I have been married twenty years today. We met in April the year before and became pretty much inseparable (circumstances allowing). We had a couple of years living in different counties for work purposes so started up with a fairly even distribution of household chores and breadwinning. There is certainly an argument to be made for us both continuing to work. We’d probably have been materially richer, but we would have needed major childcare help and would have spent a greater part of our married life apart.
We lead a quiet, homey sort of life that suits us. We discovered early on that neither of us was good at a fight: we both sulk in a childish fashion. So while we have our disagreements we are usually able to see one another’s viewpoint and come to a compromise of some sort. (Our most famous row took place whilst driving down the M1 as to the pros and cons of Radio 1 versus Radio 3 – pop vs. classical for those of you without access – which resulted in us listening to Radio 4 (talk in many varieties). Husband still tunes into 3 when not listening to 5 Sport, but 4 is my permanent companion.)
When we met we earned similar salaries and had similar ambitions – I had intended to remain a career girl and had little interest in children. But I chose a guy in the Army, and I had picked an industry that was going to struggle to allow for the amount of movement we would have to tolerate for Husband’s career, and we both wanted children. As you know I am a hausfrau! It wasn’t what I planned, but both Mother and Grandmother set a fine example of supportive, fulfilled wife.
It can be a tough job! It can be lonely, you can feel unappreciated, particularly by your children, and the simple fact of the repetitive, never-endingness of housework can be tedious, BUT… I know that Husband could not get through life without me, that the girls are capable when necessary and present a polite and charming face to the world (and we love each other most of the time), and that housework can always wait - so long as there are clean clothes somewhere, and food in the fridge!
So, today I have flowers and a card, Husband will make scrambled eggs with smoked salmon for supper, there is a bottle of champagne in the fridge, the girls will eat pizza, and I’m off to find a recipe for some sort of puddingy chocolate cake that we can all enjoy. It might take me all day, or I might make some more marmalade, or play with my upholstery, or curl up with my wedding album; and I will do almost no chores!