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Tradwife but just for the week?
Everything I assume and refuse to learn about an online trend.
Everything I know about tradwives is against my will. I don’t follow many momfluencers closely because my depression does just fine on its own without external assistance. Still, little hints of tradwife content and why I should be concerned about it or not float to the surface of my pop culture consciousness.
Please don’t correct me if I’m wrong, but the “tradwife” phenomenon seems to be some sort of happy housewife situation, but online, that serves to glorify old-fashioned ideals of family life and also piss people off. It’s not just that these women choose to make their families and their husbands their #1 priority, it’s that they are so damn happy doing exactly this (and even more annoyingly, look good doing it.)
Couldn’t be me … except sometimes I wish it could.
Sometimes, when I drive up the north shore and look at the lakeside mansions, I envision the women who live there. In my imagination, these women just sit in their living room and look out the window, maybe read a book, and just feel satisfied and quiet. What more could they need besides their view and their beautifully appointed rooms and people to take care of all their bullshit for them? How could you feel any stress, conflict or disappointment in a scenario like that? I know it’s not necessarily true, but I’m still envious of these fake people I made up.
I similarly envision the peaceful lobotomized existence of the tradwife (again, please don’t elucidate me, I beg you). If they really are as trad as they claim, does that mean they feel no conflict, no resentment, no regret, no nagging feelings about what they give up to be trad? Because it’s not being a beautiful supportive housewife that I sometimes crave, it’s the contentment with your choice. Like last night, when I was rinsing out 2 winters’ worth of dirt off some Tonka trucks that have lived in the backyard before donating them to a rummage sale, I wondered if there was a way not to be annoyed that this was something I was spending my time doing.
My husband is traveling for work right now, which is easier than it used to be but brings up some of the same old bullshit. I wonder if I could try the tradwife mentality out for just one week we’d skip the tension over who is tired and of adjusting to 100% capacity again in the house. If I could just borrow a tradwife brain, I’d be content with it all, just like my imaginary woman in the window. If was a tradwife, maybe this week:
I would cherish driving the kids to sports practices and games. Sports makes them good strong Christian men, and it is my privilege to facilitate that. Plus, I can spend the time in the car listening to inspirational audiobooks, maybe narrated by Candace Cameron-Bure.
I wouldn’t be mad about the time I spent at my kitchen sink washing the dirt, leaves and spider nests dirt off the toy trucks that have lived in the backyard. I wouldn’t think about how badly my children treat their things and instead think with excitement about how much money these will bring to the Boy Scout yard sale and how much joy they’ll give a future boy. That’s right, I said boy.
I would not find meal planning a neverending cycle of tedium that nobody appreciates. I would take joy in lovingly preparing food for my family not just now but for the future so that we will never not have lasagna or muffins in the fridge for a snowy day, if another tradmom friend is in need, or when the apocalypse comes (god willing!)
I would appreciate the fact that my perimenopause brings me two periods a month now. That just means I have more opportunities to get pregnant, which would be a true miracle at this stage of life. I would finally be able to have the beautiful baby girl of my dreams to be my helper and one true friend, or maybe four more boys, which would also be a blessing.
When my husband travels, I would feel incomplete without him at home. We would have lengthy conversations before bedtime about how our days went, and I’d send him loving texts throughout the day and photos/videos of the boys in matching shirts that I ironed. When my husband tells me he can’t sleep in his hotel bed, it makes me sincerely sad for him.
When my husband arrived home from his trip, I would run into his arms and let him know how much we missed him. A hot meal (with a big meaty main course!) would be waiting for him, and I’d happily wash his laundry and put away the suitcase for him so he doesn’t have to trouble himself with it. He needs to rest up from his journey, so I would put the kids to bed.
I will thank god for my money-making husband, who is busy with work and shake my head at the complicated old days when I still tried to do things like put my degrees to work, earn my own money and have career goals beyond spreading tips on how to be a more effective, happier wife and mother. That part of my life was fun and crazy when it lasted, but that’s over, and I will feel no qualms about that.
I would stop quizzing my sons on why they think there has never been a female President or reminding them that their future partners will never cut their fruit or clean their glasses for them. Instead, I will pray that they will have a partner someday who will do these things for them. I will also pray for our future President DeSantis and his beautiful wife, Mrs. Ron DeSantis.
I would magically be good at styling my hair with heating tools.
My hair would magically be good at growing long and not go on strike and start curling up at the bottom the way it does now.
I would love doing the kids’ bedtime (they grow up so fast) and enjoy snuggling with them and their sheets are not gross because I wash them once a week with joy in my heart.
I would feel grateful for the opportunity to get a little ahead of housework after the kids get to bed so that we could all wake up in the morning to a nice clean house.
Without my freelance work, I would finally have the time to train my dog so he is as obedient as I am.
OTOH I also suspect that if I were a real 21st-century tradwife, part of this whole deal would involve me posting social media content about being trad and following other tradwives and being a huge bitch about who was doing it right vs. who was just a poseur vs. who was being a huge showoff and I’d scroll and scroll until my nontrad depression came back.
So I’ll just stay as I am, I suppose.
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