Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Housewife is not a dirty word

I'm a housewife. Yep, loud and proud. This will have many of you cringing at the term but I must admit, I don't get why.
I think that I have the best role around. I get to spend the most time with the kids and I am the boss of my own time management. I take great pride in "keeping house"-I like to have our place in order, to be able to find stuff (clean stuff even) and to have systems in place that really work. I like to nourish myself and family with healthy and yummy food-being the one to buy and prepare it is no big deal. I don't get the "fuck you" attitude to doing the housework. It is just something that needs to be done. Not a personal attack on your worth as a woman. Sure, help is great and any offers of help are gladly taken in my house! Luke helps out a fair bit but I do the majority of the housework and cooking-he's out at paid work a whole lot so it seems fair to me that I do most of the house stuff.
Of course my role as Mother comes first and that means that my place is not ultra clean nor is it a museum that the kids can't be kids in. But at the end of the day when the kids are asleep I tidy up so I can start the next day from scratch. It makes my life easier and less chaotic.
To fight housework-the stuff that just needs to get done-is an uphill battle. Kids create mess, wear clothes and nappies that need laundering and need to eat. In my mind part of caring for them is nourishing them with healthy food, having clean clothes to wear and creating an environment with little chaos so they can thrive.
Part of being a housewife is deciding when to do my jobs-which means there is time for playdates and zoo trips and all sorts of fun stuff for both me and the kids in between. If I was at paid work I would not have that flexibility.
I know there is some eye rolling and head shaking going on now, maybe some pity for me as a repressed woman. Don't feel bad for me. I'm happy. I LOVE my role as Mama and housewife-and ALL that it entails.

**NOTE-I'm not talking about women who are in abusive relationships where the housework is done though fear of repercussion. I'm not talking about men who waltz in the door 6pm and expect an ultra clean house. I'm talking about those of us in respectful relationships.**


MoederKip said...

Good on you :-)
I think people don't like the term because of the focus on 'wife' (as in, that is all that defines you), and the connotations of the 50's Housewife.
But hey, this is our life, our time, you make it whatever you want it to be.

Nic said...

Good on you ! I agree too.

anastasia_wolf said...

I object to the idea that a man is "helping me" with the housework. Like it's naturally my job. My job is parenting our children while he is at his job, in IT. Housework is something we are both responsible for (of course he is responsible for parenting too, when he is home, just as I am). Words and language are incredibly important for perception and roles and thus I dislike if he says "I'm helping mummy with..." like it's my job. I don't object to housework per se, like you I prefer a tidyish environment. I go spare if my house is messy, because it drags my spirits down. And yes I do the majority of the housework. But he is not "helping me" when he does it. He is just doing housework.

I also object to being called a housewife. One, I'm not married. Two, I'm not married to a house. And three, I am not bound to the house... we go all over. So whilst I may fit the job description of housewife, I will continue to revolt against the word ;).

shae said...

I think part of looking after the children is providing them a chaos free, clean environment.
I guess I think it is naturally the role of the stay at home parent-male or female. In my case-me ;-)

I do agree that I'm not married to the house though...

Nic said...

I dont think Shae ever mentioned being married to the house, stay at home mum, carer.

Sure michael and I share everything, but at the moment I do the majority of the house work as he does the majority of the money making. The rest we both share. Dont see anything wrong with housework being a job.

Spiralmumma said...

I don't like the term,(for many of the reasons anastasia wolf mentioned) but if you are happy with it, that's all that matters! I am not a wife, never have been and I loathe everything to do with domesticity. I loved being home to raise my kids and am sad in a way that chapter of my life is almost over, but I never saw domestic chores as solely my role. Sadly my ex did, which is one reason he's now my ex :)

I think if people want to be house wives or house husbands, more power to them. So long as it's not considered the default female role.

PS-I would LOVE a house husband!! :D

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