Thursday, April 26, 2012


When I was staying at home, I used to wonder if I would contribute more to the family if I was working.  I worried, occasionally, and especially in the early days of staying home, that I wasn't "pulling my weight" if I wasn't doing house work or projects non-stop all day. 

Last night, after work, Kathy met up with some colleagues and I volunteered to go home for kid duty so she could stay out.  When I got home, I was instantly crabby.  Our lawn is, in some places, a foot tall.  A FOOT.  The house was a shambles, with stacks of mail everywhere, dirty dishes, crumbs, toys, and sticky substances coating nearly every surface (this might be an exaggeration.  Then again, it might not).  I decided to spend the night cleaning, tidying, and throwing away.  I worked non-stop for a few hours, until the house was at least tidy, if not clean.

I have been slow for the last few weeks at work.  I hate being slow at work.  Weirdly, it dawned on me as I was locating the source of the sour smell emanating from the dishwasher, that I like housework because it makes me feel useful.  This was a little surprising, considering that only a year ago I was worried I would not feel useful if I was not financially contributing to the family.  But looking at that garbage bag of junk that had accumulated in the house over the last month, I felt the full weight of all I did when I stayed home. 

Housework is, for me, deeply satisfying.  It yields tangible, visible results.  It makes our family's life flow.  It makes our home a cozy, good-smelling place instead of a dumping zone that is a source of stress.  I think the kids really miss all the muffins, and I really miss making them.  I really do feel way more useful and satisfied at home than I do at work.  I realize not all women feel this way.  Frankly, I am surprised to find that I am one of them. 

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