The Real Stay at Home Mom
In researching this topic I came across many websites that pretend to be the voice of stay-at-home moms. I say pretend, because my interviews with real stay-at-home moms was completely at odds with what these supposed websites were saying. But, I don’t know if it is a sign of the times or just that we Americans desire to be pampered. All of these websites simply coddled their would be participants.
Let me explore the notion for a second. I think it begins with the general casualness that pervades American society today. Everyone treats marriage like it is a casual and fun thing. That is why the question and argument of gay marriage becomes so ironic, because marriage is treated as a farce these days. Nowhere do you hear about real marriage. People jump into marriage like they jump into bed with each other or jump into a vacation. In fact, I think people plan out a vacation more than they plan out their marriage. I dare you to ask 10 people which they planned more, their marriage or their last vacation.
Marriage is a man dedicating his life and soul to a woman and a woman dedicating her life and soul to a man. That is why the Supreme court held that a husband and wife cannot be compelled to testify against each other. [BLAU v. UNITED STATES, 340 U.S. 332 (1951)] [WOLFLE v. U.S., 291 U.S. 7 (1934)] The law of the land understands or believes that a married couple would die for each other. A man giving up his life to save his wife, does so, not just to protect her, but also to keep the family going in his absence, namely if he has children. The seriousness of marriage has all but vanished these days. Once people understand what marriage is, then we have a solid basis to build on the roles of each person in the marriage. My point is, if you are not of the mind to dedicate yourself, mind and body to a man, how then can you dedicate yourself to maintaining his household. Love is not finding someone to live with; it’s finding someone whom you can’t live without.
If you jumped into marriage, then this entire article is useless to you. I won’t pass judgment on you, but why read a serious article about being a housewife, when you don’t even care about the basis of your relationship with your husband. Being a housewife, in my opinion, is a very serious endeavor and I will explain why next.
What Is a Housewife / Stay-at-home Mother
Like I said above, marriage is a complete dedication of life and soul, one to another, husband and wife. Ok! If the man is going to go out and make a living, for money, and you’re going to stay at home, what do you bring to the table? This is the reason those other websites pissed me off. The entire scope of their website was: housewife = cleaning, coupons, and soccer mom. I think that is outrageous. And, reading countless forums of women talking went along these pampered lines: “oh, I can’t clean and listen to the baby cry at the same time!” “oh dear, I have it so hard, I have to drop off my daughter to flute practice AND go shopping, whatever will I do?”
I literally spent all month reading website after website, forum after forum of this whining. They have no clue what a housewife is. This is just laziness at its best. In fact, I think that is all they think being a housewife is. They think cooking and cleaning makes them a housewife. They think dropping kids off to soccer practice makes them a housewife. No no, that’s called a maid and a chauffeur. A housewife is something completely different.
I wanted to make sure those of you reading my blog understand that if you cook and clean you are not confused with what a housewife is. In fact, I advised a friend I was going to write this article and he pressed me for details. At first I was confused why he was so interested, and it confused me why he became angrier and angrier as I mentioned the other websites. It all became clear when he revealed he is a single parent and he did everything I am about to describe and found it a double standard that there are not websites dedicated to single-fathers. And, let me take this opportunity to let you know, I cook and clean and I do all the rest of what I am about to describe to you. I do not want to hear any of you say, “but no one does all that.” I do it, and I am a man. My mother did it. My aunts and uncles did it. My grandmother did it. Some things I picked up along the way from white women whom I assume did it too, since they taught me. [I specified white women here, because I was under the impression that only Black women and Black families do this.]
What is a housewife:
Being a housewife means you are in charge of the hearth, the home. You dedicate yourself to making the family prosperous. You not only stretch the dollars the man brings in, but you make the home nearly self-sufficient.
Well what does that mean? That means you are in charge of nearly making your husband’s salary obsolete.
I bet a few of you stood up in your chair straight on that one. In this economy many people are desperate to stretch a dollar. However, we have been so pampered, that the real meaning of stretching a dollar is not only not known, but when you explain it, it is not welcomed.
