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Hail to the Housewife

Write more! I intend to write about 54 women champions for 2013. That’s how I’ll implement one of my new year’s resolutions.

It's an honor to start with a woman whose career revolved around her family and home. Fulltime.

Being a fulltime housewife is the hardest career ever because it requires one to be responsible and active for more than eight (8) hours a day. Housewives are focused, multi -skilled and are willing to work for long hours without monetary compensation. They start their daily grind before sunrise, ahead from anyone else at home, most especially when the children are still of school age. Some have respite after lunch; watch TV while folding the laundry or darning. The housewives ensure that a clean house, crisp clothes and dinner are ready before the husband and children arrive.

For families belonging to the very poor, the housewife carries the burden of guessing if there will be food on the table or none, of choosing between a laundry soap and extra rice, of paying the water or electric bills or setting aside the amount for public transportation for the children. In all cases, the housewives fill in the gaps by being creative, resourceful and forever patient. Older children pass their old school uniforms, shoes and clothes to the younger ones; take long queues for water, look for firewood and tend the garden for additional source of food. They also attend school meetings and the tireless ones find time and energy to participate in community activities.

The job of a housewife is demanding. Their career starts the moment they decide to establish their own family, their workload increases with the coming of every new child or family member. Their accountability extends until the children become adults and have a family of their own. Society always blames them for what becomes of their children – praised and sometimes reviled. There is no definite age or period for retirement. They work as long as their health allows.

Worse, their work is unappreciated and taken for granted even by their spouses and the members of the family. The contribution of housewives who provide the unpaid care work at home and in the community remains unvalued by many governments. Whether in urban, rural, upland and fishing communities, the reproductive roles are almost the same.

That’s how it is, the housewives continue to serve, clean, wash, iron, cook, take care of pets, plants, pigs and fowls, baby sit, granny sit, parents-in-law sit, tutor, shop, entertain and a lot more.

Our home is our refuge, a place to rest, unwind and recharge. The entire family owes it to the patience, tenacity and skills of housewives. They should not remain invisible. The contribution of housewives should be valued and recognized.

What about a special holiday for housewives when we can treat and greet them “Happy Housewife Day”?

Hail to the housewives!

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Comments

Wendyiscalm's picture

Love your article

Hi Paulina,

I LOVE your article. It is true and I am so happy you are recognizing those who are in the battlefield at home, full well knowing that the greatest gift and the mightiest challenge is to help develop the young people the housewife is responsible for.

Very uplifting article. We all need this sometimes.

Ubuntu (I am who I am because of who we are together),

Wendy

Wendy Stebbins
Founder/CEO
I AM ONE IN A MILLION Non-Profit Organization focused on helping street orphans and vulnerable children in Livingstone, Zambia Africa.

Paulina Lawsin's picture

Thanks Wendy. I even forgot

Thanks Wendy. I even forgot to write that many women forgo their dreams in favor of their family. Their lives were always secondary to everyone. That shouldn't be the case, I think.

And I like the word Ubuntu -what language is this?

Wendyiscalm's picture

Hi Paulina

Hi Paulina,

Yes, many women give up their dreams in favor of family. I did. But then I had to go back to work and develop another career anyhow. That is important for women to learn. Don't get pregnant until you make your dream come true. You can be a mother. But here now more and more women are waiting until they have their career so are getting married later in life. Which is good in some ways because they are more mature and out of the "me" phase of life. I got married while I was on the way to my dream and had to give it up at age 25. Not a good thing. And I was still in the selfish part of myself.

Being a housewife is the most important role one can play. Jackie Kennedy, wife of President, John Kennedy once said "If you don't do a good job with your children, nothing else much matters."

I am really glad you are bringing this to the attention of people and hope you will do more of it. There is a need.

Ubuntu is a word from South Africa. Isn't it wonderful. If a person only could say one word that had meaning for the rest of their life, I think Ubuntu would be it. It covers everything, love, pain, lessons to learn from people, cooperation, just everything.

Thanks and keep up the good work.

Keep in touch,

Ubuntu,

Wendy

Wendy Stebbins
Founder/CEO
I AM ONE IN A MILLION Non-Profit Organization focused on helping street orphans and vulnerable children in Livingstone, Zambia Africa.

Paulina Lawsin's picture

Hi Wendy. It took ages before

Hi Wendy. It took ages before I saw your reply because I , ahem, keep on forgetting my password.

On my part, I am learning to be a housewife now after spending more than 20 years of frenetic NGO work. I realized it isn;t an easy job thus prompting me to write about it. I'll try to post more stories here, that is, if i don't forget my password, hehehe.

Keep up the good work Wendy.You;re one in a million!

Wendyiscalm's picture

You are so funny !

Hi Paulina,
You made me laugh so much because I have the SAME problem. There are so many places I have joined and can't get back on because I forget my password. Half the time can't get my bank balance, or other things. Great to have company in this area! Haha. Finally had to write each user name and password on paper and tape each to my actual computer. Then half the time I forget to look at them.I even got a second site at WP once to start over since I couldn't retrieve anything. Then I had two WP sites I couldn't remember the pw for or would get them reversed.

Look forward to more of your writing.

Ubuntu (I am who I am because of who we are together),

Wendy

Wendy Stebbins
Founder/CEO
I AM ONE IN A MILLION Non-Profit Organization focused on helping street orphans and vulnerable children in Livingstone, Zambia Africa.

Forgetting and being forgiven for our forgetfulness is one of the many priviliges we enjoy as we grow older. It's nice to write something about it. You'll get to read it as long as you don;t forget your password here. And as long as I don't forget to write about forgetfulness. What would be a good title?

Add me on Facebook. Am Paulina Lawsin. Do check my posts at my website.

Cheers!

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