Oh my god. I think I’m a housewife.
That horrendous thought gradually crept on me over the weekend, like a poisonous spider daintily walking on your arm before it sinks its fangs into you. It started Thursday night when we were at our friend Amy’s house. I watched as she told her husband to go do the dishes and, lo and behold, he did. Wow. The only time that has ever happened at my house was when I was pregnant and too sick to do it. Granted, Siig and I have always had a nice division of labor. I would shop and clean and he would make dinner. But now I’m cooking too. Hmmm, had I been suckered into something?
A few nights later we had some friends over for a barbecue. My friend Lola started talking about how she gets her son ready in the morning but makes her husband put him to bed because she cooks and does the dishes, and works. Wait a second, I thought. I cook and do the dishes and bath the kids, and most nights I put them both to bed. And right now I don’t really have any work.
So that makes me…….a housewife? A stay-at-home mom?
Gasp! Shudder the thought. It can’t be. I’m too educated, too ambitious, too motivated, too much of a feminist. Even when I was in junior high, I would secretly laugh at the Moms pushing their strollers in the morning as I passed them on my bike. I would not be like them. I was going to be Somebody. Somebody with a career.
Until recently, I thought I had found that balance between motherhood and my own, much needed non-mom identity as a writer. I seemed to always have enough work to keep me occupied two to three days a week. But in the last month, I’ve hit a dry spell. I have one more article lined up, and then nothing. Granted, as a writer I always seem to have peaks and valleys; some months I will be slammed and then the next, only a story here or there. But right now I feel like I’m in the frickin’ Sahara.
And this all comes at a time when Siig is working his butt off at the beginning of the landscaping season, so I’ve felt the need to support him by shouldering the majority of work at home. It seems only fair that the spouse who is working the least outside the home should do the most inside the home. I just always thought I would have some work to anchor me in the “part-time working mother” world. And now that I have no work to speak of, I feel adrift in a sea of housewifeness.
In other words, I’m having an identity crisis.
I carry around a copy of Cooking Light Magazine when I shop at the store; I’m making nice meals almost every night; I’m shuttling the kids to school and their activities. Just slap an apron on me and call me June Cleaver, for Christ’s sake.
I tell myself it’s only temporary, the work will come. I’ll be back to writing articles in no time. So revel in this time, I says to myself. Love the Domestic Diva you never knew you had. Marvel in the Betty Crocker Goddess that is emerging from her shell.
I don’t entirely mind being a Desperate Housewife. I just want it to be part-time.