The end of June also marks the end of my third month as a housewife. It’s been an interesting ride so far; some things are exactly as I expected they would be, and some things have really thrown me for a loop and made me question my decision to leave the workforce. However, overall I’m really happy with the direction my life has taken since making the decision to veer off the traditional path.
One of the fun things about my new life is that now I often have the ability to meet up with people for extended lunches or coffee dates in the middle of the day. Just last week I met a friend for coffee and a 90 minute walk around the park on a sunny Wednesday afternoon – something I never would’ve been able to do before. We talked about a lot of stuff, mainly because she’s currently considering a lot of the same things I was back in March. I’ve also gotten mid-day massages, purposefully scheduled mid-day doctor’s appointments, and seen mid-day movies. There’s something really freeing about crossing something off your list and still having a full day of sunshine ahead of you (and not having to stress about getting back to work to make up for lost time).
The one thing that’s surprised me the most since quitting my full-time job is how utterly alone I feel for most of the day. I miss the daily interaction and camaraderie with my former coworkers, having a built-in set of face-to-face interaction with adults. Most of my time is spent on the computer, talking on the phone, or having much longer conversations with service workers at stores than necessary. By the time Matt gets home I’m usually craving meaningful human (adult!) interaction, and lucky for me he’s always willing to indulge me.
Something that’s gone completely differently than I thought it would is the part-time job search. I’ve already written here that I have a summer job – and I’m as shocked as you are that it happened for me so quickly. This job is exactly what I envisioned having through the summer when I quit my full-time job in March. It’s in my chosen field (albeit a very entry level position), it’s enough of a time commitment to keep me busy but still allow me to work on applications and take a class if I choose to, and it still allows me to contribute financially to our household – a perfect match to what I wanted. The thing that went differently than I thought it would was the job search process: this job was literally the first one I applied to and basically fell into my lap. I was vigilant in my search, only applying to things that I knew would help me and be a good fit with what I was looking for, and the time between submitting my application and getting the offer was literally a week and a half.
I realize that I’m super lucky that finding this job was so easy, especially in this dismal economy, and I’m grateful for everyone that helped me with this goal.
I don’t feel lucky, however, that I was able to quit my job in the first place. The one thing that’s disappointed me the most has been the negative/derogatory comments that I’ve received from friends and family, though mostly acquaintances, since I’ve quit. I’ve heard a lot of “You’re so lucky!” and “So that’s why you got married!” statements from some people I’m not lucky – I worked my butt off for almost two years to put myself in a position where I could take this chance, by saving and paying down debt and just generally making good decisions. I’ve also gotten a lot of “How does Matt feel about being the bread-winner?” Matt’s not the “bread winner” at this point – we still share our expenses, and I contribute my share from my savings that I worked on building for two years and what I earn at my summer job. Also, contrary to popular belief, this process would’ve been easier to go through had I not gotten married. Think about it: how easy is it to save money or make major life changes while planning (and paying for) a wedding?
There is one thing that I knew would happen going in to this that I’m no less happy about now that I’ve been in it for three months: I am very very pleased with the amount of time that I’ve been able to spend with Matt as a result of becoming a housewife. I think Matt’s pleased with how much less stressed out I am when I’m home, as well as how often I’m home as a result of this change. I’m a little shocked at how high our monthly grocery bill has gotten, but also pleased that I basically don’t spend money on eating at restaurants (or buying lunch!) now that I’m not in an office every day. I get to eat more healthful and homemade things, like my variation on a Plowman’s Platter. I also spend a disproportionate amount of time watching reality tv and Dr. Phil, oggling Duchess Catherine’s dresses, and thinking up excuses not to work out.
But let’s be honest, mostly I’m just glad I still fit into my pants three months later. And that I have the best husband ever – but I didn’t need to become a housewife to realize that. 😀