Why do all that work, when you can just pay for it? If that is your attitude, you can stop reading this right now.
Remember, for decades women complained that the husband didn’t appreciate ALL that they did in the home. STOP! What all did they do in the home, is the real question. Cooking and cleaning is not all that difficult. That could not possible be what they were complaining about. [read on and I’ll shock you with what real housewives did.]
Growing Trend of Women Leaving the Workforce
It is now all over the news. Studies and newspapers are showing that women entering the workforce peeked in the 90’s and has been dropping since then. Couples have sat down and calculated all of the expenses of just what the wife spends to go to work versus what they could save if she stayed home.
These expenses included:
- a second car
- more gas
- work clothes
- eating out while at work
- eating out in case she didn’t want to cook after work
- other expenses you naturally accumulate because you don’t have the time nor inclination to do them yourself. [ explained below ]
I mentioned in another article about the tremendous expenses we have these days and how the second income has not helped the family out. These expenses are completely eating up the second income. Mothers are finding that they are literally working just to pay for daycare. Now add on all the other expenses on top of daycare. It is nonsense that a couple in that situation has not sat down and calculated dollar by dollar what they are shelling out.
Do not misunderstand me! I could care less if women worked or stayed at home. I care only if a couple is being stupid and losing money unnecessarily, due to some notion of equality among the sexes. My chief goal right now, is to wake America up and see that the common citizen can do for themselves and not depend on someone else’s goods and services who is only concerned with bleeding every red cent out of you.
That being said, what if the expenses are not more than your salary, but your children: are running wild because you have a job; having mental breakdowns; doing poorly in school; getting into serious trouble. You might need to think really hard if you working to make an extra measly $5,000 a year after expenses, at the expense of your child’s and family’s well being is worth it. Don’t spoil the ship for a ha’p’orth of tar.
Besides, I am about to show you how you can save 80% of your costs.
What a Real Housewife Did
I interviewed about a hundred mothers and / or families and asked them what a housewife did back in the day. This is the culmination of all of their advice. Some of them just had no clue, but a lot of them were invaluable to this article.
Being a housewife is completely dedicating your life to the success of your family and home. You are not just cleaning. If you think that is the extent of it, you are… a big poopy head. A housewife is the sole person in charge of home economics.
That sounds mundane doesn’t it? But, let’s look at the definition of it.
Home economics is a field of formal study including such topics as consumer education, institutional management, interior design, home furnishing, cleaning, handicrafts, sewing, clothing and textiles, cooking, nutrition, food preservation, hygiene, child development, and family relationships.
Woah, that now sounds a bit more daunting and serious doesn’t it? This is a very vast and serious field. This is the job of the housewife. This is how you stretch every dollar your husband brings in and eliminate 80% of the current expenses we normally see.
We all talk about and hear on the news about this throw away society. But, how many people are spending hundreds of dollars on: handmade quilts, handmade purses, handmade dresses, homemade jelly and jam preserves, homemade food from scratch? We are suddenly realizing that the stuff sitting on the shelf in the supermarkets are poisonous to us and giving us cancer. 60 years ago no one had cancer, now it is everywhere. Do you want to sentence your family to lifelong diseases?
The very best and most expensive things today are “hand made”. Think about this – the most expensive clothing in the world, haute couture is hand made.
Haute Couture – refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. Haute couture is made to order for a specific customer, and it is usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail and finish, often using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques.
These are dresses that sell for a quarter of a million dollars each. No machines ever touch the garment. Even the word couture means hand sewn. What makes them so expensive is not only that they are sewn by hand, but are sewn exclusively to fit one single woman.
So what did a housewife do to stretch those dollars and dedicate herself to her family
1. they made the clothes by hand that everyone in the family wore. That could be as basic as weaving thread, weaving cloth, weaving carpets. It would at the least mean she knitted baby clothes, doilies, tablecloths and crocheting items such as blankets, hats and sweaters. Much more elaborate things would include sewing dresses, handbags, drapes, quilts and suits, or even gowns.
