Do Real Women Iron?
If you know me, you know I’m pretty far from being a feminist and I do believe women should know how to cook for their families and take care of them. And you probably also know that I don’t iron and I’d much rather pay someone to clean my house than do it myself. Recently I overheard a conversation among stay at home moms about how certain things, like the upkeep of the house, is just part of their job as a stay at home mom. I didn’t really think anything of it until I caught myself telling Andrew to go play with Annabelle and that I’d iron his shirt for him. wait, what? me? iron? I almost couldn’t believe that those words came out of my mouth. I purposely buy iron free clothes because I don’t iron.
As the days went on I found myself offering to iron more shirts and even some pants. It got me thinking, why is this happening? Well. It’s summer, my schedule is pretty light and right now I’m spending 5 out of 7 days a week as a full-time stay at home mom (with the exception of working after Annabelle goes to bed). Andrew is still working the same, long hours and we don’t get to see him too much – Annabelle is usually asleep by the time he gets home. Since I have all this extra time that I get to spend with Annabelle now I want to give him the opportunity to spend some more time with her, to give them some more bonding time because I am blessed to have all this time with her now. When we were both working long hours and were tired all the time I didn’t care about ironing his shirts, I was too busy trying to spend every minute of free time with my daughter, or doing things that really needed to be done to be ready for school and work the next day. Everything revolved around the question of “what needs to be done for tomorrow?” And Andrew is actually better at ironing than I am. He’s had lots of practice ironing his U.S Army uniforms before being medically retired.
So, what is the “job” of a housewife? Should they be expected to clean, cook, entertain the kids, look immaculate, be properly manicured and bronzed and look well rested? Doubtful. Although I know some that do all of those things well and look amazing doing it -it’s not a given. Some moms can barely keep their heads above water and focus any and all their attention on the child. There’s a learning curve with becoming a mother, it takes some of us longer than other to get the hang of it. I’d say it took me about 2 years to get used to being a mom, to get to a point where I have things under control enough to take some extra time for makeup and maybe even to blow dry my hair every once in a while and feel a little bit more like a woman than just a mom. I really do love feeling like a mom though.
The way I see it is that a mothers main job is to raise a little human, to instill values in them, to stimulate their curiosity and love for learning, to teach them to laugh and love and be grateful and find the beauty in the smallest of things, to stick their hands in the dirt, hunt for bugs, splash in the mud and dance in the rain.
I don’t think a mother should be worried about making sure every last toy has been put away before her husband gets home and has ironed every shirt if that takes time away from being a mom. I will never sit Annabelle in front of the t.v for hours so that i can iron, or clean, or put on makeup but the moments she gets really into something she’s playing with and is content playing alone then I try to get as much done around the house as I can. Cooking is easy for me because I enjoy it and Annabelle usually like to either help me or pretend to cook in her own kitchen.
As long as I have this time to enjoy being at home more if ironing a little bit here and there will give Annabelle and her daddy a little more bonding time then it looks like there may be some more ironing in my future- even if there are toys all over the floor…