Time to face facts: I’m a housewife. I
know the term has come to sound vaguely derogatory, but are the modern
euphemisms any better? Stay-at-home mom? Hardly: I spend my days running from one
school to the next to the market to the park to the play date. My husband’s the
one at home (albeit running his marketing business). Homemaker? I’m not crazy
about that label either; I feel that it sets too high of a standard.
The truth is I feel like Sisyphus when it
comes to “keeping house.” It seems that the majority of my time at home is
spent cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, recovering misplaced objects, packing
lunches and then cleaning some more. Yet I don’t feel as if I do any of it
particularly well: My cooking isn’t that great. My house isn’t that clean.
As far as housekeeping goes, I’ll admit that I’m more of a “straighten up” kind of gal.
It’s not that I’m a bad cook; I just have
the special privilege of cooking for two especially picky eaters, so I
sometimes end up preparing three completely different meals for lunch and/or
dinner. Not surprisingly, they all often end up being pretty mediocre. It’s
hard to be invested in making any dish that you know your family isn’t going to
sit down and enjoy together.
As far as housekeeping goes, I’ll admit
that I’m more of a “straighten up” kind of gal. If it looks cleanish and we
don’t have a bug problem, I figure it’s good enough. Because honestly, between
the sporadically incontinent dog, the free-roaming toddler, the kindergartner
with a stuffed-daily backpack, and the well-meaning but not-especially-fastidious
husband, I would drive myself insane trying to keep the house spotless. But
even the seemingly simple tasks of clearing dishes, picking up toys and keeping
“stuff” from accumulating on various surfaces sometimes feels like a Herculean
effort. (Am I being too liberal with my references to mythological figures?) The mess just NEVER STOPS.
Still, pretty much every day I can say
that I prefer this job to the one I left after my first child was born. And
that’s because of the other meaning of the word “homemaker”: I’m creating the most nurturing and
stimulating environment possible for my children. Unswept floors and bland
meals aside, this home is a safe and loving place for our family. And in that
sense, we certainly have it made.