Situation #5: Preparing for the husband’s return home, and perhaps annoying some feminists, too

8 Oct

My husband returns home tonight, thank goodness.

My initial thoughts on this whole situation? If my husband has to travel for work, there’s no way I can work full time and care for a ten month old and manage to feed us, clothe us, bathe us, and keep the house in order.

I’ve been reading a lot of great blogs lately written by other mothers, soon-to-be mothers, wives, and women in general ( Melbourne Mumma, Life in the Married Lane, Country Man’s WifeDalai Lina, In Like Flynn, As the Raven Flies, Mrs. Long, Conflicted Mean Girl, Miss Entregate, Give Thanks and Praise,  just to name a few), and they’ve all really got me thinking about what the heck my role is in my own life.

If my husband traveled frequently? There’s no doubt; I’d be a stay at home mother. A housewife. This is where I might annoy some feminists. I’m all for equal rights. Well guess what? Equal rights are on the books now. I can vote, I can buy property, I can have a job outside the home. I’m also entitled to equal pay, and I’m certain I’ve got that.

So the problem is, I know that I’m entitled to equality, and there are even laws on the books now to enable me to fight for these rights if they’re violated, but what if I don’t think all things are equal? What if by both parents working and trying to do everything, we’re spreading ourselves too thin? What if we’re both stressed about not spending enough time with work, both stressed about spending enough time with the kids, both stressed about getting things done around the house? How does that make sense? We’re supposed to BOTH run ourselves ragged because I want to feel equal?

Well, I do feel equal to my husband. Equally exhausted, I’m sure! If it were financially possible in our city (and it’s not – yet- I’ve run the numbers many many times), what would be so wrong with me staying home and taking care of the kids and maintaining the house? My husband wouldn’t have an extra 30 minute commute each way to work (on top of his already 45 minute + commute) to take our son to daycare, he could take the shorter route to work, I could spend some quality times with our son and older daughter, I could actually keep the house in decent order, get laundry and such done during the day, I could have dinner ready for my husband when he got home…I could go on and on. How is this bad?

I suppose if I had no choice and HAD to stay home, perhaps I would resent my husband? But I have a choice, so what would there be to resent? I think the only thing to resent would be the feminists telling me that I’m not fulfilling my own educational aspirations, my career aspirations, that I’m somehow being subservient to my husband. I think I’d resent being given that look of ‘Oh, you’re JUST a wife…JUST a stay at home mom…’ I think what I’d tell those feminists is that the world doesn’t revolve around me, and it doesn’t revolve around them, either. It’s not ALL about what I want, it’s also about what’s best for my family.

And with that, back to the point. I’m fortunate that my husband doesn’t travel often, so as of this evening when he returns, this whole supermom tryingtodoitall thing ends, and I get my amazing partner back.

Side note: Right after my husband left, our son got real sick, spent time in the doctor’s office, and we even have our own home nebulizer for the kiddo now. It’s been a rough few days with very little sleep. I am THRILLED to have my husband back, but I’m also proud of myself that I could handle all the situations that came up while he was gone. I have a tendency to lean on my husband perhaps more than I should. He deserves a medal!!!


11 Responses to “Situation #5: Preparing for the husband’s return home, and perhaps annoying some feminists, too”

  1. Raven October 8, 2010 at 10:27 am #

    We are free to do as we wish…that’s the whole point of female empowerment I’d think. To h-e-double hockey sticks with what anyone else thinks. 🙂

    • wittywife October 8, 2010 at 10:55 am #

      I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m down with women’s rights, but some of the man hating feminism stuff sort of annoys me. I’d like to think that my husband and I can decide what’s best for our family.

      It’s funny – I feel stuck in the middle – there are the women who are like – why would you want to stay home? Why don’t you do what you want to do? Then there are the other women… we live in a pretty decent area of our city in a luxury building. I don’t think I know one working mother in our building. They do playgroups during the day sometimes, and one of the women invited me. I told her I’d love to go, but I had to work. She gave me the incredulous, “You have to work??”

