I Am NOT A Homemaker

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I’m a firm believer in the importance of introspection. When life doesn’t go as planned I try to analyze what I could have done differently to change the outcome. I don’t do this to beat myself up or dwell on events of the past that haven’t worked out, but to try and learn from it, make adjustments where needed, and try not to repeat the same mistakes. There are times in my past where much of went wrong was out of my control, in those cases it is very therapeutic for me to reflect on the past, take note of what I should have done differently, forgive, and move on. If you get into the habit of evaluating why you think a certain way or why you have chosen your current life path, it’s interesting to pin point certain events or defining moments that have led you to where your are today. One of these moments for me seemed very trivial at the time, but I have realized since then it was a defining moment for me of who I was and who I would become.

Before I began writing this blog post, I was curious to see if there were any other similar blogs out there, so I did a quick Google of “I’m not a homemaker” and found quite a few blogs written by other mothers who felt like the term “homemaker” was demeaning because they did so much more than what the term “homemaker” implies, which I cannot really relate to, so I am going to defer to their expertise on the subject. This is a different perspective on NOT being a homemaker. I am not good at it, nor do I have any desire to learn how to be a good homemaker.

I remember wondering if I would be a stay-at-home mom when I had kids, assuming I didn’t need to work for financial reasons. I thought it sounded wonderful, after all I do love to cook and I always enjoyed being around children, how could anything be better than being a stay at home mom? Then I tried it. I was 8 months pregnant with my 2nd child and the company I was working for went out of business. It seemed ridiculous to try and find a job while I was 8 months pregnant, and I was still finishing business school at the time, so it made sense for me to stay at home with my almost 3 year old daughter, soon to be newborn son, and finish school. I blamed my frustration and anxiety of being home all day on the discomfort of being 8 months pregnant and the stress of studying for finals. Which to be honest were not that difficult, it was really sad how little effort I had to put into my classes and still get an A, but that’s a side note. I was certain I would be happy once I had my son and the stress of finals was over.

At the end of the month, I was finally in labor and so ready to meet my son! When the nurse was checking me in at the hospital she asked for my occupation. My heart sank just a little by the question, this was the first time since I was 18 that I hadn’t been working, and I sadly answered “unemployed”. The nurse gave me a funny look which I didn’t understand at the time and replied “you are a homemaker” and I’m assuming checked “homemaker” on her clipboard. I understood and appreciated that she was trying to make me feel better, but when she told me I was a homemaker, I had this moment of unexplained panic and confusion. At the time I wrote it off as anxiety about being in labor and worrying that something could go wrong. Since then I’ve realized that I was terrified because I am not a homemaker. I will never be a homemaker. Not because I think it is beneath me by any means, but for the exact same reason that I will never be a mechanic; I am not good at it, and I have no desire to learn!  This bothered me at first, I really did think there was something wrong with me that I didn’t want to be a stay at home home, I mean what kind of mother didn’t want to spend all the time she could with her children? After a lot of introspection, discussions with close friends, family, business mentors, and a few bouts of crying, I came to terms with the fact that I am not a homemaker, and that’s okay. Since I have been able to accept the fact that I will never be a homemaker, I’ve been able to happily finish business school and build my career.  The best part? I can still be a good mother. In fact, I believe I am a much better mother as a working mother than I would ever be as a stay at home mom.

For the homemaking skills I lack, such as decorating, day to day play, organizing play dates, basically anything except cooking. I defer to the experts. My mother is an amazing helper and so is my husband. The only reason there are any pictures at all hanging in my house are because of my husband; thank goodness for him! I have wonderful friends who are kind and nurturing and have taken my kids in like they were their own and watch them during the day. I know without a doubt my children are better off being with them all day than they would be home with me. I love my job and I can come home happy to be with my kids and happy to cook (I still love cooking). I agree with the sentiment of the kind nurse who was checking me in, there is no reason to be ashamed of being a homemaker, it is an incredibly hard job, and it’s one that I could not do! I also believe that it’s important for other mothers to know that if you aren’t good at being a homemaker, you aren’t alone, and there’s nothing wrong with you. We all have different strengths and we should recognize and utilize the strengths we have instead of trying to fit into the role we have been told or think we should play.

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