To Be a Housewife

NOTE: This post does not apply to stay-at-home moms. We salute you.

So I don’t have a job.

My husband moved to Dallas 2 months before we got married, and I was told I could either come with him after the wedding or give the ring back. So I quit my job, packed all my things, and opened them again in this tiny home. And home has a much different meaning when you never leave.

For any of you who have ever been accidental (or on purpose) housewives, I think you’ll relate to this. (Unless you live in Orange County and live your life on a reality tv show with people to do your laundry and run your errands.) There’s a minor glitch in the time-space continuum that settles over the homes of unsuspecting housewives, stealing their ability to be productive in any fashion. More time equals less productivity. Your husband sets out into the workplace, leaving his home and a few instructions confidently in your hands. And yet you find yourself coming up with 8 other things to do during the day, watching the clock for 5:45, at which time you’ll hurriedly toss your lunch dishes in the sink, turn off Gilmore Girls, throw on some jeans, and apply just enough makeup to make it look like you’ve actually needed it for some outing that day. My only hope for burying the sense of shame is to make it sound like EVERYTHING was a big deal. See below.

Kyle: What did you do today?

Me: Well, I went to the post office to mail those letters and there was a HUGE line, so that took forever…. And then I cleaned out the fridge (threw away a rotten tomato) and so that took up some time. Oh, and I found this really cute pillow from Target that I want to get with our gift card, but I found it online and I don’t think they have it in the store, but it took me so long to figure that out… Technology. Sheesh.

Kyle: Hm. (This is where I know that he’s caught on, even though he doesn’t say anything.)

Me: And tomorrow I’m going to plan our menu for the week. (If I say it confidently enough, he’ll think it’s going to take me all day.)

And in the midst of it, I know he can read right through me. I know what I’m saying sounds completely ridiculous, and yet it’s my only hope to avoid what I now refer to as “Wife Guilt.”

I had 3 things to do today. 1. Apply for two jobs. 2. Write a blog post. 3. Keep the house clean.

And I sit here watching the clock turn 5:37, knowing that my time has come to an end. The sink is full of dishes, the kitchen table is covered with sewing notions, and I haven’t completed an application. Things I have done: Made a shirt, made a rug, and written a blog post. But this post took a really long time to write…

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29 thoughts on “To Be a Housewife”

  1. “There’s a minor glitch in the time-space continuum that settles over the homes of unsuspecting housewives, stealing their ability to be productive in any fashion. More time equals less productivity” Love it! SO true! I haven’t been a housewife but I am a teacher so I know this to be true when I’m on holidays.
    So, so true.
    But.
    You MADE a shirt? You MADe a rug? In one day?! Ahem, this is pretty impressive to me!

  2. This could not be any closer to truth! I understood every single word of this and have lived it, minus the shirt-making! πŸ™‚

  3. Oh, Jen! I identify with your blog post so much. It was funny after I decided to stay home from teaching and would go back that first year to visit the school, teachers would ask me, "So, what do you do all day?" I would kind of stand there dumbfounded trying to put into words exactly what my day looked like. At that point, Zack was 2 1/2 and Kylie was not yet 1, so I did a lot of things, but not things that I could just lay out in a defined list! Ha ha!

    It sounds like you accomplished a lot though–just maybe not the things that were on your list! Just remember the days when you didn't have time enough to do those kind of things because your job took all of your time (and energy, and creativity, etc.) Enjoy this season as much as you can without the "wife guilt." Believe me, the time flies by, so live each moment to its fullest as they say!

  4. I am in the EXACT same boat, only I'm in North Carolina and not Texas. (Which happens to be my homestate.)

    In fact, right now I should be looking for a job to apply for or doing the dishes in the sink but…you know. Blogs. They take a long time to read.

    My husband greets me when he comes home as Mrs. Do-Nothing. He's so onto me.

  5. This is called productive procrastination! There are so many things to do, but alas I always find the more fun thing to do.

  6. Jamie Staubus sent me the link to your blog and told me I had to read it because we're a lot alike. So hello from another lover of vintage, blogger, crafter, who is planning a DIY wedding in September. I've read through your blog and am excited to follow your story πŸ™‚ Your surprise wedding was beautiful!

  7. I feel this way but I am working and don't have a husband (just a teacher on summer break). I've taught 6 years and last summer was the first time I didn't have grad school or a move going on and I didn't know where the time went every day. This summer I realized I go to Target or the grocery store almost every day out of boredom.

  8. I add things to my list AFTER I've done them so I can feel like I actually got something done! Seriously, it really does help! Even if it's just like "call (insert friend's name) and have a meaningful conversation" πŸ™‚

  9. wow.. we're kindred spirits. although i do have a job, i have the summers off… so that is EXACTLY how i feel. colt has said to me many a time, "claire, you know you don't have to make it sound like you do a lot every day?" sighh… even though he says it, i still feel the guilt!

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  11. This is so stinkin true! Thanks for putting it into words! Matt found a new job in Chicago and I'm still unemployed so now that he's working, I am at the apartment all day. I run a few errands but of course it's at the end of the day so I can say I accomplished something today! All of a sudden I turn around and I've watched 2 DVD's of Friends and the morning is gone and I still haven't even showered! Anyway! I LOVE your blog and I miss you!

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  14. I'm a housewife too. Which up until recently when I decided that I needed to take on the world (start learning from /assisting my photog pal weekly and us starting our third business- theorganicbloom.com) I TOTALLY get this. Except I tend to be really good at naps too. Now those can really be time consuming! πŸ˜‰

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  16. Oh, I have been there! And I actually do want to be a stay-at-home mom…I wonder if he’ll ever let me since my track record of getting things done is not great? Ha!

  17. I can SO relate to this. I went out of work from a surgery gone bad a year ago and I’m home ALL DAY EVERY DAY and get the same question from my boyfriend when he calls on his way home from work. I dread that question. I never have an answer since I really didn’t do anything. Or when I DID so something I forget because all the rest of my ‘nothing’ took over the things I did, so I always respond with, ‘nothing’ and I feel like the biggest good for nothing.
    And then I realize it’s 6pm (like right now) and wonder where all the time went and realize my last night’s dinner AND breakfast dishes are still in the sink. *sigh*

    All this to say…completely know what you mean! πŸ™‚ (oh and totally hooked on your blog πŸ™‚

  18. I actually had to make myself a sticker chart so I’d get things done while my husband was gone! Yes, a sticker chart like you’d give a child to teach him responsibility… Yes, I’d get prizes if I could go ten days without missing a chore… It’s turned out to be a pretty good system!

  19. ha ha ha, this is hilarious… I am a teacher and when I am on school holidays, I sometimes also achieve as little as you πŸ˜› But, I figure enjoy it while you can because soon enough life gets busy (mainly because of kids… I think I’m busy now, I just can’t imagine what it will be like with kids!)…

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