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!