Friday, May 16, 2008

Is Your Dog Green?

Because mine is...or he was last night. Read all about our adventures over at my new animal-centric blog Home Zookeeper. We had a grand time. {insert sarcasm here} I am not a hot weather person. My head still hurts. :(

But it's Friday so I'm definitely happy. Hubby works tonight so the house is mine...all mine! And what will I do with this freedom? Laundry.

Yes, laundry. While I can generally go over a week without needing to wash clothing, it's been almost two and things are looking pretty pathetic around our house. I've been feeling very domestic as well lately. I made bran muffins again (they didn't turn out as good - I think because I used more whole wheat and a different type of sugar) and have plans to try two new recipes that I've never done before. I am not sure what is wrong with me (no I am not pregnant and nesting!) but this is definitely not like me.

I was chatting with my good friend Jennifer Casady. We were both raised to be strong, independent females. My mom always told me that I had to learn to depend on myself and not rely on a man. She didn't say it out of meanness or some supreme feminist anger. She wanted to make sure that I could take care of myself. My dad died when I was 8 years old, leaving my mother, at the age of 34, to take care of two kids by herself. Which she was able to do because she had prepared to take care of herself and not rely on having my dad around forever. So I get it.

And I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself. It's just that I'm not so sure that I really want to be a "working" woman outside of the home for much longer. Which is such a foreign thought to me. There's never been a question in my mind for as long as I've lived that I would go to school and get a job that would become my career. But there is this gnawing aching feeling that I just want to stay home. There are SO many things that I want to work on - organizing the house, designing jewelry, volunteering. Things that I cannot do because of my job.

Hubby wants things both ways. He wants me to cook and clean and take care of the house. But he also wants me to go to work and bring home a paycheck. Sorry mister. Can't have your cake and eat it too.

It will be at least two years before I actually do anything about this desire and who knows, by that time it might be gone. But right now I really want to be home doing laundry (is that sick or what?!).


Roxy said...

aww! that looks like my kitty!

Bethany said...

That looks like one of my kitties too, actually. Smudge is that kind of gray cat.

I was just going to say that I understand what you mean about being raised to take care of yourself. And please don't think I've taken any offense, but I'd like to point out to you that just because a woman stays home, that doesn't mean that she can't take care of herself.

I'm not being defensive, but it's an interesting perspective to consider, if you can. Earning money is just one specific way of showing competance. One way of "taking care". I know many homemakers who are so capable and competant that I can't even imagine keeping up with them. The skills involved with homemaking have been consistently undervalued for decades, until homemakers have come to be seen as unskilled laborers with no value, because they have no monetary value.

I know that you were in no way making a negative post, but I feel very strongly that being able to take care of yourself (and loved ones) extends so much farther beyond a paycheck, so I couldn't help but comment.

Also, I understand that your point was about supporting yourself financially, but I do believe that most of the resourceful and independent minded homemakers I know would have no trouble with that, if the need came.

I do think (obviously) that there's nothing wrong at all about approaching marriage from a team point of view and designating roles and duties.

If a woman doesn't bring money into the home, does that make her less than her husband? Not in our case, which I give you just as an example. I feel that my staying home really helps us to get along so much better. If there's a duty to do with home, I'm responsible for it, and we don't have to fight over it, and I don't have to feel resentful because I've just been at work all day as well. I think that in the long run, this makes our marriage stronger and helps us to be more prosperous.

Hope I didn't overstep my bounds, I'm sure you weren't looking for a lecture. You just got me thinking, and your post really reminded me of how I felt right before I got married, and I was deciding not to go to grad school. I felt so guilty about my desire to stay home then! But I've learned so much since then and I've really come to see the true value of being a homemaker.

P.S. I've posted that Shepherd's Pie recipe, if you want to check it out! You commented on my last post right as I was answering the other comments, so I didn't see it till after I'd published mine, but I wanted to say thanks for the comment, and I'm glad you were looking forward to the recipe. :)

CastoCreations said...

Thank you Bethany!!! And no you did not overstep your bounds silly. :)

I guess my point (not very well maid lol) is that I was raised to be a "feminist" in the liberal sense of the word. But I don't feel like that. I feel that staying home is a very important thing but it's at odds so significantly with how I was raised. My mom did NOT cook. Nor did she clean very often. Not that she couldn't but she didn't have time.

I WANT to stay home. I want to be the CEO of my house. LOL =) I guess it's why I'm drawn to your fascinates me. You take care of that house and it is your *job*. Paid or not. Feminists want us to feel that it is degrading. But it isn't. It's empowering. =)

It's just a hard thing to come to terms with ... I know that if I told my mother she'd freak out. *sigh* I'll deal with that when it gets to that point. :)

Can't wait to see the recipe!!!

Bethany said...

I'm glad you understood my point. That's just what I was trying to say. That there's so much pressure for women to work instead of being homemakers, and a lot of it comes from our feminist mothers. I'm not against equality, but I feel like the right to work has come at a far greater cost than was bargained for. Now women feel guilty if they want to be homemakers. I even know of some women who homeschool in order to have a reason not to have to go back to work. I just can't see what is gained by this career mentality for most women, other than more exhaustion and unhappiness. I'm sure some women are very fulfilled and happy with their careers, but among my friends and aquaintences, that's the exception, not the norm. And the rest are paying the price by staying in jobs that make them unhappy, for a number of reasons (so they don't seem lazy, so as not to be "oppressed", because their families have become dependent on their income).

I've really come to feel very passioinately about this subject because I've found more joy and contentment at home, learning to be a proper homemaker, than I ever have in any job I've ever had, or even as a student (my second favorit position, lol). I don't know if all women would find this to be true, but I think it's sad that more of us don't give ourselves the chance to find out.

Of course, I understand that you can't just quit your job just like that. And it's ultimately between you and your husband, but if you were to ask my advice, I'd fully endorse it. But then again, I'm not the one who'd have to tell your mom. ;)