All my life, I believed that women who chose home duties as a vocation were somehow "letting the side down". But that was before I was made redundant from my stressful if underpaid advertising career, moved in with DF, and found myself temporarily living as a housewife in all but name.
According to reports such as this one on Sixty Minutes, being a housewife is the new black. Watching that story made me intimidated, and depressed. Domestic arts? Hell, I was a domestic sataness. I appreciate a basic level of cleanliness. I like to cook. But tupperware parties, padded hangers and time-release air fresheners are not me. Once the house was cleanish, I didn't know what to do with my days. And I don't know where they all went. If there is a Hell for housewives the first thing they'll say when you get there - and every day for the rest of eternity - is "What did you do all day?"
It was a huge comedown from the Harbour view office, after work cocktails and shopping to fill the enormous void in my life. We could have become a reality TV show, but the problem with that is you need a stable situation and a catchy title. When things go wrong, it can get messy - Kate Plus 8 is still fine, but Jon Plus 8 sounds like a bunch of people gathered in a toilet, probably for nefarious purposes.
Anyway, the experience is now over - I'm training to be a youth worker - and it's given me some empathy, if not a lot of sympathy, for those women who choose a life of baking, housekeeping and one day sales. I'm looking forward to working again, though.