In case you missed it, November 3 was National Housewife Day. If you think it sounds like some ridiculous, made-up holiday, it is. It’s also legit. According to the folks at National Calendar Day (the self-proclaimed definitive experts on all things related to ridiculous made-up holidays)…
“National Housewife’s Day sets aside November 3rd to recognize the millions of hardworking housewives. The day honors the stay-at-home moms who take care of the children and the home. It’s a 24/7 job that sometimes does not get the thank you that is much deserved.”
The history of National Housewife Day is unclear. It is not known when or where it was first celebrated, but it is universally accepted that the day was founded by some disgruntled housewife who was feeling unappreciated for all her hard work. Do you know what I have to say about that?
Welcome. To. The. Club.
Being unappreciated goes hand in hand with cleaning toilets, doing laundry, driving carpools, wiping runny noses and cooking three squares a day for people who don’t pay you for any of it except with the occasional hug and kiss.
Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t regret sacrificing my career aspirations in order to stay at home. I really don’t and I’m not resentful, but if I sound a wee bit pissy, it’s because the idea of ordaining a holiday to celebrate being unappreciated is… well… demeaning.
Did I make a conscious decision to forego pursuing a career for two and a half decades? Nope. The truth is I just sort of fell into it. While I didn’t exactly choose this path, I wouldn’t trade a minute of it either. When my oldest son was born during the Dancing Doc’s medical residency, the cost of quality child care was more than I earned as a gymnastics coach so we decided I should stay home for financial reasons. Plus, there’s no disputing parents are better for kids than paid child care workers, right? At least that’s what I’ve been telling myself all these years. Anyway, four years later baby number two came along, and while I was happy and committed to stay-at-home motherhood, I figured once he went off to kindergarten I’d go back to school or work or something. WRONG.
I’d been at home for a decade already and I guess it’s true what they say about old habits. They die hard. My family grew used to my being around 24/7, making our house a home and serving everyone else’s needs ahead of my own. Although I entertained working outside the home off and on throughout the years, I never pushed hard enough to really make it happen. Fast-forward twenty-three years. My youngest son was off to college and there I was, alone in the house, staring at the dog.
If you think feeling unappreciated is bad, try nonessential, irrelevant and useless. As someone who’s spent a lifetime honing a career in housewifery and stay-at-home motherhood, you’d think I’d be all over National Housewife Day, but I’m not. It’s demeaning. And idiotic. As if some ridiculous made-up token holiday is going to quell that “unappreciated” feeling, let alone the overwhelming loneliness and desperation that comes with empty nest hood. HAH! That’s what therapy and medication and wine and chocolate and ice cream is for. As for me? I dance.
November 3rd may be National Housewife Day, but EVERYDAY is National DANCING Housewife Day.
And that’s something worth celebrating.