Friday, June 19, 2009

Being a House(not)wife

In a society where "What do you do?" (which means what job do you perform to earn money) is usually within the first five questions asked when people first meet, I'm having a bit of trouble getting used to being long-term unemployed. I suppose I never realiezed how much 'what we do' can equal 'who we are' to people who don't know us well. Hell, even to people who do know us. Maybe I'm being overly sensative, imagining that people see me in a much more negative light than they really do, because I'm have self-esteem issues with not working right now.

Though to say I'm 'not working' would be a lie. I am not currently a wage-earning worker. When I asked TyRoy what I should say when people ask what I do, his quick response was to tell them that I am a housewife. As that isn't exactly true, in that I am not anybody's wife nor am looking to become someone's wife anytime soon, I do all the typical things a housewife would do - shopping, housecleaning, laundry (just not much cooking because my folks don't like to eat what I can cook) - for my parents. Now I've tried telling people this (that I'm a housewife) but it tends to go over like a lead balloon.

Until two weeks ago, I was looking for wage-earning employment, permanent or temporary, full-time or part-time, while still doing the housewife-ly things until then. Since December, I've had interviews but no job offers. Before that, I'd had some job offers and temp jobs that might have led to offers but I frakked them up. I think my own poor management of my mental health had a good deal to do with it. Since then, I have gotten to a different (hopefully better) place with my medications, though I will always still be me, underneath it all. I honestly don't know that I wouldn't have frakked up any job offer I got between December and now. But with the job market the way it is, I was competing against more people than usual, more people who have better work histories and more skills than me, so I don't begrudge them getting those positions.

Until I found a job, must to continue to play housewife to my parents, more to ease their burden and to give me something to do than anything else, and also try to visit and help out my grandma more. But my plan was always to get a job, work steadily, pay down my debt, fix my car or get a new-to-me car, and move out. I was also hoping to get my Bachelors slowly but surely once things were on track.

I guess nothing has really changed that plan except to put it off, with no real idea of when I'll pick it up. When we realized that my uncle might/would probably need help, even if only with the driving, to get back and forth to his new treatments, my mom told me to just stop looking for a job right now. It's cheaper for our family if my parents contintue to subsidize my bills while I help my uncle than it would be for us to temporarily lose my mother's income, even if I was working and paying my own bills. It makes sense and I'm happy to do it. And, after helping my grandmother when my grandpa had his first stroke, I think I'll be ok doing it, as long as I take time and space for myself, stay abreast of my own needs.

But I still feel this huge hole in my 'plan' and I feel 'less than' because I'm not earning money, don't have a job others would recognize, am a housewife without a husband or my own house.


On second thought though, I can't imagine how my previously always employed, super-hard-working, very independent uncle must feel right now. I guess I'll count my blessings.

No comments: