Monday, June 22, 2009

Is it wrong to want to be a housewife?

I work - well, I'm self-employed and don't earn much, but it beats setting the alarm for Oh-bugger-o'clock every morning, getting stuck in traffic or sardined in public transport, slogging away for at least nine hours being at one's boss's beck and call, and doing the same slow travel home every night. I did all that for years and it nearly burned me out. Being a passive/aggressive it's hard for me to stand up for myself and say no; I take crap for so long, do a slow burn inside and finally snap. 

But even being self-employed I'm suddenly tired of work. I'm not at the boss's beck and call any more...I'm at my clients' beck and  call. I'm tied to the computer at least five days a week but have the comfort of knowing I don't have to leave home to do it. I can just walk upstairs after breakfast to go to the office.

The trouble is I have a secret desire. I don't want to work. I never have, really. I've HAD to work, I've even been a career woman, back in the 90s, clawing my way through middle management and actually pretty satsified for a while. 

I would love to be 'just a housewife'. I wouldn't care about being financially dependent on someone else, or not having much money to spend - it's not that I can splash money around at the moment anyway! I like the idea of my 'job' being to keep the house looking good, to do the washing and cooking and so on. It's work I do anyway and get satisfaction out of.

Just think, no more having to arrange and attend business breakfasts and networking events, no more meetings, no more stress. The hardest decision would be what to cook for dinner. I'd have time during the day to visit my Mum, who is currently not in the greatest of health, without feeling guilty about keeping clients waiting. I'd have the mental freedom to explore my creativity and put time into hobbies that could turn serious - writing and drawing/painting. 

There was a song in the 1980s called Everybody Wants to Work; I can't remember who sang it. But the chorus was along the lines of "Everybody wants to work, oh no, not me." And that's exactly how I felt and still feel. 

I guess I wasn't smart enough, pretty enough, sexual enough and outgoing enough to catch the attention of a wealthy man in my youth and make all my housewifey dreams come true; that's not to say I have self-esteem issues, it's a measure of the person I was then and realistically still am. I married in my forties a couple of years ago to a lovely self-employed divorcee who's almost as cash-strapped as I am. 

Am I alone in my housewifey dreams? Are there other women out there who feel obliged to do the corporate thing because it's expected of them? Germaine Greer and the early feminists fought hard so that women who wanted careers could have them, and bless them for that. But what of those who want to be old-fashioned? Is it wrong to want to be a housewife?

1 comment:

  1. You have a right to be anything you want, whether fierce career woman or housewife. The point is that you decide, and societal fashions should not make you feel guilty.