I Am (And Love To Be) Everything You Hate: I Am a Housewife
I too was raised in the spirit that you have to grow up and work, to have your own money and the sense of liberty that comes with it, but even so, I've ended up being a housewife at some point and in time I've got to the point where I love it.
I have seen my parents coming from work every day. And even if my mother was tired after a long day of working in constructions at the same rate as men did it - otherwise, in case of layoffs she would have been the first to go because she was a woman and they needed men force - she would sometimes stop by the market, carry the grocery home, where she would start preparing dinner, cleaning the house, washing the laundry (by hand, until we could afford a washing machine), ironing, and so on.
She didn't do all of these daily, but after a hard day of work it is enough just to do one of these things when you get home.
When she was coming home from work, I was outside, playing with other children, and I would run to her so happy to see her, and also to see if she bought me something sweet. I thought to myself: this is how I want to be when I grow up. I want to come home from work and have my children run happy to me, I want to take care of everyone even if all I feel like doing is lie down on the couch and rest.
I have tried it, for a while, and I was so incredibly unhappy. I was sure that all women were tired and unhappy, but they all keep on doing it because they have to. Then, I met women who weren't doing this, who were taking breaks when they were tired, who weren't trying to do it all in one day, and who were stay-at-home mothers ... and their world didn't crumble just because they were different.
When I gave up the job I had because I got tired of working from 8AM to 10PM without any recognition and for a really low salary, I was sure I would find something better in no time. It didn't happen. Time was passing, I was still at home and my head felt like it was about to explode.
I was depressed all the time, I was trying to find any job possibly, no matter how bad it was and how low the salary was. I just needed to work ... because I had that voice inside my head telling me all the time that this is what “normal” means: to have a job, to be a good wife, to be a good mother ... to do all that women fought for so many years.
You can imagine my disappointment and guilt when I wasn't doing all that. I wasn't employed, I wasn't a wife, I didn't have children, all I had was a boyfriend and a house to take care of. He never reproached me not having a job, but I was feeling sick to my stomach every day thinking at what ideas might go through his head: she's not good enough to find a job, she gave up the job she had with nothing else as a backup plan, will she ever be more than she is, will she ever succeed? ... and many other ideas that were actually going through my mind, but I was imagining them going through his as well.
I am still struggling sometimes with these thoughts, and still fall in depression thinking that this is it, this is all I'm ever going to be. I am working online, but it is not the same as having a steady (even if a bad one) salary.
Life forces you to do a lot of things that you didn't think you will do, to adapt as you go, to accept what throws your way. And I have to say that at some point this is exactly what I did. I stopped fighting and accepted that I am a housewife and that maybe this is all I'm going to be. Then, I've started thinking at what all this implies and I've realized that I like being a housewife. I like cooking a hot meal almost daily, I love keeping a clean house, and I love taking care of my husband to be, being really good at it.
I've also learned that I can take breaks and the sky won't come falling down; that I can let things get messy sometimes just to clean them after; I've learned how to relax without having that guilt feeling making me feel like I am about to throw up.
Yes ... I am one of those who take women back from the liberty they've achieved, and I don't think I should apologize for it. Not all women are born to wish to be leaders, bosses and big company runners. Not all of us think that your life is meaningless if you don't work all day long and come home so tired that you can barely drag your feet. Some of us actually found out that they love to be a stay-at-home wife, or mother, and that they are pretty good at it.
So, before any working woman judges the one who decides (by themselves or forced by events) to be a homemaker, just think that they never judge you for deciding to work all day as hard as men do it, or sometimes even harder.
Have you been through a similar situation, feeling guilty?
Tell me in a comment what have you ever feel guilty for. From the fear of not being a good wife, not being good at your job, fear of being a stay-at-home mother and so on ... what's the guilty feeling that is (or was) eating you up alive?