Wednesday, January 02, 2008

neither desperate, nor a housewife

Is it some sort of a rule, or just a stereotype come to life, for mothers-in-law to feel that daughters-in-law don't do enough around the house?

As a medical resident with a two year-old child, who leaves the house at 5:15am every morning and gets home anywhere between 5:30pm that evening and 9:00am the following day, I have to say that most of my time is pretty much booked with raising my offspring and, you know, being a doctor. In the hospital. Where I work when I am not at home. Also, sometimes I try to write this book that I'm working on. Just a few small activities to occupy my day, you know. Unfortunately, this leaves me relatively little time to sew my own drapes, or turn old drapes into clothes, or whatever paragon of wifely virtue it is that I may be held up to.

I think this impression that I don't do enough housewifery is innocent, a holdover from another generation and another set of duties and expectations, but I would be flat-out lying if I said it didn't bother me a little. There are the larger feminist implications of it first of all. And then there is the knee-jerk reaction wherein I rail (quietly), "What, do I have to be good at everything?" Anyway, it's 2008 already, isn't this supposed to be The Future? When can I get me one of those robot maids and a self-cleaning home? Not to mention a car that folds into a briefcase?

Really, I think what clinched it is that Joe did the laundry yesterday when I was post-call, you know, having worked for TWENTY-FOUR HOURS STRAIGHT the night before, and the fact that I wasn't on hand to pair my own socks make me look kind of bad. Damn you, dutiful new-age husband!

And therein ends my obligatory holiday season family psychodrama. Feel free to share your own. Otherwise, as you were.

(Obligatory addendum: May it go without saying that I love my in-laws, they are the best, so helpful, so supportive, will be staying with us for a month helping us with our transition to Atlanta, super-duper people. Yes! The best! I didn't need to say that did I? Well, yes, I probably did. I! LOVE! THEM! But I do not love dusting.)