Parent responsibility is a biggie. In the daily household stuff, more often it will be the mum’s responsibility. However in some cases dads are the driver of the household routine with mum going to work.
There are children to get to school, babies to feed, meals to prepare. Hot soups in winter and slow cooked pulled pork. Salads abound for summer. Shopping is constant – a massive once a week shop, or it might be home delivered to save time. Cleaning, fixing and mending are endless tasks – and that is just indoors. Outside needs mowing and weeds need pulling. Plants need planting and trees needing trimming. Roses need to be pruned and the pool needs cleaning.
As a mother, we sometimes bust our gut making everything work. Often forgoing our time for the family and/or partner. In the 1950s it was called the ‘Burnt Chop Syndrome’ where mum, the housewife, would get the smallest portion or the ‘burnt chop’. Most would be cooking, cleaning, scrubbing and caring for everyone else and her time out was small. Unfortunately, it’s often still the case today, 60 years down the track. Mums still tend to go for smaller portions. Consciously we are comfortable, it’s supporting our family. However the more we continue, the more we lose small amounts of drive, self-esteem/confidence, desire, enthusiasm, love of life, patience and can easily spiral out of control. Frustration, sadness, anger, loneliness, pressure, stress and resentfulness can slowly creep in. Being aware of how we feel about what is happening is key to being our best.
The dictionary meaning of “Housewife” is “a married woman whose main occupation is caring for her family, managing household affairs, and doing housework. The traditional division of labour between the husband as breadwinner and wife as housewife”.
Being a dedicated housewife/husband is a worthwhile and fulfilling job. However, sometimes society looks upon it unfavourably, wondering why we aren’t working and finanically supporting the family? Society also supports the push to have debt we cannot afford. Society supports materialism and keeping up with the Joneses with interest-free promotions or credit card juggling for debt. Being a housewife is a connected, nurturing and fulfilling job. Situations occur where we are unable to do it full-time because additional income is important based on lifestyle choices. Some stay-at-home mums/dads create fun and inspiring job titles for themselves. CEO of the Household, Domestic Engineer, Home Economist, Family Manager, Homemaker and Lady of the House. Roseanne Barr calls herself a “domestic goddess”. Whatever we want to call ourselves is whatever we want to call ourselves because it is only our business. Society also suggests equality and shared responsibility with children and housework. This is okay, if both parties agree and boundaries are put in place as it provides a frame for communicating any challenges.
Being the best housewife/domestic engineer, is about caring the best we can for our family and ourself. We may only be able to be a part-time housewife however we are still the housewife. Having a positive mindset supports our energy and we are fun to be around, we are better role-models to our children/partner and we are happier. We then get to spend time on ‘us’. We are the most important person in our life and today is the first day of the rest of our life, therefore change is our responsibility.
How does this quirky poem sit with you?: “Spoil him. Forget this so called new-age stuff! If he’s hungry, feed him! House a mess? Clean it! His clothes are dirty, wash them! He’s had a long day, rub his back and give him some love and affection! He’s stressed, just leave him be and pray for him! There is absolutely nothing wrong with catering to YOUR man! Do not let some-new age, bitter single chick tell you otherwise.” – Anonymous.
Five ways to support the ‘House-Person’
- Have a list of small/medium/large jobs for the family and reward your partner/husband/children for achieving those jobs
- Take time for self. Meditate, sit for a moment, have a cuppa and listen
- Do housework to music while you consider the goals you want to achieve. Dream massively and manifest
- Communicate your feelings, ask questions to assess where everyone is at (this is important to know)
- Take a retreat just for you
“Being a housewife and a mother is the biggest job in the world but if it doesn’t interest you, don’t do it – I would have made a terrible mother.” – Katherine Hepburn