Do You Secretly Long to Be a Perfect Housewife?

A recent Los Angeles Times article reported on a growing new trend on the Internet: female bloggers who are writing about the virtues of being a stay-at-home wife and mother. A rising movement is trumpeting the virtues of old-fashioned family values, harkening back to the classic image of the “hard-working housewife” of the 1950s and 60s.

Should we chalk this up to too many “Mad Men” reruns, or is this the beginning of a real groundswell movement? In the 1970s and onward, women were encouraged to lead dual lives in the workplace and at home, and were told not only that they could, but should be able to juggle both roles. Dual-income families have not only become standard, but have largely become necessary in order to provide a decent standard of living, including house and car payments, college education funds, and so on. Especially in these hard economic times, it seems that having both parents in the workforce would be crucial to maintaining a stable household.

At the same time, though, many women have found the stress of living two lives to be too much, and that their children often suffer as a result of their absence. As the article reports, “Three-quarters of Americans believe both partners should contribute to the household income, according to a Pew Research Center study from October. Meanwhile, only 37% of mothers who work outside the home want to be working full time, that same study reported”

As exemplified by this new wave of bloggers – among them Wingspouse, Mrs. Lilien, and Taryn Cox the Wife – we can see that many women, especially women among the younger generation (most of these bloggers are around the age of 30 or younger), are feeling the pull of a more traditional lifestyle. From fashion styles to recipes to home event planning, these women are reviving the lost arts of the housewife.

Others, however, are highly critical of the idea, calling it a throwback to a pre-Women’s Lib time, when women were expected to be subservient to men and the domestic environment.

What do you think? Is it unrealistic to expect women to have both careers and families? How would you choose to arrange it? And furthermore… which role does destiny have in store for you?

25 thoughts on “Do You Secretly Long to Be a Perfect Housewife?

  1. cfurgison

    I don’t really think that either way is wrong. It is a personal choice and everyone has values that are different. For me, however, I do believe in being stay at home mom if your family is financially capable both for religious reasons, and also for the sake of our children. I also think it is very important for women to educate themselves. I very close to finishing my degree and already have one child in preschool. I plan on staying home again when I have another child (which we plan on doing soon). Some people think I am wasting my degree and that is fine, but If my husband dies or leaves me, I can still find a way to support my family on my own. It’s always good to have a back up plan, just make sure no matter what you decide to do that it is what you truly want because neither the working mom, nor the stay at home mom are jobs that are easy!

    Reply
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  3. L.A.

    Being a full time Mom/Wife/Maid/Chauffeur/Cook/Launderess is * NOT * – I repeat– ** NOT NOT ** the “cushy” job a working Mom thinks it will be! I was able to become a full time Mom when our little boy was born, and I still am, and very grateful I get the chance to be there for him, attend and help with his school stuff, etc. but it really is a 24/7 job. If I worked full time we would definitely hire a maid, or maybe a cook. I work part time while he is at school and I LOVE it. The extra income helps, and it gives me validation for my work ethic. Before our son was born, of course I worked full time, and my hubby helped with the chores. My time was my own (reading, bubble baths) after 5pm. Not so any more. I don’t regret our decision, I’m just saying think twice if you are delusional enough to think you can do it all perfectly. We all have our own stresses, whether it’s a working Mom trying to handle the home as well as her career, or a full time Mom juggling the demands of being responsible for everything and everybody.

    Reply
  4. Been there done that

    Well I was a stay at home mom that was the great part. My kids had a full time supervisor, on call nurse, cook, cleaning personal, counselor, mentor, blah, blah, blah. Then my husband threw a monkey wrench into everything and destroyed all of that. I all of a sudden had to support myself and a child when he left. SO the downside is you are just starting out in the work force with little to no experience making crappy wages. He left the country to “work” and pays nothing for any of us. Although I hear he is traveling the world without a problem living the high life while I struggle to make a living on little to nothing. SO MY ADVICE IS KEEP A PART TIME JOB AT LEAST LADIES……

    Reply
  5. Irish Girl

    To parents: kids grow up so fast … my advice is to be home with them as much as possible. I didn’t quit working to be home with my kids until my second (and last) child was nearly two, and now that she’s about to go off to college, I regret the time I didn’t have home with them. Money was tight for hubby and me, and I drove the same vehicle for 16 1/2 years! But no regrets about the time at home. When they were around middle school age I did substitute teaching for a few years, and saw the effect on some kids for not having enough time with their parents. Teachers have to take up the slack. If possible, be home with your kids or find work to do at home. Teach them that quality of life is better than the big house or fancy car. And a less stressed home is a happier home.

