“Unfortunately, in order to cut corners, many of my generation put their wives out to work in order to get more stuff.” – Grandpa Davey
Believe me, we’ve had our share of stuff. As a matter of fact, we’ve dumped loads of stuff in the trash before moving to Montana. Now that we are here, we are accumulating more stuff. When we decide to declutter or move on, we will play the “I want this stuff” and “I don’t want that stuff” game once again. As a housewife, I’ve never had to go out to work in order to get more stuff.
It was 1973 when we got married and feminism was on the rise. It was popularized that girls no longer wanted to imitate their mothers by getting married, having babies, and becoming housewives. My generation had decided it was wiser to get a job, become self-sufficient, and delay childbirth. I too felt this peer pressure, but with support and encouragement from my husband, made the commitment to be a housewife.
While other women made job choices, I changed diapers, cooked meals, washed clothes, played room mother, chauffeured kids, and served cookies and milk after school. The years passed, and with the advent of newspeak, housewives became homemakers, then stay at home moms.
Recently, I’ve become enlightened to the terms of retro housewife and modern housewife. The former describing the 1950’s – 1960’s June Cleaver style. She takes care of just about everything with the exception of bringing home the bacon.
On the other hand, the modern housewife considers herself the primary caregiver of the children and that’s it. She works hard all day nurturing the kids while maintaining her Internet presence. She expects her husband to come home and cook a decent meal after work.
As for me, I guess I’m a “real” housewife. I don’t dress up or wear pearls like June, but after a day of homeschool, chores, and Internet endeavors, I still cook a meal for the family.
I’ve come full circle. I no longer let the wise cracks, like “what do you do all day?” or “do you really like doing that?” hurt my feelings.
As women, we should feel comfortable with ourselves and not be embarrassed about being “just” a housewife. Labels don’t change it or make it any more acceptable. There will be those in our society that scorn, those that admire, and others that are bewildered by our choice to “stay home”.
I encourage you to embrace being a housewife, listen to your heart, and enjoy life. Don’t feel pressured to work in an office to get more stuff. It has a way of accumulating all own its own.