Even before reading Happy Housewives, by Darla Shine, I already wanted to be a housewife. As a little girl that is what I wanted and that never changed on the inside. To me, no career can take the place of my families happiness and well being. I feel I can provide this for my children better than any daycare or nanny and I like that my husband comes home to me and not a housekeeper. And yes, if I worked outside of the home, that is what it would take to run my household. The only time I held a 9-5 job was as a teenager otherwise I was a salary paid person with far more than 40 hours a week plus commute. That is not something I want for my family ever again.
What does it take to be a housewife? Well, for one thing, it takes great strength, a solid backbone and thick skin. In our modern society even though feminism states "freedom of choice," in theory, that is not what they generally practice. Today's housewife is subject to incredible ridicule and people who would devalue the person based on their choice which is not approved by the majority. My grandmother and aunt told me I could not do that, they said I must have a career and they belittled my mother for her choice to be a housewife. Later society said that I could not be a housewife, that I had to have a career. It took strength to go against the flood of negativity and become a housewife while living in this western culture which can be so vicious.
It also means giving things up. When you are down to one paycheck it does not cover a frivolous life style. We do not have cable, I do not go shopping for things we do not need, I budget like no one's business and get creative with our free time. Craigslist and Freecycle are my friends. A good time does not have to cost money. I grow much of our food and carefully plan out meals to fit within our allotted finances. We no longer have credit cards and are not tempted to live outside our means.
Darla covers these topics and so many others in her book. I love that she addresses the frumpy housewife because ladies, there really is no excuse, the new baby is not a new baby forever. She addresses that you must make your marriage a priority...yes, that includes getting rid of your scheduled "headaches." I love that she gives the direct order to get back in the kitchen! I love to cook and know that my family is eating healthy, it is too bad that other women do not feel the same about their families. In the later chapters she talks about keeping your girlfriends and making some time for yourself; as well as not wishing for someone else's problems. She also references the show, Desperate Housewives and how so many women have actually emulated those characters. Here is the description from Amazon.com:
"Says former desperate housewife Darla Shine to stay-at-home moms everywhere: What have you got to complain about? A modern-day guide to keeping house, raising kids, and loving life.
Darla Shine was once a desperate housewife. Being at home with two small children and a husband who was rarely home was enough to drive her crazy. She left her high-profile job as a television producer after her son was born, while her husband continued to move up the corporate ladder. Like many of her stay-at-home-mom friends, Shine employed a housekeeper and baby-sitters so she could spend her time running to the salon, the club, and out to lunch. Then one day she was whining to her mother about how terrible her life was, and her mother yelled at her to wake up and stop being so selfish. It was just the wake up call she needed!
The desperate housewife craze of today is sending the wrong message to women and their children everywhere, says Shine. When did being a good mom and being proud to stay home with the kids go out of style? When did it become acceptable to cheat on your husband? When did mothers start dressing like their teenage daughters? Shine finds the standards of today's desperate housewives astonishingly low, and she has set out to teach women how they can be good mothers, look good, and feel good about the choices they make. Being a housewife does not mean you are on house arrest or can't be satisfied in your marriage. So step up, realize that you want to be home with your children, and embrace your life."
I share Happy Housewives today to let you know that yes, you DO have a choice. If you can take the heat of being a housewife and loving it...not making excuses for doing what you do, then yes, talk to your husband about the possibility of becoming a housewife. Just because a career was someone else's choice for you, does not mean you have to live their dream for the rest of your life. If you were like me and grew up dreaming of becoming a housewife, then read this book. It will give you the motivation and inspiration you need to start making the changes for your dream to come true.
This is your life, if you want a career, go for it. However, if that is not what you want and you choose your family over a career, then find a way to live that life. You DO have a choice, no matter what the majority says! And if you have daughters, they too need to know that they have the choice to be a housewife no matter what the modern culture says they need to be when they grow up.
Here are a few inspirational housewife blogs that you might enjoy: