be.

But Felicity and Marcia and the rest of the mommies on Wisteria Lane, offer me advice each day I'm here and show me by example that a happy mom is a better mom. Even if that means I have to/get to/want to be a working mom. So I'm leaving my guilt at home with the diaper bag and hustling out (despite the high-pitched pleas for momma) with a Gucci clutch. I'm heading back to work where I'm now sure I also belong.

Thank you, "Housewives."

Diane Farr is known for her roles in "Californication," "Numb3rs" and "Rescue Me," and as the author of The Girl Code: The Secret Language of Single Women.

Humor & Satire

Humor & Funny Stories - What Makes a Housewife Desperate | Diane Farr

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