Doing things differently since 1984
A great and radical thing is about to happen in my life… At the end of this week, I will abandon my promising career as a lifelong desk jockey to become a full-time/overtime housewife. Or stay-at-home mom. Or domestic engineer. Or whatever you want to call it.
As I mentioned in my post, “Have Women Got it Wrong? ”, it’s been a source of great internal conflict, having to abandon my young children every morning, and be somewhat on the sidelines in these precious, formative years of their lives.
But now, my husband has become part of that 0.3% reduction in unemployment that’s had everyone hopping, and thus we have the opportunity to untie the rather grotesque knot that’s been created by two years of us being “modern” in our role reversals. Neither of us were truly happy in those roles; our minds were open, but our hearts and wills betrayed us. Judging by the amount of women at my work who expressed genuine congratulations to my “career move”, I would say we are not alone.
I know that many mothers are very happy in their full-time careers. I salute them. I am not one of them. Many see a transition like mine from skyscrapers to Sesame Street as a step down… I see it as a step up. While I once dreamt of spending my days travelling the world, doing daring deeds, and influencing many, I now dream of the joys of tending a garden, risking everything for my family, and raising my kids to be the kind of grown-ups I can be proud of.
I’m no 50’s wife… I don’t like putting product in my hair, or scrubbing surfaces that already look clean, or hosting a 5-course dinner served on china with people I don’t like. I don’t like watching soap operas, turning my brain off, or gossiping about celebrities or neighbors. I will continue writing this blog, hopefully writing a book as well, challenging attitudes and assumptions made throughout our society today, with a writing standard that would make a university professor proud. I’m not a stereotype – never have been, and never will be.
Both me and my husband have new skills to learn – we are both starting new careers. Anyone else who would look at it differently, quite frankly, is short-sighted. For me, I barely know how to cook, sew, or generally how to make-my-own anything. I’ll need to go to the internet for ideas for productive playtime with the kids, because my ideas are few. I’ll need to learn how to teach my kids all kinds of skills, from potty training to anger management. I’m basically untested in how I’ll cope with 24/7 household management. Like with any new career, there is a mixture of excitement and anxiety in how I’ll fare in my new position. But I think I’ll do well, because I tend to excel in whatever I want to do.
Sorry, this isn’t a typical post. I’m not talking about any radical ideas, and society at large has hardly gotten a mention. However, I often talk about forgoing the things in life that don’t matter, and embracing the things that do. So in a way, this post is to proclaim that I’m capable of taking my own advice.