I Would Love to Be a Housewife. There, I've Said It.
I am a very independent woman. One of the best compliments I ever received was my father-in-law stating that I was the most self-sufficient woman he had ever met. I should be an advocate for the “women can have it all” camp, but in good consciousness, I cannot. I believe that women can have it all, and do it all, and be all to everyone in their lives all of the time. It is possible, it is sustainable for long periods, but is it healthy or the best possible quality of life for women and everyone they are being “all” to? No. I know that I am not as healthy or as happy when I am overextended and overworked and in turn, neither is everyone else who depends on me.
Call me old-fashioned (I’m fine with this label), but during my week as a housewife, I discovered that there is something comforting and familiar about traditional gender roles. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a home where my mother had had a career prior to having children. She was then able to stay home until I was seven years old and in later life embarked on an entirely new career, in a new country. Once in a while, especially when my father was starting his own business, she was the sole provider for our household. Needless to say, she has been an excellent example of the vital need for women in the home and in the work place. But culture and tradition are deeply rooted and when I told her that I was going to stay home for the week instead of going to work because my husband had financed it, she was thrilled. I literally had to ask, “Why are you so excited by this?” I think the question embarrassed her as my admitting to her that I was a housewife for the week initially embarrassed me.
I have always said that I would make a very good rich person, and now I can add modern housewife to that list. Modern housewife because I have to believe that as women chose to leave the work force and return to the home they are doing so with a plan. The modern housewife is too interested in life to be bored or idle. She no longer wastes time feeling guilty or wondering if her feminist membership is about to be revoked, rather she treats housewifery as a scholarship. An opportunity to pursue long-abandoned goals, the opportunity to be the economist, investor and financial consultant for her family, the organic farmer and chef, the early childhood educator, home business owner, the philanthropist, the artist and anything else she might do if for cooking and cleaning, she was paid in time and peace of mind.
By: Wendy Castellanos-Wolf