    Reply
  6. lisa

    I think that our children have suffered greatly. As a result we have kids carrying guns to school, random shootings, stabbings, beatings, robbings, and heavy drug use amongst our children. It you haven’t seen a change in our children from mothers not being there, when they get home from school, You Are Blind!!!
    They are begging for our attention and to feel our love. Instead they become angry teens. These angry teens will then be raising our next generation of children. I come from a family with 5 children. My mother did not work outside of the home. She was challenged everyday with something gone a rye with one of use. If she worked, she could not have been able to interrupted the direction in which we were headed. I think maybe we as women do need to take a step back and take a grander look at the future of our children, grandchildren and our world. Could I stay home and clean, cook and bake, and monitor my children closer, to change the direction of this world? I think so.

    Reply
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  8. Arden

    Love this article! Rock on “mama bloggers”!!!

    I definitely think that its wonderful both men and women have equal opportunities for careers and limitless potential financially but speaking from a young mother’s point of view, I do find it more important to be with your children as much as you can. I don’t think it’s fair for anyone to assume juggling motherhood and a full time career is practical… we’re not super human. Both of these tasks are incredibly draining and require an astronomical amount of time and devotion. I did work full time before I was a a mother but couldn’t imagine trying to do both, especially when they’re young and not in school. I do think that children and family should come before career and find it ridiculous that North America has made it impossible for a family to support itself on one income… unless that income surpasses 60-70k a year. Do what you have to in order to survive but try to be prepared and in a good position before you decide to pop babies out.

    All the power to the housewives out there! It is NOT an easy job and no one should ever say it is.

    Reply
  9. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi Jacqueline,

    Moving from Ozark mountains to ChainO’Lakes area in Southern Wisconsin…..best part, besides being with family & GrandBaby ( YEAH !!!!! ), is that my daughter & son-in-law live on a HUGE lake…..great fishing !!! Actually, the fishing is better up there I feel….. and I’m taking my animal-family with, of course.

    Just trading one area of country for another to be with family. I’ll still have garden and beautiful nature up there…..( I used to live up there and was involved with animal shelters up there too). It’s really pretty up there too.

    Sounds like your hubby is a happy hubby….. I learned years ago, that when one door closes, it’s usually for the better, as another door opens up to amazing new possibilities !

    I wish you well my friend…

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply
  10. Jacqueline x9472

    Hi Gina Rose,
    This is truly the best thing that can happen he is so much happier. Thanks for the produce offer, but since my husband has been layed off we have now chickens, turkeys, horses and a large garden to go along with my herbal medicine wheel garden, it’s a mini farm, (crazy)….

    Wow so a move, you are actually going to move from you home in the mountains, that makes me sad, but glad that you will be by your daughter, I know what you mean by letting go of all of the stuff, you just realize what am I doing? It truly boggs you down.

    Blessings and Big Hugs!
    Jacqueline x9472

    Reply
  11. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Dear Giovanna,
    You really make me smile…..you go girl !!!!!!!!! LOL

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply
  12. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi Jacqueline….

    I was sorry to hear your hubby was laid off……hope things turn around soon. But you are both are blessed as you “”” have each others’ back “”””” .

    Too bad you don’t live near me…..I’d be hauling over fresh produce from my garden !!!!

    Yes….I just commented to my daughter yesterday, while figuring out what I’m keeping and
    what I’m giving away or selling before I move up to be near her & her family…..you spend the first half of life acquiring ” stuff ” and the last half trying to get rid of stuff and lighten the load. LOL….

