How To Be A Good Housewife In The Modern Era

Updated October 10, 2022 by ReGain Editorial Team

The term housewife has come to have a negative connotation in the 21st century. The origin of housewife duty is actually a by-product of the Industrial Revolution when people moved out of agrarian societies and into modern cities and women faced new roles in society. With this new modern lifestyle, the definition of housewife came about: a woman who stays home and tends the children and house while her husband works in an industry-based job for forty or more hours a week. Whether they go by the name of housewife homemaker or stay-at-home mom, the housewife definition has certainly changed over the past century or so. 

Whether this is a result of less than accurate reality television, the prominence of feminism in current times, or some other idealization that being a housewife is no longer relevant, it is a job that has the opposite stigma than it did in the past. Women in the 1930s were expected to be housewives - the idea of women who work outside the home was frowned upon. They were expected to prioritize their home and family over everything else, especially a career. However, now that it is 2020, not only had the role of a housewife gone away nearly completely, but it has started to make a comeback.

What Does It Mean To Be A Good Housewife Today?

While housewives or stay at home mothers are becoming common again, it is not the same situation as women who lived back in the early to mid-1900s. The differences between the two will shine some light on how to be a good housewife in the modern era. It will also allow you to set some expectations for yourself and your marriage, so that knowing who is supposed to be doing which tasks does not become a marital concern. Communicating these kinds of expectations in a marriage is the best way to avoid issues in your relationship early on.

Expectations Of A Housewife

You might be wondering how different the duties of a modern era housewife might be from the role of housewife in the past. How much could the everyday tasks within the home change - cooking and cleaning, keeping the children entertained, and other domestic duties seem to be the basics no matter what year it is. If you have a social media presence, you might have seen how different those tasks can be when the excerpt from a 1950s home economics textbook made its rounds online. The domestic duties of a housewife and mother outlined in the textbook were enough to make most women roll their eyes. Whether they go by the name of housewife homemaker or stay-at-home mom, taking care of the house and children was always the number one priority.

By understanding what it takes to be a modern house wife, you will get a grasp on some of what previous women experienced in the role. However, some of the traditional housewife tasks have changed with the times. Identifying those changes might help to make you a quality housewife in the 21st century. It will also help you to decide the kind of housewife you desire to be.

Clean The House

While the man is holding a full-time job outside of the house, the woman is holding a full-time job within the house. This means that a housewife is responsible for laundry, dusting, vacuuming, sweeping the floors, doing the dishes, not to mention cooking and cleaning up any clutter or toys left around the house. While it depends on the specific household, many housewives do some of these tasks daily (such as laundry) and others weekly (like dusting).

A recent study shows that, on average, women spend 17 hours a week doing housework. This changes housewife housewife. A married woman with more than three children typically spends 28 hours a week accomplishing the same tasks. More kids mean more laundry, dishes, and messes in general, so a mother to several children will stay far busier as a stay at home mother and housewife. So, depending on housewares housewarming housewife, the work load and the time spent to take care of the house changes from home to home. With the baby boomer generation being born in the late 1940s to early 1960s, many households had more than three children. However, in the past, women spend more time on housework.

It would be logical to think that modern technology has helped to cut down on those many hours of housework needed to tend house. The housewives of the past – traditional housewives – did not have robot vacuums, dishwashers, or high capacity washing machines. While the innovations used in the modern era have saved time and energy for homemakers, some things have not been made far simpler.

Serving Meals

Like past housewives, modern-day housewives are usually responsible for meals. Having homemade meals together is something that can really make a house a home. While there are some services available today that were not available years ago to a family and society, like meal subscription boxes, it is still up to the housewife to cook the food. How does this differ from housewives in the past? Meal planning in the 21st century has become a whole other entity. There were far fewer options in the past, and the cost of healthy food was far less, even considering the increase in wages and the cost of living overall.

Because of the cost of healthy options, many housewives are forced to pick and choose between cost and quality. This might mean making one or two low costs, unhealthy meals for the week and a handful of pricier but healthier meals. With the planning involved in the modern era, most housewives spend far more time preparing for meals than they did in previous years.

A good homemaker in the modern era will have the meals planned out before going grocery shopping. This way, she can control the grocery budget and be fully prepared to cook the meals throughout the week. By doing this, a housewife will also have the ability to estimate the time needed to prepare dinner, thus allowing her to create the most productive schedule. A schedule is a key aspect of maintaining the home and other domestic duties of being a housewife. After all, every good wife knows that preparing good food for her husband and family is a great way to show love!

Taking Care Of The Kids

No matter the era, a housewife is responsible for taking care of the children. While Dad is at work, a stay at home mother must care for her kids. Often, when men talk about what they want in a good wife, looking after the kids well is part of their criteria. This usually means ensuring that they are fed, bathed, teeth and hair have been brushed, they are dressed, and they have structured activities throughout the day. Although some housewives of the 21st century fall into the trap of plopping their children in front of the television, a good homemaker will organize a variety of activities and play dates with other children.

When the children are school-aged, a housewife is typically responsible for making lunches and ensuring that they are prepared for school, extracurriculars, and taking them to and picking them up from school or their activities. A dictionary housewife also often requires that mom play the role of guidance counselor or therapist.

Although housewives were responsible for keeping children away from Dad in the past so that he could relax after work, parenting in the modern era is much more of a team effort. Today's housewife communicates with her husband and does not do the parenting alone. Although her husband might be tired from a long day at work, a good full-time housewife will also be tired from a long day of caring for the house and kids.

What Does It Mean To Be A Good Housewife Today?

Spend One On One Time With Your Husband

A big difference between previous housewives and today's housewives is the interaction that occurs between husband and wife. The 1950s home economics textbook that was previously mentioned instructs future housewives to allow their husbands to relax in the bedroom and let him have quiet time when he returns home from work. It also says that the wife should not pile her problems on him, as he should be able to unload his problems on you. While this was way back in 1950, being a housewife has changed dramatically in this area.

Married couples in the modern era tend to do better with more communication between the two. Although a man should be able to talk to his wife about his problems and concerns, a wife should be able to do the same with her husband. By ensuring that communication between man and wife is open and honest, being a full-time housewife is a role that is more appreciated by both parties.

When the focus is placed solely on one person in the relationship, the relationship can easily become one-sided. However, by being a housewife in the modern era, men are more enlightened in how much work their stay at home wives do. 

Being A Good Housewife In Today's World

Times have changed. For a while, that meant being a housewife was uncommon. Those that were housewives were looked down upon. Fortunately, it is becoming a far better situation for mothers to stay at home with their children or wives to stay at home to keep up with the house. With the cost of daycare these days, it is the best option for many families. If you find yourself being a housewife in the modern era, following the above-mentioned suggestions will make you a good one!

Remember, being a good housewife in this century means keeping the house clean, the kids fed and entertained, making well-rounded meals, and maintaining a relationship with your spouse. By placing proper emphasis on each of these categories, a fulltime housewife is sure to succeed in her journey in the home. If you feel as though reverting to the 1950 standards of a housewife would better work for you and your relationship, that is okay, too. Find a structure that works for you and stick with it!

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