#AtoZChallenge H is for Housewife

Being a housewife is a role that still doesn’t quite sit right with me. I mean, yes, I adore my children, and I am very fortunate to be in a position where I am home with them every day. I never wanted to be a housewife. Growing up I saw my mum going out to work and still being available for me and my siblings when we needed her. I was encouraged to be an independent woman when I left education. Of course, the reality changed dramatically when I fell in love and decided to get married. Darn these emotions!

AtoZ Badge H

I often liken myself to a favourite movie character, Shirley Valentine, from the film of the same name. There are lots of Shirleys in the world, I realise. We are not all dowdy, downtrodden housewives, contrary to popular misconception. In fact, being a housewife is something to take pride in. We work damned hard to raise our children as happy, healthy, intelligent individuals. We work hard to make our homes nice places to live and play. None of this is recognized in the wider world, of course. If I could only receive some sort of “housewife benefit” as a token gesture of the work I do, then I would feel a little more validated. As it stands, my husband’s wage barely covers our household expenses, and so I find myself in the position of needing to seek paid work that I can fit around my children, since we also cannot afford childcare.

SpookyMrsGreen Housewife

Yes, it is a double edged sword, indeed. I am not a domestic goddess by any stretch of the imagination. I have no interest in dusting, vacuuming, scrubbing toilets or any of that stuff. To me, those jobs are menial necessities. I do take pride in a clean house, but it takes a lot of effort for me to put in the time and labour for the job. And at the moment my priority is tending to my children, and building my freelance business. Fellow housewives, come and share your experiences. What does it mean to be a housewife in the 21st century?

The Wolf and the Fairy

Could I tempt you to read my new short story, The Wolf and the Fairy, available to download now? Thank you!

See you tomorrow, for the next letter in the #AtoZChallenge.

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About SpookyMrsGreen

Catherine Green: The Pagan Housewife. Join my tribe, and I will send you a fabulous FREE book from my Redcliffe novels British paranormal series! http://eepurl.com/b7HHVn
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16 Responses to #AtoZChallenge H is for Housewife

  1. sizzlesue15 says:

    I love your honesty and the fact that you have decided to stay at home to nurture your children. I was a working mother and sometimes wished I could stay at home and be a full time housewife and mum (not all the time though LOL:)) Sue @Sizzling60 from
    Sizzling Towards Sixty

    • Thanks Sue. I appreciate that I am lucky to have the choice to be home with my children. I would be happy with a little more cultural recognition for what we do in the home.

  2. Rajlakshmi says:

    It must be tough… juggling housework, kids and looking for work. I wish you good luck with freelancing business.

    Visiting from A to Z Challenge
    Co-host Pam’s Unconventional Alliance Team
    A Whimsical Medley
    Twinkle Eyed Traveller

    • Thank you. Well, yes it is tough, but then so are a lot of other jobs in life, and I accept that (sort of!). I will catch up with everyone’s A-Z posts just as soon as I can 😉

  3. It’s a difficult situation that I can completely sympathise with and relate to – I too was a stay at home mum. I too felt that the cost involved in me getting paid work outside the home and paying for childcare would negate most of what I earned, so seemed like a pointless exercise. But for years the comments by family members and friends hurt as they seemed to think I had taken the soft option and let my hubby down by not helping him earn an income to support our family. Yet only a generation earlier and ‘going out to work’ would have been a shocking thing to do: Leave my children to be raised by strangers? Surely not! You can’t win. Even now as a work-from-home editor and writer, most people seem to think I live in my PJs and watch daytime telly.

    • That’s what stings the most, I think. Many of my family members perceive my writing as a glamorous sounding hobby on the side. I don’t think they will take me seriously until I win a prestigious book award or land a Hollywood movie deal 😉

  4. When I was first married, I was a stay-at-home Mom and housewife. I remember going to dinner with my husband and some of his co-workers and their wives. Afterward the men went to go “talk shop” in another room. One of the wives asked me what I did, and I replied “I’m a Mom and a housewife”. Well, everything went silent, someone said something like “Oh that’s nice” and I was invisible for the rest of the evening, even if I offered an opinion or tried to join in. Eventually I got up and joined the men, who were happy to include me in a discussion of real estate and short sales.
    I think a lot of people assume that women who stay at home are lazy, or unmotivated, or divas who want to live off of someone’s income. Why is not considered important to raise, nurture and instruct one’s children? Why is OK for someone to have a “career” taking care of children as a daycare provider or teacher, but “slacking” to stay home and do it yourself?
    Sorry for the rant – you hit a pet peeve of mine! 🙂 Great post.

    • Rant away, that is what this space is for! 🙂 Fortunately in my immediate social circles I am known more as a writer and mother, so my friends and acquaintances do treat me like an intelligent being. Many of them are in similar circumstances as well, which obviously helps.

  5. I always said the same thing when I was younger – that I would continue to work, even after having children. Once I had my first, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to stay home with him. I hated daycare and knew they would never give my son the time and attention I could at home. I’ve never regretted becoming a “housewife” and our family has been extremely fortunate in that my husband continues to do well enough to support all five of us. BUT… there is always that little part of me that feel as though I don’t contribute “enough” because there isn’t a dollar sign attached to what I provide. It’s a tough spot to be in, especially now that I have been out of work for ten years and realize the only jobs I’d qualify for are retail or fast food. ugh. I’m pretty much in the same boat as you so I can sympathize!

    • Yep! I couldn’t even get a job as a part-time caretaker in my local supermarket a while back, and that really upset me! What frustrates me the most is the level of untapped potential in our country that is going unrecognised and unacknowledged because the people with talent are suppressed by the people with money and influence.

      • I have always had the impression it is a lot harder to be a stay-at-home parent or one-income family in the UK as well. My sister-in-law used to love to remind me how much paid maternity benefits she received but ultimately, she had little choice but to return to work to help make ends meet for their family. I admire the fact that you’re trying to do what is best for your family despite the difficult odds!

  6. Hi Mrs Green, enjoy reading the post. People have such wrong concept about housewife which I prefer to call home-maker. Lovely to read ur post and I wouldn’t mind being a house husband in the future:)

  7. Kathryn says:

    Catherine I totally agree with you sahm’s should be valued and paid by society in some way. One of the most important jobs in a country. My mother didn’t go out to work so was always there for us as well. I never married so I worked until I retired. I loved Shirley Valentine movie!

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