Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Most aspects of living with this chronic pain are incredibly difficult. I hate not working, I hate being at home so much, I hate taking all these medications, I hate all the doctor appointments, I hate being in pain so much, I hate not being able to do all the things I used to do, etc., etc. I've become an accidental housewife (without all the money and kids that term usually brings to mind). Of course I don't do my housework in a dress and apron instead opting for the comfort of pajamas. Maybe that makes me a modern housewife...okay that may be a stretch.

My husband works very long hours and honestly is not very good at anything domestic so I have taken over everything at home. I do all of the cooking, cleaning, laundry, bills, dog care (except the late night trip outside - too many bugs), dishes - well you know the drill.

Domestic chores can be tedious and truly never end but there is also an element of satisfaction in the immediate gratification it can bring. The sparkling bathroom, the tidy kitchen, the empty laundry baskets and the like all bear witness to the work that was just performed. However, the satisfaction is equal to the frustration I feel when the work is quickly undone by the next meal, the next shave, or the new pile of dirty clothes. This is life - right? None of us live in a magazine photo so all people have to deal with these daily tasks.

As much as I wish I could go back to my profession, during the 3 plus weeks I was in Rochester recently it occurred to me that part of me likes my role as a housewife. Something about the tradition of it feels good, even though I would never describe myself as traditional. I like taking care of my husband, our dog and our home.
Even though my husband (and I) would like for me to have a second income I suspected that part of him also really likes having a housewife. While I was away we would talk and Skype a couple times a day and I just got the feeling that having to suddenly take care of things around the house was a challenge. He seemed to have a renewed appreciation for all that I do and how it makes his life easier. When I got home I admitted to him that part of me sort of liked being a housewife and asked if part of him sort of liked having one. He, somewhat sheepishly, agreed.

I think we both were reluctant to even think these things, let alone talk about it because it's not politically correct - after all we are a fairly young modern couple who just fell into these very traditional roles because of the limitations imposed on me by my chronic pain.
In becoming a housewife, accidental or not, I've discovered how mutually beneficial these traditional roles really are. Don't get me wrong, if we are not able to have kids and I get to feeling like my old self again I would want to go right back to being a modern working woman. But in the meantime I don't want to spend ALL my time wishing there was more to my days than balancing feeling awful with household chores. My situation is not all bad, I am enjoying being a housewife. Now that I've had this revelation, maybe if I made that more of a focus my stress level would go down.


  1. I've seriously been considering hiring a maid service to come in once a week to do floors and bathrooms!

  2. I think it's satisfying to be able to contribute in any way you can even if your life doesn't look the way you thought it would. That being said, I sorely miss the intellectual challenge and excitement of my career. I get a lot out of blogging, social media work and advocacy, but it's not the same.

    And I think you have a good point: It's a lot easier to get little household tasks and errands done when one person is at home all the time. Accepting packages, letting repairmen in, going to the bank, etc. It's not worth the trade off, but it's handy. :)

  3. Thank you for your post. It really touched me. Things have somewhat been that way with my husband and me, though I can't always even keep up with the household stuff. It helps to see this post filled with hope.

  4. I wish I enjoyed the idea of being a housewife as much as you do. I have such a hard time doing any kind of housework. My hubs and I are struggling with the loss of my income so it is not possible to hire someone to help me out. Ugh, chronic pain sucks!

  5. Chronic pain sure does suck! I'm sorry you have a hard time with the housework, that must be stressful and frustrating.