The importance of Homemakers
Making a home is a skill that seems to be lost on the majority of the most recent 3 generations, X, Y or Millennial, and Z. Sure, they have a place to live that they have decorated with the latest things to fill the space, but is it a home? Is it a place where people want to gather and spend time or is it just a stopping point on your way to somewhere else? Is your home somewhere that you are happy to come after a long day of work or does it cause you anxiety thinking about the pile of dishes or laundry you have sitting there that needs your attention as soon as you hit the door? Well that’s what a Homemaker does. We set up the home in a way that you want to spend time there. We arrange appointments in a way that they work with your schedule and maintain the home itself to the best of our abilities.
Without Homemakers, the family tends to struggles to keep up with the basics of day to day life and often end up spending a good portion of their “off time” from work, weekends and evenings, doing the things that could have been done during the week by a Homemaker, leaving them more free time to enjoy each other and their home.
Often times a Homemaker becomes a pillar of their extended family. They take on the duties of their own home, as well as the responsibilities of checking on the welfare of their older family members and helping out when they can. This can end up looking something like what I do by making time to spend with my dad by going to the gym every couple of days and the track when the weather permits. This helps to keep both of us physically well, and also helps with our mental health too since he is also considered a Homemaker now. More on that later.
I do wellness checks on my elderly neighbors and spend time just visiting with them so they have some human interaction. I also do various other things for extended family since I end up having the most “free time”.
Some Homemakers opt to have their extended family live with them, think The Waltons on this one. If you remember that show, the Walton family lived with the father’s parents, the mother and father and all of their kids. This type of extended family living was very common in times past and actually might be making a come back thanks to my Millennial generation. This type of living arrangement allowed for the parents to work, usually the father outside the home and the mother doing the daily maintenance of the home and family, while the grandparents or other extended family helped to care for the children.
A Homemaker is someone who cares deeply for their home and family and has their health and happiness in the front of their mind at all times. I know that this is true for me and my family at least.
What is a Homemaker
According to Merriam-Webster, a homemaker is “one who manages a household especially as a spouse and parent “. As a noun in the United States, a homemaker is “a wife who does work (such as sewing, cleaning, or cooking) at home and usually does not have another job outside the home”.
I would call this a good description of what a Homemaker is, but it’s just a start. A Homemaker is someone who takes a place, whether it be an apartment, a large estate or a suburban cul de sac, and makes it into a home where everyone that enters feels welcome and loved.
The title of Homemaker is still used in many parts of the world, but mainly in the United States to refer to either a man or woman who stays in the home to preform and oversee the daily activities of the home and those in it.
Homemaker or Housewife?
The terms Homemaker and Housewife can often be used interchangeably; however, the term Homemaker can also refer to what is called a Househusband. A Househusband is a man who stays home instead of his wife, but often preforms the same duties.
My experience with Housewives and Househusbands
I personally have experience with both Housewives and Househusbands. Both of my grandmothers and my babysitter, Aunt Donna, were all housewives. They were highly educated women who could do everything from throw an amazing birthday party on a ridiculously small budget to cooking a meal that would blow your mind. On top of these skills that are normally associated with Homemaking, they were also masters with money. It was up to them to ensure that everyone was fed and clothed, all the bills were paid, the money was there when a vehicle needed repairs and so much more. Their creativity still makes me look back in awe at how effortless they made it all seem. If it wasn’t for these women, I’m not totally sure I would have had the confidence to become a Housewife myself and I thank them everyday for the knowledge they passed down to me as a child, and my Grammy D. still continues to pass to me today.
My dad, who you have no doubtedly heard of by now if you follow this blog, was a Househusband for many years. He worked his entire life until I was 10, he was 41, and he had a massive heart attack and required a triple bypass surgery. After this incident, he and my mother decided that it was best for him to stay home with my brother and I while she continued to work as a nurse. That’s what he did until my junior year in college. He is now a proud Househusband again, officially retired from the conventional workforce, and we spend hours talking about what is going on with our homes and trying to out do each other…not that we are competitive in anyway, haha. He and my mother set an amazing example for me that even though a guy is super masculine in the best way, he must also have the ability to support his family in all ways, not just financially. I learned quite a few of the recipes and techniques I share in the Recipes section of this blog from him.
These amazing people gave up extremely promising carriers to be there for their families. My Grammy P., my dad’s mom, was one of the first Waves in the U.S. Navy during WWII and was one of the first female officers. She gave up this promising carrier when she met Grandpa in the messhall on base in Texas to have a family with him, because that was more important to her. My Grammy D., my mom’s mom, was educated as a teacher and eventually went back to working as an elementary school teacher once both of my aunts and uncle were grown and out on their own. She will tell you today that she has never regretted being able to take the time to raise her family and take care of them the way her and my Pap had always wanted.
