Thoughts on Being a Housewife

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A special rose and scabiosa bouquet I made for a friend.
I retired from the floral business almost 3 years ago for many reasons.  I'm still asked often if I regret my decision or if I miss it at all.

I do miss it. I am and will always be *obsessed* with flowers. Fortunately, I am able to fiddle with flowers on a regular basis, whether it's putting together a few arrangements for a friends' wedding or the many baby showers I've hosted since retiring.  Also, we just had a brand new landscape put in, which includes some gorgeous passion flower vines and wildflowers that Sisi and I can pick and leave in bud vases all over the house.  It's divine!  So I still get my flower fix, just in much smaller doses.  I think the act of picking and savoring flowers, and getting to enjoy their entire life cycle, makes me appreciate them even more than I did when they were my business. My commodity. There is nothing more disillusioning than cramming a 500 rose arch into a hefty bag at the end of the wedding just because it's served it's purpose for the 20 minute ceremony.  That part of the business always rubbed me the wrong way.  

Now for the other question: do I regret my decision? Not at all.  Quite frankly, I'm living my dream.  How is that?

  •  I've always been domestically inclined. While my siblings were out cruising the neighborhood with friends, I was in my room drawing, rearranging my room, or baking cornbread from a box, my specialty :)  I can't say that I love every moment of cooking, errand-running, cleaning, and childrearing, but I see the incredible value of those tasks and the way my actions are directly contributing to our well-run, happy home.  I am constantly growing in my housewifey abilities, and becoming more and more passionate about them. 
  • I love setting the pace of my day.  As an introvert, this is important to my sanity.  Too much rushing around and back-to-back commitments (even fun social visits) stresses the heck out of me.  I have come to accept that my own ideal pace of life is a little slower, more deliberate, more planned out than most people need.  As a florist, I was constantly running from the flower mart to appointment to consultation to industry networking event to the studio and if I was lucky, to bed at the end of the night.  On wedding days, I was usually a shaky mess because I was on such a tight schedule and so many things (traffic, weather, if the flowers were holding up) were out of my hands.  Every business has it's stressors, but I think floristry has particular stressors that really did not compliment my introverted, conscientious, over-thinking personality.  In the 4 years I was a florist, I was totally stressed out for all 4 of them.  I did hide it well though.  
  • In ending one business, I was able to start another.  Petal and Thorn is my dream business. I will never tire of making beautiful wearable art.  I can take my time with each stitch.  When I'm making a cocktail hat, the rest of the world disappears.  I also love the process of photographing each piece, telling it's story on the website, and shipping it out to each excited bride. Working with non-perishables and selling via my website is infinitely less stressful than working with perishable flowers on a time limit.  Best of all, I can usually manage to complete my work during Sisi's naptime, leaving the rest of the day for family time. 
  • I have time to think. When I was a florist, I didn't have a moment to reflect.  I look back now and realize there were so many ways I could have run a better, tighter, more profitable business. But in the thick of running a business, I didn't have time to strategize.  It was always tyranny of the urgent.  I'd do one wedding, and then dive into the next without 5 seconds to reflect on what went right or wrong.  Now, I have sooooo much time to think.  As an introvert, thinking is totally my strong suit :)  I think about all sorts of things- business, health, marriage, parenting, God, my ancestors, my childhood... all the most important stuff that usually gets shoved to the back of our jam-packed brains.  
Some people say they are SAHMs because there is no other way to raise good kids in this corruptible world.  I totally do not agree with that! I do adore being with my child all day and every day, and I do think it's been good for her.  But this blog post is about how it's been good for ME!  I have found a job that suits me and my talents, and provides that perfect level of stimulation for me to be energized but not stressed.

I remember telling a coworker in Berkeley that I hoped to be a stay-at-home-mom one day, and he literally said, "I feel really sorry for you.  That's all you want to do with your life and your education?"  Ouch. Would he have the audicity to tell a housekeeper, nanny, chef, or teacher that they are wasting their lives?  Probably not, but he felt he could bash me for wanting to be all of the above, and then some.  Not everyone can be a stay at home mom.  Not everyone even wants to be a stay at home mom.  But I'm blessed to be one, and am loving it thoroughly.  No regrets!  No shame!
Simple centerpieces for a friend's wedding, boxed up and ready to go.


Lacey August 16, 2013 at 3:51 AM  

You have perfectly captured some of the wonderful things about being a SAHM. There are days that it drives me absolutely insane .... but I wouldn't want to go back to paid employment either. It has its own stresses and downers, and there are no beautiful children and love to redeem it :) There is incredible value in what we do.

Rachel August 16, 2013 at 3:26 PM  

I have a lot of days where I wish I could be a stay at home person (not totally sure about the mom part yet!). I enjoy my job, for sure, but I'd love more time to devote to running a household, and I think it would be something I would actually enjoy. I mean, I enjoy it now and I put a fair amount of thought into it, but I have so little time for it that I'm constantly frustrated by my limitations.

Angel @ August 28, 2013 at 2:07 PM  

How beautiful is this post?? Love it; well said. xoxo

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