If I say “housewife” what is the first thing that enters you mind?
Maybe the 1950’s version that’s pictured above? Maybe the 2015 stereotype that involves too much free time and lululemon for every day wear? Technically both are on point and there are 100 different versions in the middle. My thoughts have temporarily landed on this topic because, although it will be short lived, right now I’m a housewife. Gasp. No disrespect to any housewives out there but of all the things this modern Mrs. has aspired to be, never once has “housewife” been on my list of coveted roles. As a girl who has worked since 16 and prides myself on being able to balance career, marriage and everything else that comes my way, I’m feeling like there are only so many workouts, things to clean, and new recipes to try. Maybe I’m not embracing this new, temporary role as I should but it is what it is and I am who I am. Ha.
(IMPORTANT SIDENOTE: before continuing this everyone needs to be well aware that a stay at home mom and housewife are NOT the same thing! In my book a stay at home mom works harder than I’ve ever worked, has the most important job imaginable, and deserves a huge amount of respect. The housewife role is a little “lighter” in duties. You basically just cook, clean, and find productive things to give your time to. You know, the same exact things you do when employed just not working around a 40+ hour schedule of career obligations…)
So as I started thinking about the role of a housewife and what that means to me right now, my mind kept going waaaay back to the 50’s, the era of the true housewife. A time when it was unheard of for a woman to work outside the house. When I think about the mindset that as a woman I wouldn’t have been taken seriously because my topics were considered less important or that I would’ve never had the opportunity to embrace a profession that I love because my “place” was at home keeping a house tidy I’m rather appalled. Frankly, I can’t imagine a world where I’m unequal and don’t have a choice of what I do with my life simply because I’m female. (insert the No Doubt tune “Just a Girl” in your mind right now…) I found a pretty interesting Housekeeping Monthly article from way back in 1955 titled The Good Wife’s Guide that after a little research I’m pretty sure is a little exaggerated but, still gives a look into the role of a housewife and how it has changed through the years. If nothing else it makes for a fun read when you parallel with modern day thoughts. Here’s a look at a few of my favorite 1955 “Good Wife” tips to compare and discuss:
Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first- remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.
Hmmm. Let’s start with the positive to take from this…unless it’s really good news, no one likes to be bombarded at the door with a dozen things. So, I agree that a “how was your day?” and truly listening to that response should be the target. Under no circumstances should any wife (housewife or working wife) think his topics of conversation are more important than hers or vice versa just because he is male and she is female. Nope. Respect is a key element in marriage and couples who show respect to each other, treat each other (and what they have to say) as equals.
Don’t complain if he’s out late for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Compare this as minor for what he might have gone through that day.
Hahaha. I’m going to cut some slack here and say that the introduction of cell phones makes the lack of communication referrered to here as virtually impossible in the present day. I’m all about my husband going out for drinks or dinner with friends after work, in fact I encourage it, but if he decided to do so without telling me it wouldn’t make for a happy evening for either of us. Again, respect is a key element in marriage. I think most husbands now respect their wives enough for a heads up (and vice versa if it’s girls night…) or at least the smart ones do.
A good wife always knows her place.
This one is my favorite and I 100% agree with these words. Obviously the 1955 place discussed is different than mine but I believe these words…a good wife knows her place. That place isn’t behind her husband or in front of him, it’s beside him as the other half of his team and the support that always has his back. Regardless of working wife/husband or housewife/husband it’s all about being a team and being each other’s support. So yes, a good wife always knows her place.
When it comes down to it, regardless of whether I’m a working wife or a housewife, I’m blessed to be able to make that decision and neither working or staying at home is the most important part of that role…its being a wife. Having the ability to be in so many roles throughout life, it’s easy to get consumed with the professional choices you make but if you choose to be married, being wife (or husband!) is the biggest decision you’ll make and role you’ll have. The fact is, your spouse is the most important business partner you’ll ever choose because you’ll make each other strong or you’ll tear each other down. Just some food for thought I wanted to share before getting back to my current busy schedule of working out and cleaning my house…
Happy Wednesday! (Or whatever day it is…)