Monday, November 3, 2014

Happy Housewife's Day - So What DOES A Housewife Do?

With today being Housewife's Day, granted an archaic term because no one is the wife to a house, I thought I'd touch on what exactly a stay-at-home spouse and/or parent does. 

A housewife does NOT watch soaps & eat bon-bons all day!

As the mother of two, with both children in school, I can attest to the fact that the image that we do nothing but watch soaps and eat bon-bons is a load of crap! 

I'm busier most days that many people with office jobs. Some of what I do is:

  • Clean the house

  • Organize the house (closets, basement, store room, etc.) and KEEP them organized in spite of my family

  • Cook (or in my case, burn food)

  • Shop for food, run errands for the family (go to the pharmacy, pick up birthday gifts, go the dry cleaner, take the car in for maintenance etc.), and call/wait for contractors

  • Research purchases and family-related matters (diet, medical conditions, contractors, etc.)

  • Phone and argue with insurance companies over legitimate claims that are disallowed

  • Volunteer at the school

  • Prepare my lesson plan for the lessons I teach at Sunday school

  • Visit elderly relatives

  • Catch up on the kids' scrapbooks (I'm only 1 year behind now)

  • Do home repair (painting, masonry, etc.)

  • Am on-call for sick kids

  • Patch clothes/turn stain garments into wearable ones

Once the kids arrive home, there's making sure homework is done, scheduling/supervising playdates, chauffeuring them around (to playdates, activities, doctors'/dentist appointments, etc.), making snacks/lunches for the next day, filling out school forms, and supervising chores. Oh, and obviously there are no sick days or personal days in this job.

Sure, I take care of myself and exercise and, yes, I occasionally sit down to read a book, but most of what I do is for the family. Add to that “looking for a part-time job” (we can always use the extra money) and the fact that I write two of my own blogs while contributing to two others, and I'm darn busy. When my daughter was home, as any stay-at-home parent knows, the task of caring for another human being was all-encompassing and exhausting.

I am not the wife to a house - I am a stay-at-home spouse

Could I do all that stuff if I worked outside the home? Yes, but like those of you who do work, I'd be rushed and wind up doing many of those tasks on the weekend. As it is, because I do stuff during the week, my family is able to spend quality time together without scattering to do errands on Saturdays and Sundays. (Honestly – my undying admiration is with all working parents!)

All of us get one shot at raising these kids and I'll be damned if I'm going to screw it up! The Teen is growing up waay to fast and will soon be in college. When my kids come home, I relish the time I have with them, even as I get one ready for gymnastics and chauffeur the other to his own activities. I want to be home for my son as he struggles through puberty. I want to SEE who he's hanging with, where he's going, and what he's doing.  I want to be on call for when he finds himself in a situation he cannot handle.  Similarly, I love volunteering at the school and catching a glimpse of my daughter. She lights up when she sees me because she knows I'm there purely for HER.

The Teen needs more supervision NOW when the temptations to get into trouble are at their peak!

Being a stay-at-home spouse is certainly undervalued by society. Those of us who don't earn money are often paid lip service (“Oh, I could never do what you do” people say condescendingly) by those who do. “Money” equals “value” and those who don't make money are seen as being of less value. I even had one guy call me a “freeloader” for not working! 

Those of us who stay-at-home DO work and what we do is important.

We are busy, productive members of society. It's time to be proud of being a “housewife.” Happy Housewife's Day to all of my fellow stay-at-home spouses! 

Read more about “What A Mom's Work Is Worth” here ( at


Thank you for reading!  

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