Housewife has become a dirty word for my generation. It hearkens back to another time, when gender equality was virtually nonexistent.
But now, even in this fairly gender-equal era, I want to stay at home. I want to work from home, cook, clean, garden, decorate. I want to be a “housewife”.
Sure, I was raised conservatively, and yes, my mother was a homemaker (less offensive but still sounds outdated) for most of my life. Yes, I always wondered if she would have preferred to have a career besides being a mother to six, if given the choice. She didn’t.
The best parts of my week generally always have to do with cooking something well, trying a new recipe, planting and harvesting vegetables, feeling a sense of accomplishment after cleaning the house or doing laundry.
The hardest parts of my week are trying to cram everything into evenings and weekends: extracurricular work, special cleaning projects, ongoing laundry and dishes, meal planning and prep, exercise, dog-walking, quality time with my man, not to speak of time with friends and family, and, of course, keeping up with pop culture as everyone is expected to do.
For some (many?) women, being a career professional is no doubt a life stage they are happy with and settled into. Proud of, even.
But I’m in the camp that would like the chance to check emails on the porch with coffee; to have the time to grow a big vegetable garden, and to preserve the extras; to clean the house and do the grocery shopping and walk the dog and make dinner before my man gets home, so we can enjoy our evening together; to just pop into the kitchen to make a fresh lunch; to start dinner more than 20 minutes before I want to eat it.
Is this my middle-class privileged pipe dream? Maybe so, but I haven’t given up on it yet.
Photo by Amy Eaton of Winsome and Whimsy Photography. Taken at Almonte Riverside Boutique Inn, Almonte, Ontario.