Sep 19, 2008

In Defense of Housewives Everywhere

Note:  I don't know who Modern Eve is, although if someone posted a link Iwould love to read another housewifes blog!  The day in the life is in direct response to this mornings e-mail (which inspired this whole post).  I recieved an e-mail this morning in response to my I am a Housewife post from July which said: "Don't you think you are wasting space by just being a Housewife?  How do you fill your days?  You must watch so much television!  I could never have a life as meaningless as yours is and just spend all of my time sitting around watching TV and shopping."  The e-mail went on and on about what a waste my life in and how I must watch TV all day and not contribute anything to society.  I wanted to show this person who obviously reads my blog (and judges me) what I actually DO.  If Modern Eve also has a day in the life blog I apologize for unintentionally taking her idea.  Because you posted as anonymous I am not even able to follow the link to your blog to try and find hers in your blogroll.

A while back I posted that I am a Housewife. Not a stay-at-home Mom (which I hope to be someday!) but a housewife. The post got almost no comments at all, but I got A LOT of e-mails in response. (Odd why not just post a comment)

Some of the e-mails were really sweet and mentioned a desire to do the same thing.

Others were bitchy not so sweet.

Well lets take this matter further. Let us sit and discuss the relationship that exists between the career wife and the housewife (not the stay-at-home mom but the housewife who makes the choice to stay at home regardless of the involvement of children). It wasn't that long ago that when I woman got married, it was assumed she would be a housewife. Think of the movie Mona Lisa's Smile. Set in the 1950s, these college aged girls don't believe that a career is an option. They are all attending this all girls college, not because they value the education or want a career, but because they want to find a suitable husband. Flash-forward to women going to college today and we make fun of girls who are "getting their M.R.S." All of a sudden the opposite is true and girls are being told having a career right out of college is the only choice. It used to be that girls couldn't choose a career over marriage, and now they can't choice marriage over a career.

Notice, I didn't say motherhood over a career, but marriage. (I am not discussing the merits of staying home with children and the choices and decisions that entails.) So, I ask, is the aspiration to be a good wife any better of worse than that of the woman who wants to work 120 hours as a successful investment banker (my previous job)? What about the woman who dreams of being a corporate VP or C-Level Exec? Or do the woman who dreams of being a writer or journalist? Why are those dreams any better than the woman who only wants to be a wife?

The problem is in the question. We think of it as only being a wife. The wording we use to think about housewives even just in our heads has us questioning: Doesn't she want to do something else? Is that all? By asking the question "doesn't she want to do something else?" you have already made the judgment that being a housewife isn't enough. You decided that she isn't living up to her potential, or worse that she isn't good enough to be more.

So, I ask, what's wrong with being a housewife? Without housewives (and stay-at-home moms) who would be the volunteer force of America? Who would run church meetings and committees? Organize meals at homeless shelters? Plan fundraising events? Housewives do a lot more than just take of hearth and home. They use the time they used to spend working to do good in the community. Why does that make someone think the woman isn't living up to her potential? You could say that women who work are involved in these same activities - they still volunteer - and you'd be right, many career women do volunteer and are involved. But the merits of being a career-wife shouldn't take away from being housewife.

If it doesn’t negatively affect your household finances and you can follow your dream of volunteering and working in the community – why not?

So in honor of this post: I will start a new posting series on my blog: A Day in the Life of a Housewife. It's still early morning so I can't finish today, but I'll start:

