I was recently sent an email regarding an article attributed to Housekeeping Monthly entitled ‘The Good Wife’s Guide’. While some of you may be familiar with the article and its supposed origins, wikipedia (a resource as always), gives the full text and a discussion of the salient points of the questionable validity of the article’s publication. Be that as it may, the text of the article got me thinking about wifehood both today and in the past.
As a ‘modern woman’, I am supposed to want everything – fulfilling, rewarding career; enough money; a man who is my co-parent and homemaker; a nice house and its trappings; two cars, two dogs, a cat, and a parakeet. And there’s nothing wrong with shooting for the moon, as long as we realize that are loftier ambitions are probably ones we won’t achieve. For myself, for the moment, I’ve forgotten how to start small with managable goals. I see the amazing things I’ve done – spending two years in China, traveling to Australia in high school, writing my first novel last year – and they give me only a small sense of accomplishment. The short-term goals I have seem either too difficult or too unfulfilling in and of themselves to be attainable. I’m left struggling to find my way to the next immediate step – instead my gaze has been turned to the sky and I don’t quite know where I’m stepping.
A part of the issue is that women, as a gender, no longer know their place. it could be the home. It could be the office. It could be both or neither. And in that struggle to redefine ourselves, I find I’m left with too much responsibility to carve out my own place. Sometimes it seems like I’m shoving against the whole of the modern world to make some space for myself, and that’s exhausting. Hopefully I will remember to take a deep breath once and awhile and allow things to fall into place around me.