    I’ll probably just give it all away to those who need it….because it really is not important to me anymore.

    blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply
  13. Jacqueline x9472

    Hi Gina Rose,
    I agree with you about finding the real things in life that make you happy, I totally agree with you, you come to a point in your life where you look around and see all these things that have no spiritual connection, no life, just stuff….there is a time when you realize that life is about relationships, friendships gathered along the way, family, kids, grand-kids, those are the things that matter most in life, not the possessions but it’s the connection with the grandmother trees, the stone people, the animal nation, connection with spirit that matters most,its like sitting next to a stream fishing and listening to the water.

    This is what brings true happiness!
    Blessings and Big Hugs!
    Jacqueline x9472

    Reply
  14. Jacqueline x9472

    Hi Giovanna,

    I love your attitude, it is so important for everyone to be independent, I respect that, that is the basis for a good healthy relationship, no control, just balance….

    Blessings and Big Hugs!
    Jacqueline x9472

    Reply
  15. Giovanna x5214

    As a very independent woman with a feminist perspective (feminism in the respect of being multifaceted, not linear), I have not only kept my maiden name but have passed it down to my children as well. I was raised in a household where my mother was the breadwinner and took care of the house and my sister and I.

    Since being out on my own, I have followed in the same footsteps, even after my children were born. Since the age of 21 I’ve worked, went to school full time, participated in several weekly playdates with my children, their sports and school functions and actively work with kids in my community in various capacities.

    Women such as myself are choosing to accept a different balance of both the traditional and post-feminism qualities. I make my own decisions and those for my children and household as well. In many cases I am balancing the male and female roles in the household, but I DO however let it be known I am not relegated to ANY specific household duties simply because of my gender.

    If I don’t feel like cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, yard work, etc., I don’t do it and when asked to, my husband picks up the slack. I could never function in a traditional role, by choice or otherwise due to my rearing, opinions and personal beliefs.

    Thank goodness my hubby is laid back and flexible ! =)

    Reply
  16. Jacqueline x9472

    Hi Gina Rose,

    My sweet husband has been effected by the loss of work so he is our stay at home dad, it is so funny to watch, (thank goodness he doesn’t read this) bless them they have been thrown into this role with no training, but weather it be mom or dad it still can be very rewarding and fulfilling for the children as well as them-self.

    My heart goes out to the single moms who have to carry all this financial burdens with no support that tough….

    Blessings and Big Hugs!
    Jacqueline x9472

    Reply
  17. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi Jacqueline,
    I think it’s unfortunate that many women are being thrust into that position by situations beyond their control………most because of being single Moms, no or repeatedly late child support $$$$$, Dads being laid off…..etc.

    I like what you said about dads staying home ( that’s a great help to the working Mother )….reminded me of the movie “” Mr.Mom “” …he he….

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply
  18. Jacqueline x9472

    Hello,

    Very thought provoking article, I was been the stay at home mom, I have also been the single working mom, I support woman for what-ever they want to do weather it be stay home with the kids or enter the corporate world and choose to raise a family and juggle the laundry, bills and baby bottle it’s not easy at all my hats off to you!

    There also has been a growing new trend within the house hold that as the economy has changes their isn’t as many male jobs available as there once was, this has caused there to be a rising increase in stay at home dads, I must say sometimes they do a great job, Kudos to them, there approach sometimes is a little different but non the less very effective.

    Blessings and Big Hugs!
    Jacqueline x9472

    Reply
  19. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    AND…..all the ” perks ” and ” stuff ” is good for nothing if you are too busy working to enjoy the fruits of your hard labor. When I was corporate, I had a beautiful shiny black corvette parked in my garage that I never really had time to drive…..so what good was it ?

    But, it’s the missed memories that cannot be replaced…..now, as a GrandMother…..I’m enjoying the simple things like I never could before. Forget the fancy cars, fancy clothes,….give me a fishing rod and good fishing hole, a nice summer day…..and I’m on cloud nine! And building memories now with my daughter and her family gives me great joy.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply
  20. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Dear Kathi,
    I couldn’t agree with you more……when I left the corporate field….MANY around me couldn’t understand why…….but a Psychiatrist MD that I’ve read for now for years understood why……The doc & I figured out all the hours I spent running that corporation and came up with the fact that I went thru the equalivent of medical school not once, but TWICE, in 12 years. Not to mention the stress factor involved.

    Looking back now, no, I would not be so keen as to ” blaze that trail ” again.