8:15 AM: Wake-Up
8:20 AM: Go For Walk -- Part of my physical therapy for my ankle is to walk 1-2 miles a day.
8:55 AM: Put Load of Laundry In
9:00 AM: Internet Time -- check blogs, check e-mail, do research on centerpieces for Delta Gamma Founder's Day (I am one of the event chairs this year)
9:45 AM: Move Laundry to Dryer
9:45 AM: Start SERIOUS Cleaning of House (Grandparents are coming to see it for the first time tomorrow!)
12:15: Go to Gym
1:40: Claudia let Dog Out 
2:20: Finally Get Dog Inside - Get Ready to Take a Shower BUT
2:22: Father-In-Law calls - apparently Grandma Jane is coming today - and will be over in 5 minutes
2:30: Grandma Jane and Dad C arrive to see the house
3:45: They leave; I move to put laundry in the dryer
3:50: Dryer won't start --- day is not going as planned!!
3:55: Give up on the dryer and decide to enter blogland before showering (maybe it will make me feel better about my broken dryer!)
4:30: Finally take a shower!!!!
4:40: Husband comes home from work - I love Fridays when he gets to leave at market close.  Notice that the market closes at 3:00 - we live 10-15 minutes from the office.  He isn't so good at leaving!
5:00: Go to The Yap Tent Sale
6:00: Start Getting Ready
8:00:  Dinner at Buca Di Beppo for a friends birthday -- followed by drinks at Nana's


14 comments:

  1. Girl, to each her own...I think its great that you know what you want to do! Who are any of us to judge how another determines to spend their day. We are all unique and have unique aspirations. I'm sorry to hear you got messages from people that weren't quite so supportive. It's their choice not to spend their time that way...no need in making that decision for you!

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  2. Girl I would be a housewife in a split second if our financial scenario allowed! One day though ...one day!!!

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  3. You already know how I feel about this...BUT I can't wait to become a housewife!

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  4. I am with A Belle. I would do it in a heartbeat if I could financially!

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  5. I think its wonderful that you stay at home. You can get the house in order, cook fabulous meals, volunteer (maybe go shopping at odd hours and avoid crowds!) I think that it is YOUR choice what to do with your life and the mean girls that don't agree are obviously closed minded. Wish I could be a housewife!

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  6. I'd love to be a housewife!!! My job totally sucks the energy and creativity out of me. It's not terrible, but, it's certainly not what I dreamed of for myself. I like working, but, not where I am. We don't have the financial stability for me to stay home, hopefully one day we will. You're a very fortunate lady!

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  7. I think the people who were being "not so sweet" are stupid. If they don't choose to do that with their lives, SO WHAT? I do have children, so it would be a little different, but I would not be working if I didn't have to!
    Good post... I like your blog!

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  8. those that weren't so sweet to you are only jealous. and i'm not just saying that. i'm jealous because I WANT TO BE A HOUSEWIFE. i saw an ad for a fabulous part time job being the assistant to a prominent woman in town. writing thank you notes for her and RSVPing to events. i'd love it. and i'd spend the rest of my day getting my house in order, working on the advisory board of my sorority, going to junior league meetings. i do all of these now anyway, but i spend the majority of my day stuck at a job that i don't like. but it pays me. if we could afford it, i'd stay home for sure.

    more power to you! you're living our dream!

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  9. It looks like you might have gotten the idea for the diary of a stay at home wife from Modern Eve...I love her blog, wasn't that such a cute idea?!

    Look forward to keeping up with how many bons-bons you eat, haha!

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  10. Yes, as someone who reads Modern Eve, I think you should have at least given credit where credit is due. I also love her blog and I like the idea of a diary about a stay at home wife, but please don't steal other people's blog posts and pass them off as your own.

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  11. When I read things like what that person wrote you, it just upsets me. The whole point of the women's movement was to give women CHOICES. If your choice is to stay at home, and that is what satisfies you better than a career would, I say more power to you! I unfortunately cannot afford to stay home, but I get more satisfaction out of 'keeping house' than I do out of my paying job, and for some women it's probably the other way around. Who are we to judge eachother?

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  12. i received an email today pointing me to your blog and these comments. wow, i appreciate anonymous people defending my blog, but i just wanted to let you know that i love your blog and your day in the life of a housewife! unfortunately, i am not a housewife, considering i just started a full time job monday. but, i like you, am completely appalled that someone would write such a comment to you. who are they? what right do they have? in the one week that i stayed home (honestly more unemployed than a stay-at-home wife) i accomplished so much and was truthfully exhausted by the end of the day. i am sure you are as well! =)

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  13. I think if you can afford to do whatever you want then go do it. As long as you are happy doing it. Forget what others say.

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  14. Hi, I'm a newbie to your blog! Very cute! In regards to the email you received, I really hate this argument. She needs to get a life. Do what makes you happy :).

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