Wednesday, December 30, 2009

'You can be a house wife now!'

So I just had a most interesting conversation with my boss. Well my barely boss now. The one I worked under while I was doing my 30 hour contract. She phoned a couple of hours ago and asked if she could pop by so that I could fill sign some paperwork. I really have no idea what I scribbled my name on but I did. As she was leaving she asked how my Christmas was, blah, blah, blah and as I was mentioning how I've enjoyed not working, not doing school and just hanging out she asked if my husband was off too. I said 'Yes, until Monday when he starts his job.'

She replied with lit up eyes and a high pitched 'Oh! This means you can be a housewife now ... if you want to.'

I say 'Yeah ... I guess maybe ... someday. I kinda want to work though.'

'But it's nice to know you have that option.' She says.

'Yeah, I guess it is.' Then we said our goodbyes, I got on the elevator in utter disbelief at her initial reaction.

I guess I shouldn't be offended or 'ruffled', especially considering the source (no disrespect intended, but she's human and has 'issues' like everyone else). It really struck me though that her first response wasn't congratulatory but rather assuming.

It's kind of funny because the person I was before I went to school would have openly said ' Actually, you are right! I am so relieved. I have really always wanted to be a house wife and now my dreams can come true!' To be honest when I first got married those were exactly my dreams ... maybe that's why her comment annoyed my so much.

Now I have to say right off that I think being a housewife is an amazing job, hard and often thankless work, running a ship of sorts. I respect any woman who takes this job on and seriously devotes herself to her home. I consider myself a housewife, to a degree, even though I work outside of the home. But I have to say since my recent 70 hour work week experiences I had to give up that job and allow my husband to take over completely, leaving me jobless in the home. And even now returning to that position it won't be the same, as my husband had to step up and take over for several months and now takes some degree of ownership of the duties that need to be done.

I suppose much of the reason I get bothered when people say such things is that it is assumed that the goal of every woman is to stay home to work. I used to think it would be my choice, then I realized that there were gifts and talents within me that could now bloom in that environment. Gifts no more important than that of a housewife but things that for me specifically couldn't be fulfilled (at least not at this particular point in my life) while solely at home.

I realized in the past few years that my aspirations to be at home were predominantly selfish and based in fear. Fear of what I thought I could do and what I thought I couldn't do. Fear of confrontation, fear of failure, fear of the big wide world. After several years of financial struggle and having to provide for Wally and myself I learned that no matter where you are you need to learn and grow. You cannot hide away and still grow. For me staying home would be hiding, at least while I was as immature as I was in life. I have one close friend in particular that is a 'stay at home mom' and I have to laugh when I think of that being her title because she is anything but 'at home'. Sure she doesn't hold a job outside of her family but man, that woman couldn't hide away if she wanted to. She has two wee ones and is constantly one the go with them, traveling, trying new things, going new places, meeting new friends and so involved in her community it tires me.

then there are those like another friend I have who is house bound. Not going outside much, afraid of the outdoors, other people, and so many other things I don't even want to go into. I would've totally turned into that girl. I am so thankful for how life has turned out for Wally and I. I truly feel like I've learned so many lessons I wouldn't have if I'd been a housewife from the beginning.

I won't lie though. It does give me a sense of comfort knowing that my husband can provide for us on his own. It gives me relief from the years when it wasn't enough and I had to work full time too to make sure the bills got paid, the car got fixed and the food was on the table. For the moment I do feel that I've been given the gift of little pressure to work, however that does not mean I want to abandon my passion to work with people in a formal setting. It's interesting that we assume that the preference would always be to not to get involved when given a choice.

After saying all of that I have to add that someday my natural reaction or desire may be to work because it is what I've done for so long. Fear of not working, providing, or fulfilling a career outside of the home may be what I have to overcome to answer a new calling to stay home with my family. Who knows? I aspire to be someone that is open and willing to follow whatever path I feel lead towards and become the woman I have been created to be no matter what fears may try and hold me back.

That my friends, is what can make life such an adventure!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I SO understand this post. In many ways I want to stay home, but I would say that two of my biggest motivations are laziness and selfishness. I think that being a housewife (when I have no children at home) wouldn't be particularly edifying to me as a person since I am prone to wasting time and laziness.
It was important to me though to hear my husband say that it could be possible (in the future) for me to stay home. I think I'd still choose to work outside the home, but I feel less trapped knowing I have options :) On bad work days, or days I'm feeling sick and have to deal with grumpy "clients", housewifery does look very appealing:)
Love Bex
PS- Maybe I should work part-time so I can do a better job at the housewifing I do do:)