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Convention and staying home

Howard is away at a convention this weekend. He is visiting with familiar friends and meeting new people. He will have fun conversations and eat out at restaurants. I am here at home with the kids. This arrangement is normal for us. It is a division of labor. One of us to go be public, the other to provide stability for the kids. Sometimes I feel sad about being the one to stay home. I often have conflicted feelings about being unseen, and I wish I could be present for the fun events and conversations. Today I am so very glad not to be going anywhere.

Public events are filled with excitement, interest, and fun. I love being at conventions and presenting at them. However they are also inherently stressful. Just now I’m glad to skip the emotional roller coaster of guilt over leaving the kids, anticipation, nervousness, and fatigue. Instead I’ve had a lovely quiet afternoon, where I made a meal more elaborate than strictly necessary and watched a movie. Tomorrow we’ll finally have Patch’s long-overdue birthday party and then I plan to sit down with my kids and watch West Side Story. None of them have seen it. I’ll clean up the house and make plans for our family vacation next week. All of it will be done at a sane pace instead of in a frenzy. Then when Howard comes home, exhausted, all here will be calm and orderly.

It is very old fashioned of us I guess, husband ventures in the wide world while wife stays home to tend house. It works though. Our lives are more balanced and happy when someone is tending to home. Some time in the future it may be me heading out while Howard stays home. For this weekend, I’m glad of the current arrangement.

2 comments to Convention and staying home

  • Muriel

    I’m glad that, while enjoying your current role, you are acknowledging that while SOMEONE has to be responsible for organising a home if it is to be worth the name, there is no inherent reason it has to be a woman. It’s cool if that suits a couple’s/family’s personal needs or current working patterns; its not cool if it’s just assumed that things should be that way and that is enforced by society or religion (and yes, that is a small dig at your church (Relief Society, much), but also much more generally at organised religion).

    • It is unfortunate when the structure of society or religion causes people to feel forced into roles. I guess I’m fortunate in that I have never felt compelled. Even when my choices look like conformity, they were mine. I do often worry that my sometimes conformist appearance may contribute to societal pressure on others. This is why I try to be careful of my language in blog posts. Kids need a primary caretaker on call 24-7 during the youngest years, and pretty close to that even when they are older. The format of that primary caretaking can vary quite a lot while still meeting the needs of the kids.