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Monday, November 07, 2005


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I think you are very wise to stay home and enjoy your role as wife and home maker. I worked up until my first child was born, because that's what everyone does, and never got used to running a home before I had to mother. I have been exhausted almost ever since, and wish I had taken advantage of that time before children to learn how to do everything else.

You are doing an important thing, and it is a job, it just doesn't pay.


It's funny -- I had assumed you weren't looking for another job! I somehow assumed that you had quit to be a homemaker.

I have tremendous amounts of physical energy (my husband calls me the Energizer Bunny), but I share your antipathy for work. About 5 years ago I came to the conclusion that I simply didn't want to work outside the home. At first I had thought it was a problem of not having found the right job or career for me yet, but no -- upon further self-examination, I discovered that there was only one species of work that inspired me, and that was being a homemaker and mother. I am still working today, though I look forward to the beginning of February with maniacal delight, for then I will start my supposed "maternity leave" and quit the working world, hopefully for good. The reasons I'm still working today are entirely financial. One needs food and shelter to survive, and until a year ago I had to support myself. For the last year I *could* have stayed at home, but by that time I had found a job that I at least didn't actively dislike and that didn't make me stressed and unhappy, so I stayed in it so that we could get that much further ahead financially before I quit to be a mom.

Incidentally, my husband doesn't like to work either, and I think he's envious that I get to be the one to quit and stay home. It's kind of a bum rap for him: he'd probably jump at the chance to be a stay-at-home Dad, but for financial and emotional reasons that would make no sense at all, so he's stuck going out and earning our daily bread. Part of the reason I continued to work after we married was because I knew this about him, and I wanted to give his hopefully early retirement as much of a boost as I could before I gave up all revenue generation. And I do have a stellar recipe or two to send to you, but I'll email it instead of adding to this overlong post!

Being a homemaker is a great career. It's my favorite one too. And I enjoyed the years that I stayed home before kids arrived for us.

Enjoy. You are blessed to be able to have this time (though I know you're eager to move on to the next stage). And I pray it is a blessing for Bryan too.

I'd love to read the Kant paper :)

I think that it was a good experience having that last job, if only to clariy what you want. I haven't worked in a conventional job since 2000, and don't have much desire to do so ever again.
Without boring you with the details of the Hoo household - I'm all about finding other ways to make some money without going someplace I have to punch a clock. For 9 years I have been a landlord. Just recently I took a job in adminstration at a house of worship near my home. I only work when my kids are in school, and while the faith is different from mine, it's really fun organizing the sunday school stuff. Fun enough to not seem like real work. So I guess I'm saying don't discount finding something you actually enjoy doing. This usually happens to me when I am not actively looking at all!

Arwen -

You go! And don't feel guilty for staying home either (as I'm sure Bryan told you). Being a homemaker is a lot of work, even without kids...and all the practice now will help you keep those good habits once you have children.

I'm sure as well that if you ever find yourself with extra time on your hands, you will find worthwhile things to is stay at home mom's with time on their hands that keep most charities and community organisations going after all. Them and retirees. ;-)

In a desperate move once, I quit a job. And found myself unemployed for the first time since I was 15.

I cooked and cleaned and painted. I was home to deal with repairpersons, deliverypersons, etc. It was a great time.

And several months later I got a call about a clinic that was looking for someone part-time, and I just knew it was time for me to go back.

And, oh, you are making me so sad for the days when I could wash, dry, and fold all of our laundry in one day. Sniff.

I think you might be my good twin, because I had the exact same mentality towards working outside the home; I hated it, and therefore I should thought I should try EVEN HARDER to stay in the full-time job which was driving me insane. And my husband finally persuaded me to quit - or rather, persuaded me that it was OK to do what I had been desperately wanting to do for a long time. It was hard to shake off the unspoken mentality of my college (which I liked very much by the way, but there were screwy aspects) which was "Why get the degree if you're not going to do anything with it?" Of course, I wasn't doing much with it before except making myself miserable; part-time and, ultimately, staying at home was what I wanted to do and where I knew I could be most useful.

