Friday, August 3, 2012

Who Says It's Not Work?!

Dressed for a day of working at home

While the kids are on Summer break, I like to use vacation time when my schedule allows, to spend time at home with them.  My recent days at home reminded me of a conversation I had with a co-worker.  We were chatting about dream jobs and when she asked me what my dream job would be, I told her being a homemaker.  She quickly replied, "That's not a real job!".  Granted her view of homemakers are ladies who are retired and spend their afternoons golfing and lunching.  But, as a wife, mother of three and keeper of a home of six people and four fluffy kitties, I can tell you firsthand homemaking most definitely is work! 

There are three square meals to be made.  And, it seems like when I've cleaned up from one meal, it's time for another one to be prepared.  Dishes, dishes and more dishes!  On weekends and weekdays I'm home, there are usually four (or more!) full dishwasher loads.  Floors to be swept and vacuumed daily - or twice daily (I have a thing about clean floors!).  Cleaning - the pleasant chores and the not so pleasant ones like toilets and litterboxes - ewww!  Reading and doing lessons with the children.  Grocery shopping, errand running and even doing the little things that make our home pretty and comfortable.  When I'm at home, I'm pretty much on the go from the time I get up, to the time I go to bed at night.  It's a full day, moreso than the 7.5 hours spent in the office.  But at the end of the day, my soul feels satisfied!  It's kind of hard to explain.  But, it's the satisfied feeling you get when what you're engaged in is fully aligned with your purpose.

So yes, homemaking is work!  Not paid work but invaluable nonetheless.  The health of our society ultimately depends on the health of our homes and families.  And that takes work!

Mary Ellen                


  1. I totally agree with you! Homemaking is the hardest job but also so rewarding. Don`t mind the people that scoff at it and belittle this task. It`s the most important job for us women. That`s how we define society. It`s how we can shape the future, leading by good example and making sure that our loved ones grow up into decent folk that carry on that tradition with their children, in the future.
    It`s also a job that we should be proud of doing. Society has an awful lot to learn, still. Unfortunately, as it`s an unpaid job society seems to asume that it`s also a meaningless task. How wrong they all are! Carry on doing what you do best, in the knowledge that you are performing the most important task for your family.
    You go girl!!!

  2. I like this post It's a reminder to me that I need to put as much effort into my home as I do my job outside the home (not that I don't...but it's still nice to have the reminder).

    I like to take time off to do these things as well.

  3. SMH at "That's not a real job!"

    I think it's HIGHLY problematic the disrespect shown to alot of position with caregiving (e.g. homemakers, teaching, care aides). How can this work not be valuable!? I'm not sure that all women are called to homemaking (at least the full time kind), but the women who do should be respected more...

    I admire the way you are balancing these aspects of your life.

  4. It's too bad that your co-worker bought into the male-privileged idea that being a homemaker is not a real job/career.

    It is a balancing act to take care of a house, in addition to child-rearing, and fulfilling the duties of your career outside of the home. People like us that can master that level of multitasking and make it look easy, I think is one of the reasons those not in our shoes are quick to dismiss it as not being real work

    My husband and I don't have children or pets yet, but he appreciated and respected the amount of work that I do around the house early in our relationship. The point was driven home when I was gone for almost two years on a military deployment to Iraq. I can't tell you how many hilarious and sad calls/emails I got about the meals he managed to create or bad gas station food he sampled.
    Since being home, he takes time once in a while to thank me for the work I do and comfort that I bring into our little apartment. I take (majority) care of our place in addition to other work I do - school full-time, internship, volunteering, and a part-time (paying) job.

    Thanks for your post. I hope your co-worker takes time to read it and challenge her beliefs by questioning why being a homemaker is not real work and where it comes from.