I recently saw a debate on TV asking if housewives were lazy and the point was raised as to whether the role of being a housewife was actually a dated one.
Whilst I absolutely admire all women whatever path they choose once they have a child, I wanted to personally write and stick up for women who choose to stay at home and bring up their children as someone who has both worked long hours in gruelling jobs and been a stay at home mum.
The beauty of the modern world we live in is that we as women now have the choice. As this week marks the 100th anniversary of the suffrage movement I want to point out that being a housewife is still a very important role in a lot of households, and if it is their choice and what works best for their family, then surely it is the right choice.
My husband and I made the decision together that when our daughter was born in 2014 I would leave employment and become a full time mum and housewife. It suited us financially as my husband’s career supported the three of us and my wages at that time would have just paid for childcare, plus it suited us personally too. I didn’t want anybody else looking after her or teaching her things, I wanted to do it all.
I wanted to take her for days out and draw and paint with her, teach her to cook and learn different shapes and colours. I wanted to make play dates with other mums and take her to the beach when it was hot. I wanted to take her to visit family regularly and enjoy her first years. I feel blessed that I have made all of those memories and done so much with her.
I have friends who had no choice but to return to work after having a baby and we have had countless conversations about special events they have been unable to attend, how stressful arranging childcare in half term is, or that they simply feel they have missed out on spending precious time with their children.
On the flip-side I also have a family member who has an extremely busy career and would never for a moment have given it up to become a stay at home mother because it just wasn’t who she was. While I know many working mums would agree it is stressful arranging childcare, I also know they wouldn’t change it for the world.
When it is your choice to return to work then those stresses perhaps become insignificant as opposed to when you have no choice but to work.
That being said, I am now on the cusp of a new career in writing and find myself sitting at a computer desk in our home office trying to finish an article whilst also playing ‘mummies and babies’ with my nearly four year old. For the first time I am experiencing first hand just what it is like to try and juggle a home and work life and appreciate the difficulty so much more than I used to.
This career wouldn’t have happened were I not at home though so I am grateful that I was and that I was able to build my career in between being a mummy (which I was fully for the first two years of her life). I am also grateful that my work can still fit around my family, and while that isn’t always ideal at 10pm at night when I am tired and trying to finish a deadline, I wouldn’t change it.
So while many people may not choose to be at home full time can we celebrate the women that are, because just like a woman who is killing it in her career, these women at home are doing a bloody good job too. I will always be proud to be a housewife, and whatever path my career takes, next nothing will ever change that. I have whole heartedly cherished the four years I have spent at home bringing up my daughter and am proud of the young lady she has become because of my hard work.
Family life is hard no matter what your circumstances, so if what you’re doing is working for you, then surely that’s a good thing, right?