Are You A Happy Housewife?

Here is how my day starts:

After five or six hours of sleep I wake up to feed a baby, maybe go on a three mile run, then swish a poopy cloth diaper in the toilet.  Then I take a shower, make breakfast, (don't usually get to eat anything) and rush oldest baby off to school.  Then I come home to dirty dishes, dirty clothes, dirty rooms, you get the picture.  I clean up breakfast, make lunches, go back to school, get groceries and come back home for dinner.  Then the rush to get everybody in bed.  Then, a few hours of cleaning up and crashing into bed to start it all over again.

I love my kids and my family.  I do not want to work outside my home.  I also want to feel like an intelligent vibrant woman and sometimes all the cooking and cleaning and never being done with everything makes me feel like somebody who just does menial chores all day long.  Sometimes I feel....replaceable... by minimum wage workers.  Does all of this really matter when you could pay somebody five dollars an hour to do it instead?

I often think about the need I have to feel human outside of being a mother.  I love being a mother and feel it is the highest calling but sometimes want something more in my life.  I remember reading Betty Friedan's book The Feminine Mystique shortly after I had my first child.  It is an interesting book that made me think about myself and what I wanted.  Friedan, when asking women she had gone to college with if they were happy, was unable to find even one single housewife who was actually satisfied and joyful in her domestic life.  I don't think she is right about everything, but her words struck a cord with so many housewives for a reason- some of them were true.  Friedan felt that women needed to work outside of their home to be truly human and fulfilled. 

Do women need something outside of their home to keep them busy, intelligent, vibrant, sensual and growing?

I know I need something "more".  This doesn't demean the value and beauty of motherhood for me.  It is the reality of my life.  This feeling of emptiness I sometimes have in my everyday duties is not something I always care to admit.  I know the impact I make on my children will be the greatest one I can make.

I also feel such a strong desire to make my own mark on the world.  It may be selfish, but I desperately feel a need to matter outside of my home.  I want to make a difference, to influence, to educate, to be educated, to feel intellectually stimulated, and to be challenged.

Ironically for me my passions revolve around the experiences of motherhood.  The things that drive me to do things outside of my home are the things that were inspired by my children;  natural childbirth, breast feeding and childbirth education. 

Can you be happy as a housewife?

I hope so....  Honestly though, I think any woman, no matter what her choices,  struggles with happiness, joy and satisfaction with her life and with the mundane that is the everyday.

I hope when I look back on my life it is not filled with regret for the things I did not do.  I hope I can manage to love and be loved by my children, give them what they need without selfishness, and also love my life.  I hope I can be somebody that they not only love but admire.  I want to be kind and beautiful to them, but I also want to be strong and powerful.  This is the great struggle in my life.  May we find the right answers along the way. 


Carrie said…
This is a great post and you express just how I feel. Thanks!
Jessi said…
This is pretty much exactly how I feel right now! Thank you for showing me I am not alone and it's okay to feel that way!