Thursday, August 12, 2010

Housewife By Default

In the last couple of years, I’ve transitioned from working 60 hours per week, to working part-time from home, to not technically working.  The other day, I was washing dishes on a weekday afternoon in my pajamas, and I came to the panicked realization that I was, in fact, a housewife.

Not that there’s anything wrong with being a housewife.  But there’s a difference between choosing to be a housewife and becoming one by default.  During business hours, I should be focusing on my career (or lack thereof), but when I’m confronted with a pile of dirty dishes, I just can’t help myself.  If only I had my husband’s ability to ignore all domestic tasks.

It seems that I’m not the only woman with this problem.  I had trouble finding a title for this post that didn’t infringe on someone else’s copyright.  You’d be surprised how many accidental housewives and unintentional housewives are out there.  Women everywhere are "accidentally" quitting their jobs or having babies and are – through no fault of their own – winding up housewives.

One of my least favorite stereotypes is that women just want to get married so that they can stop pretending to be interested in their careers.  Okay, fine, so I sort of quit my job a few months after getting married, but I certainly didn’t plan it that way.  I had a history of saying "I quit" long before I said “I do.”  It’s not my fault that our honeymoon gave me a lot of time to reflect.  Here I am having an epiphany while riding an elephant bareback through the jungles of Thailand…

I was also suffering from post-wedding depression.  Planning a wedding is a huge distraction, and once the wedding is over, reality sets in.  The biggest day of your life is behind you, and from now on, every day will be exactly the same...  It’s no wonder so many women quit their jobs after getting married.

Since I do still want a career, I’m trying hard not to fall into housewife mode.  At this very moment, there’s a really disgusting pan in the sink, and although it’s killing me, I refuse to wash it until after 6pm.  I’m also avoiding soap operas and talk shows, sweatpants and bathrobes, and eating on the couch.  It’s too bad, because I really like eating on the couch.

1 comment:

  1. Give up eating on the couch! Now that's just crazy talk.