This is how my day started today.
After I got home I made myself some lunch, baked a batch of brownies, prepared supper for the next day (it needed to chill overnight) and got a Sheppard’s pie put together and in the oven. Some people might think that this sounds boring. Like a day filled with chores, forced upon me by a sexist society simply because I am a woman. But I thought it was wonderful.
For the first time in my life, I am a SAHW (stay at home wife). Complications late in my pregnancy have seen me go off of work early and onto medical leave, and while I cannot do everything on my to-do list before the baby arrives (like scrub every baseboard in this house) I am able to keep up with the cooking and the majority of the cleaning.
This shift in my life has also been wonderful for my marriage. Although I have only been home for what is nearing 2 weeks, I am more relaxed, and much much happier. No longer am I rushing in the door after a long day at work, followed by a long commute, only to be greeted by a messy house and a supper time scramble trying to get a meal on the table. I used to find myself resentful, angry even, at my husband when he didn’t want to help me with cooking or cleaning after he came in after a day that was inevitably longer than mine. I was overwhelmed, tired, and felt that my situation was unfair, yet unavoidable.
This is no longer the reality of my life, and I hope it never again becomes my reality. Instead of feeling repressed by my gender, when I am able to focus on and embrace my role, I am able to feel competent and caring as the keeper of our home and soon our family.
The reality I want is one that is similar to what a lot of people might envision when they think of the 50’s. Some may judge me for this, tell me that my desire is old-fashioned, or even scoff because they think it is impossible in today’s society. But, once a dreamer, always a dreamer, and I am going to do whatever I can to make it a reality forever. I want to bake my own bread, plant a huge garden and can my harvest to get us through the winter. I want to be financially frugal, plan a balanced budget and look for ways to save and make our family more money. I want to make my own jam, ensure my children never eat a store-bought cookie, attend PTA meetings, and make sure to have a nutritious hot meal on the table each night. I want to do crafts with my children and plan weekly themes. I want to keep an organized home, keep up with the laundry, and never feel overworked or overwhelmed by my responsibilities. I truly believe all of these things are achievable with proper planning and financial sacrifice.
My father would probably ask me- what about your education? Those who know me well would ask me- are you sure that will be enough of a challenge for you? Only time will tell. My education will always be there, but my children will not always be children.
Maybe I don’t know what I am in for. It’s one thing to have all of these goals and ideas before I am actually living in the situation, it’s a completely different story when you have a 2 year old hanging off of your legs, a newborn crying for a feeding, all while the phone is ringing and the potatoes on the stove are boiling over. Don’t get me wrong- I don’t think it will be all sunshine and rainbows, but I do think that when I am an old woman looking back at my life, I will smile and know that I was the best possible wife and mother I could be. And that’s is all you can really ask for.