I have been wrestling with a secret for quite a while, and it has been weighing on me. That is, how on earth am I going to break it to my family that I am actually, truly a housewife? That my life will be lived not in the glorified field of back-breaking labor but instead, in a domestic setting? In this modern world, it is not often easy to go against the grain or to face the inevitable backlash of judgemental views, especially when your family and friends join the herd. Eventually, I ended up on Reddit to try and figure out how to go about it from my predecessors.
What is considered worthwhile?
In our today’s economy, we have come up with, in my opinion, quite a toxic mold for how a proper human being should look like. We are supposed always to behave, study to the best of our ability (and sometimes over it), and go out in the working world, into a ‘’proper job’’ no matter how it makes us want to jump out the office windows on coffee breaks.
It becomes a matter of life and death as parents push their children, friends and siblings nag and question the choices of their loved ones, and the general public slaps a stamp of disapproval on the women that would become the support of their own homes and families. Nobody seems to be on our side in this journey.
The constant guilting and shaming, the criticizing, it leaves its marks on tender souls like mine. It becomes even worse when distant family members start hitting you up, warning and judging you for stepping into a life like that. I mean. Is it even anyone else’s business to begin with?
Playing up my side hustle
Despite my growing sense of self-worth, I am still struggling to be entirely honest about my chosen ‘’occupation’’. My family keeps asking me about my work plans and when I will be going back to it. Meanwhile, I’m on the other side of the line, shoulders hunched, eyes to the ground, thinking: “Yeaaah, about that… I’m not going that way!”
Instead of showing some courage I often find myself doing the same thing many others do – I start playing up my side hustles. It is not uncommon for me to redirect the conversation to my translation work, my blog, or my other projects of writing. Often times I leave it at the translations, as they actually bring in some cash, and thus it has more worth than the other things I do as a Housewife. At least in the eyes of the naysayers.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot, and as I was re-modeling my life and dogmas for it, I figured out it is time to step up a bit. After all, like many other women, I am truly content in my place in the world now. I clawed myself out of depravity and existential angst and found my path with the help of my בעלי. The problem lies in my inability to face conflict without being terrified of the million things that could go wrong, as well as not being able to handle the slightest amount of pressure in my life.
Well, that is not entirely true, I have figured out I can take quite a lot on myself, should I choose it voluntarily and take brave steps towards the shadows (to challenge them, mind you, not to join them!).
Avoiding the people and their entitlement
On top of the re-direction of conversations, I find myself trying to avoid my family, not only because of past problems and traumas but because I can’t be bothered with the same old questions. I don’t want to, nor do I have the power most times, to even try to explain to them that their entitled opinions are not the truth.
And that’s just it, isn’t it?
I started wondering why I was so bothered by people’s opinions of my life, after all, it is their own skewed perceptions and mindsets that whisper into their ears that it’s okay to be telling another person how to live their life. It has nothing to do with me really, I think it is more of a projection of their own Soulscape and unhappiness.
So, logically, I now need to stand up as proudly as I can and live my life. And live it the way I know is the best path for me personally. But how on earth do I go about this situation about letting my family know my aspirations and feelings about it? In the end, it is my responsibility to let them know my boundaries and how I feel about the constant barrage of invalidation, should I ever want to make the discussion a level field for us all.
So. How to go about it?
One great point brought up in the Reddit thread I was browsing through is that my family’s apprehension might be coming from the fact that they don’t know. I think the person is partially right, as I have never been able to clearly state my aspirations and feelings to my family. On the other hand, I also think most of them are stuck in a realm of ‘’you have to have a proper job, I know what’s best for you’’, and thus will keep pushing me into paths that I am truly not supposed to take.
The next thing, that has always been very difficult for me personally, is to try and be completely honest about it. Let them know that this is my chosen path, that it makes me happy, and tell them some ways it does this for me. And in the face of questions about me wasting my potential, I can calmly tell them that it is hurtful and ignorant of them to say such things, as clearly, they have no idea about my true potential and how best to let it shine. All of my major reasons for becoming a housewife for the astonishing Mr. V have been talked about in this post. Maybe I could consider using that as a reference when the time comes to talk to my family about it!
So I think, perhaps, when it next comes up with anyone, I will try and be courageous. Maybe I will practice with my therapist, although that is scarier than my family since she represents the system that wants me to work 9-5 in a dead-end job and be happy about it. And maybe, just maybe, they will listen and I can be free from the burden of hiding a great portion of myself whenever I am conversing with them.
I would like to end the post with a quote from user Either-Discipline258, as I think her words resonate beautifully:
Living apart from your beliefs is very hurtful and draining. It’s no wonder you feel exhausted from it. You should not have to tell little lies about your work or how you spend your day to family or anyone.~ Either-Discipline258, Reddit