November 3 has been marked as “Housewife’s Day”. It really should be called “Underappreciated Day” or something similar.
The site where I was reading about it, called “Days of the Year” (www.daysoftheyear.com) talks about how the origins are unknown. What is this, a treat yourself day before the winter holidays break loose?
Again, again, and again there are statistics about the uncounted for hours and monetary value of house work. Notice that the day is not “House Keeper’s Day”, that would mean something totally different. Also, this excludes the men who stay home to care for their families as well as LGBT families. Additionally, it leaves out the people who take care of ailing or sick family members.
House care and house work is a boring, tedious part of life. Ask any child or adult who does chores. Yes, some people thrive on chores and laundry yet most people cannot deal with the chaos that uncleaned houses brings.
As an EMT, walking in the front door of someone’s house immediately tells you what kind of person you are going to be dealing with. I’ve seen plenty of houses where the person has given up and they don’t care. There are also many, many people in less affluent areas where the houses are sparkling clean inside and you want to tip toe across their floors so as not to dirty them.
Also, my clients who are in transition come to me with the societal bias that their caregiving work means nothing towards their paid work and/ or professional skills, especially on a resume. I spend a lot of time talking with them about what they have done and in most cases do. People undervalue caregiving and daily maintenance work and what it takes to do this kind of work. People are running households on budgets comparable with those of a small business. People are leading civic groups and raising money for community projects that otherwise would not be funded. People are running small little mom and pop enterprises. All of this at the same time as being labeled a “housewife”.
So, the next time someone asks you “What do you do all day?” the answer should be “Let me show you my list”.