I’m of the opinion that a lot of you need a swift punch to the junk. As the daughter of a very hardworking single mother who, like myself, started working as a young teen, got an education only to become a stay-at-home wife and mother to my older siblings, then tired of it and went back to work for a number of years before taking another break when her next kids were born until she was again pushed back to work suddenly by an unexpected divorce, I, too, used to be of the opinion that staying home would be a boring, too-dependent gig for myself. I saw that it was the safer option to work hard and support yourself, and so I did… I slaved away at work and school until I was bawling everyday from perfectionistic, prevention-from-worst-case-scenario anxiety and depression.
I had never intended to find a mate, but I did, and he asked me to trust him and lean on him while I figured out what was going on with me. So, I took what felt like a huge leap of faith, and quit my jobs slowly but surely and graduated with a massive set of degrees that I have yet to use directly. After a year, I will tell you that I made the right decision for me. I’ve cried and moped and had a crazy erratic sleep schedule caused by an overindulgence of reading and writing, and–shocker, here–I haven’t been doing my fair share of the household duties! But, as my man tells me when I start feeling guilty again, it’s not about being fair, it’s about doing what you need to to be happy.
I am now coming out of my funk and have started taking my share of our burdens upon myself bit by bit, but more importantly, I have found something that makes me happy for the first time in my life–writing–and, while I am three books into my series that has the potential to make money, I have no real plans or cares to find financial gain from my writing because my Fiance has made it very clear that the money he earns at work is ours. He would love if I stayed home forever, but doesn’t care if I go to work either so long as I am healthy and happy. We have prepared for any unexpected deaths and I trust him to give me everything we have if either of us should want out of our relationship; even so, as my mom before me, I know that I have the ability to walk away without a penny to my name and do much better than survive. I have a massive set of proverbial balls of steel with the confidence to wield them, so that frees me up to look the people in the eye that dare tell me that I’m waisting my potential and fancy degrees, or act as though they’re superior to this lazy housefiance, and just give them a knowing smile whilst saying, “but I’m happy right this moment, would you have me any other way?” (And, for those of you who can and want to take this leap of faith into “unemployment” but are too scared to because of other people’s perception problems, when I had absolutely no direction for happiness, I’d just tell interested parties that I was trying to find my happiness–that shuts people up right quick.) Selling my books or using my psych degrees and participating financially no longer (or at least currently) will (not) make me feel any better about myself because it just isn’t important to my own or my fiancé’s and my relationship’s security–so, poof, I’m currently a fulfilled housewife/FI.
For a good number of you, I’d be careful making such sweepingly firm opinions on what being a housewife means for you… It could change tomorrow; it did for me. I’d hate for a lot of you to feel the shame and lowly worthlessness, or for that matter, the pressure to (keep) do(ing) something that was making you unhappy in the way that a lot of these posts are projecting. Call me whatever you like, but I’m finally freaking happy because of what may or may not be a permanent break from the outside career realm, so put that in your pipes and smoke it! Life is a bunch of phases, but from here-on-out I’m making it my mission to fearlessly LIVE them, and, in my case, the hugely risky opportunity to have the full support of my Fiance jumpstarted this mission. Roll with the punches peeps, it doesn’t have to be black and white–it’s unnecessary pressure in an already pressure-filled world. You (individually) do what you responsibly can to make yourself happy, and people who give you a hard time for it are confused dipsticks that are of no consequence to you at the end of the day.