My daughter Sandra used to work out in the big, bad world from the time her kids were small. She always did well and was office manager at her last job. She is now with a great man and his two sweet kids. He asked her to quit working to look after the children. They have them every other week.
Sandy told me today she was filling out a form which asked, "Occupation?"
"I just couldn't put down housewife. Not after working for 25 years."
What did you put?" I asked.
"Retired," she said.
We laughed pretty hard, but even though I have not worked outside the home (except for a year as a janitor), I knew what she meant.
I'm embarrassed to put "housewife" or "homemaker" on a form. I shouldn't feel that way I know, but I do. It doesn't seem like a regular occupation. I do know that raising children, cleaning house and cooking is not an easy job. When you have little babies or toddlers it is an extremely hard job.
My husband had to take care of the kids and home when I was sick for a week. We were in our late twenties then. When I was better he said, "I like my job better. Your job is harder than mine." That made me feel pretty good.
Before she told me this I had started putting "retired" on forms too. One day someone asked me what I retired from. I said, "tutor" because I used to teach my grandson and granddaughter their schoolwork at home. They were quite impressed I was a tutor. I think I did a good job at it too, but maybe it isn't completely honest. But saying, "housewife" feels like saying "nothing", even though I know that isn't true.
I'm not sure why I feel this way. I suppose it is our culture. Why do you think both Sandy and I feel this way?