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Thursday, December 08, 2005

Retro Housewife no longer necessary in today's society

Retro Housewife no longer necessary in today's society

Dear visitors,

I felt I needed to comment on this email that was sent in by a visitor to, especially the comment about "Go out and get a real job". This retro housewife maintains that running a household and being the primary caregiver of the children is a "real job", and is in fact, one of the most important ones around.

Liberation and voting have little to do with it; I do not equate being a housewife with any sort of oppression or bondage, and I always vote. Somewhere along the line, society did start to view the profession "Housewife" in this light, which to me is the ultimate in chauvinism. Because the role of keeping house and raising children is traditionally a woman's job, it is somehow of no value?

As for sitting around watching Oprah, or not knowing how to cook or clean, allow me to point out that there are members of every profession who are not quite as competent as they should be. Shall we do away with all waiters if one happens to spill a drink on a customer?

Also, "Wanting to spend quality time with the children" is a curious concept that has become the mantra of many these days, as if it were some sort of evidence of one's own virtue. The phrase is bandied about much the same way one talks about taking up painting to enrich one's mind.

I've got news for you folks, raising children is not about spending quality time with them. It is about living up to your responsibility to mold the little ones that you placed on this earth into quality human beings who will add to society or at the least not harm it.

Much of the time it ain't pretty, and it is not about sitting around reading moralizing, preachy stories to them for a half an hour before bed time. Fact is, when you take on too much, something always comes up short. Your kids will be just fine without the Starbucks crowd's version of quality time. They may not be fine without someone who has the time and energy to instill discipline and ethics into often unwilling participants.

Beating a child into submission is not raising a child, whether or not you remember the "lesson". It is the act of an unskilled and frustrated parent, and not at all useful in today's society. (How often does a boss pummel an employee who takes a questionable sick day?).

Yes, you may have more money with two incomes (although I do not necessarily agree with this, but that will be another blog), but if your personal balance sheet is what is important to you, why have the children in the first place?



lm1 said...

I just ran across this sight and really liked it you are now on my fave list and will soon be on my curious about this retro housewife sight ..did read the artical that was written on that sight then read yours...OH I so agree...I don't always get my job done right...and there is a reason that they call it ...child research and developement
I am a stay at home mom..there is plenty of research then we work on the development of plan of attack..behaviors between two opposite personalitys ect.ect.

Anonymous said...

Let's see... Monday I took my daughter to skating lessons, Tuesday was son's hockey practice, Wednesday it was daughter's ballet then I was whipping up 24 sandwiches and 3 dozen squares for a church function that the 'ladies' of the church were naturally expected to cater. Thursday I worked in a casino to raise money for my son's school and tomorrow I will be going to the library and then puttying the drywall on a room we are renovating. In addition to this my mother-in-law was coming over so I had to have the house spotless. Saturday and Sunday my son has to be ferried to a hockey tournament. (And this is AFTER Christmas!!) A REAL job?!?!? I'm a PRINCESS?!?!?! Get a LIFE! I'm so busy a "real job" would be a vacation!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I too recently found this website I instantly fell in love with it. So much of what you say is true. I often tell my DH that my "job" is harder than his. (He knows, but teasingly says that I do nothing but watch soap operas and eat bon bons.) I am disgusted with anyone that says that what we do isn't a job. In fact, it is many jobs.

Also, a big thank you for pointing out that raising children is not about the amount of time we spend with them. It's about time that people start taking responsibility for their own children and stop blaming society/video games/etc.

And, from the sounds of it, we agree about the "having more money" issue. When both parents are working, you then have to pay for child care. And if you want that child care to be of any quality, then you'll end up sacrificing most if not all of that second income. The advantages of staying home far out-weigh the advantages of going to work. Besides the money issue, again like you said, we are responsible for preparing our children for the world. And we're going to entrust that responsibility to complete strangers??

Anyhow, I really meant to just say that I agreed with what you said. Very impressed with the website and I commend you on speaking your mind.

The Happy Housewife said...

Anyone who thinks that raising our children, partnering our husbands, and running our homes and families is not a full time occupation has absolutely no grip on reality... Why would I pay someone else to take on my responsibilities? Childcare is part of my job, and yes, it does mean we exist on only one salary - despite my degree from Oxford University - but I take my job as 'housewife' very seriously. The scandal here is that women like us are not being paid!

Let's not get this out of perspective - I certainly don't have my "rose-coloured spectacles" on all the time! There are days when I hate being stuck at home, when the kids are driving me crazy, when I don't want to cook or clean or wash another dirty sock... days when I feel taken for granted... days when I feel my brain slowly melting away... but I believe that providing the happiest home that I can for my family is the most important job I can do.

Suzyhomemaker said...

I was furious when I read the post about there being no need for a retro housewife. Many of the problems we face in our society today would be alleviated if there were more women taking the time to stay home and have not just quality time, but quantitiy time with their children. I am tired of being made to feel guilty for my choice. I thought women's lib was supposed to give us the freedom to make that choice, but instead it seems we are expected to follow the mold of the males in society and have a full time job even if it is not our choice! My husband and I made the joint decision years ago, to sacrifice having some the the material things that others had so that we could have me at home to raise our children and keep the home in order, thereby giving us less stress in life. For me it was worth not having the "Cadillac" of strollers or cable TV to be at home with my children. One has already graduated college and is planning to go to graduate school and the other is in college with wonderful grades. I see the benefits of my choice. It may not be the right choice for everybody, but for us it worked well and I wish society would have more respect for our chosen profession!

Anonymous said...

If living up to your responsibility to mold the little ones that you placed on this earth into quality human beings requires staying at home with them full-time, then is your husband irresponsible to the little ones whom he conceived with you by not staying at home with them as much as you do?

Anonymous said...

I've been a stay at home mom/wife for 16 years. My husband makes a decent income, but living in NJ we do have to watch our budget. However, I love staying home and taking care of the domestic portion of our existance. My husband has never had to lift a finger once he comes home from a hard day at work. My kids don't know the meaning of the word "daycare", and I am the envy of most every working mom I know. I love it, and when someone rude asks me why I don't work, I use the reverse snobbery attitude and tell them, "oh, I dont HAVE work. "

Anonymous said...

hey, it was really nice to read your post and all the comments too. Its frustrating when people don't take housewives seriously. I want to be able to give my kids what my mum was able to give my sibling and me. She brought structure and discipline to our lives! We always came back to a loving and happy home.Something that all children need.
I'm going to a huge family reunion in a month and am dreading the 'what do you do?". It was really great to read ur post...Im all charged up!

Retro Housewife said...

Tell them that your are currently working on a very important project you call the economic stabilization and future growth act by raising responsible children who will be contributing to society instead of living off it and taking care of your marriage it stays intact.

Tell them you are adding another solid, well placed brick to the foundation of our society so that future generations will have something to build on rather than just trying to clean up the mess we leave behind.

That should do it.


Olori said...

Hello, I came across this post and got super excited! I am writing a paper for a class and your insights would be super helpful. I couldn't find your email on the blog so I was wondering if you could please let me know how to get in touch with you by maybe leaving a comment on this post with a contact email address. Thanks!!!

Retro Housewife said...

Retro Housewife said...

I have to say - a lot of what I blogged about I now consider to be BS - but this one I consider one of my best. True a few years later, and probably longer still.