    AND, when I turned ALL of my attention to the psychic field, which is what I was groomed to do from childhood, I actually made more $$$. Because I was finally walking my Karmic path in totality. Plus I had more time to spend with my daughter & husband…….when he was home. My husband, of 32 years, was an FBI agent.
    When I was approached , as a psychic,to do my own TV show…on seperate occassions I said no, loud & clear…..did not want to head down a busy path like that.
    NO !!!!! amount of $$$ , or fame,could persuade me to give up the peace & tranquility of what I had found by just practicing as an independent psychic who chose to stay out of the limelight.

    Before the corporate ” gig ” I managed a no-kill shelter….but that to me was fun not work…nothing like managing a corporation of hundreds of people.

    No…..I would NOT repeat that now…..but with age comes wisdom, and hindsight truly is 20/20.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply
  21. Kathi the wingspouse

    Women shoudn’t have to earn a paycheck to prove they have value. That’s what the wingspouse concept is all about. I tried juggling the job and family and it was unhealthy. When I left my career I was treated like a failure. I was still the same person who earned a college degree, wrote programming manuals, and supported more accounting software packages than I could count… but for some reason others (mostly women, I might add) tried to strip me of my credentials. That paycheck seemed to be the measuring stick for success and I wasn’t going to stand for that.

    Using my skills in my husband’s career not only gave me an opportunity to enjoy challenges and learn new skills, but it gave me a window into my husband’s daily stress. It also gave my husband an edge. We started to appreciate each other more and get irritated less. Now I’m heading into the second phase of my life prepared to become an entrepreneur. My husband is doing some of the supportive things I used to do for him and the tables are turning. Isn’t THIS what we (women) have been asking for?

    Reply
  22. misskrystalmisskrystal

    When I was in college, I was a part-time nursery school teacher. This was in the late 80’s and early 90’s. I taught the afternoon shift, and would be there, when the parents would come to pick up the kids at the end of the day. The mom’s who did not work, would want to stay for a while and chat with me, and were more friendly. While the working moms would come in and always rush, even with pats on the back and big smiles. Different lives….
    Miss Krystal

    Reply
  23. misskrystalmisskrystal

    My mom stayed home with us, even with her earned degree in teaching. It’s a mixed bag for her now.
    She is glad that she was there for us, but does wish she would have went back to work when I was a teenager. Miss Krystal

    Reply
  24. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi,
    I’ve held down 3 careers at once for over 10 years …..

    I was a wife & mother, did professional psychic readings , since childhood,…. AND was a high level executive in the corporate world for 12 years….. I was the first woman in a male dominated field AND the youngest to ever climb to that position of authority in that corporation ( something I’m very proud of ), and was involved in highly classified military defense programs at the time .

    Would I do it again…..probably NOT!!!!! . Only because I missed out on alot of ” memories ” and ” me ” time.
    Thankfully, my daughter turned out to be happy and well-adjusted…..but I feel I got ” lucky ” there.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    PS…. In my next life I’m returning as one of my pets…..who do absolutely nothing and are spoiled rotten…LOL

    Reply
  25. maryannex9146Maryanne Ext. 9146

    Hi,

    Excellent article, particularly for these busy days. For me, I find and have found since my early 20’s that fulfilling both roles is extremely time-consuming and pretty difficult. Perhaps others find that there is a combination of efforts from other household members in laundry, cleaning, meal preparation, shopping, but I truly believe that combination of efforts is pretty rare.

    I some dear friends who I grew up with since before kindergarten who are and have always been stay at home wives and mothers. I must say that they are very, very content with their lives and do an excellent job.

    My belief is that somewhere along the line the thought may have been that females CAN choose to have careers, become executives or mountain climbers OR choose to be traditional stay at home moms and housewives. Once again, just my belief, but some wires got crossed in the translation of this thought process as I seriously question whether the thought was that females needed to do Both rather than have free choice of one type of lifestyle or the other.

    Certainly, during these extreme economic times everyone who can may be trying to bring some income into the household, but it does seem ludicrous to think that one person needs to perform 2 full-time jobs.

    Thanks again for a great article,

    Sincerely,

    Maryanne
    Ext. 9146

    Reply

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