Does working and having a career give your life meaning? This is not a rhetorical question. In all sincerity, does working make life worthwhile? Does it mean that you are worth more because you work outside the home? Are you more valuable because you’re able to work? Is a person who does not work, for whatever reason, less valuable? Is their life lacking meaning?
I left a 15 year career in mental health and social work to care for my dying mom a number of years ago. I was left in a position of not having to go back to work. Then I met Daddy who loves us having a traditional 1950s household. He is the bread winner and I’m the home maker. This works beautifully for us.
In the years since I stopped working, I’ve been told several times that I’d be happier if I were working. Having a job gives your life meaning. I’ve been offended by few other things quite as much as these words! It was a slap in the face saying that my life isn’t worthwhile because I’m not out in the work force selling my life for something which doesn’t make me happy!! Would this person have said this if I’d had children I was raising? Would this person have said this when I was caring for my mother round the clock?
I can’t tell you how many people I’ve counseled over the years about their lack of self-esteem because they aren’t able to work. Let’s take the financial implications out of the mix and talk about human value. I’ve sat with them and discussed what makes their life meaningful? Is it going to work or is it having meaningful relationships? Is it having the ability to handle their lives and stay stable so they’re not in facilities or trying to work and burning themselves out? Not all are able to do both. There are many who have to choose or have no choice. In the end, I doubt anyone is going to miss spending their life working. They’re going to miss doing what they loved and being with the people they care about.
One of my favorite movies is “Mona Lisa Smile” with Julia Roberts and Julia Stiles. Julia Stiles is the brightest student in her class and has been admitted to Harvard Law School with the help of her professor, Julia Roberts. Stiles gets married and decides not to go to Harvard. Roberts is really disappointed in her student, feeling she’s giving up a dream. Now, I’m paraphrasing here, Julia Stiles tells her that it’s not she’s any less smart or successful because she’s chosen not to go so she can be a housewife. She’s not trading her intelligence for a hallway colonial.
That scene in the movie sums up very nicely how I feel. I’m not stupid or boring because I am a housewife. I’m not any less than I was before. If anything, I’m more. I’m happy! I’m relaxed with minimal stress. I have a life I love. I have time to pursue my interests and create things of beauty which bring joy to me and those I care about. I have a home I’m proud to bring people into. The list goes on.
I got a postcard in the mail from a university I was looking into a few years ago. I was starting to shop for graduate schools. I’m not sorry my life took another turn. It made me stop and think about what’s important to me. Will that degree change who I am at this point? Will it make me want to return to work? Will I be happier going back to school? In the end, the answer is no.
All of these thoughts have been tumbling through my head for days and weeks now. My husband and I were watching game shows from the 70’s on TV the other day. He made a comment to the effect of: I know you like the housewife thing. You have interests and things to say unlike many of the women on these shows. Knowing Daddy and how much He loves and respects me, I saw the comment as the compliment He intended and overlooked that it was somewhat insensitive. It just made me think a little more about how pervasive the attitude is that working makes you smarter and more interesting.
Now I get to giggle a bit. For someone who’s a housewife and life has little meaning… people tell me all the time how interesting I am. They are surprised at the variety of my interests and activities. One minute I’m knitting an intricate sweater pattern with a souffle in the oven and the next I’m in an intellectual conversation about neurotransmitters and the difference between a psychopath and a sociopath. Somehow, my life would be more fulfilling and meaningful if I were working…. How presumptive to tell me what would make my life better!
Rant over. 😉
6 thoughts on “Does being a housewife make me less worthwhile? No!”
Brilliant rant kitten….and could NOT be more true…Love you!!
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i love my Daddy Master! ♥ Thank You… *kisses*
Now that I’m retired and, technically, disabled, I’m pursuing work far more meaningful than many of the jobs I held since I left University in 1973. I did corporate sales and insurance work. I was not suited for it. Being vocationally mismatched served to fuel my alcoholism, I must say. Getting sober shifted my values consderably. I did blue collar work, the last 20 years of my working career. Now that I’m retired, I maintain the house, do the cooking and cleaning.
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I tell you, David, I’ve never worked harder than I do as a housewife! *giggles* I love it, though it seems there is not an easy stopping point. I’ve gotten much better with moderation as time goes by. It’s still one of those things Daddy puts limits on. You’ve done enough today, kitten. Time to rest and put on a movie. These are frequent words I hear.
There is a lot of self-care in my daily regimen. And J frequently tells me to take it easy. We don’t have any sort of a D/s dynamic.
I do a lot of self care, as well. Some days I forget my limits and push too hard.