Wednesday, July 11, 2012

How Much is a Housewife Worth?

Housewife in Kitchen Grating Carrot

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.


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?


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?

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

A Very Sweet Encouraging Book,  - Mama's Bank Account.

Bringing back excitement and hospitality - Just for Company.

Work at Home - No One Respects Homemaking Anymore.

A Very Precious Home Industry - The Gentle Art of Homekeeping.


momma-lana said...

Maid service in my area is more like $125 a week! My husband's coworkers just do not understand why I am still at home after our kids are all grown! I cannot imagine who would do all the work that I do everyday and I do know how my friends who work live in a constant state of dirty house and exhaustion. My husband makes enough money for us to live very comfortably and we don't really need another income anyway so I feel like going to work would just be to entertain myself which I do not need.

Anonymous said...

I can almost here an audible sigh whenever I say the words, " I'll be home all day" whether it be to my recently widowed father-in-law, or grown daughters working away from home for the summer or a friend in need, or my hardworking husband who just like to know where I am. These simple words seem to bring amazing comfort and security....."Any time is fine, I'll be home all day". I'd say that is one of many priceless benefits of being a housewife.

Anonymous said...

Wow ... you've left out the most important contribution a mother provides by being at home:


No other institution provides a mother's love ... not daycare, and certainly not government schools.

~ jcard21

kozimom said...

My husband was able to step down to a different position at work which meant less income BUT more time at home which we are all so pleased about! Yes, it means careful budgeting, planning, cooking and baking from scratch just as you have posted here. I love to hear about old fashioned housewives - so much more to learn! Thanks for your posts!

Dolores said...

Wonderful post Mrs. White.

Katrinka said...

Twice in my life I was forced to attend 'counselling' sessions, and found to my amazement that all they did was listen. They didn't tell me what to do or how to solve my problems (which I thought were pretty obvious ones) but simply encouraged me to talk by asking questions and helping me come to my own conclusions... something my mother did for all of us for years.

I want people to feel encouraged when they drive by our home to see someone at home... hanging clothes on the line, working in the garden, a light on when it gets dark early in the winter. I think there is something comforting to weary people to just know that someone is at home, even if they don't know who I am or why I'm here. But they know, day after day, season after season, that there are some things that never change.

Our daughter drives through a small town on her way to and from work and there's a little old couple there living in a modular home with a small yard. She says it's such a comfort to her to drive past their home and see them pottering around watering their flowers or having a glass of tea in the swing. Sometimes they wave, because she goes by twice a day and they're used to seeing her.

We had to leave our home here for several years, and while we were gone the yard grew up and weeds took over; someone burned down our barn and it was a black skeleton against the sky. It still needs a lot of work, but people can drive by and see us day by day dragging debris around and clearing weeds and brush, planting flowers and veggies. It still looks pretty shabby compared to some other places, but people that drive by each day have been watching us for 3-1/2 years and I am hoping have been inspired to see if two almost old people can do this, inch by inch, they can continue to do what they need to do each day, too.

Anonymous said...

I agree with this wholeheartedly. I am by no means in the top 10 as far as my efforts at home. I can improve in the details of cleaning, of learning affordable decorating, saving money. I feel a little uneasy about my place now that the kids are 18 and 20. But they still live at home and I still have plenty to do everyday. The value of just "being here" when someone needs you, is not to be underestimated. I can do more here than I have been, but it runs pretty smoothly for our small family. I'm thinking that I want continue to be here for my family and someday (hopefully) for our grandchildren to come visit.

RebeccaL. said...

Good post but I thoroughly enjoyed Katrinka's comment. I used to work outside the home (when my oldest was a baby) and I would drive past those very same kinds of homes....retired people enjoying their time together or moms who were checking their mail with a baby on their hip (Oh, how envious I was. It brought me to tears). Thank God I "only" wasted 4 years working full time then I came home and have not left. That was around 14 years ago. There is something comforting about seeing the home lights burning, even if they weren't my home lights. Homes just look so much warmer and inviting when someone is home. I have noticed my own home looks so cold and dark when we arrive after a day trip or a vacation. We turn on a few lights and tidy up and converse and it becomes our haven. Thanks for this.

Deanna said...

We are valuable!!!
and the apple of God's eye,

Katrinka said...

Rebecca, I am so glad for you! I had to re-enter the workforce temporarily for 9 years and it has been so good to come back home again. I appreciate it so much all over again.