If you don’t make your own cloth, you could buy the cloth for cheap and make fabulous designer wear for the home and family on the cheap. Remember also that hand sewn items would last for generations. A hand sewn item is of far superior quality than what you find in any store. Also, sewing your own items means you never have to suffer through not finding your shape and size. The best quality would be sewing by hand. A step down from there is sewing by machine. People seem to confuse the two. My oldest aunt sewed even her daughters wedding dresses. [ 3 daughters ]
2. they did their own hair and nails. They did the hair and nails of the entire family as well. If you can recall, several products tried to capture that market of home hair care, by catering to the mother/father barber.
Doing the hair and nails of your family could literally save thousands of dollars. Now you can even buy the very products and tools the professionals use from outlet stores that were intended for professionals. Most women know exactly how to do hair and nails. Going to the salon was just a bit of laziness. This then is just dedicating yourself to not spending money when you don’t have to. If you’re in a hole, stop digging.
3. Right now there is a huge controversy over health care. The fact is the housewife and generations of housewives took care of nearly 90% of all ailments at home. Eating from the earth, however meant there were not all the illnesses we have today.
First dedicate yourself to buying foods directly from local organic [non-pesticide, non-hormone, non-genetically altered food] growers directly. This will cut out probably 70% of the illnesses you and your children suffer from. That being said, you would need to gather and practice home remedies. You should even keep a home remedy diary. Remember, the common man always took care of his own health for thousands of years. This whole “doctor” thing is extremely recent. Health is wealth.
The women I interviewed said they never went to the doctor unless it was life threatening or a bone breaking injury. Cutting off cysts and sewing perfect stitches on cuts is the purview of a mother, not a doctor. They also hardly ever went to a dentist. Why? Because, not eating all that sugar meant their teeth were nearly perfect. Dentist ask you to come in for a cleaning. What is a cleaning? They literally brush your teeth and remove plaque. We already have, these days, plaque removing substances and equipment you can buy yourself. Again, if you’re eating from the earth, that sugar doesn’t build up on your teeth. Also, remember to get a NON-FLUORIDE toothpaste. Sodium fluoride is a toxic substance. People are finally waking up that sodium fluoride is a life threatening substance. Putting it in toothpaste and water was the worst possible thing they could have done. I personally use toothpaste I made myself. The recipe is found in one of my previous blogs: Shakaama Live; Market Biz News; Gain Muscle Lose Fat. This way I can be assured my teeth are being properly cleaned and I’m not ingesting toxic substances. Many toothpastes come with a warning not to ingest the toothpaste. That has to be scary to you as person and a mom. My family told me of a home remedy to cure the common cold. It involved blackdraft, turpentine, sugar and asphidity. In fact if you Google asphidity alone, you’ll find countless sites talking about it as curing colds and coughs.
4. housewives used to raise their own food. Even the city folk had vegetable gardens. But, if you have even an acre of land, you’ll find your home might be zoned to raise livestock. My mother lives in such an area. And, she live in one of the larger cities, not even the suburbs, right smack dab in the middle of the city. If you live in the country then, you really have no excuse. They used to raise 80% of their own foods: eggs, bread, cakes, butter, vegetables, meats [ cured hog meat in their smoke house twice a year] [cows sent to butcher and then frozen for storage] In the south they could grow a cash crop like cotton, just to trade in for extra money. With that they could buy sugar, flour, rice and fruits. Depending on your climate, you might be able to grow rice and fruit yourself. Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.
5. Usually the housewife had more than enough food, since the earth produces so much food. And fresh items can be stretched far and wide. They would give to those who were needy in the area. Everyone did this, not just some charity [which usually swindles most of the money anyway] This takes you knowing your neighbors.
