Yes, I am homemaker in the 21st century, a path that to most is not even an option. I believe that being a homemaker is an actual occupation. But that won’t stop people from asking me, “Great! When are you going to get back to work?”
But I must admit, being a homemaker wasn’t the first thing in my book, especially for my younger self. When I was a little girl, I have a vivid memory of playing with my dolls as the highlight of my day. I would act as a bake shop owner, have my dolls as customers, and sell them baked goods that my 8-year-old brain could come up with.
I was so engulfed in my little world that my mother had to hide my dolls during meal times. But that is every kid with their favorite toys, the only difference is that I carried that desire to be in the business scene up until I was a young adult. I graduated from Georgia State, magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, major in Business Economics. Eventually, I had children but continued working full time as a Market Research analyst.
Now being 33 and living the years that have shifted my priorities and dreams. It led me to the path I’m taking now. Every household needs one full time carer. I’ve come to realize that no amount of professional achievement could possibly satisfy my soul if I see that my two young children, Keith, 5 and Kayla, 4 were not being looked after during their formative years.
My desire became even more firm after my husband, Adam, a management consultant, took a new job involving more travel. I left my work and chose to be a full-time homemaker. Guess I’m experiencing the mother instinct that I’ve heard about before and didn’t think was real.
Taking care of my kids, watching them learn, and seeing their unique personalities show, there was nothing more rewarding. Now, I’m able to be there for my kids no matter what, undistracted by deadlines, new projects, presentations, and the excruciating pain of driving back and forth to the house and my office. For the first time in my years of being a mother, I felt like I have real connection and management over my kid’s life.
I’m able to supervise what they think, the stories they read, and what they believe in rather than entrusting them to babysitters. Being able to attend to my husband’s needs when he gets home was also something that I wasn’t able to do before. I’m eternally grateful that my husband and I have fallen in traditional gender roles without dispute. As a result, this change strengthened our marriage even more.
Homemaking challenges every aspect of your motherhood and responsibilities as a wife. You need to be smart in decisions, creative in teaching or organizing and patient in caring. But the thing that I love the most about it is that it enabled me to give priority to the people who matter most to me.
As much as this shift in my family’s life gathered good outcomes, so did it gather opinions, a lot of them. For some women, the solution to the long-standing conflicts between work and life is not more a parent-friendly office or a career-saving step, but a complete embrace of domesticity. The “traditional” lifestyle where the wives stay home isn’t a downfall in representing feminism. In my personal experience, the benefits of my former career became inadequate and unpredictable, whereas the tug of motherhood is inescapable.
I believe feminism is also a way of meeting the desires of individual women and if that desire is complete submission to motherhood and domestic life, I don’t see why it shouldn’t be empowered as well. I think there’s nothing more anti-feminist than shaming a woman for the lifestyle they choose to have. If it is progress we strive in society, then I think we can all agree that discrimination is the first thing we need to let go.
I don’t want to be treated like a wasted potential when that’s the complete opposite of how I felt when I chose to be a housewife. When I first realized that this is what I wanted to do, I knew that the potential I want to fulfill wasn’t as a career woman but as a wife and a mother. In no way, shape, or form am I trying to convey that this is how it should be. Simply, I want the work and life that we bring into our home celebrated, rather than criticized.