The secret housewife

Some days it’s hard to drag oneself to work. Your head hurts, and because your head hurts you’re in a bad mood. You can’t concentrate, and looking at a computer screen all day makes it worse.

As a contractor I don’t get paid to be sick and I’ve just recently dropped my working days from 5 to 4 – which by the way doesn’t usually pan out because busy projects force me back at work on my proposed day off.  Calling in sick and going without the day’s pay just isn’t an option. Having said that, the wage does compensate.

On days like today, I can’t help but reminisce on my youth, school holidays or even sick days at home with Mum. My Mum was a housewife, she seemed to fill her days washing, ironing, cleaning, and of course cooking the meals.  She shopped on Thursdays with her Mum, my Nan, who lived next door.  She bought the fruit and veges each week  from the travelling fruiter Joe. She brought our linen from the door-to-door salesman whom she knew well because she was a long time customer. Her life was very routine, she didn’t go to the gym, she didn’t go out with friends, she lived what I would say a very simple life.

On days like today, at work with a headache, I can’t help but think my Mum had a good life, albeit simple. At least she could lie down when not feeling well. Once upon a time when I had little ones at home, I had it good.  I cooked and cleaned and tended the family, there were no pressures to meet unrealistic deadlines like in today’s corporate world.

Have women come too far?  Have we tipped the see saw a little too far our way that now it’s totally lopsided?

Women have it all these days, we have careers, we have oodles of friends for socialising, we marry, we don’t marry, we have kids, we don’t have kids but through all this we are still expected to do what our Mothers did back in the day.

Ok, some men take on some of the responsibilities but on the whole and with statistics to back up my claim, women are expected to do much more than every before in the history of woman.  Of course there are the single parents who have to do everything with little or no help to support the family and I feel for them.

The most rewarding work I do is on my days off.  I clean, shop, ensure all the washing’s up to date and I have even been known to cook a fancy dinner.  I know this enthusiasm will only last a day or so before the washing piles up. But that small piece of achievement I feel when I sit on the lounge after a full morning of being a housewife beats any feeling of achievement I get at work.  Maybe it’s a reflection of my job?

There’s also the pressure to look good and the older you get the better you should look. The gyms are full of women all ages trying to lose weight but our busy lifestyles push us to eat more unhealthy ready-made meals, we eat out more and we drink more. All this makes being thin and fabulous impossible without killing oneself at the gym while starving to death and dying for a drink.

With this new lifestyle we’ve achieved, it’s little wonder we’re losing the ability to cook, I for one fall into this category. It’s not that I can’t cook, I did manage to feed a family of five. But in those days I didn’t have a career. Now I’m too tired and too hungry when I get home from work and can’t be bothered to cook.  The fridge is usually full of dead veges that I bought on my day off with the intention to cook a few nourishing meals.

I’m getting exhausted just writing this blog.

I know my argument for being a housewife over a career woman is a bit lame, because around the lunch table with like-minded women we all agree we’re just plain exhausted but the conversation always comes around to the latest fashion trends, how much our last hair-do cost, shoes, our next overseas trip; what play, musical or band we’re going to see next. This all costs money, the money we career women earn.

But alas, I can’t help but think on days like today with my head pounding, that I’d give it all up to be a simple housewife,  with one exception – a housewife with gym membership because let’s face it, I wanna look good doing it.

Author: Kitty

First and foremost I'm a busy working woman but I'm also a mother, grandmother and mother-in-law. I was brought up in a small country town but I've lived and worked in Sydney for over 20 years. I'm a slack blogger because life and earning a living gets in the way.

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