Categories

A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

Making a Home

Again, a his­tor­i­cal arti­cle from 2000.

My main work is home­mak­ing —both in the sense of cre­at­ing the pleas­ant, healthy phys­i­cal space in which we live and in the sense of anchor­ing the dis­parate indi­vid­u­als who live here into the fam­i­ly unit that is our home in a much larg­er sense. I chose to leave inter­est­ing, well-paid work out­side the home to be at home and be the pri­ma­ry care­giv­er for our three kids —with the sup­port and encour­age­ment of my part­ner, of course. We with­drew my daugh­ter from pub­lic school in favor of edu­cat­ing her at home, and hope that some­day we will be able to do the same with his chil­dren. We’ve had reac­tions of sur­prise, sup­port, mis­un­der­stand­ing, and encour­age­ment from var­i­ous friends and fam­i­ly mem­bers. I hear from var­i­ous pro­fes­sion­al con­tacts on a reg­u­lar basis, and all of them seem to assume that sure­ly this is a tem­po­rary thing. Why would­n’t I want to go back to work? Aren’t I bored? Would­n’t I pre­fer to be out mak­ing mon­ey?

When you keep house, you use your head, your heart, and your hands togeth­er to cre­ate a home—the place where you live the most impor­tant parts of your pri­vate life. House­keep­ing is an art: it com­bines intu­ition and phys­i­cal skill to cre­at com­fort, health, beau­ty, order and safe­ty. —Cheryl Mendel­son in Home Com­forts

In a word, no. I occa­sion­al­ly miss some aspects of work­ing —but I’m cer­tain­ly not bored. I’m not intel­lec­tu­al­ly sti­fled. It isn’t dif­fi­cult to fill the hours of the day with far more inter­est­ing pur­suits than sit­ting in traf­fic, or far more pleas­ant con­cerns than won­der­ing if every­thing is okay at my daugh­ter’s school. Yes, I occa­sion­al­ly miss some of the inter­ac­tions I had at work, as well as some of the tech­ni­cal chal­lenges. If I did­n’t have inter­net access to per­mit me to stay con­nect­ed to peo­ple and infor­ma­tion I might find it more bor­ing to be at home (but I did­n’t have any trou­ble find­ing ways to fill my time in pre-inter­net days, so I doubt it). If it weren’t for the fact that I hap­pen to live in a place where I’m sur­round­ed by more things to do than I could ever pos­si­bly squeeze in to my life, maybe I’d feel more iso­lat­ed. As it is, I don’t feel iso­lat­ed, bored, exclud­ed, sti­fled —none of that.

I spend much more of my time in fas­ci­nat­ing con­ver­sa­tion with one of the world’s coolest peo­ple —Katie —than I did when I was col­lect­ing a pay­check reg­u­lar­ly. I don’t spend any more time doing house­work now than I did when I was spend­ing sev­er­al hours in traf­fic every day. There’s a lot more time in my day for going to the library, read­ing, stitch­ing, mak­ing music and play­ing than there was before. I feel a cer­tain amount of sad­ness that every­one can’t be here at home with us for most of their days. There’s hon­est­ly some guilt that Sam has to go out into traf­fic every morn­ing and deal with work­ing out­side the home. There isn’t, how­ev­er, any resent­ment over being at home, and I don’t feel less impor­tant, less intel­li­gent, or less valu­able in any way because I am a home­mak­er.

Last updat­ed Decem­ber 26, 2000