I just came out of a very busy couple of days. An annual tradeshow, that I attend for my work as a professional craft designer, just ended. This is the one time of the year I work outside of the home. The show is local, so I am lucky enough to be able to come home each night, but my family still feels my absence every year.
I always struggle against my desire to be a "housewife". Raised in an era when women were fighting for equal rights, homekeeping was villified to a certain extent. Yet, I find I actually LIKE to cook and clean and raise my daughter. It's not mindless or unimportant work. In fact, as I discovered these past few days, it's very important work.
The night before the show, knowing that I wouldn't be home most nights for dinner, I cooked up some homemade carrot-ginger soup and made bread. We sat by candlelight and enjoyed our family meal together. Sometimes I feel like the effort I put into these types of meals goes unnoticed, but my mother (who helped out with my daughter the past couple days) told me my daughter told her all about the soup while I was gone.
Another night, when I came home, my husband told me he had missed me. I was surprised. He works outside the home and really we only saw each other about two hours less than we usually do. I was surprised when he told me that it was a comfort to know I was home during the day.
Yesterday was my first day home. I baked brownies with my daughter after school to celebrate the return of our normal schedule. Homemade pasta sauce simmered on the stove for our dinner. The house smelled great and there was a pretty happy group gathered around the dinner table that night.
This morning, as I looked at my apron, stained with chocolate and tomato sauce, I felt a deep sense of relief. I was home again. I realized that as much as my daughter and husband find security in my presence in the home, I also look to my housekeeping tasks to find comfort and even joy. It's good to be home.