A LOW-TECH, STAY-AT-HOME MOM WHO LIVES OFF THE ELECTRIC GRID IN AN ISOLATED, THREE-STORY TREEHOUSE SWAPS PLACES WITH A HIGH-POWERED, PLUGGED-IN CAREER MOM WHO'S WIRED IN SUBURBIA, ON ABC'S "WIFE SWAP."
This week, in "Cedarquist/Oeth," a low-tech, stay-at-home mom who lives off the electric grid in an isolated, tree house swaps places with a high-powered, plugged-in career mom who's wired in suburbia, on ABC's "Wife Swap"-- the critically-acclaimed unscripted reality show that takes us into the intimate heart of the American family home to reveal the extraordinarily different ways families live their lives - WEDNESDAY, MARCH 9 (10:02-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
Each week, from across the country, two families with very different values are chosen to take part. In a two week-long challenge, the wives from these two families exchange husbands, children and lives (but not bedrooms) to discover what it's like to live another mother's very different life. It's a mind-blowing experiment that often ends up changing their lives forever.
Nancy Cedarquist (36), husband Keith (38) and their six kids, Erik (13), Bryce (11), Bria (eight), Riley (six), Kyler (four) and Nolan (two), live in a remote, three-story tree house they built themselves in northern Vermont. The Cedarquists abandoned suburbia and responsibilities and now live a laid-back life, hiding away from the world and technology. The family lives completely off the electric grid, relying on solar panels, a small generator and candles to light and power their home. In the winter, Nancy must get up every two hours during the night to put more wood on the modest stove that heats the house. She is outspoken in her belief that women belong in the home and men should go to work to support their families. Keith is employed at the local paper mill, while Nancy takes care of all the domestic affairs, laboring over four-course organic meals she makes from scratch each day for her family. Outspoken Nancy doesn't understand why any mother would choose to go to work and be away from her children, or worse, put them in daycare. She is intent on being the primary influence in her children's lives and home-schools them. She resents being forced into the role of disciplinarian because weak-willed Keith has no control over the kids. According to Mom, not even the dogs respect him. The chaotic Cedarquists believe in living for the moment, rather than worrying about the future.
Nancy travels to suburban Pennsylvania to the modern, well-lit home of the Oeth family, where mom Christy (35) and husband Michael (36) run their family like a business, as they raise James (eight), Lauren (six), Molly (two-and-a-half) and Delaney (15 months). Type-A Christy is a controller at a money management firm and the family's main breadwinner, while Michael works from home, trying to start up his own tech company. Because of Christy's demanding job and the family's busy schedule, the regimented Oeths implement a strict time management system to make each day go like clockwork. Michael runs the household and takes care of the shopping, cooking and childcare. He is extremely organized, and has even devised a special computer program that maps out the fastest route through the supermarket, based on the items on the market list. Christy and Michael decided to put their two youngest children in day care, a move they believe is a solid investment in their financial future, as it frees up Michael to give uninterrupted attention to launching his new business. Mom and Dad frequently split up the family on nights and weekends in order to squeeze in all the kids' activities, leaving them very little time together. Christy and Michael place a great deal of emphasis on their children's education and preparing for the future.
In the first week of the swap, Nancy chafes at having to leave the kids at daycare, and fails miserably in the corporate world where she gets caught daydreaming and doodling during an important business meeting. Meanwhile, tree house living exhausts Christy after one sleepless night of stoking the fire, then pushes her to tears when Jeff reects her less-than-perfect cooking. But in the second week of the swap, when the moms turn the tables and enforce their own rules, Nancy pulls the plug on the "Oeths Inc." and takes the children out of school and daycare to enjoy her own freewheeling style of home schooling, enraging normally mild mannered Mike. And Christy takes over managing the tree house, restructuring the children's home schooling schedule and assigning Keith a week in his wife's well-worn shoes.
At the end of the swap, will these moms find common ground about shared problems, or are their differences as wives, mothers and couples too great to be overcome?
"Wife Swap" is an RDF Media production. It was created by Stephen Lambert and is executive-produced by Lambert and Jenny Crowther of RDF Media ("Faking It" and "Junkyard Wars") and Michael Davies of Diplomatic ("Who Wants to be a Millionaire"). Wendy Roth is the co-executive producer.
This program carries a TV-PG parental guideline.