It’s a Sunday. My kids are screaming every time they get within 2 feet of each other, I’ve been screaming, and the husband is crashed on the couch asleep mid-day for the second day in a row. Tomorrow we start the week all over again, and I am quite frankly, crankier than hell. So very cranky, I even told my daughter she better be quiet, or I am going to leave the family for the week, a threat that has not been uncommon during the last 23 years of raising my children; unless of course, I am threatening military school.
My husband’s hairy belly is hanging out of his shirt and off the couch as he half awakens every 15 or so minutes to incoherently boss us around, then promptly goes back to snoring. Overnight the dog dragged a dead rat into the house. My daughter just looked at me, let out a burp and smiles. Today’s not such a bad day.
Hurray for Housewives Day.
My lengthy diatribe ahead is not knocking anyone who has truly chosen to make a career of housewifery. Please don’t get your granny panties in a bunch, or your apron tangled. If, in fact, running a household is your all fulfilling dream, I salute you. Really I do. I love my work from home status. However, my gut tells me, if housewifery is truly a dream come true, then your reward is intrinsic. And if that is so, this day should feel like the most patronizing fucked up day ever created!
I did do my research. I searched long and hard for the actual history of ‘National Housewives Day”, to little avail. Only limited information is available.
One site says;
“many suspect that it was created by an actual housewife; perhaps feeling a bit jaded or not fully appreciated. Unsurprisingly, the idea soon gained a great deal of momentum, considering the vast amount of women who have been housewives over the centuries and millennia.”
My guesses: Knee jerk reaction to bra burning? Placating the offended “housewives of the 60’s”? Avoiding a revolt? Slowing the liberation down much, boys? Someone ultimately disappointed with their choice of Mommy Track instead of Career Track?
And then, there is this:
‘Are you a stay-at-home mom or a respected homemaker? If you believe that you are not as appreciated as you should be for your efforts, Housewife’s Day will help you fight the feeling that your efforts are going largely unnoticed. Or perhaps you are the husband of a housewife who has been accused of underestimating just how much work goes into keeping an entire home under control, not to mention a few children clean and well-behaved. Either way, this day is right for you.’
What do you think? Is this holiday really for you?
People who take on the household are not housewives. We aren’t even all wives. Results of the last census tell us 2 million of stay at home parents in the U.S are actually men.
How about we just say we are humans? ‘Homemaking humans,’ is it catchy enough? How about ‘housespouse’, certainly a ring to that. But frankly, unless houses, like corporations, have had their way in Supreme Court, we people can’t be married to houses.
Homemaking is both an evolutionary and economic necessity… bees do it, birds do it, and for humans, by golly, someone has to do it too. I just can’t stop thinking about a burrowing prairie dog. We all need to sleep and eat somewhere. Nesting, nurturing and caring for young, homemaking is an instinct.
So what is really wrong with having a National Housewives Day?
The perpetually outdated stereotype of a housewife is what is wrong. So outdated, even some of the sites describing National Housewives’ Day are interchanging the word with Retro Housewives Day. What does that even mean? Included in one such commentary is the celebration of June Cleaver, Lucille Ball, and Betty Crocker. Seriously, they weren’t even real housewives!
Even stock photo agencies shifted the paradigm last year, adding a wide and diverse range of images depicted motherhood.
Need more convincing about this outdated notion?
Most families have a primary caregiver or two primary caregivers, and some of us have multiple primary caregivers. Based on life circumstance, this may shift many times in any household’s lifetime.
It is time to recognize the shifts in our communities; even within the so-called traditional family there are no traditional families. There are two parent families, single parent families, second-generation families, blended families, adoptive families–stop the pigeon holes and titles.
So in closing, one last ridiculous quote;
“If you believe that you are not as appreciated as you should be for your efforts, Housewife’s Day will help you fight the feeling that your efforts are going largely unnoticed.”
What world do these people live in?
No token holiday will help you fight that unappreciated feeling, perhaps try therapy, medication or a new spouse. Me? I’ll take a bottle of Chardonnay and a sandwich at the end of the day.
P.S. Happy Sandwich Day. Housewives share November 3rd with sandwiches.
Featured Image: Flickr User Heather via Creative Commons