Becoming a housewife was not as easy as I expected. When I quit earning a paycheck 11 years ago, I traded in my dignity and respect. Thoughtless comments from others implied that my life now had little worth. As I cleaned house, cooked meals, and wiped dirty bottoms I almost began to agree. When I figured out that I would never be able to pee or shower alone again I realized that I now had a life without vacation. When my husband complained about the whiny child I placed in his arms the second he arrived home (I knew better) I told him he had 20 minutes of peace and quiet on his drive home and it was my turn. The life of a housewife is full of love but not full of glamour.
Before I go any further, I want you to know that this is by no means a springboard for the stay-at-home vs working mom debate. Don't even think about going there. This is a blog written by housewives so I am simply writing about the life of one.
I would never trade this time I have had with my boys. I have held the #1 most important place in their hearts because I have been able to be their main caretaker. I have had the luxury of being able to make this choice, and for this I am grateful. For my family, this was even necessary.
There have been many moments lately when I have felt like a failure in the housewife category. We've had to eat out quite a bit lately. My piles of stuff are building. For the last three weeks the game room has looked like a tornado came through.
My mother would not approve.
When my mom comes to visit, she is chomping at the bit to tackle some of the chaos that surrounds me. It is in these moments that I realize part of my mess is due to choices I made. Instead of cleaning the game room, I got in the pool with Jacob. Instead of straightening my office and paying the water bill (oops), I was taking Michael to camp and joining friends for breakfast. Instead of organizing the pantry, I sit by my husband and watch our favorite TV shows before bedtime. I'm choosing people over chores. I'm pretty okay with that as long as the work eventually gets done.
The world is a different place from when our moms were mothering. With cell phones and internet, we are busier and more connected than ever. My mom set a great example by volunteering but I have taken it to a whole new level. There are drains on our time that didn't exist for them. Remember when the TV actually tuned out for the night? You had to go to sleep or read at those odd hours of the night.
This got me thinking about the history of housewife-ing and I found this quiz to share with you. What would your score on the marital scale be if you were a husband or wife in the 1930's? I think of myself as doing an exceptional job around here because I take care of most things in our household. My husband has stepped it up a notch lately (Hallelujah!) and helps more with dishes and kids' bedtimes but the responsibility of most tasks is assumed to be mine.
So would I make a good 1930's wife?
Apparently, I wouldn't.
As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Poor (Failure)
Before you start laughing and pointing your finger, I'd like you to see a page of it.
Clearly, I fail at being a good housewife because I'm not a morning person.
I have never pretended to like mornings so I don't feel the need to justify the fact that I don't greet my cheery husband in full makeup with a gourmet breakfast at 6:30 a.m.
As I was taking the quiz, my Prince Charming thought my failures were really funny.
As a 1930s husband, I am
Very Poor (Failure)
If you take the quiz - let us know your score!