Friday, October 1, 2010

Day 1

I am a housewife, yes.  I never set out to be one.  Very few of us do.  But this where we end up, wondering how we got here and where on earth are we going exactly.  This over laundry and dinner and temper tantrums.  Housewifery is indeed a noble instutition and one that should be venerated much more than it actually is.  Men seem to think, "Well, my mother did it and was happy... Why is my wife complaining about it so much?"  Why do we complain so much?  Is it that much harder than the alternative? 

One, we are not our mothers or our husband's mothers, but sometimes feel we must be (many a woman I know will refer to her husband as her "other" child).  Second of all, we find ourselves in a very unique time in history.  We have the gift of higher education and the opportunity to succeed in the workplace in a way unprecedented.  We enter universities and hold not only degrees, but Masters' and PhD's.  We envision careers and leaving our mark in the world, making a difference, and "being somebody".  We have the right to express ourselves and our opinions. 

We are enlightened and liberated and hold ourselves to an extraordinary standard.  This thanks to self-help books, shows, and magazines convincing us we can do it all with the right mantra under our belt. We are expected to look like supermodels, so we diet constantly, fall short miserably, spend our time in gym clothes (note I do not say we actually go to the gym even though we are attired for it), and simply end up in the plastic surgeon's office uttering the words 'breast augmentation' and 'mommy makeover'.  Heck, it turns out even our vaginas need a stitch or two!  I'm not aware of this ever being an issue not too many generations back...  But now technology is such that there is a lotion or a procedure for any aesthetic ailment one can conjure up. 

And, boy, can we conjure up an ailment or two!  Because not only must we look good, we gotta feel good, too!  So gone are the days when we would just sweep our darkest feelings and innermost turmoil under the rug; now we must label our demons and scrub them out with therapy and chemicals.  There's a happy pill out there for you too!  Because we not only must reach for the stars, we're reaching for nirvana, baby!  And woe is she who cannot keep her cortisol in check.  So now it takes a village of psychoterapists to raise a child and reason with the child and empower the child... when a good old fashioned "because I'm your mother and because I told you so" would have sufficed in days gone by.  Now we are terrified of scarring our children for life if we do not have the right methods or techniques or nervous system depressants for disciplining them...

And part of reaching nirvana is being saintly.  When one is saintly, one is selfless.  Nowadays that means 'volunteer work'.  At your child's school, at church, a community based organization...  The modern housewife  must volunteer her time to someone at some point.  Apparently we have too much of that on our hands... 

Thanks, Hollywood for my self-image issues, and Oprah for convincing me there must be a better me somewhere in me, and thanks Martha for sweeping the cobwebs from my eyes and conveying the importance of an organized and spotless pantry...  Please excuse me, I must now work in some gym time, some personal grooming time (hair, nails, make-up, clothes and appropriate accessories), dedication to my children's homework, diet, emotional and physical health, extracurricular activities (and the list goes on), breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the family, time dedicated to friends (otherwise I run the risk of being ex-communicated by my peers) and their activities and issues, housekeeping, my marriage and how to keep it from going stale...  All before sunset today... Of course I have time to volunteer my time...  It actually seems to be burning a hole... in my head...

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