A Huge Lie

In our society the term housewife, now referred to as stay-at-home mother, has come to be a derogatory term. The term seems to suggest to many people a woman who sits home all day and does nothing. There was even a series on TV called “Desperate Housewives”—presumably the idea is that if you are a housewife you must be desperate—or perhaps just lazy. The latest series is “Real Housewives of ….” If those women ever cleaned anything in their lives, except their faces, I would be surprised.


My generation, the baby boomers, has filled our girls heads with the idea that they can have everything: a career, a marriage and a family. (They should also have added, a nervous breakdown.) The truth is that you can’t have everything. Something has to give. Often it is the marriage and the housework or women simply forget to “have children.” Others remember, but remember too late. Speak to anyone who has their first baby after thirty-three or  thirty-four and they will tell you that it is very hard. Many discover too late that they can’t have children.


As homeschooling Mums we have generally given up a job to be a housewife—although not one that does nothing but watch TV all day. Many of us do without the things that society considers essential such as take-aways three times a week and overseas holidays. We have our children around us and the opportunity to train our children to value the woman who “rocks the cradle.”


Years ago Frank and I decided that we couldn’t afford for me to work outside the home. It would cost too much, and we would sacrifice a lot of the quality of our life. I rarely regretted that decision, except on the days when I was tired and the children were all arguing. Now I realize how wise a decision that was. I may not have a lot of wealth but I am rich. I have a well educated, loving family and nine beautiful, funny grandchildren who I have time to enjoy.


Previous generations have known that the “woman who rocks the cradle, rules the world.” That is, the woman who spends large amounts of time with her children has a profound influence on them. All my children adore children and are great parents, uncles and aunties largely because they have spent so much time around children. They value family and, although they work hard, don’t place money and things above people. More importantly they like being together and this has been fantastic for the grandchildren.


So ignore society. Even though you may not be valued by them value yourself. The job you do can not be replaced or over valued. Children learn better from their mothers since they get one to one attention. Quality time is a term used as an excuse by people who don’t spend time with their children. Quantity time is necessary and that is what we give them. Besides, if you ask a child about what they remember most, it is probably not what you, as an adult, would consider to be quality time.