With the year coming to an end, it was time to make a decision.It had been on my mind for a while.I was pretty sure what I wanted to do, what I thought felt right.But I wasn’t sure it was going to work or if it made sense.Our current situation was working really well for us.For our family.Aya really liked going off to work, and I liked staying at home taking care of Ellie.And it turned out I was pretty good at it, too.But would it make sense to keep this arrangement longer?Well, after much thinking and debating, we ended up going with our gut feeling. I’m happy to say that I’m officially changing my status from unemployed, to stay-at-home-dad/homemaker.

We’vedecided it’s better for our family for me to be the primary at-home caregiver.Or homemaker as it’s called.I had to update some paperwork the other day and next to “unemployed” it listed “homemaker.”Ugh.Seriously?Is it 1951?Homemaker is an awful term.It makes it sound like I’m going to flutter through the house wearing my man apron all day fluffing pillow shams and arranging fresh cut flowers for the dining room table.When I hear the term homemaker I start thinking about all the commercials for household products with the soccer mom spokeswomen.I get overwhelmed with images of Mop n’Shine, dishpan hands, the quilted quicker-picker-upper, window cleaners, Scrubbing Bubbles, Palmolive, and Sunny D.And then I think of the stereotypical TV moms:June Cleaver, Carol Brady, Donna Reed, and Clair Huxtable.I don’t fit in with this crowd!If I’m not careful I’m going to be scolding my wife for leaving finger smudges on the windows, or for not putting her purse away.I’m going to start saying things like, “Those don’t go in the dishwasher, those are hand wash only” or “That’s a dish towel, not a hand towel.”

Needless to say, homemaker doesn’t really encompass what the job is.Yes, there is cooking, yes there is cleaning, yes there is watching after the baby.But ultimately, the homemaker has control.Control of what we eat, what we purchase, what the baby eats, what the baby’s schedule is, and what she learns.We make the rules.I finally get it now.You know those unwritten rules of the house that are just assumed.I get to write those rules!It’s kind of like I’m an owner of a small business and she’s the saleslady.Since there are no employees to delegate to, I do everything.And while I’m at the “office,” she is out making sales.We need those sales to keep the business going.And since we can’t afford another employee, or at least she isn’t old enough yet, I’m also the receptionist, the custodian, the office manager, and the accountant.

So I was thinking homemaker needs a facelift.It needs to be updated.Since some find All Knowing and Powerful slightly condescending and a little stand-offish, I was thinking, Domestic Specialist.It has a nice ring to it don’t you think?  Hi, my name is Matt, and I’m a Domestic Specialist.

Stay-At-Home Dad, At-Home Caregiver, Homemaker, Domestic Specialist: whatever you call it, Ellie’s gonna be stuck with me for a while.


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