Yesterday, I cleaned out the fridge, put away the groceries, entertained my daughter, washed a sinkful of dishes, and then made dinner for our little family of three. I gathered them around the kitchen table and we had dinner and dessert together. Ben and I discussed our day and Elizabeth chimed in with whatever she so desired. Oh, and I also bought and arranged flowers for the kitchen. In those moments of domesticity, I felt blatantly…female.
Now, don’t burn me at the stake just yet. Hear me out, please.
I am female by sex but I also identify strongly with the female gender and a lot of the roles that are usually prescribed to women. I do not believe that women (or men, for that matter) should be bound by “traditional” gender roles, but I cannot deny the fact that I get a warm fuzzy somewhere inside me when I am taking care of my family and friends, whether it’s a meal, a mug of tea, a load of laundry, or a needed hug or cuddle.
I had a career as a teacher before I had my daughter a year and a half ago, and I am looking at perhaps getting back into working. I’d rather stay home with Elizabeth, I can’t lie about that, but I also acknowledge that, in our current society, that is not a forever choice that I think I can make. Not if we want to accomplish some of the plans that we have for our family and home. I have some wonderful female friends who have gone back to work after having their children, launching into successful careers in their chosen fields, and I could not be prouder of them. I know some incredibly strong women, women who juggle work and families and hobbies with an aplomb to which I can only aspire, and I cannot help but admire them. I have friends who are adamant that they are no use with housework, can’t cook, etc. I am not aficionado at cooking myself (trust me, I’ve ruined many a dish) but I find a measure of peace and accomplishment in taking care of my home and my family. And, yes, I have cooked and cleaned in pearls and high heels before, just to say I did.
I am not entirely sure what my point was in writing this; I think I had an idea that was more coherent in my head, but that’s all right. Thoughts poured out on paper, right?