It's no secret that society has certain expectations and preconceived notions about who a housewife is and her role within the home. For many, the word "housewife" conjures up images of a woman solely responsible for keeping the household running smoothly and taking care of the family's needs. While there is certainly nothing wrong with any of these things, they do not encompass the entirety of what it means to be a housewife.
In a historical piece written by Ellen Castelow for History UK, in the 1950 and 1960s, "housewives" were doing chores equivalent to a full-time job. This was time that a man would have spent working, but women instead had to keep the house in order and perform work outside of the home if they wanted to support their families financially. This only means that the term "housewife" is more than just the sum of its parts.
On that note, here are the reasons why homemakers are more than what people perceive them to be:
1. They are often the primary breadwinners for their families.
With the rise of women in workplaces, more and more homemakers become the primary breadwinners for their families. A study conducted by Pew Research Center shows that in 40% of households with children under 18, mothers are either the sole or primary source of income for their families. This is a significant increase from previous generations, where fathers were typically the primary breadwinners.
This means that homemakers are often responsible for running the home smoothly and have a critical role in providing financial support to their families.
2. They have a wide range of skills and talents.
Over the years, the role of the housewife has changed dramatically. Gone are when women were expected to spend their days cooking, cleaning, and caring for children. Today, many women work outside the home and are responsible for various tasks.
However, being a housewife is still an important job. In addition to maintaining the household, homemakers also have a wide range of skills and talents. They are often the ones who plan and prepare meals, manage finances, and handle childcare. They play a vital role in keeping the family running smoothly. While a housewife's job may not be as glamorous as it once was, it is still an essential part of many families.
3. They're often in charge of managing the family finances.
In many families, the task of managing finances falls to the housewife. This can be a daunting task, as it requires a thorough understanding of the family's income and spending and a keen eye for detail.
However, there are many resources available to help make the job easier. There are budgeting worksheets and software programs that can track income and expenses and websites and books that offer advice on saving money.
Also, as discussed earlier, more and more mothers are becoming the primary sources of a family's income. They may have other things to do in the house, but some can manage to improve their skills and get remote jobs. They're able to do this through e-learning courses available online and use what they learned to earn income. This gives them the ability to provide for their families and, at the same time, manage their finances.
4. They often run their businesses on the side.
Many homemakers also run their businesses on the side. This can be anything from selling items online to starting a catering service or a home daycare.
According to a Forbes article, more and more women are starting their businesses in recent years. Indeed, some of them are homemakers looking for ways to earn additional income. Regardless of what they choose, having a business gives homemakers another way of contributing financially to the family while allowing them more flexibility in their schedules.
5. They play many vital roles within the home.
Homemakers play an essential role within the home. They keep the household running smoothly and efficiently. While some people may view being a housewife as a mundane and thankless job, it is a vital role essential to the functioning of the family unit.
The home would quickly become a chaotic and disorderly place without care and dedication. In addition to their domestic duties, homemakers also play an essential role in providing emotional support to their families. They are typically the ones who offer a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on when family members are going through tough times. Homemakers are an essential part of the family dynamic.
While a homemaker's work is often underestimated and seen as less important than other jobs, it is one of the most demanding and challenging occupations. It takes incredible strength, skill, and determination to be a successful homemaker. They're more than what meets the eye!