Reasons I Am Unambiguously a 1950s Housewife

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  1. Things About Me That Annoy Even Me | Heather Christena Schmidt

    […] event. This may also have to do with the fact that I have little else to do with my time, or that I truly am a 1950s housewife – but regardless, I have let it go too far. I annoy myself over how much I worry about the […]

  2. LunaSunshine

    Seriously, I almost shouted “Thank god!”, aloud in my classroom. Thank you! Someone else finally gets what I’m saying about women’s inequalities! I have been going on about this for years, and extraordinarily naïve and or narrow-minded people have been attacking me at every corner!

    The women’s right movement didn’t “liberate” women from their lives of domestic servitude as much as it set a higher bar. Now, in addition to keeping up a Donna Reed-esque home, we’re expected to have a wildly successful career? Now, I’m all about contributing to my household, but that kind of pressure is something Wonder Woman cave under. It’s completely unjust and unbalanced.

    And to top all of that off, if a woman wants to have a wildly successful career, then they aren’t allowed to have a personal life in the business world. How do I know? Because I ended up getting fired from a job, shortly after I announced my pregnancy. Companies can’t trust a woman of child-bearing age, and don’t want to risk having to deal with things like “maternity leave”.

    I despise when my husband harps on me about how much I spend on care products. I’ll let you in on a secret. It likely doesn’t exceed $20 a month, at best. I dye my hair every 3-4 months, DIY. God forbid i buy a nail file! And I’m surely taking us to the poor house with my $3 exfoliant, $6 cleanser, $5 moisturizer, $6 contact solution, etc. And these are not regular purchses. More like quarterly.

    Seriously, men will complain if a woman “let herself go”. How does a man think I keep all of this shiny and gorgeous? I don’t just roll out of bed looking like this, obviously.

    I am nowhere near a housewife, honestly. I’m a part-time SAHM, part-time teacher. My house is usually cluttered with toys and clothes.

    But, there are still a few things that I do that are housewife worthy. I crochet. My son’s blankie was actually my first, incredibly botched attempt at an afghan when I was in my teens, only a year before I met my husband. I love baking, though I don’t do the cooking. I am always up before my husband, and I prepare his mornings for him. Like warm up the bathroom, put his tea on, things like that. I get the weather, Facebook, and news for him. Kind of the modern equivalent to fetching the paper.

    But like you, I won’t take shit from my husband, and he knows it. He doesn’t even try to give me shit, usually. He acknowledges that we are equals and parts of the whole family, each with a unique and important function. And that’s how it should be.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      Yes, I think it is terribly contradictory for a man to expect a woman to “not let herself go” and then also not allow her to spend the money to take care of herself without feeling terrible levels of guilt.

      A while ago, I had not dyed my hair in over a year and a half; had not gotten a decent haircut in as long as I could remember…looked like shit basically. I felt like it too so finally I just said “screw it” and I went to get my hair cut and colored. I was talking to the girl about how long it had been and she said ‘you know you are never going to feel good about yourself if you don’t take care of yourself.’ Truer words were never spoken. I sometimes think our culture wants women to feel bad about themselves for not working now.

      1. LunaSunshine

        You are absolutely right. A woman needs to take care of herself, not for men and eye candy, but for herself. To feel good about herself. And you’re right. There is a tide rising in our culture for women to feel bad about themselves for everything. For the way we look, because we’re not supermodels. For the way we work, because we’re not getting paid as well as a man, then I guess we’re not as good at our jobs. (Although I know we are better, to be honest). Or for the lack of paid work. Just because a woman is not getting paid does not mean she is working.

        In the days of old, the men went out to work, and the women weren’t just expected to stay home and care for children and keep house. They ran the entire family unit’s social life. They held fundraisers for the children, and put on dinner parties for their husband’s work. They had social lives. Do you still have a social life, because I know I don’t? These women were the glue of the community. This is why we don’t have concepts of family and community anymore. Because everything got gobbled up by the corporate machine.

        (Okay, don’t get me started on that).

  3. The Confluent Kitchen

    I am kind of like you in this. I feel like I am on the cusp of being a 50’s housewife. I do the cooking, cleaning, laundry, like to prepare a good meal, own an apron (albeit one with skulls) that I frequently wear. I do the cleaning and the cooking and all the other stuff myself because

    1) I like to do most of it.
    2) It won’t get done otherwise.

    (My homemade invitations would look “special” but not in a good way and knitting bores me to tears. I replace these things with gardening and cheese making.)

    I feel like the housewife is under appreciated. It takes a lot to keep a household together, and not many people outside those who do it on a daily basis really get that. I get lots of gratitude, but really I think, very little understanding of the volume of things that I typically accomplish.

    Kitchen fairies wash the dishes, elves fill his pill a day vitamin case, and what have you.

    Example: Around the holiday season, I would go to the post office and pick up packages that had been sent to my boyfriend, and mail off some gifts to family and friends.. At one point I was there so often that the man I usually spoke to actually asked me if I worked for my boyfriend.

    I’d like to think that the housewife is the ultimate executive assistant.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      I agree with you on that “won’t get done otherwise” … if I don’t unload the dishwasher, it just never gets unloaded! And I would LOVE an apron with skulls on it!

  4. JWo

    “Giving the what-for” very under utilized these days.

    But you’re right, my grandmother was always giving the what-for to my grandfather.

    She wouldn’t allow him to sit in the house until he changed his jeans. Guess what he did as soon as he came in… He changed his jeans. haha…

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      See, someone who understands!!

  5. Frugalistablog

    You said it!! You do NOT wear aprons everyday do you?

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      Oh my God, girl – I totally do. It’s disgusting, but really I just don’t want to get shit all over my cloths!

  6. pouringmyartout

    My oldest daughter, who is 21, combines 50s housewifeishness with crazy modernism… She dresses like Audry Hepburn. I think I could have done a lot worse…

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      I think this is a good description of me too, actually – housewife combined with crazy modernist! Love the dressing like Audry Hepburn!!

  7. beckytateblog

    You are fab, I have often thought that people living in the 50’s were so much happier than we are today and I think regardless of ‘A change in times’ or whatever you want to call it women still are expected to be the 50’s housewife as well as everything else.

    Good on you for doing it, I wish I had the energy to do it all.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      Thanks!! And I agree – people in the 50s were a lot more happier than we were … and look at everything they were going through post-war, and they were still happier!

      1. LunaSunshine

        I think women were happier when they had the choice during the war. They could stay at home, or they could work. I think we should have the same choice with the ability to have financial security and societal approval.

      2. Heather Christena Schmidt

        “Financial security and societal approval” minus guilt! I am so tired of all the guilting that is given (or attempted) on a housewife. Just the other day I bought a sweater and my husband said “oh, you spent money on a sweater… huh…” and I said “what’s the problem? We each get a certain amount of spending each month for ourselves…” HIS RESPONSE? “I thought it was assumed you would use yours for things around the house.” Really. I went out and bought jewelry with the rest of my February spending in retaliation for such a jerk face comment.

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