What It Really Means to Be a Homemaker
Have you decided to care for and manage your home while your partner works outside of the house? Many women and men make this decision willingly and purposefully. However, they’re often not recognized as authentic workers.
What about you? Are you still under the impression that running a home isn’t work? Today we want to take you on a journey that will help change your perceptions.
The history of the homemaker
Historically, women have had the responsibility of staying at home and taking care of the family. Cleaning, shopping, cooking and caring for the children were all tasks that belonged to mothers who didn’t have outside jobs.
In prehistoric times, men were more predisposed to tasks like hunting and fighting. This probably has to do with their physical strength and size. Meanwhile, the women stayed home.
The tasks that women fulfilled were limited to the area around their homes. They didn’t require as much physical strength as hunting and, of course, fighting.
That division of responsibility was intelligently designed to help families survive, literally. From that lifestyle evolved the idea that women were perfect for staying at home.
Social advances have allowed the homemaker‘s role not only to have a generic domination, but also to be considered a profession. Both men and women of the 21st century consciously decide to take responsibility for their homes and are true homemakers.
The meaning and functions of a homemaker
If we step away from conventionality, being a homemaker implies being owner and manager. A homemaker takes on the task of maintaining balance within the home. This doesn’t involve only cooking, cleaning, and shopping, but rather being aware of every detail related to the family and home.
Governing or managing household income is a task that is generally considered part of being a homemaker.
If there are children in the picture, then the homemaker has traditionally been the one to take care of them. Doing so doesn’t imply abandoning another task. Rather, it means adding to the long list of daily responsibilities.
Cleaning and maintaining the house, cooking, and providing all that’s necessary for the home are also part of being a homemaker. This role clearly implies being owner and manager of the household.
The choice to be a homemaker
Now, all this being said, why would someone choose to be a homemaker? Here are some of the main reasons:
- Difficulties in the job market that drive someone to stay at home, almost by obligation.
- The family members decided that it’s best for one of them to stay home and take care of the family.
- When it comes to raising children, one parent decides to be available and present as much as possible.
- In the case of unexpected events, it’s practical for someone to have an open and flexible schedule throughout the day.
- Fully managing a home requires interdisciplinary learning: Accounting, chemistry (in regards to cleaning products), culinary arts…
- You can quit this job at any time – there are no contracts or advanced notices required.
- This is a good and valid option for anyone who chooses it out of responsibility, maturity and free will.
Choosing to be a professional homemaker is a risky decision that’s hard to make in modern times. There’s a lot of pressure nowadays for individuals to make a career for themselves and have a “good” job.
Personal success has more to do with what one really needs and wants in order to be truly happy.
Being a homemaker is a career, a profession… even though there is no official recognition, title or pay. Just the same, society is starting to become more aware of the effort and skill that managing a home really requires.
November 3rd has been established as National Housewives Day in recognition of all the hard work that individuals put forth to care for their homes.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Criado, E. M. (2004). El valor de la buena madre: oficio de ama de casa, alimentación y salud entre las mujeres de clases populares. RES. Revista Española de Sociología, (4), 93-118. https://dialnet.unirioja.es/descarga/articulo/1220326.pdf