We’re entering into a whole new phase of life, my husband and I.
I just graduated a week and a half ago. We moved five days ago. He started a new, much higher paying job yesterday. And I turn in my last timesheet for my old job (which ends with school) today.
His income is now more than enough to support us. And since I’m exhausted from school and don’t have a job lined up, I’m taking some time off.
I thought this time would be super relaxing. I was looking forward to catching up with friends I had neglected throughout the school year. I was excited to build a couple pieces of furniture and revamp some pieces we already have. I couldn’t wait to get all our stuff unpacked and try to make our new place feel even half as much like home as our old place.
I thought that I would enjoy a little time off.
But honestly? It’s really hard.
Because I feel like I’m not living up to my own standards. I have fought and continue to fight really hard for gender equality. I get excited with women who can’t wait to do something amazing in their careers. I love it when women aren’t afraid to be bold, aren’t afraid to take charge, and aren’t afraid that, if they make more money than their husbands, they’ll be doing something wrong.
I know it’s not for everyone, and that’s cool. But I still get excited when I encounter such women. And I want to be one of them. I want to do something radical in my career.
Yet, where do I find myself? Sitting at home, cleaning, without so much as a bike to get myself around (our bikes are still in a few different pieces, in our car, which my husband takes to work). I’m in a new city and I only know how to find Target and a coffeeshop (priorities), so even if I had a mode of transportation, I don’t know where I would go. I have nowhere to be anyway, so even if I had a mode of transportation and an idea of where things are, I don’t know why I would bother going to them.
Yesterday, I didn’t leave our apartment until 6:30 p.m.
I am, currently, the definition of what it means to be domestic.
And as a feminist, I’m having a really hard time being okay with that.
Now, I know this is temporary. I’ll find a job in a few weeks when I’ve had time to rejuvenate from the last 16 or so years of perpetual schooling. And eventually I’ll remember to drag my bike out of our car and find some places to go so I can at least travel a little during the day. I’ll make plans and do things and get involved in some sort of mischief, I’m sure.
But, right now, in this moment, I am doing exactly what I swore I would never do.
Now, I’m hesitant to think that God ordained this, because it seems like a minor detail in the grand fabric of existence and it’s easily explainable. But I have no doubt that God is using this time. If you’ve met me, you know that my ego rivals Jeff Winger’s. I am not a humble person. I’m not saying that’s okay, but it is the truth.
Yet I’m currently taking one of the greatest blows to my ego of all time.
God is constantly reminding me that, yes, egalitarianism is a biblical picture of marriage-love, that there’s a reason I want to do something with my life (and my career) and it’s a good thing, that I cannot stop fighting for the equal rights of my sisters, but that doesn’t mean I have to be a 60-hour-per-week breadwinner career woman.
Feminists can fight from the home, too.
And God reminds me of all my sisters who have fought and still fight for the same things, but are most content in the home, whether raising a garden or raising babies, cultivating life in its functional locus.
It’s really hard for me to accept. But, little by little, I’m learning that it takes all types–yes, even domestics–to fight for equality. If I don’t acknowledge their work, I pass judgment on them and I render their efforts useless.
So I thank you, stay-at-homes, work-at-homes, or for-some-other-reason-at-homes, because your work is important too. Don’t forget that it’s your choice, not your role, to be there, but keep fighting the good fight alongside your sisters who find their place elsewhere.
Because whether male or female, domestic or employed, we’re all one in Christ Jesus.