Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Reluctant Housewife

Since we have moved to Indiana, my job has been to be a housewife. And I'm not doing such a good job with it.

I like my house to be company clean all the time. That involves a lot of what my mom used to call elbow grease. Cleaning bores me silly. Give me a choice of the vacuum and a good book, and the vacuum will stay in the closet.

I loathe laundry. The actual sorting and washing and drying doesn't bother me, it's the folding and putting away the clean laundry that stymies me. I miss the days when my mother-in-law did our laundry and folded it and even separated it by owner. Of course, Margaret has gotten a bit forgetful as she's gotten older, and we did have some mix ups. Most notable was the time we went over to their house for dinner and my father-in-law was sporting my Ramones tee shirt.

I've done a lot of reading lately on the Retro Housewife roles many women have decided to take. I do believe right now that it's important for me to be available for my children. I do believe that since Martin is working a high profile job, and working hard long hours at it, I should take care of the house and support his career. Since I'm not working, we have made financial sacrifices, and I'm pretty good about being frugal.

The feminist in me screams against this, but then quiets down and tells me that this is a choice I made; I have the choice to work or not. I think many women in my age group were raised to believe we had to have it all: the husband, the kids, the house, the career.

We all saw those Charlie perfume commercials.

I spent a good part of my life living to work. Now, I have a more important job; taking care of my family. As my wise friend Judy suggested, I need to take pride in the small jobs I accomplish around the house.

That probably means no more laundry baskets in the dining room.


judemiller1 said...

Lisa, you might find this website helpful--it works and you just do chores 15 minutes at a time. Try it, you might like it.

loretta said...

I love that Flylady website, too. When I moved to this house 3 years ago, I vowed never to leave dishes in the sink now that I had a dishwasher and not to let the laundry pile up now that I had my washer & dryer again.

I have managed to keep the sink vow, and most of the time the laundry is not a big deal (although I wish my kids were more independent).

The things I now dread most were the things I used to enjoy: grocery shopping and cooking. I hate, hate, hate both.

If I could give my kids a pill and never have to cook or eat again, I'd sign up right now!

I learned the hard way that I had to have a little corner of my own life to myself. Right now, it's tennis. It used to be the blog, and before that my mini music career. Always have something of your own and the hausfrau stuff is bearable.

Have the T-shirt said...

Lord, I hate housework, which is why I used a cleaning service for years. I stopped that about a year ago and now I find I do my chores in short spurts.

I goof off doing whatever I'm doing and promise myself that at 10 I'm gonna run the vaccum.

At 10 I do it and go back to goofing off and tell myself that at 11 I'm gonna dust.

Then I do it. I do this all freakin' day long till all my 'chores' are done.

Aren't I sillY? I mean, I could be a GROWN UP and just clean my damned house, but I prefer these little games I play with myself.

No wonder I'm single :P

Nadine said...

I like Have the T-Shirt's comment about goofing off between chores. I'm pretty strict about not leaving any dirty dishes in the sink.

Goofing off's important, otherwise that neverending list of chores just sucks your life away.

judemiller1 said...

You're not lazy, just not motivated--it's hard to get motivated to do house work!