      There’s no winning! I’m pretty good about smiling and blowing criticism off, but sometimes I’d like to let some nasty words out.

      • Raven October 8, 2010 at 4:09 pm #

        Interesting. I never listen to extremist. I don’t think they are very intelligent because they let other’s do their thinking for them and they are incapable of understanding that we are not all the same person. They have their place though. While being a housewife is great and wonderful it is not for me. Even if Hub and I could survive easily on one income, I wouldn’t survive. I’m thankful that they paved that road for me.
        But still…female empowerment means we have the power to make the choices that are best for us and ours, and we no longer just have to make the best of the choices that were made for us. At least, that’s what it should mean.

    • Rachel October 21, 2010 at 9:20 pm #

      Amen, Sister. Being a FEMINIST means being pro-woman and realizing that taking care of a home and a family is not *beneath* a woman’s dignity if that is her choice. It’s worthwhile work.

      • wittywife October 22, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

        Good point. I agree with you completely!

  2. In like Flynn October 8, 2010 at 11:09 am #

    We ARE spreading ourselves thin . . its tough – especially now a days – if your not on top of every little thing in regards to children, house, marriage, family, school, work, friends (I can go on and on) you risk something falling apart. EFF the whole “your an empowered woman” yeah well empower this LOL – oh man it must be Friday – great post!!

    • wittywife October 8, 2010 at 11:18 am #

      Exactly. Did I forget to mention that my husband and I are BOTH each taking two classes a semester as well? How is it empowering to be running ragged? For either one of us!

      My husband provides WONDERFULLY for us, but I really think it would be too tight if I stayed home. Bummer!

  3. Paige Morgan October 8, 2010 at 11:23 am #

    Witty Wife – Today I am calling you Wise Wife. I would love to give up the constant struggle, I mean juggle of having a dual career family. As In Like Flynn said, we are spreading ourselves too thin. I am trying to be supermom, superwife, superemployee and I am exhausted. I don’t appreciate and enjoy any aspect of my life as much as I should because I am running around like a crazy woman.

    The bottomline, is you should what works for you and makes you happy. Nobody else is living your life. Like you said, you have a supportive husband so maybe your current life works right now. But if you change your mind, you are EMPOWERED to do so.

    Any crazy feminist who says you won’t be equals does not have kids or takes an incredibly high dose of Prozac!

    Happy Friday!

    • wittywife October 8, 2010 at 11:37 am #

      Thanks for the encouragement! It’s so nice to know I’m not the only one ‘wondering’ if I’m doing the right thing for my family and for me! I feel like I definitely get a failing grade in some areas of my life because there’s just too much going on.

      As I spent some quality time with my sick kiddo yesterday, we watched Little House on the Prairie. Man, did they live a hard life. But they each had roles and responsibilities. And by taking care of a certain set of responsibilities, rather than overlapping each other, stuff got DONE. Sure, Caroline Ingalls didn’t ‘work’, but she made the clothes, cooked food from scratch, took care of the household and the kids. Except as far as the kids go, THEY had responsibilities, too. Even the littlest one had chores. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, either.

      I love my life, I’m not even saying I want to change it. (And it wouldn’t even be my decision to make; it would be that of me AND my husband.) But I do wish things were more simple sometimes.

  4. got2havefaith October 9, 2010 at 7:03 pm #

    Isn’t that what (partly) marriage is about anyway? Having someone to lean on when the need arises. Sure, we can do it on our own, but it’s more fun and easier to share the burden with another person. And that whole super-mom thing is over rated. If I had the choice I would be a stay-at-home mom too. Except I would have to come up with a cool title like Domestic Organizer or Director of Family Wellness. Oh, yes, I would have cool business cards too.

    As always, love your post…you’re a wise mama. Hope the little one is doing better.


  1. Situation #6: Things aren’t what they seem. « The Marriage Project - October 11, 2010

    […] As most of you know, my husband went away to a conference last week, and I wasn’t sure how I’d handle it. As I mentioned in my last post, I thought I did pretty darn good! […]

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