My interview takes us to the Philippine countryside with The Farmer Wife. Jo Ann and her hubby run a farm in Bulacan since they got married. I always admired Jo Ann for being the no-nonsense woman she is and it shows in her approach in being a housewife. She was the first girl who married in our college barkada. I was the last. And this is her (or our) story.
The Farmer Wife (FW) is a work-from-home mom of one baby boy. It was natural for her to work from home since work is practically at their backyard. She has been doing this for almost 5 years now and has no plans of changing this arrangement.
LLVL: How was the transition like for you shifting from your prior occupation to being a housewife?
FW: Difficult and challenging.
LLVL: What made it difficult and challenging?
FW: I'm not used to doing chores and God chores are indeed chores! Plus being stuck at home is so boring.
Editor’s Note: Ditto! I never though that I would dislike chores so much because back in Manila I would do some here and there. We don’t have full-time help so it was expected of my brothers and I to help out. But it’s not the same when the all chores rest on you! I do things manually over here and it can make you OC-er than how you really are. A sign that chores are not my favorite, there are days that I forget that it’s cleaning day… like today (hihi!)…
LLVL: What are the challenges?
FW: Thinking about meals and cleaning the house in days when you just want to sleep.
Editor’s Note: I know right? Menu planning is more complicated than people think! You need to have a good strategic sense because a dish exists within a weekly plan. And a weekly plan (as massive as it already is) has to be diverse in itself and diverse compared to the week before and the week after. You also need to have a good understanding of the market especially when you need to source something that is not in the regular diet of your locality. Case in point, try looking for bagoong in the local supermarket in Sri Lanka. You won’t find it. Not even the raw mats to make it yourself!
LLVL: Any words of wisdom to fellow housewives out there?
FW: Accept that Mrs. All-Organized is not always reality. Give it a break! Chill out. Not all things are meant to be squeaky clean and gourmet perfect for your husband to love you. Solicit his help too.
Editor’s Note: This is one of the most practical advices I’ve ever received. Our upbringing has taught us to be perfectionists – in school, at work and even at home. This is well and good but we all know perfection all the time is impossible. Which therefore leads to a very stressful life. Every time I clean the house I get really pissed because I know I could do better but I just can’t do it on a twice-a-week basis! If I do that my life would just revolve around cleaning. What a pathetic existence that would be! Now, I’ve learned to do it smarter. Some areas do not need regular cleaning while others do. I also learned to be flexible about my cleaning schedule. I have a Gantt Chart that I almost religiously follow but now since ultimately I’m really my own boss in the house, I do things depending on how I feel that day and the other things I need to do that may vary. As long as on a weekly basis I am able to accomplish what I set out to do, I am good. And since hubby is better in cleaning than me, I really do solicit his help. Lucky for me my hubby is just awesome and never has complained about doing home chores. I am the luckiest wife ever!
So there you are, the story of two ladies. Doing the best they could to make their house a home. But trying not to stress too much cleaning and cooking gourmet meals to make that home perfect. At the end of the day it is teamwork – and you and hubby are in the same team. And that makes the home perfect.
Till the next Interview with the Housewives!