It’s no a sacrifice if you enjoy what you are doing.
Basic skills needed to be a Homemaker?
The skills needed to be a homemaker vary depending on the needs of the family unit, however some skills are all but universal.
- Daily cooking, up to 3 meals per day. Edible preferred, lol!
- One of my best friends is a stay-at-home mom and she is renowned for her inability to cook anything but french fries and hot dogs. ❤
- Cleaning and maintenance of the home.
- This comes in many forms from doing the seasonal deep cleaning and everyday tidying, to the actual maintenance of the home, like fixing things and equipment, such as the washing machine and furnace.
- Coordinating family schedules.
- This includes appointments outside the home for all members of the family as well as scheduling family time and activities. This can be way harder than you think.
- How to clean, dry, fold and put away laundry on a regular schedule.
- Basic interior design
- Basically the ability to make a house look and feel like a home.
- Budgeting the family income
- Most families that choose to have a Homemaker give that spouse the responsibilities of a personal accountant. They get the money on paydays and are responsible for budgeting that money for bills, fun and leisure as well as savings and household maintenance among other things.
Basically, the responsibilities of a Homemaker are to care for and maintain the health and happiness of those who reside in the home, as well as the home itself.
For a more in depth look at a day in the life of a vintage (traditional) homemaker, check out Daily Schedule for the 50’s Housewife by The Vintage Housewife.
How much should a Homemaker earn in wages?
A Homemaker’s estimated wages vary depending on what their duties are in the home; however in 2011 Forbes reported that the average stay-at-home mom in the United States would have earned roughly $115,000 if she were to paid for all of the care and maintenance she gave to the household and family. I love their breakdown of the hours a stay-at-home mom works. If you eliminate the teaching hours and put blogger and handmade business owner instead, you have my situation. Get it Homemakers and stay-at-home moms and dads!
Forbes: Why Stay-At-Home Moms Should Earn A $115,000 Salary May 2, 2011.
According to the survey, the typical stay-at-home mom works almost 97 hours a week, spending 13.2 hours as a day-care teacher; 3.9 hours as household CEO; 7.6 hours as a psychologist; 14.1 hours as a chef; 15.4 as a housekeeper; 6.6 hours doing laundry; 9.5 hours as a PC-or-Mac operator; 10.7 hours as a facilities manager; 7.8 hours as a janitor and 7.8 hours driving the family Chevy.
5 Common misconceptions about Homemakers
Homemaking seems to be a lost art in 2019. It is a title that has been looked down upon in the modern era and the way we are treated is frankly irritating for most of us. When you meet someone new and they ask, “what do you do?” and you respond with, “I’m a Homemaker.” Their first response is normally something like, “But what do you Really do? I mean, with your time?”, “Don’t you want to feel fulfilled in life? How do you do that when you just stay home?” or my favorite, “The kids would be fine without you.” Really people? Have we come so fare from our traditional family unites of the pre-1970’s that we no longer even know what a Homemaker does? We don’t just sit around eating bonbons all day and doing nothing. We are some of the hardest workers you will ever come across.
Let’s look at the 5 most common misconceptions I’ve found, in my personal experience, about Homemakers.
- No, in fact you do not have to have children to be a Homemaker. Sometimes it just works out better for the family, husband and wife, for one of them to stay home. I’ll write a separate article about Josh and my situation specifically and link it here when it’s published.
- No, you don’t have to own your home or have a large piece of land to be a Homemaker. You can live in a tiny apartment in NYC and still be a Homemaker. It’s a state of mind and lifestyle, not a location.
- No, my husband is not executing his patriarchal powers over me and making me do this. It is my prerogative as his wife to stay at home and I am happy to do it.
- Yes, I do love my job. I work hard every day to ensure my family has the best and there is nothing more rewarding than sitting down at the end of the day and seeing the relaxed faces of those I love, knowing I’ve done my job well.
- Yes, I do work on side projects outside of the home, and I’m still a Homemaker. Just because I qualify myself as a Homemaker doesn’t mean that I am not educated or that I don’t have any self esteem. In fact, it’s the total opposite for most Homemakers I know in my generation, Millennial. Most of us are college educated women and men who have dreamed of being able to care for our families like our grandparents did.
For more myths, check out 7 myths of a Full Time Homemaker by Generation Cedar.
I hope that this helped to answer a few of your FAQs about Homemakers and what we actually do. If you have any questions or comments on this topic, please make sure to share them in the comments below. Let’s have a conversation.
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