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To enjoy the 'housewife' role?

(93 Posts)
StylishMummy Tue 20-Mar-18 08:14:02

I will start this by saying I am passionate about the end of the gender pay gap, freedom for girls/women to pursue whichever career they desire and the end of misogynistic culture that has held the UK for so long.

BUT

I feel like I'm betraying these values, DH & I have DD1 at home and I'm on mat leave with DD2 who's currently in NICU. I usually work full time but nothing particularly taxing. This morning after expressing, I made DH a coffee in a travel mug, put him a lunch together and literally waved him off at the door calling 'have a good day' in my dressing gown. I've then spent an hour cleaning and generally tidying before DD wakes up. I've finally sat with a coffee and realised how much joy this brings me. Everyday I enjoy making dinner and seeing my little family enjoy it. I love my little house & take pride in having a nice place to live. I like to try and make an effort with my appearance.

This has all got me very concerned that I'm going to be sending mixed messages to my DDs. I want them growing up doing whatever they want to do, but if their Mum is so content just being a 'housewife', then isn't that going to dampen their self expectations? I'm so confused! This may be a total non-issue but I'm so sleep deprived it's actually a real worry.

Can I enjoy this life where I don't set the world on fire, without instilling traditional gender roles in DDs?

strawberry1122 Tue 20-Mar-18 08:15:38

If it makes you happy, do it smile

yoyo1234 Tue 20-Mar-18 08:19:18

If your happy then do it. Surely it is about choice.

yoyo1234 Tue 20-Mar-18 08:19:52

You are

FitzFoolFoveverInTheNighteyes Tue 20-Mar-18 08:20:51

SAHM of 8 years here. i love it (mostly!) certainly i love it more than any job i had. but i was never career minded, i always wanted to be a SAHM.

But i make sure there are regular conversations that bring up the fact i do 'wifework' because i don't work out of the house and that if DH was home he would have to do half. I also make sure the kids know i worked before i had them and that i enjoyed my job. we talk about how important it is to make good choices, to think about what they would enjoy doing in the future to pay for the life they want. they are small so at the moment this extended to DS1 wanting to be a doctor as he wants to drive a range rover like his grandfather!! all age appropriate but hopefully they will grow up understanding that DH and I made a choice, and that if i wanted to go back to work that would be fine too.

Just keep talking about choices to do whatever makes them happy.

BestZebbie Tue 20-Mar-18 08:23:50

Is it also possible that currently being at home is a bit of a novelty still?

UndomesticHousewife Tue 20-Mar-18 08:26:27

I hope your baby is ok

StylishMummy Tue 20-Mar-18 08:27:12

@BestZebbie I've always done this 'Home' role, it was a wrench going back to work after DD1, but in terms of cooking dinner, keeping the house nice and taking care of what I'm wearing etc, I've always done it. Having 2 DC just means I've had to be more efficient with the time and use a bit more of a rota. DH does his fair share with the DC and would probably enjoy cooking etc but I've reluctant to give up 'my' kitchen blush

Tainbri Tue 20-Mar-18 08:27:31

Happiness is everything and your family sounds like they are benefitting too. i don't think there is a right or wrong way to live your life, it's about choice smile

GlassHalfFullOfWee Tue 20-Mar-18 08:29:30

I’m with you OP.

I was very career-minded all my life. Educated to a high post-graduate level. Had a big corporate job in the city with big salary, lots of perks, private healthcare, etc.

But after my second child I just got burnt out. DH was and is incredibly supportive but I just stopped caring about my work. I lost all interest in it and it felt like a boring, hard, drudge. I became depressed and stressed.

So I quit to be a SAHM and I’m so happy. True, the novelty might not have worn off yet, but being with my children just gives me so much joy I don’t give a toss about whether other people think it’s letting feminism down or whatever. I’m happier than I’ve been in about a decade. I forgot it was possible to feel this happy.

TheHulksPurplePants Tue 20-Mar-18 08:30:48

I think what you "DO" is probably less important than what you "SAY" and the dynamic between your DH and you. Does he expect the coffee made, does he demand it if its not there. If you were to decide a few years down the line that the SAHM life isn't for you, would he take issue with you going back to work? On the flip side, if he decided to be a SAHD, would you support him? Do you tell your DD"s that they can be anything they want to be and support them in their interests or do you dress them in frilly pink crap and tell them getting married is the most important thing in life.

StylishMummy Tue 20-Mar-18 08:38:02

@TheHulksPurplePants absolutely I'd support DH making the same choices. I know mumsnet can make some men seem like they're bastards but DH always appreciates my efforts, thanks me for the meal and he'll always do the dishes after I've cooked. We have great conversation, all finances joint, he's happy for me to manage all finances/paperwork and all decisions are joint.

