5 Feb
2015
Posted in: parenting
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Redefining the Term Homemaker

I bristle at the idea of being labeled homemaker. Visions of 1950s sitcom mothers pop into my head.  I think of me waiting with a cocktail and newspaper for my bread winner to come home. That’s not my reality.

I was chatting with friends about how I would define myself as far as I what I do, and homemaker was not on the list. I describe myself a little different depending on the situation. I might start with saying I’m a freelance writer with a background in journalism. I may use the term “media specialist” which is what I am for my part-time job with a non-profit organization. I may lead with being the mother of four. I shape it for the person I’m addressing and the situation I’m in. I never add the word “just” to any description. I’m not just a mom. I’m not just a wife. I’m not just a writer. People are far too complicated to be just one thing.

I woke this morning thinking about the word “homemaker” and why I have a negative connotation associated with it. I see it as an out-dated term and somehow belittling of what I am and do with my days. I checked with Merriam-Webster for the definition of homemaker: “a wife who does work (such as sewing, cleaning, or cooking) at home and usually does not have another job outside the home” and “one who manages a household especially as a wife and mother.”

mother baking cookies with four children

I am a homemaker. I technically don’t work outside the home. I work from home. Even those who do work outside the home are still making a home. I manage this household and am good at it. I was over simplifying the word homemaker, but when you read the definition, it’s a complex position.

Not only have I made peace with the term homemaker and may start adding it back into my vocabulary, I enjoy the position. I enjoy taking care of my family. I don’t always enjoy the tasks required to take care of my family (cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping). Sometimes the never-ending cooking and laundry are enough to make me throw an adult-sized tantrum. Even on those days I would rather be on a beach and not sitting in the middle school drop-off line, I know what I’m really meant to do is take care of this family and make a home.

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