Millie wrote an entry a few days back entitled "I'm Just a Housewife" which really spoke to me. Growing up, my mother was (and still is) the person I looked up to most in the world, and when I was little all I wanted was to grow up and be a mommy; stay home with the kids, keep house, make our house a home. However, as I got older, I began to feel more and more pressure to abandon that dream. My teachers and friends told me that generations of women had fought for equality in the field of working outside the home, and that being a stay-at-home mother and wife was downright demeaning these days. I could go to college and I could become anything in the world, from a firefighter to an astronaut to the president of a company to the president of the United States, and it was not only my right but my responsibility as a woman to take full advantage of these opportunities.
I did go to college. I earned my degree, and I went out into the world to make my living. Despite all my efforts, I never lost that certainty that what I really wanted to be was a housewife and mother; but I would always firmly deny those feelings, as that was Not What Women Did These Days.
One day the subject arose between myself and a woman with whom I'd worked for a couple of years, and I let slip the fact that if the opportunity arose to quit working and be a housewife the next day, I wouldn't even hesitate. She stared at me wide-eyed for a moment, then (after making sure the doors were closed and speaking in hushed tones) told me that she was in exactly the same boat as I was. This was a liberating experience for the both of us, and afterward I found it much easier to broach that subject with friends and co-workers, and I found a staggering number of women who felt the same way. There are hundreds of women out there who harbor a desperate longing to become homemakers, but instead allowed themselves to be sucked into an unsatisfying career because they were told they had to pick something else.
Now, don't misunderstand me. The drive to have a career and to make a name for yourself in the business world (or teach or cook or mend or heal or answer telephones) is a very real and amazing thing, and every working woman has my full support and respect. My point is simply that the idea of being a housewife should be no different. It's ridiculous that I was ever embarrased to admit that it was what I wanted to do, and I urge everyone out there to take a while to think about how worthwhile being a stay-at-home wife and mother really is, both for you and for your families. It's not the only worthwhile thing, not by a long shot . . . but if it's what you really want to do, then demand the respect that your choice deserves.
Both from others and from yourself.