Sunday, June 21, 2009

the unemployed housewife

Being a housewife is a career choice for some women. We give up college, career and spur of the moment freedom to settle down, be mom to kids, be the keeper of the home, doer of the laundry, dishes, floors, lover of the husband, balancer of the books, driver, cook, teacher, comforter, doctors assistant. To some women being a housewife is a pleasure and pride, contributing to the world by always being home for the kids when they need her, being companion for her spouse and taking care of the home chores. It’s more than a full time job, it’s a lifetime job. The chores never end but that’s ok. The demands never end but that’s ok too. We don’t get paid, we don’t get sick days or paid vacation, we’ll never see a retirement plan; if we’re lucky our spouse will have good life insurance so we won’t be left without when he dies. We become dependent on our spouse to provide for us.

Being a housewife wasn’t my career of choice growing up. I spent a year in college earning general ed. credits, and then spent another year in college studying horses (horse breeding and stable management) my goal was to cowboy on some ranch and eventually become a horse trainer and breeder. Well love got in the way of that dream. I met a boy and together we started a family. I was always a firm believer in the mom’s place was in the home, so once we had our first child that was the end of my paid employment days. I wasn’t a natural housewife or mother but I took my job seriously and learned both (lots of trial and error). I learned the art of making a great meal, learned that sometimes you have to scrub the kitchen floor on your hands and knees if you want it clean. Learned that bleach should be used in less than moderation unless you wanted to toss out whatever you were cleaning. Learning to be a housewife and mom isn’t something you take college classes for, hopefully you had a mom to teach you the ropes growing up but for me all I learned from my mom was what NOT to do.

So here I am. Divorced. Nearly 8yrs of being nothing more than a home maker, mom and wife. I’m no longer the wife, I am still the home maker and mom but without the spouse working and bringing home the bacon I’m literally unemployed. Of course my need to stay home and raise my kids is still upmost on my list of responsibilities. It’s a sticky place to be in, like anyone who’s unemployed you wonder how you’re going to make ends meet, how long you’ll be unemployed, if your next job will be as good or better and you hope to not let down those who depend on you.

So this is me. An unemployed housewife working to make ends meet, find a better job than the previous one and hoping not to let my kids down in the mean time.

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