Today I woke up miserable. Despondent yet inspired by a sense of relief after purging my closet,
I decided to purge the fridge. While rummaging through containers upon containers of leftovers and throwing away the mountain of unused KFC and Burger King ketchup packets that have taken over what would be the fruit tray and cleaning sauce stains off the draws in the door and glass shelves, my soul was cleansed in a way I did not know I needed. Admiring my fine handy work of categorized shelves and carefully placed condiments, it brought me bliss.
Now, isn’t that sad? Profusely sweating while repeatedly going back and forth between the fridge, the countertops, and the sink, I got excited thinking I will clean the freezer next!
However, since hitting month 6 of unemployment, besides simultaneously perusing the career section of the Jamaica Gleaner, constantly scrolling through LinkedIn and companies’ websites for new jobs listings, my days have become monotonous.
Don’t worry, I’m not completely wasting away consumed in everyday chores; I am also trying to build on my freelance writing career and to learn as much as I can from the Digicel Masterclass, the Branson Center Digital Leadership Summit, the PSOJ Roadmap to Jamaica 2.0 series, and the many other webinars available online. But, whenever someone asks me, “so… what are you doing now?” I say, “I am a housewife in training.” I think that is my unintentional satirical response in order to cope so I am not fixated on my lack of employment, the fact that I am living with my parents, and feel like I am ACTUALLY a housewife in training.
And here is why…
Out of a family of 5, two are working parents and two are studying college students. Since I have now graduated and had my run at a big girl job, I don’t think it’s fair to freeload off my parents, so I pay my way through servitude.
To make a little extra cash, my mom does school pick-ups for her Chinese clients. Since being back I have now become the DD for her “other” children. In the mornings I pick up kid number 1 and drop him at school and return home to either do laundry or take-out whatever meat of my choosing in order to defrost in time to marinate and cook for lunch.
After cooking and eating my own breakfast - sometimes I am nice enough to cook my brother’s breakfast as well; trade off there is that they make the coffee - I start prepping for lunch. Head held high and proud, I have now been dubbed the title sous chef as my mother dotingly calls me, as do my brothers on occasion. Let’s just say I am more than happy to cook than they are.
The other day I made oxtail, and after months since assuming my new position as housewife
in training, prep work, cleaning in between to preserve sink and counter space, and actually cooking takes up way more time than it should. In addition, after everyone eats, it’s more cleaning! That’s 2-3 hours out of my day right there!
Seasoning oxtail. Going off of the mental checklist I have, must have thyme, scallion, onion, garlic, pimento, scotch bonnet pepper, and dark soy sauce.
If time allows, I go to the gym before I pick up child number 1 and child number 2. If not then, gym afterwards before coming home to wonder about what to eat for dinner, no, what to feed the four other human beings living in this house because they now turn to me to ask, “what’s for dinner?”
So essentially outside of job hunting, webinar watching, reading, and pitching stories to different publications, days usually go like this: school pickups, cleaning, laundry if needed, meal prep and cooking, school pickups, gym, then a little downtime if I don’t cook dinner or grocery shopping and catching the 7 or 8 O’clock news. Oh! Something else I look forward to, Fridays. Why, you may ask. Because Fridays are designated days for the thorough clean. Sweeping, mopping the floors, and deep cleaning the bathrooms. Now, that is sad…
Since there are no longer parties or other namesake functions, instead of soca parties and drink-ups, my big events are grocery shopping days. I get a thrill out of knowing we need to go to the supermarket, and not only is it a great excuse to get out of the house, but to socialize with anyone outside of my parents and brothers! Even though the extent of me socializing is saying, “excuse me can I pass?,” with other shoppers in between aisles.
In conclusion, hi, my name is Rebecca! I am a housewife in training. And, if anything, this experience has solidified even more now than ever that I do not nor do I ever want to have children, after feeding and cleaning up after my family. Apologizes, father! You are going to have to look to your sons for grandkids.
*In no way shape or form am I making fun of housewives. In fact, I give props to anyone who is a
stay-at-home mom. It is not an easy job, and I heavily applaud anyone who is one. I’ve also appreciated, now more than ever, everything that my parents have done for me, juggling everything
I am doing now in addition to their work, because as 9 pm rolls around I am showered and ready for bed. *