Three years ago I made a huge transition in my life. I went from working every day in corporate America to becoming a housewife. I was still fairly young, 27, and I wasn’t married. I was a fauxswife. I’ve posted before about how the transition was difficult and coping with the new job title got to me. As I prepare to add stay at home mom to my resume the insecurities of being a housewife and SAHM are beginning to bubble up again. The weird thing is when I tell people that I’m staying home with our daughter they are really supportive. I think in the culture we’ve built ourselves it’s become a very common theme that work comes before family. SAHM were a thing of the past and they are making a come back including dads now.
A couple months ago I was watching the TV show Roseanne. I don’t know why I love that show so much but we all have that one show, amIright? There was an episode where Roseanne was telling her daughter that she had to go to college because she wanted her daughter to have a better life than she has. Roseanne works blue collar jobs, has three kids, and a husband who heavily relied on her. I agree that you should go to college and figure out what you want to do with your life, but should we really push the idea that having a family, house, and a suburban life isn’t the life you want? We push our kids to have more. More than we had. More than we have. Just more.
I grew up very fortunate. We weren’t wealthy by any means but I was fortunate because I had my mom at home growing up. I had parents that were there every second to teach me right from wrong. Take us on road trips that we still talk about today. Let us bring our books out to our favorite reading tree even if that meant they got dirty. Obviously, not every day was sunshine and rainbows. Who’s family life is that? I am aware that my kids won’t have sunshine and rainbows every day but I also don’t want them to feel that I am stuck in this situation and I regret every part of it. Sometimes when I say I’m a housewife I can feel the person thinking, “Another spoiled Exeter housewife.” or “What went wrong? Didn’t you have goals in life?”
What if I told you that one of my goals was to be a housewife and mom and went to college because that’s what I was suppose to do? College was honestly some of the best years of my life. I found loves of my soul and had experiences that I would never exchange. But I have to ask myself if I didn’t feel such societal pressure to go to college, would I have done it? I hate saying that I have a degree in psychology that I don’t use, but it is true. I am paying back student loans for something that I don’t practice…well I diagnose people all the time but I can’t legally do anything. I didn’t go through college and jobs to find a mate and settle down, believe me. But there was always a larger part of me that wanted to be a wife and mom. Period.
So why is that a bad thing? The term housewife was created in a time where it was attached to an oppression. A housewife wasn’t a partner in a marriage, they were an employee of the man. A housewife wasn’t openly appreciated for running a house and family, it was their expected job. A housewife wasn’t a person, they were an image to be upheld. Nowadays a housewife is so much more. At least in our house that title is. Tim and I 100% make all the decisions for our family together. Financial, where to live, how to raise our kids, etc. It’s all done together. We appreciate what the other does for our family. Tim tells me all the time he is thankful for the work I do for our family. I tell Tim I am thankful for the work he does to help keep our family going.
In our house the title of housewife won’t be a four letter word. It will be an option. We will encourage our daughter and any other children we have to explore the world outside our house. If they want to go to college, great. If they want to travel the world and write about what they see, awesome. If they want to get married and start a family for themselves, go for it. Our nowadays have turned kinda hippie in that we feel that everyone is special and gets a trophy for breathing. However, it’s also teaching us that we don’t have to give into what others think of us and what we should or shouldn’t be doing with our lives. I mean why do others care so damn much anyway? At the end of the day if you and your family are happy and healthy with their situation, isn’t that what matters? If you are happy and healthy with your situation, isn’t that what life comes down to? No, housewife won’t be a four letter word but it will mean something pretty great.