Anonymous 12:33, I found when began to have teenagers/young adults at home that availability is very important in keeping communication open with them. They wouldn't necessarily seek me out or ask to speak with me or 'make an appointment' to chat. But if I was already there, at home, when they got home from school, a night out, a date, etc., it was much easier for them to share with me.

Anonymous said...

you save on gym fees when you do your own housework - i always marvel at how women who sit in offices all day, pay someone to clean the house AND for gym membership to stay in shape

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post! Even though I'm not a housewife it just makes sense economically.

Anonymous said...

In my husband's opinion, a housewife is worth ... NOTHING! With 3 young children, my worth is still only measured by how much money I bring into the house!

Anonymous said...

In the 1970's women started leaving home and going back to work in a large number in our neighborhood.

Of 5 families with children I was the only one who stayed home with my kids. Everyone else gave their children a key to the front door or put them in daycare facilities.

After school I had no less then 12 kids in my yard playing with my kids and staying till their mothers came home from work, sometimes well after dark.
Those kids were fearful of being home alone and wanted someone to look after them.

If you asked those kids how much a stay at home mom was worth, I'm sure they would say plenty.

Mrs. J.

Anonymous said...

I sewed my wedding dress and clothes for our babies, children and a few things for my husband.

Was commissioned to sew a few dresses for a lady at church, and neighbor children, made a few wedding cakes for friends, recovered an over stuffed chair, refinished some furniture for our home, decorated our home, made curtains for my husband's camp van, sewed shade covers for a motor home, curtains for our children's bedrooms, made toys and doll clothes for my children.

Made bedding and towels,for the home. Made Christmas, wedding, baby shower gifts and other gifts that were hand sewn, baked or crafted items.

Planted and tended a garden, and orchard, made home canned foods and frozen things from our garden and orchard, given the family hair cuts and home perms and helped my husband put a room addition onto our home, saving my him lots of money over the years.

Mrs. J.

Rhonda said...

love this post! I am just so happy that I can be at home and keep the home up for my hardworking husband.

thank you for the encouragement

Katrinka said...

Dear Anonymous 8:40 p.m., It's better for our children to have a peaceful home with harmony between mom and dad than for them to live with strife for the sake of a more ideal traditional home life. Many times things have a way of coming back around in ways we could never imagine!

Christine said...

What a blessing it is to have a husband who supports family value. I think that the value of a couple who puts family first is worth way more than can be paid on this earth. Blessings

Jennifer Williams said...

Oh my goodness! I just found your blog today, and I LOVE it. I am a Christian wife of 27 years and mother to eight, ages 25 down to 10. As I read through your profile and some of your posts, I realize that we have so much in common. It is great to find a kindred spirit. I will enjoy reading your posts, getting good ideas, and being encouraged. Thank you and God bless!

Rose @ Walnut Acre said...

This is so true and yet it is so easy for some to overlook the value of the stay at home wife and mother. Thank You for sharing this post.

Unknown said...

Mrs. White, every single time I come by your blog I am blessed.

Thank you so very much for this. What an encouragement and uplifting reminder! My mother has been a stay-at-home wife and mom for twenty-one years now, and there is no way to put a price on the blessing she has been to our family and so many others. I hope and pray that I will do the same in my life.

Thank you so much for this! Sharing for sure! :)

Renee said...

Thank you for this article! I found it through Jacinda's "Growing Home" blog. I really appreciate how well you put together the value of a home-maker, (as I strive so to be). God bless you!

Beth said...

I definitely agree that stay-at-home moms and wives are under-appreciated. And I have the utmost respect for home-schooling moms. I did it for one year and couldn't take the pressure! :) Thanks for this reminder of all that moms do.

Cathy said...

Dear Mrs. White, I just ran across this post from July. I must have missed it then. But it is wonderful. I especially loved reading all the comments. Something I consider to be one of the biggest compliments of my life was from an older neighbor who lived down the block and up a hill from us. We didn't really know each other, but she pulled up in my driveway on her way by, and told me that she loved looking down from her house and seeing the diapers hanging on my clothesline. She said it looks like somebody is home. That was so encouraging to me. And that is what your blog does. It's very encouraging. Thank you.

Tracey@Two Southern Sweeties said...

This is such a wonderful blog post.

The other day my son said that I "mooch" off of his father because I don't work.

I promptly sat his behind down and had him write out all of the things that I do around the house for him and the rest of the family. Then, I had him look up how much the professionals that do those things make.

He got the picture!!! LOL