At first I balked at the idea of doing all of the cooking, laundry, and other domestic duties by myself. Women in America have had a long, hard battle for equality and I want to stay equal, dammit! After a couple weeks of being incredibly stubborn on the point, I began to relent. Michael’s assignment brought us to Singapore and he’s the one working 60+ hours a week. And me? I do yoga three times a week… I also have a very full schedule of lunches and coffee dates with other expat wives. But somehow these activities don’t take up nearly 60 hours per week. As much as I didn’t want it to, it just made sense for me to take care of the household.
The fact that I’ve always loved to cook must have been forgotten in my temporary inequality rage. Since arriving in Singapore I’ve really enjoyed planning our weekly meals and venturing out to various local supermarkets and wet markets. Recently, I’ve taken a few Indian cooking classes to expand my recipe collection. The first was at the local community center where I had taken other classes in the past. I liked the instructor so much that I took two more classes, both held at her home. Michael was thrilled when I put my lessons to use and made him a dinner of pelak paneer (spinach curry with homemade cheese), saffron rice, roti prata (pan fried dough similar in taste to naan), and chicken masala.
I feel like I’m really starting to earn that “Homemaker” check mark that I fill out on the customs form under “Occupation” each time I travel. Even if the feminist in me secretly hopes that the customs agents think that I actually MAKE homes instead of cook, clean, and walk the dog. Because we women are equal, dammit! And I could totally make homes, if that was what I wanted to do.
Note: Never once has my husband said “I bring home the bacon, you better make me dinner!” or anything along those lines. This has been an entirely internal struggle for me. And while I do the majority of the household chores, he definitely helps when he can. He’s a pretty great husband!