Tuesday, 29 December 2009

BA (Hons) Housewifery

How do you housewives out there rate your housewifery skills? When my mother was expertly running our house I barely noticed what an amazing job she was doing, raising two children while my dad was frequently away on business, holding down a full time job when we went to school and running the house all at the same time. I noticed in the sense that she was always there to pick us up and drop us off, I noticed that my brother and I always felt loved and happy and warm but I just assumed that running the house was something that everyone did to the same standard. Now I'm the housewife snd how differently I see the situation.

Housewifery is essentially an administrative job. There are additional skills needed which are too numerous to mention individually but are as wide ranging as being able to cook and negociate with either a six month old or an adult with equal tact. Some time ago after university I did a few adminstrative jobs and secretarial work. Little did I know how useful these skills would become. Not everyone relishes the role of running the household. I was on a plane a few years ago with a friend and her second baby. She is an impressive artist, runs a gallery and is fearfully intelligent. She told me she finds being a housewife extremely difficult and that the job does not come easily to her at all.

Being a housewife is rewarding in all sorts of ways and it is good to be your own boss. I love cooking and find it relaxing and fulfilling (which is lucky as I seem to spend an extraordinary time in the kitchen) but the rest of the work involved is so unchallenging mentally I sometimes wonder if I'll ever be able to properly engage my brain again for long periods of time or even if I can will what's left of it be useful in any kind of commercial capacity?. As with millions of Mums I'd like to work but am unwilling to allow someone else to bring up our children just so I can scratch my mental itch. In an ideal world I'd work 2 days a week doing an intense, mentally challenging, staggeringly well paid job 5 minutes walk from my house while my parents looked after the children. In the real world I'll wait until the twins are in some kind of regular childcare and try and get a job doing whatever is available at the time locally.

On a more entertaining note we have a friend staying with us from London. Last night he and I were talking about some of the people out there who he might be interested in romantically. I found his take on these matters highly amusing. I told him about a friend of our family who has a much younger girlfriend than him but that she is also pretty boring. "Ah, and there it is. You get youth but the pay off is dullness" he tells me. Another of his interesting 'pay off' theories is that of the women in his age range available for romance and fun (30's ish) the prettier ones tend to have a child in tow. I'm looking forward to more of these conversations with him over the next week or so.


  1. I agree with you about the bit "it is good to be your own boss". I only realised that when I went to work part-time after having been with my 3 children at home for best part of a decade. I was working for a complete nincompoop, whose behaviour warranted the naughty chair on many occasions - but of course I couldn't put him on one. I frequently saw better, more efficient ways of doing things, and dealing with colleagues, but if I ever suggested anything, it was never very well received. The only thing that can be said about the experience is that it made me value being MD of my own operation at home much more.

  2. Aah Jenny, your blogs ring so true...in real life I have a 45min drive commute through the New Forest avoiding ponies, caravans, cyclists and tourists who have left their brains behind at home. I do this 3 times a week and leave work early to drive back, pick up child from nursery and get home panicking because I've forgotten in the chaos of my morning to get a frozen "home made fish pie/bolognese/risotto" out of the freezer. I'm then trying to make sure he doesn't get his snot/grubby paws all over my work clothes whilst trying to juggle his supper, changing out of clothes, loading washing machine and then the bath and bed routine before husband arrives home.

    In my "fantasy" world, I have the same job in my home town, my parents don't live a 4hr plane journey away, the in-laws don't live a 4hr drive away and husband doesn't disappear off sailing for 10 days at a time leaving me to manage single working parenting

    I must say that I seem to manage my team at work slightly more efficiently than I seem to manage my home which sometimes feels like it's spiralling out of my control.

  3. It's funny how we can manage so much more at work isn't it? My parents have just arrived from the UK for 6 weeks so I'm very excited about being with them as well as all the help I'll have


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