Sunday, June 13, 2010

Staying Home Your Way

Recently, a mother said she thought it would be better if her husband stayed home instead of her. In Japan, this is an exceedingly rare occurrence from what I have noticed. When asked why, she said, "He's a better cook," and "He cares more about the house," etc. Mmm, I nodded. My husband too is a much better cook and tends to like the house cleaner than I do.

For now, he works at his never ending job, and I work at my never ending job.

Primo Caretaker, like any job, has some facets for which I wasn't quite prepared, mainly, the never ending need for cooking and cleaning. For on the job training and parental inspiration, I first turned to books. I searched for ideas on what in the world I was supposed to be doing with babes in arms- sleep books mostly since I never got enough. I took a few baby and me classes- kids and music kind of stuff. I got some new ideas; I met other parents. Later, I read about bilingual kids before moving to Japan and launching my children into yochien Japanese preschool. I enrolled in monthly cooking class after realizing that I was going to have to cook regularly- that it took a few years to start one demonstrates my resistance level. I still tell myself that it's not about better but different.

The never endingness of jobs (whatever they may be) is the real struggle. I enjoy shiny things and new ideas. Life with kiddos has a lot of routine. I like some routines- when it's warm tea, clean sheets, jobs done. 

I also see that my kids are so themselves. I may influence them, but they are on their own path. For now we share a dusty house, eat too many of the same dishes again and again, but it is here we get to be. Childhood is such a short time; it won't be long that you'll be in this role.

All these kid years later I see that we just do it differently. There is no right way for us beyond the way that it is.

Embrace your different, just do it.