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Monday, January 31, 2011

Am I a traditionalist???

I am a modern, well educated woman who has grown up in a culture where women dare to dream and then accomplish their dreams.  I consider myself lucky to live in an atmosphere where I am able to do whatever I wish on a daily basis.  I can leave my home and drive a car without fear for my life as a female member of society.  I can shop for groceries wearing my underwear on my head (should I choose to) and express my opinions freely.  I am allowed the best education I can afford and to work in any field I choose.  I am very thankful to live in a culture where women are entitled to do and achieve whatever they aspire to.  Women in all cultures are not given these rights of freedom that American women take for granted every day.  Women in America weren't always given these freedoms.  I am very thankful to be an American woman living in the 21st century.  Great women paved the way for me to be the free woman I am today, and their work and sacrifices are not lost on me.

Having said all the above, I still feel like I owe it to myself, and now my husband, to cook meals from scratch regularly, keep my home clean and clutter free (you never know when someone might drop by), and to make myself presentable on a daily basis.  Meaning, at minimum, I shower, get dressed, and do my hair every day (minus days where I'm very sick.)  My grandmother always told me that it was important to do these things for myself and eventually for my husband.  She said I owed it to myself to do these things to keep up a level of confidence.  Everyone feels good in a clean home after a wonderful meal.  Showering and making yourself presentable should be self evident, I would think, but a trip to your local Walmart can prove differently.

There are some women I know who would look down their noses at me for wanting to do these traditional things for my husband.  I'm currently not working so I have the ability to put a hot, home-cooked meal on the table for my husband when he gets home from his job.  I have the freedom to keep the house clean and clutter free.  I'm able to get as glam as I would like on a daily basis.  He works long hours at what can be a very frustrating job (anyone working for the government can agree that these are usually the conditions) and I enjoy being able to do these things for him.  I hope that when I get a new position I still have the ability to maintain these perks, at least to a point.  But with enough planning I am sure that we will be able to keep the pizza nights (although sometimes nothing is better or more rewarding than when that pizza delivery guy rings the doorbell, I will admit) to a minimum.

In addition, I took my husband's last name when I married him.  Until I was considering marrying my husband, I had no intentions of changing my name when I married.  I just felt like I had spent all my life up to the point of marriage as one identity, why should that change when I married?  Also, I was very proud of my heritage and roots and didn't want to disrespect my family by changing my name.  As the relationship between me and my husband developed, he expressed how important it was to him for his bride to change her name.  To him, it was an expression of love and devotion.  I had never seen it that way.  I just thought of it as an outdated tradition in a male dominated world.  I love my husband, it was important to him, so I changed my name.

I realize these are quite traditional views and they may seem a little backward, but I'm lucky to be able to do the things I do.  I guess I'm having a patriotic moment where I'm glad to be able to do whatever I like, be it go to school, work in a traditionally male profession, or stay at home and care for my husband.

So to answer the question of the blog title, I think that I'm a modern woman with traditional views of caring for a household.  I'm more than happy to let the husband mow the lawn while I cook dinner.  But then again...  I love the kitchen.