Walking Contradiction

1:22 PM

(Photo from babycenter.com)

Lately I've been pondering just precisely what "The Newfangled Housewife" is.

I've been trying to figure out if she's more of a modern-day 50s wife/mother, or a completely different breed of woman.

I haven't quite figured it out yet.

The reason this question has been getting to me so, is because it's obviously a search of my self as well. I am trying to figure out just who I am as a mother and a wife.

It didn't seem as complicated before. When I say "before", I mean before Michael. When people tell you that having a baby changes everything, they aren't kidding. A baby not only changes your lifestyle 100%, but a baby changes you as well. You have become a parent. Your life isn't your own.

Your life is different once you're married, too, of course. Your life is not your own... but it's different. Your life isn't your own in the sense that you have to adjust to cohabitation. You have to remember that if you want to do something, you have to take into account what your other half is going to think of it, or ask his/her opinion, etc. You cannot simply make choices for yourself, because you are not your own person. You have to remember that every decision affects your person... and when I say "person", I mean the one you're married to.

So, after four years of adjusting to living with Clark, compromising with Clark, loving Clark, being with Clark, supporting Clark, and so forth... Clark and I now have to think of Michael first.

Living with Michael, compromising for Michael (not yet with), loving Michael, being with Michael, and so forth.

This makes a huge difference. In many different ways.

For example, lately I've been feeling selfish. I want time to myself. I want to get my hair done, or nails done, or just be able to really get ready during the day. I want to lose weight faster, I want to put more time and energy into my writing, I want to actually finish a book. Lately I've been all about me. I share this in great confidence, because it's hard to admit I've been so awfully self-centered.

Within all these selfish feelings, I've been conflicted. About silly things, really. Like... I'm a young mom. I'm 22 years old. I'll be 23 in about two months. I'm a young mom. So, I should still be able to get away with wearing certain things. Like, I can wear 3" shorts instead of jumping for the 5" shorts, right? I should still be able to wear a halter or tank top without looking like I'm a teen parent, right? I shouldn't have to buy "mom jeans" (since nobody should wear "mom jeans") or cardigans or have a certain haircut or whatever... I'm a young mom.

Yet I find myself leaning towards certain styles or cuts because I think they'll make me look older. I'm so afraid of looking like a teen parent, or a young woman who got knocked up right out of college and married quickly, or other stereotypes that people put on young parents.

I'm afraid of being a negative stereotype because I did everything "right". Or, at least right by me. I got married young, I finished college, I had a child. Just because I didn't wait until I was 30 or whatever the trend is these days to have a kid doesn't mean I had him when I wasn't married and only got married because I had a baby.

I've been doing ridiculous things.

I dyed my hair. I thought maybe not being blond would make me look older. Mandy Moore had blond hair when she was younger. In certain roles, she has blond hair to make her look younger. Naturally, though, and in edgier or older placed roles, she has brown hair.

Now, if you look at my profile picture, it's brown. It's not like it's super dark or cut into a mom-haircut or something to completely make me look older, but I did it because I wanted to appear older. I told my hair dresser that it would just be easier for it to be more natural, but I told Clark I did it because I thought being blond made me look younger.

Now I'm missing the blond.

Ridiculous.

Part of it is, I think, because my wedding rings still don't fit. I'm still carrying around extra baby weight in strange places that causes me to be more self conscious than I already was.

Anyway.

I don't want to be a 50s mom. I don't want to be the idea of a mother that spends the whole day cleaning and baking and doing everything for everyone and it makes her feel complete.

At the same time, though, I love that idea. In fact, all I've ever wanted to do (besides write), is be a mom.

See, I have this argument with myself ALL THE TIME.

I don't want to be selfish. I don't want to be the stereotype of Generation Y (I think that's my generation...) who thinks she's entitled to everything and it should be all about ME: my career, my desires, my dreams, my goals, my time.... ME, ME, ME, MMMEEE. It's all about "me" with people my age. I don't want to be that way.

At the same time, though, I don't want to forget myself. I don't want to let myself go, or give up on my writing dreams, or just be the wife who the husband comes home to in heels and pearls with fresh-baked cookies.

See, arguing... again.

I don't want people to think that I want the 50s to come about again. That I think a woman's rightful place is in the home, in the kitchen, and nowhere else. However, I don't want people to think that I'm all about me, that I'm all about a career, and that I'm a modern housewife because I'm really not a housewife at all.

Family always comes first. If I get to achieve my dreams, then I'll be even happier. Just because I went to college does not mean I need to work full time. I have the right to choose a career from home rather than a career that makes a lot of money and impresses a lot of people. That is not how the world should work, in my opinion.

So, for now, I'm going to be a walking contradiction as I figure out just precisely what it means to me to be a Newfangled Housewife.

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