Diary of a Lousy Housewife


Posted on: September 30, 2011

Be warned: this is a bit of a stream-of-consciousness post…

Things are afoot chez lousy. Five weeks ago, Mr. LHW’s job was eliminated. In the long-term, I know this will be a good thing. He wasn’t happy with his job and has been questioning a lot of career issues lately. In addition, I’ve started to realize that it would probably be best for my psyche for me to get back into an office environment. As the title of the blog implies, I’m not good at this housekeeping thing and I’ve been missing adult interaction–especially that which doesn’t revolve around children.

The bigger picture issue in the job loss is that we live in Cleveland, Ohio, and the economy here sucks. While there might be *a* job here for Mr. LHW, it’s likely to only be one. If we were more committed to the area, that would probably be enough. But we’re not and it isn’t.

We moved here 6 1/2 years ago, full of hope and excitement. We had a new baby and bought a big house for 2/3 of what we had sold our little townhouse for in Arlington, VA. Looking back, I’m not sure what was in the Kool-Aid we were drinking when we decided to leave the DC area. We had a small house, but at the time, we also only had a small baby. Mr. LHW had a good job and was happy at it. I had stopped working when the baby was born, but had a strong professional network if I decided to go back or wanted to start freelancing. But for whatever reason, we felt that the best thing to do was up stakes and move somewhere where we could have a bigger house and be a bit closer to family. So that’s what we did.

Fast forward to today and we have a first grader and a preschooler. We have a big house in which fully 30-40% isn’t used for most of the year and we feel overwhelmed taking care of it. We’ve had three years of financial difficulties (following an additional three years in which we were having financial difficulties, we were just hiding our heads in the sand about it), three years of Mr. LHW being in chronic pain from a hip condition that was finally resolved this summer, and in Mr. LHW’s case, two job eliminations and in my case, a thriving freelance business that went belly up in late 2008 and has yet to revive.

I love my house, but I fear I love the concept of my house more than I love the reality. I want to be the Martha Stewart type, always entertaining and having house guests. But the truth is that I really don’t like having house guests and I entertained more in my little townhouse than we have in this big house with its wonderful flow.

Being house poor has also made it so we haven’t really been able to travel. I’d rather have to show a guest to the couch rather than the guest room if it means my family can actually go on vacation somewhere other than my in-laws’ house.

More later…


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