Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Reality Kick

Merry meet once more; I hope life is treating you well!

I'm calling this post a reality kick because that's exactly what I've faced today.  This wasn't a negative thing, but it has had an effect on how I'm viewing my life and how I'm facing up to the challenges, adventures and exciting changes that we will be faced with over the next few weeks.

For those of you who are either new to this blog, or don't follow me on Facebook or Twitter (if you want to you can, of course; just click on the boxes down on the right there) I am about to move to the USA with my husband as part of his job.  In fact it's his dream job and something he's been working really hard for for years and I'm unbelievably proud of him for achieving his dream.

Over the course of the last few weeks I've been thinking about how this is going to change my life too. I've already considered the fact that I'm going to have to be a housewife as legally I won't be able to work for a while, but now that I've worked my notice here in the UK and we've started packing it's really hit me that I will be totally dependant on my husband for pretty much everything.

Consider my position for a moment.  In a few days time I will be moving to a foreign country where I will know nobody except my husband.  My family will be in a different timezone on a different continent, so it will be harder to pick up the phone for moral support if I get homesick.  Then there's the issue of financial dependence.  I've worked all my adult life, earned my own money and supplemented my grant money while at university so I didn't have to get a student loan.  My money was my own, every penny was hard earned and though I'm a careful spender, I do treat myself sometimes knowing full well I've earned the cash that I'm handing over.  As a child, I remember my mum fighting for the right to go out to work once my brothers and I were at school, and her mother also worked.  Yes, my mum worked part-time while we were still young so she could still see us of to school and pick us up afterwards, but I suppose I learnt that it was important to have some degree of financial independence so you don't have to go cap in hand every time you want something.

As a feminist, I've always taken the view that women should have the right to work if they want to, but should not lose any of society's respect if they choose to stay at home to raise a family.  My position in America will be a little different though, because we don't have children so I won't have that important role to fill.  I will, however, be running the household while my husband works.  I don't have a problem with this, despite my lack of enthusiasm for housework normally; in fact I'm looking forward to the challenge.  I'm just uneasy with the notion of being so dependent on my husband.  I know in these days of debit cards and joint bank accounts it's not like my grandparent's day when the wife literally had to ask for money out of the pay packet to buy food and pay bills, but it will still take some getting used to.

Having said that, I know that my husband doesn't see this issue the way I see it.  As far as he's concerned I will be doing a full time job and therefore I should feel free to spend money if I want to.  In fact he's positively encouraging me to embrace the chance of a new life and do all the things I've always wanted to do, as I will have more time in which to enjoy the lifestyle.  So the problem isn't that I'm worried he'll expect me to ask permission to spend money, and he certainly won't control the purse strings or see me do without.  The problem is that to me, if I don't have a job, I can't define myself in the same way as I am used to.

I suppose that I will just have to learn who I am all over again.  New life, here we come!

Blessed be )0(