Each year on November 3, millions of people across the country observe National Housewife’s Day. This day was created to make the day a special one for the stay-at-home mom. Taking care of the children and the home is a 24/7 job that sometimes does not get the thank you that is much deserved.
The term housewife is an old term stemming from the days when most families were supported by one income. The father worked, and the mother stayed home to take care of the house and the children. Times have changed, and it is not always possible for one parent to stay at home, even though it is still preferred by some. Typically, in today’s society, two incomes are needed to support a household. If a mother can stay at home, the term stay-at-home mom or domestic engineer is favored over the term housewife.
- According to Salary.com, the average nonworking housewife in the U.S. in 2014 spent 94 hours a week working at jobs in the home that would earn a salary of $113,568.
- In ancient Greece, housewives were not fully accepted by their husband’s families until a child was conceived.
- In 1963, Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique. According to Friedan, the “feminine mystique” is the false idea that devoting their lives to being housewives and mothers naturally fulfilled women (at least upper middle class, white housewives).
- A housewife in the 1950s wouldn’t go to just one store, but would have to go to several shops, including the butcher, green grocer, grocer, baker, and the dairy. In many places, there would also be a fishmonger, a draper (someone who sold knitting wool), and a chemist.
- While sexism and inequality was rampant in the 1950s, housewives then were not downtrodden doormats but “tough and ultra-organized.” While men earned the money, housewives decided how it was spent and balanced household finances with military precision.
- The word “housewife” is from the early 13th century husewif, meaning “woman, usually married, in charge of a family or household.” The word “hussy” is an alteration of the word housewife and originally meant “mistress of the household.”
- A recent study in the United States found that a majority of young people (80% of women and 70% of men) from all backgrounds reported a desire for an equal marriage in which both partners shared in bread-winning, housekeeping, and child rearing. However, when asked what kind of family they wanted if that wasn’t possible, over 70% of men wanted their wives to stay home as housewives. Women, however, said they would rather choose a divorce than to be a housewife.
- n 1967, mothers who did not work outside the home were 49% of the U.S. population. By the turn of the millennium, they had dropped to just 23%. However, the proportion of stay-at-home moms has risen steadily for the past 15 years
- One researcher notes that consumerism has relegated the housewife into a “chauffeur and shopper.” Consumerism has divorced housewives from nature, from their communities, and from their creativity and ingenuity.
- A quarter of stay-at-home moms/housewives in the United States have college degrees.
- One researcher notes that one of the achievements of the women’s liberation movement was that it became possible for women to restart their careers again after taking time off to raise children. She notes that this is the real difference between the 1950s housewife and the 21st-century housewife.
- Stay-at-home moms report a higher percentage of depression than other women – 28% stay-at-home moms reported depression, compared to 17% of working moms.
National Day Calendar