Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Interview with the Housewives # 4: The Real Housewife of New York

One of the most surprising and comforting thing about being a housewife now was sharing the same experience with my bestest cousin.  My cousin and I have been close no matter the distance.  When she was still living in the Philippines, their family was based in Cebu while we are in Manila.  They then moved to New York but we would exchange letters (yes, good old handwritten snail mailed letters!) to keep in touch.  With Facebook, keeping in touch could never have been easier.  Now that we’re both housewives, we never wanted to be closer to each other than ever!  That would be too fun!  In as much as we’re separated by 10.5 hours and countless number of miles we share a similar story.  Here it is…

The Real Housewife of New York (TRHNY) has been a housewife for 7 months already.  There were a couple of circumstances that lead TRHNY to decide that housewifedom would be best for her.  First, TRHNY decided to leave her job for personal reasons (She was a Clinical Dietician and a Diet Tech for 6 years).  Shortly after that, she and her hubby wanted to travel and it didn’t make sense to find another job right away as she wouldn’t have time off for that vacation.  And third, they wanted to start a family (they are pregnant with their 1st!).  Aside from housewifely duties, she would assist her hubby with his photoshoot gigs (weddings and engagement portraits).   

LLVL:  How was the transition like for you shifting from your prior occupation to being a housewife?

TRHNY:  It was quite odd at first not waking up at 5am everyday for work, but because I already know that I'll be taking a break from my job, I had already planned my "things" to do.

LLVL:  What made it easy?

TRHNY:  What made it easy for me was having a very understanding husband who didn't think any less of me when I made the decision to stop working. 

Editor’s Note:  I love hearing about wonderful stories of the understanding husbands.  My husband is one and it is a joy being married to him!  I wish the same for all the women out there.  And I’m very happy my cousin is married to one!

LLVL:  What made it difficult?

TRHNY:  What made it difficult was that I no longer was receiving a paycheck biweekly, and that would mean I would have to "depend" on my husband for groceries and other expenses for the home.

LLVL:  This is such an issue for me.  When I earned and spent my own money, I felt free – free to do what I want with it. I don’t need to account for my expenses to anyone – which maybe the reason why I don’t do accounting at all! Haha! Now I live on a monthly allowance – which I budget and do the accounting – not because it is required but because I think it’s my duty to.  I am happy that within these boundaries I have the freedom to do with it as I wish.  Yesterday I was buying a binder for my files – I really wanted to buy the most expensive one because it was really the best fit for my needs among the lot.  I somehow felt guilty that I’m buying it.  It wasn’t too expensive (just most expensive), it was within budget, I still have more than enough for the week and I decided that better spend on a quality piece than a cheaper piece that wasn’t upto my standards.  If that was my own money, I wouldn’t have felt the guilt.  But I have a more philosophical take on this – I see it as God’s challenge for me to surrender.  I am a control freak really (that’s why my dad always reminds me to relax) and it is a huge blow to my ego to depend on someone for something.  But that is what marriage is about.  More than depending on someone for the money, but really the act of letting go of one’s self, one’s insecurities (and securities) and hang-ups.  It is about surrendering your life to your husband and allowing him to take care of you.  And once I’ve done that, I felt a lot of tension within me ease.  But it wasn’t all my doing.  One biggest factors of the shift is that the fact that my husband showed me he was happy to do it, that I shouldn’t fear and that it is, at the end of the day, ok. 

LLVL:  What do you like best in being a housewife?

TRHNY:  What I like best of being a housewife is having the opportunity to explore the art of cooking and baking.  I am a terrible cook (take my word for it), but I love baking desserts (this I must say is my strongest points).  It's a good thing that my husband is a dessert lover because even if the meals I cooked are not that good, I make him happy with the desserts I make :) 

LLVL: What are the challenges?

TRHNY:  The challenges I must say is to constantly find something to do so I don't get bored, and not rely on the days ahead of me as an excuse to be lazy.  For example:  Laundry and cleaning the house.  I can easily put that off because I know tomorrow I don't have any special plans, but I try to have a schedule for laundry and cleaning to avoid putting it off to another day.

LLVL:  What things you do that help you enjoy being a housewife?

TRHNY:  I read to keep me busy from novels to magazines, medical journals, news from the internet, recipe books.  I Facebook (who doesn't when we have so much time in our hands now... haha!).  I make time to meet my friends for lunch or dinner if they're available. I visit my family when they're off from work during the week.  I do yoga exercises. I go out with my husband to take photos on weekends if we don't have other things to do.  I watch TV.  If I'm not cooking, I'm whipping up desserts :)

LLVL: Any other tips to enjoy being a housewife?

TRHNY: 1) Keep yourself busy with the things you enjoy the most. 2) Do the things that you have always wanted to do, and never got the chance to do it because of your previous job. 3) Spice up intimacy with your husband. Surprise him with anything from a romantic candle lit dinner for two at home, a nice candle lit bubble bath (if you have a bathtub, if not, sneak in the shower with him), and put on a sexy lingerie in bed.  4) Stay away from shopping unless it's necessary (haha!). 

Editor’s Note:  Hmmm… now that’s a thought!

LLVL:  Do you have plans of shifting back to being a working girl?

TRHNY:  I do plan on possibly working part time or per diem after the baby is a bit older, since my husband and I decided that we are not hiring a sitter, it's quite impossible to work without worrying who's going to watch our child.  Of course when our child is of school age, I'll be going back to work full time, unless we plan for the 2nd baby right away :)

LLVL:  Any other words of wisdom?

TRHNY:  Have confidence in yourself.  Don't let other people think of you less just because you're no longer the "working girl" you used to be.  One day, all your savings will start to decrease, don't panic... just ask your husband nicely to provide a little cash:)  Being a housewife is not necessarily an easy task, so don't let your guard down and it doesn't mean that you're always home, that you forget about yourself.  Don't forget that you still have to look your best.

I love my cousin!  She is totally rockin’ being a housewife and reminding us all that just because we stay at home most of the time, we should look and be anything less than fabulous! 

So that’s it for this edition of the Interview with the Housewives!

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