• Welcome to The Fedora Lounge!

any old-school housewives??

Discussion in 'The Home Front Woman' started by retromom712, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. Viola

    Viola Call Me a Cab

    I just had a talk with my fiance and he'd said in the past he was fine with me working or staying home - he just said most recently he meant before kids were in the picture, that after that he wouldn't want me to work full-time because he thinks its important someone is home with the baby. (And he makes more money than I)

    I'd also like to be a writer, not the very steadiest income to say the least, so I'm very lucky to have a guy who is cool with being the primary, or sole, breadwinner from even before kids are in the picture, and not at all about "equal financial contribution."
  2. Lillemor

    Lillemor One Too Many

    [QUOTE="Skeet" McD]

    On the whole, I think there is more acceptance of the value, personally and societally, of the role of housewife these days than when I was growing up: I hope so, at any rate.


    I think one's experience today will to a large extend depend on where one lives and what the common attitudes are towards gender roles and expectations of people in general. I don't experience this acceptance or even respect you've noticed but I'm happy someone's experiences are more positive than mine. I want to live where you live!

    It may be because I live in a rural town but it doesn't take much to become completely isolated here. Kids with special needs, unusual hobbies, different style of dress from what my peers wear.....anything that isn't understood and recognized as normal in mainstream, contemporary, society. I don't know if they assume that deviations from the contemporary norm is a threat to their existence.

    I don't pass judgement on their decision to play handball, soccer/football, and badminton every Saturday, or their decision to wear jeans and casual top or jogging suits every where, and hold a career while raising children. I don't like to play sports, I may not want to wear their style, don't envy their choice to have a career and I think it's strange to want us all to be so homogenous and live such homogenous lifestyles.

    Some people genuinely feel they have a right to make anyone who sticks out of the norm public property. They feel a right to pass judgement and voice disapproval or show disapproval in one way or another and I assume the goal is to bully others until we all fall in line with some standard of norms.

    I'm not talking about debates on here. It's my choice whether I want to participate in a debate or not. I'm talking about reactions to my lifestyle choices in situations where I don't have a choice about participation and where I didn't ask for anyone's input.
  3. Lillemor

    Lillemor One Too Many

    Yes, I do live up to many stereotypes about homemakers and things that are often associated with typical homemaking such as certain projects or interests are by many people considered inferior because they associate the type of project or interest with something they consider inferior to what they're doing.

    If you like golfing, are a rotary member, and have easy access to places of cultural interests, then people admirer you and they sympatise with you when you were late for picking up your kid because you got stuck in a meeting.

    If you look forward to inheriting $700-$900 worth of books on pottery because your lifestyle choice means you can't afford to buy these books now, people think you're sad or they laugh at best. They think you need to get out more because you actually think vintage costume jewelry is an interesting subject to research and read about and you're grateful for the books you've been given on the subject, again because you can't afford to buy them and it's just the little stuff like walks, hikes and bicycle rides with the family in your local, rural areas that you enjoy.

    I used to enjoy theater, musicals, classical music, botanical gardens, art museums, historical museums, and various galleries and exhibits but they aren't to be found in my immediate local area and I can't afford to visit them and it won't be fun with my boys. Aquariums and industrial museums is much more up their alley. There are still people who use these things to illustrate things I lack in my lifestyle and apparently this is very sad and makes my lifestyle choice so very wrong.

    People feel sorry for my husband when he has to go away on business. No one gives any thought for me while I'm home alone with three boys but they're quick to remind me of all the things I can do to make his time away and return easier. They can empatise with him but they can't empatise with me. My husband and I understand that his trips are stressful and a burden on both of us though we experience these stresses differently.

    My choice is still right for my family and it's not my life I don't like, it's people's unsolicited negative reactions I don't like.
  4. Lillemor

    Lillemor One Too Many

    So true about the people. I stand corrected! It's not really a feeling of sadness but more one of frustration when people can't or won't share my joys. I know I'm prone to knee jerks. I hope that passes.lol You've just reminded me that my husband keeps saying how proud he is of me. He's never taken me for granted or vice versa and that is all that should really matter.