DDs have a healthy mix of 'nice' going out dresses for occasions that call for it, but DD1 lives in thick leggings and T-shirts day to day, we actively encourage stomping in puddles, climbing trees and poking sticks in mud, she's not bothered by dribbling snot or breakfast in her hair grin

I know it's about what I tell them but seeing Mum at home and Dad at work might skew their views

TheHulksPurplePants Tue 20-Mar-18 08:41:40

but seeing Mum at home and Dad at work might skew their views

I doubt that, not unless there's an obvious power imbalance. Also, your DD's are young still, the novelty may wear off once they're in school, it does for many SAHM's.

AjasLipstick Tue 20-Mar-18 08:47:10

I am glad you're happy but can't quite work out how you can sound so relaxed with a baby in NICU! shock Is she doing ok?

StylishMummy Tue 20-Mar-18 08:47:34

@TheHulksPurplePants I'm not going to be a full SAHM, but I'll only be working school hours and not really having the 'career' I'd like DDs to have the option of. I'd be lying if I said I'd be disappointed if they didn't either travel extensively or go to university. Is that wrong?

g1itterati Tue 20-Mar-18 08:48:13

You only live once OP - go with your gut feelings about what makes you happy. Anyway, nothing is fixed in stone. If you decide on 20 years you want to start up a business or whatever, then go for it. Equally, if you don't, that's fine too. You have much more freedom as a SAHM in a mutually respectful relationship in a way, as you're not boxed in by a job description. Your time is what you make it. All I would say to you is don't get too "house obsessive" because this can get a hold on you. Read what you want, think about what you want and explore new ventures.

kaytee87 Tue 20-Mar-18 08:50:49

just being a 'housewife

hmm bit of a misogynistic thing to say for someone who says they're keen to end that culture.

StylishMummy Tue 20-Mar-18 08:52:01

@AjasLipstick she's our second preemie, now 2 months old and in SCBU, I'm there all day everyday to establish BF & doing her care once DD1 is with GPs, hence the absolute sleep deprivation. I find it much easier to 'cope' by keeping busy and maintaining calm and order rather than giving in to fear and panic.

She was born at 27 weeks and has been incredible throughout NICU, Just as DD1 was. It's the only 'way' I know with newborns, as I've never been able to bring my babies home without 8+ weeks of hospital stays. I don't mean to sound flippant at all, it's just I have very separate elements to life at the moment. It'll be amazing once my little family are all under one roof!

StylishMummy Tue 20-Mar-18 08:53:45

@kaytee87 apologies, it's the word that easiest demonstrates the root of my fears, precisely because of the image in conjures. It was a deliberate choice of term but I'm sorry if it's caused offence

Newtothismumthing Tue 20-Mar-18 08:53:51

SURELY feminism is about having the CHOICE ?! All I have ever wanted is to get married and have babies. I am currently on maternity leave with my first and dreading going back to work. This doesn't make me feel any more or any less of a woman, it's just who I am. I have no desire to climb any career ladder because I don't have the personality traits for that. Some women do though and they should be supported! Just like you should be supported in your choice to be a SAHM. Also if you're concerned about your daughters perceptions, at least being at home means you are there to talk to them about why you chose to stay at home with them and why some women work!

KochabRising Tue 20-Mar-18 08:57:14

It’s a free choice and everyone makes her choice that’s right for their family, within the restrictions of their circumstances.

The behaviour you and DH model will be what sets their expectations- so for example is youve cooked, you’re thanked for doing so and people pitch in to clear up/load dishwasher /take bins out after that’s a much more equal mode than them coming home, demanding dinner and putting heir feet up while you clear up after.

I work and so does DH - we try to be equal as we can be. If you have one at home I think it’s inportant to make sure than the working partner shows appreciation and pitches in when they are at home - otherwise one person is doing a double shift while the other relaxes after work.)

But basically, do what works for you. I’m exhausted and burnt out in my career, I can see the appeal of being home but for me, long term, I think it’s better to stay. What works for you and other people may be completely different.

As long as it’s a choice you make willingly, you’re respected for your contribution, you have financial access and protection and your other half is pitching in when he’s home, there is not problem at all. Enjoy it!

Fruitcocktail6 Tue 20-Mar-18 08:58:07

I'm expecting our first and can't wait for Mat leave. I'm not career minded and when we moved I kind of rushed into this low paid job that I'm really starting to hate. i won't be going back after mat leave. I love being at home.

mandem08 Tue 20-Mar-18 09:00:39

Almost every working mum will have wanted to be where you are at some point. When my children were little, I desperately wanted to be with them, but economics dictated differently. I would still like to be able to stay home.
The message you are giving your daughters is that they have a choice. The choice will not always be in their hands (because finances are real), but they should do what makes them happy. Not a negative message at all

Branleuse Tue 20-Mar-18 09:01:31

Someone needs to do it, and if you enjoy it, then all the better

TheHulksPurplePants Tue 20-Mar-18 09:02:11

I'd be lying if I said I'd be disappointed if they didn't either travel extensively or go to university. Is that wrong?

No. It would only be wrong if you pushed them to do it when they didn't want to or were prevented from doing them yourself if you wanted to.

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