(Closed) anybody else think being a housewife is a career?

posted 7 years ago in Career
Post # 288
2902 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

The term ‘wifely duties’ makes me throw up in my mouth.


Also, a housewife and Stay-At-Home Mom are two completely different things and should not be compared. 


Post # 289
118 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@FauxBoho:  +1

Post # 290
853 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

@JaneyDcat:  I think a lot of being a homemaker not being respected has a lot to do with the day and age we live in.

My maternal grandmother was a housewife and Stay-At-Home Mom.  She grew a garden, cooked all the meals, did the laundry, sewed her family’s clothing, did minor home maintenance, and cared for her ailing Mother-In-Law.  When my mother and aunts grew older and attended school she was involved in almost every school and church committee, still maintained the house, and reviewed their school assignments.

Back then being a housewife had a tangible cost savings to most families that was greater than an additional source of income, especially considering most women had very few career options available to them (like a secretary).  The duty of the housewife was often to maintain the house and reduce the expenses, like my grandmother sewing many items of clothing to limit need to buy more expensive department store items or growing vegetables and some of the fruit in the backyard.

Today women have more options and more earning potential.  Things like preparing dinner from scratch, sewing clothing, or hanging clothes on the line are less common.  The standard expectation of the housewife (not SAHM) is to clean and cook as evidenced by OP’s post.  But those expectations don’t differ from what anyone else with a home has to do.

Being a housewife is seldom considered “valuable” (beyond the family’s estimation) in that it’s rarely a cost saving measure (unlike the savings from not having the cost of daycare or a nursing home).  More often being a Stay-At-Home Wife is because the family can afford to live off of one income.  Which is fine, but it’s not a career.  And while it’s work, it certainly isn’t as intensive as when my grandmother kept her home when it truly was a sunup-to-sundown sort of thing.

Anything beyond the standard cooking and cleaning OP mentioned are pretty much above and beyond what the “average” Stay-At-Home Wife does.  Volunteer work, care giving, homeschooling, and hobbies in today’s day and age aren’t typically considered part of being a Stay-At-Home Wife, so it’s not really a proper comparison.

Back to your post:  What you are doing for your father is extremely valuable.  I hope if I am ever put in your situation that I would have the compassion and fortitude to step up and care for an ailing parent.  As a society today we are so quick to shut our elderly away, and I think what you are doing is very admirable and impressive regardless of any monetary amount or defined title.

ETA: Agh, I was trying to be brief!

Post # 291
354 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@LittleCricket:  Thank you for posting this!!!!! This thread was getting a bit ridiculous.

Post # 292
1088 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

If you choose to have children and if you choose to own a home and if you are taking care of your home and your children you are just owning up to the responsibilities of the decisions that you made in the first place! Just because you are lucky enough not to :have: to work on top of this does not make this a “career”…women with careers have to do this as well.

Post # 293
2559 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

No, housewife does not = career. Others have given a variety of valid reasons, but I especially like the example a PP gave that said drama does not = sports. They are equally legitimate things, but they are not the same. Chasing the designation of “career” rather than accepting housewifery as a legitimate but alternative and somewhat privileged life path is keeping SAHWs from achieving respect on their own merit and demonstrates insecurity.


I also really liked the PP with the discussion about how SAHWs’ duties have evolved in the past few generations and how the perception of a Stay-At-Home Wife has changed with it; it is no longer a money-saving position as much as an indication of luxury. If I knew a ton of SAHWs who were growing their own food, raising their own chickens, hand-stitching clothing, etc, and were literally making a home, I would be more inclined to view them as a full-time job than the more typical responsibilities of a Stay-At-Home Wife today. That is not the case with my Stay-At-Home Wife friends, who admittedly are few and far between.


I do not include SAHMs in this category, as raising a child is different in breadth and intensity of daily routine; I’m not sure why these threads always get jumped on by moms who don’t or can’t separate the two.


Post # 294
738 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

A job, yes, a career, no. It does feel like I work two full time jobs taking care of 3 kids (for half of the week), cooking, cleaning, shopping, and *attempting* to manage our finances. God bless the women who do it full time. 

Post # 295
1768 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 1997

Being a homemaker is an important job especially if there are  children. It’s more of a life choice rather than career though.

Post # 296
1326 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

No, being a homemake and/or a stay at home mom is not a career. It’s certainly a personal choice, but the choice is to not have a career. Period.

Post # 297
6040 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2019 - City, State

@housebee:  yes! I know some who do complain about being a housewife. They will say how their job is ten times harder than just “getting up and going to work”. How they don’t ever get a day off because their job is 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Technically im a housewife too and a mom and I have a full time job. So no I don’t get a day off either if you look at it that way. But I don’t expect a day off from life, from my job maybe but not from life and the duties I do to keep my household running are just a part of life, its not a job. its work. And its necessary. So it does bother me when I hear women who are housewives say that I should feel lucky to just have to go to work and not run the house like they do because its just so much work.

Post # 298
179 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

@Akbridezilla:  oh man, if it paid, that would be my career of choice! I love making our home feel like it’s worth coming home to! everything about being a housewife makes me feel confident and important. I totally think it’s a full time career. 

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