Life in the Dillard Household

Well, as you know, we are actively looking for a house to buy and I estimate it will probably be sometime this summer. I don’t know how the housing market it is outside of our city, but we are certainly having a housing shortage right now. We are also only looking at buying a house in specific neighborhoods, in a specific price range, so this also makes finding what we are looking for a bit more difficult. I also have no desire to purchase a house that needs a lot of work. I am fine with having to paint, replace flooring, landscaping and some minor projects. I am hoping we can find something and be settled by the end of the summer as I am hoping to get pregnant sometime in November-January.

I wanted to write a blog post addressing a question I seem to be getting frequently  when I tell someone I am working or that I am backed up on “work stuff”. In the last few weeks I have gotten the questions, “What work? You don’t work.” several times. I find this a bit uncomfortable because the first thing I want to say is, “Well you would have to ask me about what is going on in my life to know the answer to that question.” But I hesitate because that obviously sounds rude. People tend to ask me how my husband’s job is going, but really never ask me about anything. True, I do not work outside the home very much, except as a part-time photographer, which is a very slow business in the winter in Michigan. I actually just started back with one of the real estate companies I work for this week, as the snow is finally melting. On top of that, I have several part time jobs that I do from home that I wanted to briefly explain, so that the people who have inquired will have a better explanation.

First and foremost, I am a homemaker. I don’t like the word house wife, as I feel that people use that in almost a negative way these days. I like the word homemaker. This will continue to be my most important job, especially when we actually purchase a home and have children in the next year. Homemaking is more than just cleaning and doing laundry and I will write a separate blog post in regards to my view on that. I work for 3 different publishing companies, 1 book blogging network and 2 marketing companies that work exclusively in publishing as a beta reader/reviewer/blogger. I also maintain 2 blogs; this blog and a blog dedicated entirely to book reviews and other book related posts. I also write freelance history and anthropology articles for several different websites when I have the time. I buy and sell used and vintage books on Amazon, Ebay and Etsy. I also sell photography, bookmarks and chalk painted mason jars on Etsy. I sell chalk painted  vases, mason jars, picture frames and furniture at a local antique shop. And I work as a freelance beta reader/reviewer for several other publishers who email me and ask to send me a specific book when they need bloggers. I think people would be surprised at the amount of time that goes into maintaining a blog, along with the other social media sites, such as Instagram and Twitter that are affiliated with my blogs. Often with publishers adn marketing agencies, I have to post reviews on additional platforms such as Amazon and Goodreads. It also takes a great deal of time to photograph and list ever single item for sale on Ebay, Amazon and Etsy. I don’t do many large furniture restoration products in the winter, as I live in Michigan and don’t have a heated garage. But as we are starting to come into spring, I will be spending several hours a day on those products, as my stock on Etsy and locally are getting low. I also have started to sell in local events, such as an upcoming barn sale in May, where I have 100 square feet to fill, which will also take a great deal of time restocking my inventory after not producing much over the winter.

I felt that a detailed explanation was in order so that everyone has a clear idea and then perhaps will stop asking in such a condescending tone. However, I do want to mention my opinion on being a homemaker or housewife or stay at home mom. I hold fairly traditional opinions about these topics, as does my husband. I take great pride in keeping a smoothly running, well organized and clean house. I know my husband greatly appreciates always having healthy, home cooked food when he gets home from work. He often works 10-12 hour days, as well as Saturdays and I can’t imagine if I was also working a 9-5 job. It would create a great deal of stress for me if I had to work all day and then rush home to make dinner, clean the house, do the laundry, etc. That’s not including all the other things I do on a daily basis such as accounting both personal and for my businesses, paying all the bills, making all the appointments, balancing the checking account, doing the errands, etc. It is not how we wanted to live our lives, especially when we have children. Both of us working full time jobs would also not be good for our mental health, as it would cause much more stress. I will be completely honest; I would much rather be poor and happy. I also don’t like the word “stay at home mom”. In my opinion, women should want to stay home and raise their children. I believe raising a child/children should not only be your priority over everything else in your life, but it is also the most important job you will ever do. I know, I know, I’m so not a feminist. Trust me, I have no desire to be a feminist. In my opinion, why would I have children and then ship them off somewhere all day for someone else to raise them and take care of them? I get that some women don’t have a choice and have to work or want to work. That’s perfectly fine, it’s just not how my family wants our life to look like. I want to spend my days with my children. I want to breastfeed each of them for at least 2 years. I want teach them and watch them grow. I want to be their for all of their “firsts”. Anyway, I don’t really have another term for a stay at home mom, but someone should come up with one. Or we will just call it being a homemaker.

No matter what you do, you should take pride in it and find it satisfying. If you want to work full time, take pride in that. If you want to work part time, take pride in that. If you find that your calling is to take care of your home and the people in it that you love, take pride in that. I find keeping my household in order and my husband happy very satisfying and I also take great pride in it. And as you can see from all my various freelance jobs, I am quite busy with work on top of being a homemaker. Be careful not to make comments to those women who choose to not work once they are married and have children,that could be considered rude, as I try my hardest not to sound rude when I express my opinions about not wanting to stay home with your children full time. We all have our different views and opinions. And certainly do not shame women who choose to stay home. One of the reasons I have become increasingly annoyed with the questions mentioned in this post, even from people I love, is that frankly, it’s not their business. The way that my family decides to live our lives is between my husband and myself. We know what is best for our marriage and our family. I also think that right now, no one takes me “seriously” if you will, because we are at my parent’s house. I assure you, that we can’t wait to move, but it wouldn’t be responsible to rush the home buying process, which is why we have taken our time. I will have less work when buy a home, as I have no desire to have a house as big as my parents, it is a great deal of work.

I just started LH testing this week! No, we aren’t actively trying, but with all my problems in the past, my doctors suggested it, as well as detailed logging about my cycles for the next 2 months before my “I’m ready to get pregnant” appointment in April with my new midwife. I’m also personally interested in seeing the days where the LH spikes in comparison to the usually 24 hours where I have really bad pain and swelling in one ovary or another. I have been trying to figure out if that pain is the follicle swelling or ovulation itself. I will update in a few days after I have actually ovulated and post some pictures of the logging of information and test strips!



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