Wishing I was a 1950’s Housewife


Several weeks ago I made a big mistake at work. While I knew I was going to be in trouble and maybe reprimanded on Monday when the boss came back in, I was assured by my friend, who gave me a heads up that I wasn’t going to be fired. While this should have calmed me down, it didn’t. For two reasons: I’m a writer, and my brain took off creating the worst possible futures; second, I was sick with a fever, which meant those scenarios morphed into nightmarish scenes full of my family living under a bridge with Zombies snacking on our flesh because we were too weak from hunger to run away.

I don’t wait well.

The whole point of this is that right now my job supports my family. My husband is self employed and works hard, but I make more then he does, and our apartment is part of my pay. I live where I work. This means if I lose my job, we’re homeless. I hate it. I don’t like being the main bread winner. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job and the fact that I can support us, but I hate having that much responsibility. I think I might be happier in pearls and pumps ,vacuuming the house and not worrying my pretty little head about such things. The poster child for feminism I am not. LOL!

So to all the breadwinners out there, I feel your pain and stress. I understand why you bend to your bosses wishes, and why you work late and bring work home. I understand that you would rather be home with your family, and you’re willing to sacrifice that family time to make sure they have a home to be in.

Have you thanked the breadwinner in your life lately? And if it’s you, do something nice for yourself but not when you’re on the clock.

Oh and no worries, I’m not under a bridge, my boss rocks, and we got everything worked out without my bursting into tears.

18 responses »

  1. Man, do I admire you. I am not the breadwinner in our household. I stopped working outside the home when I had our son and continued as a mom throughout my daughter’s youth as well. I began writing when I had some freedom and now let’s see how much “money” I bring to the household! Not much, I bet, but I’m doing what I love and my husband makes enough to support us. But, as you noted, I really need to say “thank you” more often to him for how much it means to me that i can pursue a dream while he’s at work.

    • I had many years where I was able to stay at home and now I’m much more grateful to my husband for all the work he did. I never realized how stressful it is to be the main bread winner. Oh well when the million dollar contracts start rolling in I’ll relax then LOL!

  2. So happy things worked out, Alica! Workplace stress is bad enough – even worse when so much is on the line!! We’re a single-income family (my writing isn’t exactly pulling in the bling-bling yet ;)), and I’m lucky enough to be in a place where I can stay home with the kids. But I see the things you’re talking about in the hubster. The stress each new month brings, the stress each month-end brings, the fact that work is constantly, always on his mind. He’s not a workaholic by nature, but since he bears the full brunt of our financial burden, it’s always there. I’m so grateful for the sacrifices he’s made for me and our kids; I’m sure your family is über grateful for you, too! *hugs*

    • Thanks- it is crazy and I like you hope my writing can support my family *sighs happy dream* I now they are grateful, but I never realized how much stress my husband felt all those years I was at home with the kids and he was working.

  3. I thank my husband often for being the main breadwinner of our family. I respect those who get up and get into gear every day to make that happen.

    I’ve mostly been a part-time stay-at-home mom, although the last couple of years my part-time work has been unpaid writing. I’m especially amazed by those who work full-time and write on the side. (When do you people sleep?)

    Back in college, my best friend and I (both strong personalities) discussed how the feminist movement had screwed it up for women. We had been able to stay home and do housework, but with newer appliances and technology, that housework didn’t take as much time. We could have just hung out and enjoyed ourselves. We were partly joking and partly serious. I’m all over that 1950’s housewife thing. (Although, did you know that Donna Reed actually produced her show? – so she was hardly a slacker herself.)

    • I didn’t now that about Donna Reed! How cool. I agree that the feminist moved has messed things up in some ways. I think it tried to make woman the same as men which is different then valued the same as men. My Grandparents worked a farm, they each had gender specific roles and each was necessary for survival. My grandmother was never less in my grandfathers eyes because she cooked and cleaned.
      We all have our gifts and skills and it would nice if we could rejoice in who we are instead of constantly comparing everyone to everyone.

  4. My hubby and I both win bread in this house. Since I work from home, I do most of the cooking and (ew) cleaning. He’s perpetually grateful as am I for his long hours and hard work away. It’s such an interesting time for men and women alike, isn’t it? We far more choices than ever before… which brings many perks and challenges. (*sigh* and YAY! ;))

    I hope you can don that 50s-style apron soon and take some days off, Alica. Thanks for supporting the hard workers!

    • It is amazing how much things have changed over the years. Hubby wins bread too, but not as much I do right now- for years I home schooled my kids and he made all the money. I never appreciated how difficult it ca be to have that responsibility on your shoulders.

  5. Alicia, I’m with you – I’m the main breadwinner, and DH is self-employed, part time. However, he cooks, goes to the grocery store, and trades work with a friend who cleans our house! Believe me, I’m so grateful for all of that. I think that’s the only way I get sleep, and I still don’t get what I need through the week. I’m blessed that my job pays decently, it’s work I like, and I work with awesome people, some of whom are now my readers, too! Even when my husband worked 70 hours a week at his own business and I did the cooking and shopping, I still wouldn’t trade that for being a 50’s wife! Here’s hoping you at least get a break soon – sounds like you might need one!

    • My hubby does 90% of the cooking and cleaning too. Most of the time I’m very happy but some days the pressure gets to be a a bit much and I would rather hide. Oh, well it’ll all balance. I’m taking a little vaction right now, so hopefully I’ll go back to work relaxed

  6. I’m so glad everything worked out. You are so right, we do need to remember the bread winners in our family would rather be home usually with everyone instead of slaving away. After a really long day and supper waiting on the table for my late hubby I vented and his response was, “Do you think I’d rather be working late at the office on a deadline then being at home with my family?” I think in the back of my head I knew he’d rather be home, but sometimes it is hard to see the other side of things:) I try to remember that now. Wonderful post, thanks for the reminder!
    (and I have a 50ish housewife post in the works, except I think I am turning into one, well, not exactly:) )

  7. I’m glad everything worked out for you. I was the breadwinner for many years in my first marriage, so I fully understand the issues. Now, if my partner is late (as she often is due to the demands of her job) I always greet her with a hug and a hot meal. (Thank the gods of the microwave) I know she’d rather be home with me. I also know that bitching at someone because they’re late is not likely to encourage them to hurry home in future. Always make home the happy place.

  8. Oh man, I hear you! I have no desire to have children but sometimes I think I’d rather stay at home with kids and not worry about other responsibilities. I know parenting is a huge responsibility and that’s not a super realistic thought…but sometimes I think that, lol

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