Thursday, November 20, 2008

Deep thoughts... by the housewife in flip flops

What do you consider to be true independence?

While I am the woman every die-hard feminist scorns, I still consider myself an independent woman because I possess the ability for survival without direct dependence on other people. I lived on my own for a while before marrying Drew and did fine. Needed to borrow a fiver every once in a while to go out to eat with friends, but whatevs, I paid them back in due time.

As a stay-at-home mom, I have obvious dependencies on Drew. However, I'm pretty confident that if he were to pass away or trade me in for one of the younger, skinnier models that high schools keep churning out and then mysteriously pass away, I'd be able to survive easily without having to move in with my parents or something like that.* Also, should he lose his job and have a rough time finding another one right away, I'd be able to seamlessly transition back into the work force.

I think I consider true independence to be the ability, demonstrated or latent, to survive on one's own without dependence on someone else. (Job notwithstanding.)

Your thoughts?

*I think I need to clarify... There is no shame in having to depend on one's parents or friends or rich uncles to get by in tough situations. When you're doing it because you don't want to get a job and are just a lazy, shiftless, unambitious blight on society, you should be ashamed of yourself.


i'm black betty said...

my mother taught me to do for all, cleaning, educating myself, working, learning new things, and depending on ME. i take pride in the fact that i would be able to survive without someone else. i watched how my mother struggled with two kids, working three jobs, when my father and she divorced and vowed i would never be in a situation like that. mine was strictly survival-motivated.

i, too, believe there is nothing wrong with depending on another for emotional happiness (to an extent) or financial support.

we are human (well, some of us). we NEED others. support comes in all shapes and sizes. your hubby's needs for you are very care for y'all's child. that is HUGE.

great post...

Sharon said...

I agree with you.
And I do think our world was set up so that we can rely on others and depend on others. Be it financial support or support in other ways. I hate that that notion has become negative in the more feminist world.

Does it not take a stronger person to trust other than to just put a wall up around yourself? Trust isn't easy, and to do so I think takes courage.

I fully rely on my dh for many things. Like you, though, I know I CAN do it. It was important for me to know that, because my mother never did so.

I lived on my own states away from my own parents while we were engaged, managing all my bills, working 2 jobs to do so, and holding my own insurance. It was a crappy dinky apartment, but it was MINE and mine alone. I learned I was plenty able to support myself.
Truthfully, I think knowing that better enables me to trust and reply on my dh. I feel better knowing that I COULD do the same for him if I needed to or had to.

I think the role of a SAHM is undermined, and the what SAHMs actually DO not considered for all it entails. Not by all, but by many.

Dr. Wifey said...

i have lived alone most of my adult life and sadly, 9 months of my married life :( i have moved into unknown territories by MYSELF! i have become so independent that it is sometimes hard to make decisions that depend on what hubby wants to (like if i get another dog or where i want to live next, if i want kids, those sorts of things)

Melinda Barton said...

Don't let the pseudofeminists fool you. True feminism just says that a.) Stay-at-home status should be a choice not something forced on all women by virtue of their gender b.) it should be recognized for the JOB that it is NOT treated as women being lazy and dependent and incapable of taking care of themselves and c.) it should be an option for men as well as women.

Obviously, I live on my own, pay all my own bills and the like. I depend on no one and no one depends on me. I'll never have the option of stay-at-home spouse status, but I don't resent anyone who does.

With my family though, I took a lot of flack for any time that I spent in my mother's house after my 18th birthday. When I first became ill, I was considered "a bum" for moving back in with my mother. I tried to explain the difference between having a heart attack and being lazy with no luck. So, moving home is only an option if I want to be constantly belittled and berated by the leptons who share some of my DNA.

An Indian friend of mine and I were just discussing recently how different our cultures are as far as adults having to depend on other adults, their parents or whatever. Other cultures think we're barbaric apparently.

Jo said...

webster's defines independence as:

the quality or state of being independent

One of the definitions of independent (Webster's) is:

not looking to others for one's opinions or for guidance in conduct

I agree with you. Independence is having the ABILITY to live on your own and to support yourself 100% if needed. It doesn't mean that you HAVE to live that way, just that you could if you were in a situation of doing so.

I also think that being able to think for yourself is a huge part of being independent. Yes, Drew supports the family financially... but you support the family in many other ways, including providing the absolute BEST care for your son. But Drew doesn't tell you what to think or how to think. You have your own opinions and thoughts. You are able to make decisions all on your own if you have to.

Gosh... I could go on all day about this.

I'll stop here.

From the Doghouse said...

All I know is that you're cool.

Watercolor said...

Ah. But independence implies you need no one and as humans, we always need others. And dependence means we need others for everything and that isn't healthy.

A better goal, I think, is interdependence.

"Interdependence is a dynamic of being mutually responsible to and sharing a common set of principles with others. Two states that cooperate with each other are said to be interdependent. It can also be defined as the interconnectedness and the reliance on one another socially, economically, environmentally and politically."

We take care of one another when we need to without degrading each other. We respect one another. We cooperate. We interact. We support. We ask for honest help when we need it. We are human.

Alice said...

I think that another person can't make you "whole". I think 2 broken people make...2 broken people so dependence in that manner is only a hinderance.

Now, being financially dependent on someone for an extended period of time is just laziness. My 40something year old uncle is still dependent on other and KEEPS popping out kids. It's sad and sick because he thinks the world OWES it to him.

But being a mother to your husband's child makes him as equally dependent on you as you financially on him (being that he's a good dad) and there's nothing wrong with that.

I classify and dependent woman as one who thinks life wouldn't go on if she didn't have her husband, kids, or someone else in life she can put all of her time into.....and depends on him for ALL of decisions.

Mrs.H said...

I think true independence is the ability to think for one's self. My mom was not independent. She asked advice about everything, not to get opinions, but for someone to tell her what to do. I don't think less of her for that, that's just the way she was. But that is NOT the way I am. I have options, some right and I'm sure some wrong, but I have formed them all by myself.