And for recipes, I'm going to recommend an entire cookbook - "Please To The Table." It's a book of recipes from Russia and surrounding countries, and it's quite good (and I can attest that the food is authentically What They Eat Over There). It has lots of elaborate recipes which take about three hours to assemble and 200 ingredients (you'll soon figure out that you don't actually *need* 23 different herbs in a certain soup, though, so don't worry about chasing all of them down). I especially recommend the Christmas Cake; takes forever to make and looks like a burnt tortoiseshell when it's done, but it tastes divine.

Enjoy yourself. There's nothing wrong with being a housewife and I'm glad you are able to pull it off without working. If the right job comes along, take it. If not, then you can be home all the time and spoil Bryan.

Although we don't have kids yet, I think of my husband sometimes as my 26-year-old kid. He doesn't mind me taking care of him, because he takes care of me also.

Oh it sounds lovely. And I think it's wise to make the transition to home before you're in the midst of making the transition into being a mother.
I love being a mother, but I also love being the person here, who makes all the parts work. I sometimes refer to myself as the keeper of the flame, and I'll tell you a secret: I'm only half joking.
Oh, and by the way, I learned how to cook (starting 10 years ago) from the magazing Cooking Light. Can't reccomend it highly enough.

This is a very interesting post for me - I don't know *exactly* why, but I find the idea of 'not working' very difficult. This is a combination of lots of things - strong belief in the value of women's education, and women in the workplace, some kind of [Protestant!?] work ethic (which doesn't actually involve working, you know, *hard* or anything), and definitely at least partly because of the idea that your worth is determined by how useful you are to your employer (which i think is BS, but which I've clearly bought into in some way!).

So, here I am thinking, 'But Arwen's so clever! There are so many jobs she'd be so good at! Its such a waste...' I still sort of think that, but I realise that I have spectacularly missed the point and that this has far more to do with my (unpacked, face-value) beliefs about 'work' (talking about boring papers, you should read the one I did on the theology of work...), than about what's right for you.

I'm really happy for you. And as for recipes, go to and type 'melting chocolate puddings' into the search box. Best. Dessert. Ever.

What Jenny said! I can't not-work. IN fact, right after I got married, I was unemployed for about 5 months (talk about a depressing time in my life). It's not like nice meals got cooked or the apartment was any cleaner -- I just did nothing. I have no motivation to do any cooking/cleaning type stuff, ever.

Of course, at the time, my husband was in grad school so there was not really an option -- I HAD to work if I wanted to eat. We had enough savings for a while, but that was it. Luckily I found a good-paying job and we were able to save up to buy a house when we moved here. Still, I have a job, after we moved and we could probably live on just his salary. Otherwise, I become too dependent on my husband. Also I start to doubt my self-worth and my contribution to society, like Jenny said.

If you are fundamentally physically lazy I recommend that you not be a mom.... lol

That takes more energy and patience than I could ever imagine.

Good for you!

Wayne - Oh, I think she'll find it :). I'm pretty physically lazy myself and I'm doing OK with my son so far. You develop stamina and patience because you have to and, more importantly, because you want to, for the baby's sake.


I never thought about the benefits of getting used to the role of housewife even before the baby comes. Now that you've all mentioned it, though, how much sense it makes! Thanks! :D

Um, whoa. Weird act to follow. Whatever.

I just wanted to say that I too had a very hard time with not working -- I realized after I had my first child that my generation has a challenge that our moms' did not -- most of them never had to deal with the identity crisis that comes after you've been working for so long, and then become a parent. For the most part, they got married, had kids. Whereas we worked, got married in the meantime, worked some more, then had kids and had to figure out how it all fit together. It's not an impossibly hard thing to go through, but it does take a lot of adjustment, depending on your work and how much of your identity is tied up in it.

So, uh, long story short, I wish I'd gotten to stay home for a while before my kids were born. Would have made for a smoother transition. Too bad our culture pushes the notion that you're somehow more valuable if you're working 40 hours a week. It just ain't so. If you can do it, and you're happy doing it, more power to you!

And food? Google "roast sticky chicken." It's the BEST.

Congratulations on becoming a housewife!! :)
I just commented on another entry that you're a few steps ahead of me... this is yet another step you've taken that I'm itching for. A few more months & we ought to be ready for me to quit.

P.S. I read somewhere that being a housewife might increase your chances of getting pregnant - something about being less stressful than a full time job ;)

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