    After stepping back and looking at my previous posts, I think that a lot of the people who have time to bother with my life must be very unhappy in their own lives.
  5. I am one. I started living a lot of my life by the book "fascinating womanhood". It has helped me quite a bit as I gave taken on all the duties at home and with the children. Honestly though now, I adore the smoke on my fiancé's face when he comes home to a quiet house, a cold drink, and a warm dinner on the table.:eek:
  6. I am a stay at home mom. Originally the plan was I would stay at home for a year after our daughter was born. The job market stunk at that time for my line of work, and we are location limited by my husband's job. But when my daughter was 3 weeks old I was diagnosed with late stage cancer, so I spent the next year in treatment.

    I've now been a stay at home-at-home mom for a year, but I don't really consider much of that actually being a "stay-at-home-mom" as much as somebody getting through treatment. I'll be home for at least another year. I have days when I *intensely* want to go back to work, but as much as I do, staying at home with my daughter is my priority and something I want to do much more than earn a paycheck.

    I do really wish that there was more part-time work available in my area. I would love to send my daughter to preschool, but without me working that isn't in the picture.
    RebeccaMUA likes this.
  7. VintageBee

    VintageBee One of the Regulars

    When I got married 33 years ago it was agreed that I would stay home and be a homemaker. It was all I really ever wanted to do, even though my mother nor my grandmother (we lived with my grandparents) taught me ANY homemaking skills! Not how to make my bed, do laundry...I kid you not, I had to beg to iron papas hankies!
    So I taught myself how to cook by reading cookbooks, my mother-in-law taught me how to do laundry and my father-in-law taught me how to can food and make bread! I taught myself how to sew and quilt, how to garden and how to homeschool my children. I only worked outside the home for 3 years after my children graduated high school and the day I quit (I taught preschool) was the best day ever because it meant I could stay home and be a full time homemaker again. My husband had said if I wanted to work outside the home that I could...but he was really happy when I quit!
    I live in the country and there are always things to do just by living where we do, but sometimes I miss going to a museum or an art studio....I use to drive to San Francisco and see these places there, but I have no desire to drive that route of traffic anymore. This is where my computer comes in handy-I travel via iPad! When my children were little, we rarely went to museums and such because we didn't have the money to do so. My husband has had two jobs since we were married and both provided juuuust enough moola to barely make ends meet. A special day was when we piled in the car to go to the local library! We always hauled home A LOT of books!
    My mother-in-law worked and thought I was crazy to waste away staying home when I could go out and work all day, then come home and be a homemaker no matter how tired I was...just like her. My grandmother never understood why I wanted to make homemade meals, breads and jams....you could buy those at the store and use the time to watch soap operas and Merv Griffin! My mother remarried and for years we barely spoke (many issues there)... There was really no support outside home..but I had and have my faith in God, the love of my husband and children and that made me content in being a homemaker. It's rather like my love of vintage ways and dress....my husband dresses like a cowboy (always has), my children are more modern in style...but I like what I like and once in awhile I get teased but I don't let it bother me anymore...life's too short to try to please anyone else. As far as negativity from others goes....I've always felt those who are negative are missing out on so much and must lead very sad lives if they must spew negativity at others.
    The children have families of their own now, the Grandbabies are arriving (3 more by November!!). I still can, make sausages, iron clothes, hang laundry, quilt and make most of my clothes. I plan to keep doing so until The Lord sees otherwise.
    I wouldn't change any of it, from the marrying at "just-turned-18" to having three children by the time I was 25, that I homeschooled them, taught them how to do chores, to make do or do without. They have grown up to be fine productive citizens.
    Housewife, homemaker....it's the most important thing I've ever done.
  8. I'd say no, I'm not an old school housewife. Having said that I do most of the domestic duties in the house. I took a redundancy a while back so I'm at home most of the time. There are chores to do to keep the house & garden clean & tidy, so I do them. When we both worked we shared chores.
    For me, it isn't a calling (not having a go at those who think it is), it's about who has the most time to spend on domestic duties.
    A friend of mine would keep a note of the time she spent doing household chores & her partner payed her for her labour. There should be more of that.
  9. VintageBee

    VintageBee One of the Regulars

    I guess I must reeeeeally be old fashioned...I do the chores out of love for my husband and family,the feeling of fulfillment I get from keeping my home. I wouldn't want it to be a 'employer/employee' relationship...sounds like a set-up for a train wreck :eeek:
    RebeccaMUA likes this.
  10. I have a pretty practical view of such things. I do housework because if I don't I won't have clean sheets to sleep on, clean clothes to wear, clean dishes to eat off, the catbox will stink, and I'll probably start coughing from all the dust. When I was married we split things as best we could, and there was neither fulfillment nor resentment. It was something that had to be done, so it got did.

