I've been underemployed for a month and a half now. I get occasional working from substitute teaching, but most days are completely free for me to spend as I wish. I've heard from a lot of people who say "how exciting! You can do whatever you want, and you have plenty of time to volunteer!"
There are definitely upsides. I do get to do whatever I want. Some days, this means lots of practicing ukulele. Other days, that means cleaning the apartment and working on job applications. Unfortunately, there are also days where I spend too much time in bed, even more time on the internet, and feel awful for not getting much done.
I would like to volunteer somewhere, and I've got a few ideas mulling around in my head. However, having regular volunteer hours doesn't work well with the substitute teaching gig. I'm also waiting to hear back on some jobs that start in March, and I would be unhappy to volunteer somewhere only to renege if I get a full-time job.
On the whole, I'm not happy being a housewife. I have been trying to get to the library or go for walks just to give myself something to do outside of the house. It's far too tempting to sit around all day procrastinating while I attempt to do what I'm "supposed to" (mostly those job applications and keeping the place clean). My days just aren't fulfilling, for the most part.
I think this would be different if I were a dedicated housewife; that is, if we had consciously made the decision for me to stay home. There is satisfaction to be had in putting a nice dinner on the table and keeping a clean house, but it is hard for me to see it as satisfying when I feel like there is so much more I should be doing. Certainly, if we had kids to take care of, I would feel like my days were much more productive.
For now, I'm doing the best I can working when possible and trying to stay hopeful. A lot of new jobs in my field are opening up soon, and I'm also reach my personal deadline for starting to apply for any job rather than trying for my ideal jobs. In the meantime, at least our apartment looks nice, and I'll try to be happy with achieving that each day.