Friday, April 18, 2008

Housewives and Outsourcing

Whenever people ask Harmony what she "does," I don't really like it when she says she "doesn't work." That is totally not true. I prefer for her to say that she's a housewife, i.e. most of her duties center around the home.

I was thinking about it today, and almost all of the duties of my housewife are ones that would otherwise be outsourced in some way.

  • Cleaning - people hire maid services.

  • Being with Luna - we would not leave her in a crate for 9 hours a day, so we'd be paying for doggy daycare.

  • Cooking - outsourced by going to restaurants.

  • Sewing/knitting/crocheting - time is money, money is time, and you give up one or the other. Harmony is crocheting a blanket as a present right now.

  • Gardening - people usually think of this as a hobby, but for us, it is a way of bringing the produce stand right to our backyard. We hope to one day have our garden be able to completely sustain our vegetable needs. This is "outsourced" by buying produce from grocery stores.

I'm not saying that "outsourcing" these jobs is wrong (I'm not!). This was just to make a point that if my wife does have a real job. "Don't work" is a completely inaccurate job description for her. If my wife didn't do these jobs for us, we'd be paying someone else to do them.

If she worked in a restaurant as a cook, that'd be considered a "real" job. If she worked at a daycare or a school, that'd be a "real" job. If she worked in her field of polymer engineering, she'd probably be working at a factory that manufactured textiles, carpets, or clothing. That'd be a "real" job. If she worked as a farmhand or in a grocery store, that'd be a "real" job. Poo on anyone who don't think housewives do "real" work. Perhaps there are some bad apples out there, but my wife is not one of them.

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5 have poured out their souls in electronic text:

  • Ewokgirl

    This was a very nice post to read. I'm currently taking a breaking from my own work (dusting and vacuuming) to read a few blogs. It's so nice to read/hear about spouses showing their appreciation for one another!

  • Ginny

    Amen, brother! You preach it!

    Well, I have to go sit in my chair in front of the (non-existent) TV with my beer (yuck) and bon-bons (YUM!). LOL!

    Oh, and then I have to buff my nails (or whatever...)

  • Jackie

    LOL! As a new SAHM, I have to agree...this is MUCH harder than the 12 hour Nursing shift at the hospital! But the boys are sooo worth it! And I read somewhere how much it would take to REPLACE a Stay-at-Home-Mom...for all the cooking, cleaning, chauffering 9sp?), etc...it was in the hundreds of thousands of dollars! :-)
    I found you through the "Camino Del Rey" link.... :-)

  • Ann

    Hi! I've seen you comment on Ewokgirl's blog a few times, just thought I'd check your blog out. I came across this post when I clicked on her name ranked 3 for comments. Anyway, I'm a stay home mom too. This was a FABULOUS post. /hi5

  • JunkMale

    Thanks Jackie and Ann. I thought it was a good post too ;) No matter what society and feminists might tell you, know that I still feel very strongly that being a SAHW/SAHM is very much a respected "occupation." And one that's not exactly a walk-in-the-park everyday either.