When I reminisce about my childhood, I feel so much gratitude that my mom was always there. If I wanted to do an extracurricular activity, for instance, I never had to balance that desire with her schedule or availability. As a housewife by choice, she prioritized both my needs and my interests. For this, I have always been thankful.
But once I grew older and started my own family, I found my mother’s sacrifice to be, well, priceless. She could have chosen to work in any business sector, making all sorts of impacts and contributions. Yet she viewed her constant presence in her children’s lives as most important. And while the role of women in society has changed, some still consider being a housewife their life’s purpose.
It was common in the past for women to stay at home and take care of the household, while their male partners earned an income. But today, more women are leaving their stamp on the workforce. Some are even the sole breadwinner of their families. As women continue to enter business leadership roles or launch their own companies, it begs the question: Are housewives relevant, or even necessary, in 2023?
The Shifting Opportunities for Women
Before we delve into the importance of housewives, we must understand the shifting role of women in modern society. In the past, women were not encouraged to pursue a higher education or enter the workforce. This mindset has changed drastically. Not only are more women advancing their educational and professional ambitions, but many men no longer want to be the sole financial providers. After all, it’s almost impossible to function as a single-income household in this economy.
With more opportunities available now, women are proving they can do it all. However, it’s not easy to balance a career with raising children and taking care of a home. This can be incredibly stressful for women. As a result, many either leave the workforce to become stay-at-home moms, or they opt for a child-free life altogether.
The Role of Modern Housewives
Housewives do play a crucial role in society, and their contributions cannot be overlooked. Housewives are responsible for all household activities, from cooking meals and cleaning, to running errands and caring for their children. By performing these tasks, housewives free up their partner’s time, allowing them to focus on a career.
Moreover, the logistical and relational benefits that housewives provide for their families speak volumes. Because they do not work outside the home, they have the margin to show up in all sorts of ways for their children and partners. Here are a few examples:
- Offer healthy emotional support
- Coordinate all family activities
- Be present for every childhood milestone
- Alleviate the burden of paying for childcare
The Importance of Housewives
Housewives are not only beneficial—they are invaluable. The ability to parent in such an attentive, hands-on magnitude will create secure attachments between mother and child. As Very Well Family reports, “Studies have found that children who spend a large amount [of time] in daycare experience high stress levels, particularly at times of transition, like drop-off and pick-up.” For many women, the emotional and cognitive benefits of staying at home with their families far outweigh professional ambitions.
Stay-at-home moms can reduce their children’s levels of anxiety or stress by raising them in a safe, familiar environment until those children reach school age. Whether the mother’s decision to be a housewife stems from finances or pure desire, taking on the role of a child’s primary caregiver is beneficial for their long-term development.
So…Are Housewives Still Relevant?
Now, let’s circle back to the question we began with: Are housewives still relevant and necessary in 2023? The short answer is, “Yes.” But it also hinges on certain variables, such as income factors or lifestyle needs.
For instance, many mothers who choose be housewives can experience isolation or even depression from the lack of social interaction with other adults. As such, some women choose not to pursue the stay-at-home life because of their mental health.
But for those who desire the role of a housewife—and have spouses who earn enough to financially support their families—that “Yes” is resounding. Housewives are necessary, and their role is just as important as any career. Many would argue it’s actually one of the most essential vocations. Housewives offer a service that cannot be replaced.
Housewife Contributions by the Numbers
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the average annual income for women is just over $47,000. Whereas, in most metropolitan areas, the cost of childcare is almost $20,000. When we calculate that price, along with food, clothes, school supplies, gas, or other miscellaneous costs, it isn’t practical for many women to work outside the home.
Finances aside, we must account for the intangible benefits as well. Housewives are often the emotional backbone of their families. They create a comfortable, secure home environment. They also instill their children with the care and attention required for healthy development, allowing those children to grow into successful adults.
Moreover, the role of a housewife is not confined to just the household itself. Many stay-at-home moms also contribute to their communities. They volunteer at local organizations and in the classroom at their child’s school. They are also present and available to their partners, which is crucial for a flourishing relationship.
In the end, we can’t deny the enormous contributions and overall significance of housewives. Their efforts deserve recognition and appreciation, so it’s essential for society at large to support housewives and ensure they have the resources to thrive.
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Peaches Dean is a parenting coach and writer/author. She uses her decade of experience in working with children and families to fuel her passion for writing. Her goal is to empower women in their life’s journey, especially as it pertains to parenting.
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