A few weeks before my wedding, I chose to resign from my work. Then a friend asked me if I wanted to work for the government, to which I responded “no.” He asked, “Oh, so you want to go corporate?” I said, “not really.” “What do you want to be then?” he said. And I replied, “I want to be a housewife – a mother.”
And I was baffled (still am) about his response to my proud answer. His first response was “Seriously?” with that awful tone of disgust. And then he followed this up with possibly the worst question I have ever been asked, “You’ve graduated from one of the best university in Indonesia and you have so much potential. Don’t you want to contribute to society? ” And ever since that moment, I realized how mistaken and shallow people could be in the way they define and measure the intangibles of the world.
A generation ago, being a homemaker was an unremarkable choice. Nobody batted an eye at a woman who chose to forgo a traditional career in favor of cooking and cleaning. Now? Not so much. I do feel judged sometimes. People think I sit around eating chocolates and watching soap operas all day hahaha. “You must get your nails done so much or you must have a plenty time to take care of yourself at salon/spa” they say. Staying at home when you still don’t have kids yet is so unusual, it’s almost scandalous hahaha (ironic laugh)
“What do you do?” has become the hardest question to answer. “I keep the home” is apparently not a valid response. “But what do you do?” people will say.
I do everything it takes to make a household run. On a typical day, I get up between 4-5, cooking for breakfast and make lunchbox for my husband, make the beds, and do a load of laundry and chores etc. Then I clean whatever room is on my schedule. After the cleaning is done, the laundry goes in the dryer, and I take an hour of me time — surfing the internet, reading blogs, returning e-mails, or responding to comments on my own blog. After lunch, I usually work on a home-improvement project, like putting up trim or coloring some doodles, baking or I run errands.
By 3 p.m., I’m thinking about dinner — what to make, what ingredients I want to use up. Dinner is on the table by 5:30. Instead of eating microwaved meals, My husband and I are eating saltless chicken cordon bleu with cheese sauce, homemade noodle, homemade siomay, pempek, stir fried vegetables, non preservatives food, salad, yoghurt, fruits etc. I am a natural picky-eater for sure, and i think since i married, me and my husband became healthier since we’re eating less processed junk and started to eat more vegetables and fruits. After dinner, My husband usually has to work from home, often he woke up at 1 or 2 a.m. Since I don’t have to be at an office the next day, sometimes I stay up with him (yeah sometimes :-p hahaha). We get to enjoy each other’s company instead of passing out at the end of the day because we haven’t had a moment’s downtime.
Honestly, the transition from a ‘worker, and became a full time stay at home wife was not easy. Sometimes I found myself hopelessly bored to tears, watching way too much youtube video, and not knowing what I was supposed to be doing as a homemaker. Oh sure, I had the basics of cooking, cleaning, and keeping my husband happy, but the devil is in the details. When I realized I considered working out and going to the grocery store a busy day, I knew something had to change.
So I decided to become my own inspiration.
I started to learn how to bake professionally. I found that my ultimate goals as a a part of society is be able to have my own culinary business. I want to have a cakery and restaurant. I try to learn by myself how to decorate the cake, making a perfect cake etc.
My favorite parts of being a housewife are being able to be my own boss and to set my own schedule. I don’t like feeling trapped by some else’s timetable.
Of course it is easy for me to know my own satisfaction with homemaking, as follows:
- I can set my own schedule and ‘work for’ the people i love most in the world.
- I get to sleep with my boss hahaha. Though I have never thought of my husband as myboss, I still found this to be hilarious. As far as I am concerned, he is sleeping with the boss, not me! Hahahaha
- Being there for the kids (aaminn) and watching them grow up.
- Being able to have time to do the things i really love to do and not be restrained by other people’s schedule.
- I like the flexibility and the lack of stress, too. Not that things aren’t stressful with the-homemaking-things, but it’s not the kind of stress I experienced when I worked outside my home. One thing I’ve noticed lately, since i still not pregnant yet, is that everyone is asking me if I’m going BACK to work. I know they mean well and are trying to be polite, but I feel like responding, “What do you think I’ve been doing for the last five months? Sitting on my you-know-what?” I never worked as hard in my life until I became a housewife and homemaker haha
- I love to be at able to make a welcoming haven for my husband and future children! And an inviting place to practice hospitality! Home cooked meals, clean clothes, a pretty and tidy house, all contribute to a sense of peace and a desire to be there (at home), and in this busy world I think that’s what our families need.
- I NEVER DREAD MONDAYS ANYMORE! Haha
- Being able to take my husband an ideal fashion (p.s: his sense of fashion is so-‘ugh’ btw haha), dinner when he walks in the door etc.
- Being blessed to always be concentrating on family.
I think I also believe that homemakers have a job potential that few other professions offer: we can pursue a seemingly unlimited number of interests, all that can really benefit our families and homes. For example: gourmet chef, nutritionist, seamstress, interior designer, artist, florist, landscaper, gardener, farmer, milk maid, cake decorator, baker, nurse, hairstylist, carpenter, plumber, master cleaner, etc., etc. Some or many of these skills and interests are also marketable, either from home or at some point in the future if outside work is desired or needed.
Everything about being a modern homemaker is amazing. It;s been my dream since i was little and it finally come true. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to an office job. If I get bored, maybe I’ll take on a part-time job or volunteer. I hope in the future we’ll have kids (aamiin), and I’ll be a stay-at-home mom, a role people seem to understand more easily. For now, me and my husband are happy with this setup. We spend time together and are both doing what we love. And believe it or not, I haven’t had my nails done and go to spa in five months. Hahaha
Don’t get me wrong; I am in no way invalidating the value of the-working-mom/wife to society. My best friends is a working mom too and i adore her. What I’m saying is that it seems that what people have failed to realize is that to be able to truly contribute something of significance to society, one must first become a genuinely good person capable of thinking beyond himself. And that’s what we don’t have enough of – genuinely good people.
And if being ‘just’ a housewife and homemaker allows me to help raise and develop at least one good person that the world is in dire need of, then I’m looking forward to the day society frowns upon me for being ‘just’ a housewife and homemaker hehehe.