I wasn't raised to be a housewife. I was raised to be a lawyer. In fact, I have a lovely diploma from law school sitting up against the wall in our master bedroom. I'm sure that the moment I was handed that parchment was one of my father's proudest memories. Only several months later when I declared my intention to stay at home with my newborn baby did reality strike: I wanted to be a housewife, a homemaker, a stay-at-home-mom, unemployed. Little did I know how unprepared I was.
I thought the job was very straightforward: cook, clean, and care for the baby. Well, I'll tell you what, in suburban Houston there are MANY more responsibilities to being a homemaker. Just to name a few: decorate the house, decorate for every holiday and season, sew, craft, and make something out of nothing on a shoestring budget. Many more will come my way soon: host playdates, be involved with the PTA, volunteer at school, become a chauffeur, plan and prepare for vacations, etc. What is so interesting to me is that these responsibilities fall upon the working mom as well; however, I believe that the expectations aren't quite the same. For example, if the working mom doesn't have a seasonal wreath on her door she is forgiven, but if the homemaker fails to place or change the wreath she is idle.
I am not only surprised by the list and height of high expectations for homemakers, but I am surprised by what is required to do the basic tasks properly. I know I am responsible for doing the grocery shopping and getting dinner on the table, but I didn't know that my baby would select a vegan lifestyle forcing me to make multiple dishes for every meal. I knew that the floors should be vacuumed, but I had no clue that the WALLS should be vacuumed.
I grew up in a house with a housekeeper. She covered the basics. Then, there were the cleaning ladies who, I must assume, did the heavy housework. I wasn't even taught how to fold a sheet, let alone clean a toilet! Nonetheless, I am grateful for what I had, and I am now grateful for what I have. I just feel as though I have so much catching up to do! Every time I think I've mastered the art of homemaking, I pick up a book or read a blog that reminds me how short I have fallen. Maybe it's time to read a NOVEL instead!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Lately, I've been thinking a lot about gratitude. Between my time of need (the surgery) and a friend in need (issues with her baby's health,) I am forced to feel a gratitude for my life far deeper than can be expressed with words. I try to pray my thanks and write my thanks, but it is not enough. Is it greedy to long for the words, the ability to express myself adequately? I am left shaken in blender of grief for those who are grieving and gratitude for the life that is mine.
Yes, we were on the quest to wait. Yes, I was struggling with this decision. Yes, I accidentally got pregnant. It was a tubal pregnancy, so I guess it's not much of a surprise. We don't use birth control because we know that an embryo cannot implant in my uterus without assistance. Since it wasn't a viable pregnancy, it wasn't planned, and I didn't even know about it until I knew something was wrong, it wasn't terribly painful to lose. I did have to have the entire tube removed, and that's a bit frightening considering that I want more children. I did have to undergo surgery, hormonal changes, and painful (physically) symptoms of a miscarriage. In the end, I'll conclude that this was God's confirmation that the right choice for us is to wait a few months. There's some sense of relief when the decision is taken out of my hands, but I know the struggle will re-surface as soon as my body returns to normal. God, help me!