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The journey of a failing housewife

30 January 20222 mins to read

For years I’ve been trying to be a perfect housewife. Originating from a more patriarchal society, I’ve been raised with the idea that:

  1. The way to man’s heart is through his stomach = I need to be a good cook.
  2. That what my man wears speaks about me as a woman, and it is a big shame for ME if his shirt is not perfectly ironed.
  3. My home needs to be ready for unexpected guests at any moment. The neighbors would judge me on how clean my windows are... Basically, where I come from, next to taking care of your husband and kids, the traditional idea of being a woman inevitably revolves around being a good cook, having clean home and no laundry piles.

And trust me, I really tried to be that good woman. For years I was stretching myself, doing my best to fulfill my housewife obligations, which are part of the “being a woman” deal.

Cleaning was the first one I removed from my plate. I was so pedantic, and it was so frustratingly never-ending task, that at some point I couldn’t keep up with both cleaning and enjoying my life. Or I would manage my household activities, or I would have a true weekend with time for myself and my friends. Great, great choice to choose my needs here.

The next chore to get rid of, was the ironing. Again, being too big of a perfectionist, I am just super slow. It always took me hours to finish my ironing pile. I’ve stopped buying clothes which would easily wrinkle and Rogier is ironing his own shirts and trousers. So, I’ve stopped ironing too.

The last one I gave up on was the cooking. This was a big struggle. While having a cleaning lady, is something common and part of many households, someone else cooking for you, is not (yet).

But finally, I am ready to admit to the world that I don’t like to cook. I am tired of trying. I rarely have inspiration for cooking and my cooking is OK, but never wow. I don’t want to spend my time on it. It is a big burden for me. Hence, I am in constant search for alternatives of cooking. Delivery, take away, catering, Rogier cooking….

When I say that I don’t want to cook anymore, I still feel judged by some of the women around me, but I am in peace with this now. We all have our strong and weak sides.

I rather work with my talents and enjoy what I am doing, than trying to be someone I am not, beating myself up for the average results I am getting.

I am very grateful that I grew beyond the patriarchal ideas of my background and that the fact that I am not a good example of a housewife doesn’t diminish my sense of who I am as a woman anymore.

If you have similar struggles, I would say, start with delegating or finding alternatives to one of the chores you don’t want to be busy with. When you taste the relief and freedom this will bring you, you will quickly get convinced that life is too short and you better enjoy it than twist yourself into being someone you are not.

Btw, I have a deep respect for all women who choose to be a full-time mom and a housewife. I grew up in a cozy home, where the smell of home-made meals, baked cakes and the always welcoming presence of my mom created the sweet memories I have from my childhood. If this is what brings you joy, by all means, do it, because the world needs more warmth and kids raised by their parents with kindness and strong values.

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