Monday, April 9, 2007

Housewife vs Homemaker

Today I felt very much like I was going to break. On a good day I feel like a homemaker – one who makes a home. I believe that my contribution is valuable and feel pretty good about what I’ve accomplished – no matter how small – i.e., having a shower at a decent hour and getting the kids outside into the fresh air. However, today was one of those …1960’s Sylvia Plath days …in which I felt like I was stuck in the bell jar. Literally. Stuck. And I was very hard to reach – even for myself. Most of this is caused by lack of sleep as Boy has not been sleeping well at night – often waking 2-3 times during the night as I stumble into his room to fight off imagined ants or spiders. “Do you SEE IT!?? There RIGHT THERE!” I have reached burn-out. And then I feel GUILTY as hell as here I am – home with my children, a lucky and not common thing in these days of two parents juggling careers and family, yet I long for some end to the monotony and want to be let off the hamster wheel. I was stumped over the simple task of making E’s lunch today. Frozen in space, couldn't think of anything to make. Now that is really sad. I resorted to PB & J. Made 2, hoping that would increase the appeal for him. Not likely.

Part of it is the sheer violent pitch of holding myself back from really writing regularly and allowing myself to just go…and see where the words take me. I don’t know why I keep yanking myself back. Is the jump really any more frightening than parenting without a parachute? Yes, today was a housewife, hausfrau day. I allowed myself to spend an hour just reading – currently Maureen Dowd’s, “Are Men Necessary?” Then E calls – not to complain of his elementary school lunch, but to check-in and see if I needed a break - which was very sweet. I guess I must have been oozing fragile breakdown vibes after all. He offered to spot me one night this week so I could go out with a girlfriend and have some down time. That sounds great, but what I really need is for him to help me with the bed/bath routine on a regular basis. By evening, I’m pretty whittled down and when E helps with the bath or bedtime I feel like we are really a team, that there are two of us in it together –doing the very best we can- that this is a shared experience. And then once again I AM a homemaker.

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