July 2, 2011
After living a domestic life (without a paid income to call my own) for nearly a year, I have learned a lot. To say it has been easy would be a lie. The beginning months of being home full-time was a tough transition. I had it set firmly in the back of my mind that anything domestic was oppressive to women. Even though I wanted more than anything to be a stay-at-home mom, I couldn’t get over the fact that all the chores that come along with that position were somehow going to turn me into a slave of my own home. Logically, it makes sense that if I am home, I should do the laundry (hey, someone’s got to do it). But logic had nothing to do with it. I managed to turn little chores that only take 10-15 minutes to do into these huge mountains of stress-inducing work. I mean, if it only takes 10-15 minutes to complete, it isn’t very oppressive, and if it is “traditional women’s work” it must be oppressive. I would waste more time wondering when I was possibly going to squeeze in a load of laundry and vacuuming the carpets. There just wasn’t enough time in the day.
Then, all of the sudden I woke up. I realized I was making my life so much more difficult than it had to be. I think I had a fear that if it were easy, or if I made it look like I enjoyed being home (not all stressed out because I couldn’t possibly perform all the tasks that needed to be completed in that time frame) that my husband would somehow force me to go get a job. Like I said, logic had nothing to do with my mindset.
In walks logic; my wakeup call. No one wants to hear it but household chores are not oppressive. They are necessary and most of them do not take longer than 15 minutes. The same goes for cooking. Not only is it not oppressive to cook wholesome, healthy meals for your family, it should be required. When you look at preparing a meal as this huge daunting task, you sure as heck aren’t going to enjoy doing it. That means you will be less likely to do it on a regular basis. My point is not to brag, but 90% of the meals we eat are made from fresh ingredients and prepared in our kitchen. We do go out to eat every now and then. I am known to order an occasional pizza. But, the majority of what we eat is made here. It isn’t difficult and if I can do it, anyone can.
My house is not perfect. I hate doing dishes and rarely do them right after the meal when they “should” be done. I have learned that there will always be dirty laundry and to try to do it all and never have dirty clothes in the house is an impossible task. I don’t dust every day and our guest bathroom only gets cleaned right before we actually have guests. Most of all, I have learned that if you try to be Martha Stewart and always try to have a perfect house, you will make mountains out of mole hills and never get anything done.
Most of what needs to be done on a daily basis can be done in less than a half-hour, which leaves a lot of time for me to enjoy being with my son, helping him learn about the world. How that is oppressive, I do not know. Thank God for logic.