So the hubby and I decided that the best course of action for our family is for me to stay at home right now. He is opposed to me doing any kind of paid of work and is more than happy to work doubles, pick up extra shifts on his days off, and stay longer at the job if they need him too. All he requires is that I "hold it down at home". What does holding it down entail? Basically, I run the house. I wash and fold all the laundry (although yesterday he did two loads while I took the boys to their playgroup), I keep the house tidy (although he is by no means a slob and is actually more meticulous about neatness than I am), I do all the cooking (he takes home cooked food for dinner at work and I generally pack his meals), all the grocery shopping and 99% of the childcare including lessons for Z1. I enjoy what I do and so does he. He doesn't feel an guilt or insecurity about working the way he does and enjoying it (and he shouldn't) but I sometimes do.
Yesterday, I was talking to one of my girlfriends and I got all mealy mouthed about why the hubby doesn't want me to do any paid work. Now, the answer is clear in my mind: it interferes with my first (and most important) job which is running the household. Any other work I do tends to not be really worth it. For example, I thought about babysitting but I realized I could only charge at most $800. The kind of disruption that caring for another child who's not my own would bring to our family life, well, it would just make more sense for me to go back to teaching and make some real money. That way, we would know that my job is outside the house, household responsibilities need to be split evenly and we'd have a significant paycheck to show for it.
But for some reason, I just couldn't spit it out. Now, that bothered me. So I sat down and thought about why I couldn't get it out. It's because somewhere deep inside, I feel a little embarrassed that I really do enjoy the traditional role of mother and wife. I mean, I can get with the role of professional woman and intend to do so after the boys are grown or at least school-age but right now, being a traditional wife works for me and my family. Yet, I still struggle with the feelings of it being some kind of cop-out at best and failure at worst.
Yeah, people react negatively sometimes asking me if this is "all I do". My own mother speaks of it in a negative light even though she stayed home for a long period of my early childhood. I mean, nowadays, people's reactions and what people say or think about me bother me less and less. I do what I need to do to feel complete and whole spiritually and intellectually. I do what is best for my family, the most important people to me. But sometimes that insecurity creeps in and I get all mealy mouthed instead of straightforward and direct when describing our situation.
I can't blame DH. He likes to have freshly made blueberry muffins for breakfast on any random day. He likes to know that his children are exceptionally well cared for without a doubt. He likes to consistently have freshly laundered and folded clothing to wear. He likes these things, that I can only do because I stay home, so much that he's willing to work for it. And since I like to do these things, I'm happy to let him.
I don't know. The economy may get so bad that our priorities will have to shift and I may have to force my way back into the work force. Not a pretty thought but it might come to that. I'm grateful I have something to fall back on (even if I do have to take some classes and workshops to become hire-able). I have the degrees and always will. So I'm working on letting go of any insecurities that surround being a homemaker. I'm striving everyday to do a better job of it than I did yesterday.