Last week we talked about how being a homemaker can be an uncomfortable position for some. But now let’s talk about why it can be an awesome job.
In 2012, I quit my day job in order to focus full-time on working as an editor. My fiancé was convinced that I’d get bored and start looking for a new second job in less than a month. I confidently denied that possibility, but I was secretly terrified he was right.
I’m a workaholic. How would I handle going from two jobs to one and still feel like I was a productive human being? I mean, sure, I was constantly sleep deprived, cranky, worried about meeting deadlines, and pissed off at my day job bosses, but could I handle days when I didn’t have any assignments?
As anyone who works from home can tell you, you are at the mercy of your environment. You use your own bathroom all day, so you can’t really ignore that it’s dirty. You can’t notice that the litter box needs to be scooped and promise yourself you’ll do it when you get home. If your kids, or your partner, or your pets need your attention, they often think you’re “not doing anything” and feel free to interrupt the flow you JUST managed to get into.
After yet another one of these interruptions, I started looking into finding a local coworking space. Sure, it costs money, but it’s not too bad. The pictures are pretty and they offer coffee and a bathroom. So I thought about it. And I realized that when I quit my job last year, I went from three jobs to two.
I’m also a homemaker.
I’ve always heard the term “homemaker” applied to people who don’t do anything else, a PC term for “unemployed and not looking.” If you had another job, no matter what it was, that was how you identified yourself. “Oh, I’m a substitute teacher” or “I’m a Mary Kay consultant.” You may spend significantly more time keeping your house than you do teaching or selling Mary Kay, but that job prevented/saved you from saying you’re a homemaker.
Every night when my fiancé goes to work, I get on my laptop and edit. But before I can let myself work, I have to make the bed and start the laundry. When I need a break, I clean the bathroom. I get hungry and walk to the kitchen, picking stuff up off the floor as I go. While my food is cooking, I wipe down counters, wash dishes, and feed the cats. I couldn’t do those things from an outside office.
I do our grocery shopping and run our errands. I manage our accounts and pay our bills. On my (now rare) days off, I’m usually cleaning or organizing something in our house. I try to make sure my fiancé comes home to something freshly baked at least once a week. I spend enough time keeping our house that it’s another full-time job, and I take great pride in every compliment I receive from my fiancé and his friends. I am, without a doubt, a homemaker.
So looking into co-working made me realize that “homemaker” doesn’t mean “I’m unemployed and I like it that way, thanks.” Homemaker is a job title that more people could claim, and I’m claiming it.
I’m an editor and a homemaker, and I’m proud of both of those jobs. I’m just as proud of a “Great work, Cassie!” from my boss as I am of a “These cookies are amazing!” from my fiancé’s coworkers. And now I understand why I was so cranky before. Three jobs is a bit much, even for a workaholic like me.