Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Term "Housewife" and What We Need to Add

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Today, I have some inner-musings about words for you all. There's your fair warning; you're about to read an opinion piece. But bear with me, and maybe (just maybe) you'll get a chuckle and your brain will churn. Ready? Grab that cup of Jo and let's get going!

Starting off with why I began down this line of thought.

This morning, I say to The Best Husband in the World, "You may have married the best housewife on the planet."
He says, "I know I did."
It made me smile. Then, it made me think about the term "housewife."

Here's the definition from Google: a married woman whose main occupation is caring for her family, managing household affairs, and doing housework.

Okay. There are women out there who want that to be their only occupation, and it's perfectly acceptable. Please note: I'm NOT bashing housewives. I think everyone should do precisely what makes them happy. 

So, being me (slightly neurotic and curious from head to toe), I did a Google search on another term: Working Housewife.

I gasped at the results. There's no such term! My heart stopped, and I glared at my iPhone screen. Not only is every housewife on the planet a working one, their jobs are often thankless. Still, you have those women who excel at running a household and managing a career.

What I found were articles like: Perfect 50s Housewife Myth Busted. Do You Want to Have a Working Wife or a Housewife? Is it Better to Have a Working Wife or Housewife When Raising Kids?

How dare they? What the hell is the world coming to? Was there crack involved in the writing of these articles?

Because, I assure you, there is such a thing as a Working Housewife.

Then, I reconsidered (because that's what we do when we try to make sense of something nonsensical and we're about to have a stroke), and I tore apart the definition, thinking of this part separately: Main Occupation--means that's what you consider your primary job.

I pondered. I struggled. I chewed my nails. Then, I did a search for the term "working." Here's what I got: having paid employment.

Paid. So one must be paid in order to be considered working. Need I tell you how, at that point, I really got my panties in a twist? Because I did. My knickers were wound so tightly, I was positive I'd start sneezing cotton any minute.


My blood pressure rising, my extremities tingling as the elastic tightened, I backtracked. Here's the definition of the noun: the action of doing work.

Slowly, my underwear released their restriction on my legs, and I was able to breathe again. I can guarantee every man on the planet would have kittens if their work in the yard or around the house wasn't considered work. While I still wasn't happy, I wondered if people actually considered a new term.

Now, I know a great number of women who do a great many things (from home) while taking care of their families. They manage to work from home, their houses and kids are clean, they pay all the bills, and they even manage (somehow) to cook a healthy meal most days.

Let's look at me! I do all of the above and run more than one business. I consider myself a housewife, but according to the definition, I'm not.

Because of the definition, I don't qualify. Neither do any of those other women I mentioned above.

I stand on my soapbox, teetering from one foot to the other, and hold up my sign today!

Redefine your preconceived notions!

We work. We're housewives (or housewomen). And there's nothing wrong with that. But I think we need a new definition.

Working Housewoman: a woman whose occupation is caring for her family, managing household affairs,  doing housework, and working from home.

My face is back to its usual color (I think), so I leave you with a question:
If you're a working housewoman, what do you do besides family?

I hope you got a little chuckle out of my predicament, and I hope you found my new definition suitable.

How would you change it?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!



  1. Did you consider looking for Stay at Home Mom vs. Work at Home Mom? The latter is a term I've seen bantered around a lot (as "housewife" appears to conjure up notions of the 50s woman in a poodle skirt baking pies)

  2. Haha, this post made me chuckle in spots! I always tell people I work from home and they act like I have the best deal ever. Ha! They also take it to mean I don't have real responsibilities and can be around to run any of their errands as needed.


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