"After Laura and Mary had washed and wiped the dishes, swept the floor, made their bed, and dusted, they settled down with their books. But the house was so cozy and pretty that Laura kept looking up at it."
- Laura Ingalls Wilder
Human Frailty of the Godly Soul
"The life of Luther might suffice to give a thousand instances, and he was by no means of the weaker sort. His great spirit was often in the seventh heaven of exultation, and as frequently on the borders of despair. His very deathbed was not free from tempests, and he sobbed himself into his last sleep like a greatly wearied child."
"As for her, like most women, she had but one ambition. To be a good wife and a good mother, and to be beloved by her husband and children, was all she asked. [She was] a busy, affectionate, cheerful little housewife, whose voice would never be heard in the streets, but whose memory would always live in a few faithful hearts."
It amazes me that people still think homemakers lay around and do nothing. Obviously it varies in each family, but for the most part, a working- class housewife is very busy, and saves her husband a fortune.
Here are some examples of what she does on a regular daily/ or weekly basis. (Please note - I am speaking generally here. This is just a list of very common examples of what many housewives do at home) -
1. Cooks Homemade foods (saves money on restaurants).
2. Her home cooking keeps the family more healthy (less doctor bills or health troubles).
3. Her homemade meals and snacks fill the family up, so they are not as likely to eat large amounts of expensive store -bought junk food and snack items.
4. Her meal planning and frugal shopping strategies is like doing inventory-control in a restaurant. She works hard to avoid waste and excessive spending, keeping the grocery budget in line.
4. If she is home most of the time, she is not wasting money on gas, or impulse spending. There is less wear and tear on the car.
Being home helps her be more creative and resourceful. When she is less stressed, she can do more work at home. (This is not to say she should never go out!)
5. It would cost $40 and up each week to hire a maid to deep clean the house. This includes washing floors, dusting, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms and scrubbing the kitchen. The housewife does these jobs herself. She also trains her children to help with these chores.
CHILD CARE AND EDUCATION
6. Hiring a babysitter or putting the children in day care can cost something like 100 plus dollars each week. A Housewife who is home, can take on this job herself, saving a fortune of the household funds.
7. Tutoring, teaching and training of young children can generally be done by the housewife. Some homeschool their children which saves a fortune in "back-to-school" clothes, tuition, and transportation.
8. Mothers who are home can nurse their families back to health, and help maintain their well-being. They can also help prevent the spread of germs and build up immune systems with their careful nursing. Mom will certainly bring sick ones to the doctor when necessary, but she is able to generally care for many things on her own.
9. Housewives are also called on for psychology. They listen and guide and help solve the family troubles. Their loving concern and attention soothes the aches of others and helps them back on the right track. Since these mothers are home-focused, they are not being pulled in all directions, and have the time to peacefully handle a crisis when it comes along.
9. She is generally more content with a less expensive home. There is no need to maintain an expensive two-income property. This saves money on insurance, repairs, maintenance, upkeep, mortgages, and so much more.
10. The housewife can do her own frugal decorating. She can keep a nice (yet humble) home with all the time she has at her disposal.
11. Have you ever noticed the joy of going into a home where the mom is home and happy? The house looks fairly neat. The children are being cared for. There is good food waiting to be served. It is a happy place to be. [Is there a dollar amount for that?] Of course, this is not to say that a housewife will never get grumpy. How boring would that be? - gentle smiles.
12. The Housewife is able to have time to teach her children the Bible, to read with them and to encourage them to have strong religious values. Abraham Lincoln grew up in a home where the Bible was valued, respected and read. The Word of the Lord brings wisdom and this helps raise good citizens. When a Home has the constant presence and influence of a godly mother, such great things can happen to a nation! [What is this worth in dollars and cents?]
(Are we, as a nation, losing more than just money when a diligent housewife is no longer at home?)
Please consider adding up how much is spent each month when a housewife doesn't do these things at home. I know it would be time consuming, but those dollars and cents add up to a considerable sum of money, which could be used for so many other things. Imagine taking that monthly figure and multiplying it by 12, then multiply that by several years, and you will have an amazing nest egg that will astound you.
What if having mom home made it possible for the family to NEED LESS INCOME? Would the Dads be able to spend more time at home? Would the family have more time together?
Perhaps this is one way of getting off the common money quest, and of hiring out all the work a housewife is capable of doing at home.
Now tell me, how much do you think a housewife is worth? And what other ways is she saving her family a fortune?
I am the mother of five home-schooled children, ages 15 and up, and a Grandmother of 2. I have been married for almost a quarter of a century.
I am a writer, reviewer, who loves fashion, sewing,
reading, fitness and cleaning.
We live in an 1800's house in rural Vermont.