    I don't think anyone in my family, going back to my great-grandparents' time was ever solely a housewife -- my great-gran worked in a shoe factory, my grandmother was a bookkeeper, and my mother was a telephone operator when I was born and a cook in a nursing home when I got older. None of them had "careers." They had *jobs,* because that's what women like them had to do.

    The housework, somehow, got done alongside all that other work. My father was too busy messing around down to the pool room to ever consider lifting a broom or washing a dish. My grandfather was too tired to do anything after fourteen hours at the gas station but sit in a chair and complain about tourists. So while we may not have been a family of "traditional housewives," it was still the women who did the work.
    Last edited: May 29, 2014
  11. To explain about my friends they are both employed by trade unions (him full time & her part time) & the idea of paying for housework was an ideological one (that all labour has value and a recognition that her work in the home was just as valuable as their work in the paid labour market). It seems to work for them.

    Like Lizzie both my Grandmothers & Great grandmothers worked full time jobs & also kept house, but I have memories of one of my Grandfathers doing the vacuuming & washing the dishes (this must have been 40 years ago), so obviously some sharing of housework was done. All families are different.
    Last edited: May 29, 2014
  12. VintageBee

    VintageBee One of the Regulars

    I am blessed...my husband will cook, clean up the kitchen and lend a hand when I ask and, sometimes, even when I don't however....he isn't fond of doing laundry but that's ok
  13. Last edited: May 29, 2014
  14. I'm right there with you on this one VintageBee. Been living like this for awhile and now my fiancé jumps in because he wants to not because he has to and that makes it all the nicer. Last night he helped me dry dishes. It was terribly romantic.
  15. One thing that bothers me is to hear a woman say "I don't work, I'm a housewife." I think housewives work harder than 90 percent of the paper-shuffling white-collar office drones out there. In the Era this was even more so -- much housework involved brutal physical labor, to the point where a sizable percentage of middle-class women had to hire working-class women to come around and help them do it (the census bureau in the 1930s defined a middle-class family as one which employed "at least one servant.")

    Even with modern conveniences household labor is no cakewalk, and the older you get the harder it is. Never say you don't work, because you do.
    Last edited: May 29, 2014
    RebeccaMUA likes this.
  16. Thank you so much!!!! I recently had a dr appt and when asked what I do I said I'm a homemaker. The woman said "oh you're unemployed" I was horrified!!
  17. BettyMaraschino

    BettyMaraschino Familiar Face

    More people should be exposed to this view. I was made redundant abour 5 weeks ago and continued on with all the house work and my Mr washing & drying the dishes and putting them away. That is his one chore. Today I got sick - sore throat, runny nose, generally feeling pretty poorly, and he has had to take on some of the responsibilities of what I had planned for the day (sweeping up, make beds and sorting laundry for wash day tomorrow)
    Only now is he starting to realise I don't sit on my backside all day and it is "real" work.
    I don't have a job, but I sure do work!

    Now back to re sorting out the laundry lol
  18. Whenever somebody looks at my kitchen floor and makes "that expression" when they notice the corners don't sparkle, I say "One of the advantages of being my age is that I can't see those corners anymore."
  19. When family comes over..if I see "that expression" it's usually because we have three black cats and one black dog (we have an affinity for them) I simply state "they live here you don't" and smile
  20. :eusa_doh: Oh, brother. Such a shame that people really say such things and think nothing of it. As if keeping our homes functioning and caring for our children magically gets done all by itself (and I have no kids, and barely keep up with our pets' needs!). Homelife is so devalued generally, I guess. If you're not kicking it up in Cannes with papparazzi snapping away, your life has no meaning or value... Whatever gender decides to stay at home and handle that end of things, I have loads of admiration...

    My mother-in-law raised 6 kids, kept house, and became a nurse in her early 40s while her last one was still in diapers. I feel positively inert and lazy just thinking about it. lol

Share This Page