In one of my interviews, I was told of a story where a local woman had not been seen, but was assumed to be in her house with her children, for 6 weeks. Someone just happened to mention it to an aid worker. The aid worker went into the house and found the woman and children all nearly dead. She did not want to ask anyone for food nor money so she just sat in her house with her children, expecting to die. This would never happen before. And, if there was a needy family in the area, everyone donated what they could, all the time. It was a part of their lifestyle. It is the same as picking up something for a friend that you just thought of. In fact, to this day when I go shopping I, out of habit, always get more, just in case someone stops by unannounced.
6. The husband, [you meant to tell me the husband has a part in this too?] would walk to work. My grandfather walked 6 miles to work every day. They did not own a car. And, all the children walked to school. They walked to the store. Everyone was much healthier back then also. I do not own a car. I did. I have owned three vehicles so far. Now, I walk everywhere. And, it is not just small distances. I walk pretty far, on a regular basis. I would say 6 mile round trip distances. In fact, I got to my last couple of jobs by bike.
7. Another way the entire family benefited, was that land was passed down. You gave your house to your children. Your father gave you, the house when he died. He received his house from his father, or mother. So the family wealth grew. With no mortgage, how far could the husband’s income be stretched? My family did not know what a mortgage was. No one had to take out a loan for a home. In fact, not even 60 years ago, people still saved up and bought a house. It was a purchase, not an expense. The matriarch of the family then becomes integral to the passing of land from one generation to the next. [normally the wife outlives the husband] She in turn is cared for by the heirs of the family.
8. Not so much under the control of a housewife, but you could setup your situation like this, if it is available in your area. Way back when, people were taxed once a year on house. They had gas stoves that ran on a huge tank of gas buried or sitting on the property that was filled once a year. They had a wood stove to heat the house. In my own city people still heat their houses from the fireplace. There was no water bill. This was due to not being on the water grid. Therefore there was not this plumbing tax, which is essentially what it is. You’re not paying for the water, they get the water for free. You can still achieve this by getting your water from your own property from a well. There was no garbage tax. People would go to the garbage dump to dump their own trash. [this is very doable now since nearly everyone owns an SUV or truck.] There was no sewage tax, instead people had a septic tank on their property, which was pumped out once a year.
I want you to think about this for a second. All of the items mentioned in #8 were done by private companies, not the city. When the city took these things over, everyone’s taxes went up tenfold. All of those private companies were put out of business. And the cost the city charged, for doing the same service the private companies used to do, was double if not triple. There is no law that says you cannot have a septic tank and well on your property. If you are planning out your next house, I whole-heartedly advise you to do this and make sure you go to an area where you can reap the benefits of self sufficiency.
9. When the wife would have children, the grandmother would come to take care of child(ren) and wife. It was always understood that the mother must fully recover after child birth. Also in taking care of the babies they used cloth diapers. You literally saved tens of thousands of dollars compared to plastic diapers. Plastic diapers would give babies full blown sores. The diaper service would come pick up the dirty diapers for you and drop off new clean diapers. This is if you didn’t care to wash your own diapers. However the expense of the diaper service did not compare to the ridiculous expense of plastic diapers. Diaper services went away when plastic diapers became more popular.
A new trend shows women are turning back to cloth diapers and have realized what a waste, both in money and landfill garbage, plastic diapers are. A young couple could buy cloth diapers and use them for all of their upcoming children and be done with the expense. Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.
10. the housewife engaged in trade a lot more than shelling out cold hard cash. These trades could be for product for product: I’ll make you 3 quilts if you provide me milk for my newborn. [can you imagine how much money that would save] She might cook and provide meals for workers whom she wanted to do work on the house. Finally she could provide a combination of both trade and money for work done for her, or even she might work for food, or foodstuffs.
