Sunday, September 26, 2004
There was a time when I would look down on anyone who called themselves a ‘housewife’. The term immediately conjured up images of someone who simply wasn’t interested in life anymore - a lazy bum who spent their waking hours cooking and watching daytime telly. Someone who had no ambition, no drive, desire or self-esteem. In those days I was a hotshot career woman working in a fancy television channel and I could afford to have this stereotypical, holier-than-thou attitude.But years went by and my family grew. Now, I have consciously chosen to put my career on hold to raise my family. To spend time with children. To not juggle career and home life. To not make a martyr of myself by trying to do it all. Sure, there are women out there who manage to run a career and be a mother. I’m just not one of them. So now, I am something I never thought I would be - a housewife. And guess what? It’s my choice.
People think I no longer have an ambition or drive or desire to do something. Of course not. There are so many things I do in my day and so much more I plan for. I ran a marathon last year and plan to do a triathlon next. Isn’t that ambition? I take care of my son in way that no nursery or crèche can do. Doesn’t that count for much?When I examined my motive for working (in an office), two things came up – working because we need the money and working because it gave me a lot of satisfaction. About money, my husband and I decided to live cheaply by cutting down on unnecessary expenses. In any case, what I’d earn and what I’d pay in childcare, I’d be left with little at the end of the day. As far as satisfaction goes, I’m clear in that nothing can ever equal the satisfaction of being there for one’s child.Sometimes I think that being a mother is not valued enough in this world. There is no salary, no promotion, no holidays, no weekends, no retirement, no pension, no job-title and sometimes, no recognition. How I would love introduce myself as a ‘stay-at-home mother’ and not feel sorry about it. Writing this piece is my own form of catharsis. Yes, I feel good now. I’m a housewife and proud of it.