Many think that career only means having a decent job that requires you to wear a corporate attire, working an eight-hour shift and getting a pretty good pay that could afford you materials needs. Not so many people know that the best profession in the world are actually those whose services are priceless. And what could be more noble than a career that enables you to embrace and nurture someone else’s life?
Debbie Grace Recede-Nagma, or “Ga” to those who knew her well, dishes out the reality behind the new role she just assumed – being a full time housewife – which she paradoxically described as “being less sosyal, but not being less fulfilled.”
In our interview, she boldly shares what it takes to be a home buddy, her unspoken struggles and the sense of fulfillment she gets from performing her roles as a wife to her husband, Christopher, and as a young mother to their one-year old son, Lukas.
Her story, like those of many other women, negates the idea that being a housewife makes someone lesser. For the truth is, being a housewife is something that every woman (and man) should be proud about.
Life Before Marriage
Debbie grew up doing finance works at the church, which had become her personal inclination and ministry. Though she pursued Communication Arts degree in college, she’s always been passionate about financial matters. In fact, she had tried different jobs – from being an Executive Assistant, Secretary, a Teacher to exploring a full-time ministry as a Pastor – but still ended up doing an accounting job. She thought that her last position as Accounting/Payroll Specialist with an international hotel was the kind of career she wanted to settle in.
Not until things started to change for her. She realized that what she actually wanted for herself was to become a full-time housewife: “Whenever I reflect every morning, I thought that I didn’t want to be an employee for the rest of my life. I didn’t want to get up every morning just for the sake of going to work. So I told myself that when I marry, I wanted to be a full-time housewife.”
Debbie can’t be more thankful that she got married with Christopher, a chemical engineer, who supported her decision to be a full-time housewife.
Transitioning from a Career Woman to Full Time Housewife
Giving up your career for the sake of becoming a housewife is a serious deal. It means not only sacrificing the good promises that life can offer you as young professional, but also assuming a more serious responsibility over the life of your family and loved ones. Not to mention of the social stereotypes about being jobless.
True enough, Debbie had to go through these challenges.
After resigning from work, she had to find a way to sustain her financial obligations to her parents. Thus, she operated a small t-shirt printing business where she could get an extra income and still give occasionally to her family in the province.
Debbie also looked back to the days when she started doing her housewife duties: “I had to learn a lot of things. I became diligent by chance. I had to teach myself doing household chores and do it excellently including cooking.”
From doing accounting, she now has mastered her craft in cooking, fixing the kitchen and joyfully attending to every need of her own family – a new job description that is never covered by any form of contract.
The Joys and Struggles of Being a Housewife
Unlike the endless expectations one may have from his or her career, there are only simple things that make Debbie feel happy as a housewife: “It always feels good to be appreciated in simple ways. To be acknowledged for the food you cooked, and to be entrusted to safe-keep your finances.” She also added that while it’s physically tiring, it is always fulfilling and rewarding to carry out these roles.
But being a full time wife is never a bed of roses for her as she also has to deal with some challenges: “I cannot get into his crazy schedules. I often argue about his time,” noting the demands of Christopher’s job.
Another challenge for her was being away from her own family in Zambales since they had to move to Bataan where Christopher is working with an oil depot: “I remember during typhoon Glenda when there were only I and Lukas at home because he was needed for work. And sometimes when I or Lukas gets sick, nobody takes care of us.”
In the heart of hearts, we know that it’s not all there is in the life of a housewife. We know that they are faced with even more serious struggles.
Debbie admits that she still has a lot of things to learn. And despite all her unspoken struggles, she can only dream selflessly for her family: “You have to keep each other strong. It is important to encourage each other to grow and make sure that no one is left behind. As a mother, I also hope that our son would grow to be a good person, and to apply the values he learns from me.”
She concludes that “being a full time housewife is the hardest and challenging job on earth. Not everyone can do the job that you do. Not everyone can choose to stay at home and take care of their family. So I am privileged to be one.”
The truth is, women should have the right to decide for themselves and be afforded the same opportunities as men. And though many women choose to pursue a career and assume many roles in the society, not all have the same privilege to be a full-time housewife.
Debbie’s story is a story of all ordinary housewives and mothers out there, which the society brands as a lowly status. They may not have the highest-paying job. But theirs is the noblest of all noble professions in the world that embraces the wholeness of life and nurtures it with their love and care so that a family can grow into what God wanted it to be.
For behind every successful family, there stands a strong, wise and hard-working woman who selflessly offers and dedicates her life.