People still trade to this day. I think it is probably the most honest form of barter there is. Bartering your services [i.e. work] or products for money is not always an even deal. With a trade bartering system, nearly everyone is satisfied. Now, I am talking moreso about trading for goods like food, clothing, cloth, furniture or tools. A lot of times, you have something that the other party actually needs more than money. Let’s say your husband hunts and the farmer wants deer meat. He can’t get that from the supermarket, but he can get it from your husband. Let’s say the local farmer would cherish and prize your hand made quilts. He cannot get that from the supermarket, but he can get it from you. People these days do not realize that this whole “economy” thing does not need to go, like the people in Washington want it to go. If you get into the habit of sewing, knitting, and crocheting, you can get into trading much more readily than if you only brought cash. If you got into cooking from scratch, people would cherish that more than just money.
11. I touched on this briefly above, but housewives used to visit their neighbors. They always had food for their visits. It was a great time to share not only stories and gossip, but recipes and home remedies. If someone needed to come out of the rain, they could come visit. If someone was sick, they would come over and bring food and watch after the kids until the person got back on their feet. Kindness, like grain, increase by sowing.
Let me share a story with you. Understand I was raised to be neighborly. I visited my cousin once, and I was staying there while I had some small job. One night I came home and he wasn’t there. The entire family was gone. Next door to him, I knew, lived his old high school football coach. That night, it was deathly cold outside. I went to the coaches house and asked could I wait for my cousin inside. They said no. I asked if they could at least call him. They said no. I sat in the cold for hours. I got deathly sick from the cold. My cousin came home much later. I went to work the next day and when I came home, my cousin said I had scared his neighbor and asked me to leave. He also said since I was sick, he didn’t want me to be around his kids. So not only was the neighbor an evil bastard, but my cousin is too.
[it was later found out just how evil my cousin was, when he swindled hundreds of thousands of dollars out of his own mother, my aunt. There’s a special place in hell reserved for him.]
Final Thoughts on Stay-at-Home Mothers or Housewives
What I have described here is for the woman that is dedicated to her husband and her family. This woman can see her life stretching into the future with her family, even beyond when she perishes and the children take over the home. If you are not that woman, God bless I hope you find happiness in some other form. This is for the woman that delights in cooking. This is for the woman who delights in knowing that she is feeding her husband and children the very best that God has provided from mother earth. This is for the woman that delights in her handiwork when her children come home filled with compliments about their new clothes that she has sewn. This is for the woman that delights in the craft of her hands. This is for the woman that teaches her husband how to stretch a dollar. This is for the woman that is not dedicated to a lifestyle as she is dedicated to her family’s happiness.
So many women these days are caught up in a lifestyle the utterly ruins a family. The husband is too stupid and pussy whipped to put his foot down and say, “no we cannot afford that house, your clothes, and that food.” The family lives so far out of their means that the entire unit crashes. Here comes divorce, child custody and heartache. When simply understanding that you are not $40 million/year, Brittney Spears would have solved the entire problem. I hope you women reading this are honest with yourselves and stop putting your man through this. I hope you would have the balls to turn to him after reading this and say “you know what honey, we cannot afford this $300,000 house.” I hope you would have the balls to turn to him after reading this and say “you know what honey, we cannot afford to live in California.” I hope you would have the balls to turn to him after reading this and say “you know what honey, we are living a lie and cannot afford this lifestyle.”
I appeal to you women reading this to see that women used to do this all the time. At any one time they had several projects in the works – a new dress; school clothes; making preserves; mending socks; spring cleaning. I appeal to you women reading this to not be offended by this, but encouraged. Yes! Sew your own clothes. Yes! Grow your own food. Yes! Cook your own food. Yes! Make your own sheets, curtains, tablecloths and pillows. Yes! Cure your own children of sicknesses. Stop running to the store for everything. Stop running to the doctor for everything. Stop running to give your hard earned cash to someone who will do half the work and give you half the quality for something you can do yourself at half the price.
When America comes to realize that we can do better for ourselves, than anyone else we pay to do it for us, we’ll be right as rain. When America realizes we can make our own, by hand and do it better than any store, we’ll be happier than a dead pig in sunshine. When America realizes we’ve been had, bamboozled, hoodwinked, it’ll be the calm before the storm.