Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Is There Such a Thing as a Desperate Househusband?

As I was scrubbing the liquified cookie crumbs out of Boy #1's lunchbox yesterday afternoon, I had another one of those "I went to college for this?" moments. We have successful lawyers, bankers, doctors, businesspeople. How come nobody says, "She is a successful housewife?" You can come over to my house any time and I will always have a clean towel for you if needed. I will whip you up a snack or a meal that will bring a tear to your eye. I will wrap a present for you, sew a button on, do your laundry while you are enjoying that snack. I will let you sit on my couch and relax while I bring you a selection of magazines. I will even help you with your homework if you want. If that's not successful I don't know what is. Let's not even bring up the fact that in my line of work there are no annual reviews, raises, or expense accounts. I don't even like the term "housewife." It is so 50's, so retro, so June Cleaver. I was talking about this with a friend and she brought up the fact that so many other occupations are genderless, like actor, doctor, banker. But not housewife. So what would a genderless title be, "houser?" "house manager?" Any ideas? On forms that ask for my occupation I usually put "mom," which I guess is more important than "housewife." Jackie Kennedy once said something to the effect of "If you mess up raising your children, whatever else you do in life doesn't matter much." No matter how clean your towels are.

8 comments:

Spincoop said...

I prefer "domestic engineer" ,or even better, "domestic artist". It is genderless, and depending on what mood I'm in, I'm either "technical" or "creative". Sewing a button on my hubby's shirt makes me an engineer. Painting a mural in our foyer or cooking a great meal makes me an artist. Both are domestic, yet require the attention that no one else in my household cares about.

I wake up everyday and wonder how I went from hobnobbing at fine restaurants with million dollar donors to scraping the dirt off my child's shoes. I guess Jackie O. was right: it all just doesn't matter, as long as your children are doing well.

Cathy said...

I have been using "domestic engineer" for ever. Try that one. Overworked and underpaid.

Anonymous said...

I like "Overseer" myself and occasionally "Dictator", these terms please me, no matter how inaccurate they may be. "Queen of Everything" would also be nice, but I guess I have to bring it down to "Home Management Specialist". :)

Barrie

Gayle said...

so true!!! let me know if you come up with something more politically correct. i always wonder what I should be filling out on those forms too for my occupation. WE DO IT ALL. Sometimes we are doctors, bankers, chauffeurs , etc. Can we just say "everything"or "too much to fill in the little space" let me know if you come up with something.

Uncle B. said...

HOW ABOUT CHO. CHIEF HOME ORGANIZER OR COR CHIEF OF RESIDENCE

Liane said...

We, successful homemakers, should be identified as "CEO's of the home". Need I say more?

suzi finer said...

my sister donna's business card reads "neighborhood mom" ...I like that.

Anonymous said...

PAINTING A MURAL IN YOUR FOYER?! C'mon, spincoop, stop that! You're going to make us all look bad. Why would we want to adopt the language of the men's world? Look what it has done for them (and us)! It's moms like spincoop that have propelled us into the arms race in which we all try to out-mom each other. Jackie has it all WRONG! That kind of thinking fuels the wrong-headed notion (fear) that we can somehow screw up our kids (which can happen only in the extreme--stay off crack and heroin and you'll be ok). And this stultifying notion that if we do more for them -- cook better food faster, drive them to more activities, create cute crafts, put them in cute clothes, tutor them harder longer, paint freaking murals in the foyer -- we think we will somehow make them better. 90% of who they are is determined on day one by their genes. Our job is to feed, clothe, and love them. Period. Better mac n cheese does not equate to more love nor will it create a more successful adult. Get over yourselves!