Because we're women, too, and we have a history.
"Home. If there is a more beautiful word in any language, I do not know it." John Henry Holliday in DOC.
Oy! I respond to your love of your home, and you give me a hard time about housework?!
I was going to say - your husband had a great sense of humor.
It's nice that women have a whole month in which to celebrate ourselves but, given that we're 51% of the population, we probably deserve more. So write on about women even though it's April.
My recent amazement and frustration with the month came with my discovery (I hope others already know about her) of Marie Tharp, an oceanographer. We know so much more about the ocean floor because of her even though she had to go through a man to get her work recognized. She did so much but imagine how much she could have done had she not been held back for being a woman! So, yay for Marie but boo for the patriarchy.
As for housewives, homemakers, domestic goddesses, and domestic engineers: that role is extremely important. It isn't just about the cleanliness but also about the organization, the meeting of basic needs, and being the guiding hand that shapes the lives of families and communities. All unpaid, of course. So yay for the role (and all who fill it) but boo for the society that doesn't appreciate its worth.
Oh Ramona- I would add wise woman to your resume.
And you resonated so much with me. I had a university degree and post grad qualifications but when my first child arrived, husband and self devised a careful budget so that we could survive on one income and allow me to be a stay-at-home mother. I was there for Number 2 child as well. I loved it but faced the most alienating criticism from women (this in the day of feminism ) that one can imagine.
My mother and grandmothers were proud homemakers and I guess I followed suit. I love gleam, polish, tidiness and even love ironing (best time to listen to audiobooks). I love gardening and cooking and preserving - homecrafts.
But it never stopped me writing. In 2010, my first book was publsihed and now - 14+ books later, and being a grandmother, I have hit the next best time of my life. So 'profession' isn't the be all and end all. There's a heady dimension in homemaking and where it can lead one if one can manage financially and still make an identity for oneself.
You really are a remarkable woman.
Loved this, Ramona, and see my mother in it. Strong and independent, born in 1927 and fortunate to have the opportunity to receive a college degree, teach for one year before marrying and having her first baby. She never returned to paying work. When my younger daughter went, in mom's late life, to visit, a traveling companion asked about my mother's occupation. "I taught for one year, and then I raised my children." I'm told she sat up taller as she said this. <3 Women hold up more than half the sky, in my opinion!!
It was an interesting time, for sure, Ramona. We lived on a very tight budget and once the kids were at school, I just signed up at school as a Volunteer Mother's Help and also at the local hospital as a 'Pink Lady'. That kept me out of trouble until my writing began to kick in in the 90's, but by then the kids had left school and I was a free agent to a degree. That was about the time my parents began to age significantly and in the end, I needed to help Mum nurse Dad. But writing, as for you, was my saviour. Displacement therapy. Still is... XXXX
My mother used to tell me "Don't ever do any housework you can afford to pay someone else to do!" Though she never could afford to hire weekly help, whenever she got a few bucks ahead (this was the '60s), she found a willing housecleaner and treated her like royalty.
Mom never let housecleaning get in the way of a good book or a walk on the beach.
As for Women's History, I highly recommend the podcast "WhatsHerName?" (https://whatshernamepodcast.com/) . When you have to clean the house, put in your earbuds and listen while you work.
Obviously on the late side to be adding comments Ramona...just wanted you to know how much I always resonate with your writing. So many similarities and parallels!
Although I can look back and pretty clearly see there WAS an element of "writing" attached to my journey, in truth, it's only now that I find myself trying it out more seriously. My role as an at-home Mom was not a consistent one but somehow I've still been blessed to experience some beautiful relationships with children, grands and greats.
Your reference to clean houses, husbands who couldn't change diapers, and juggling work/home certainly fit my story. And...my mom was also a Grade 8 graduate and widowed at the age of 47 with a 5 and 11 year old in tow. I look back at all of that history in utter amazement at her strength and tenacity. I have a dear friend who often says "women can do anything". I think she's right :-)
Finding myself here in that 4th quarter and still working I'm grateful to my colleagues for what I consider a gift to continue doing what I do....it has certainly been a saving grace while moving through the loss of my husband.
Thank you for your writings and your encouragement.
Prue recently gave me some new ideas to think about in relation to the word "re-invention". Perhaps our ability, willingness, confidence and guts is an underlying component of this "gender" we've been identified by and in turn the whole journey is about re-invention. So many stories and so little time to write them all...LOL.
Hhmm...I'd like to think I'm doing a little bit of "due diligence" when taking a pause or a breath Ramona. You've made me smile because I think ALL of us widows are brave in ALL circumstances and situations. Feels like it's been a very long time in coming...that idea that I don't have to make significant changes unless my heart/soul is in agreement. I'm in favor of long and thoughtful way more now than when I was 30....aha...the benefits of becoming a Crone...LOL
I love this, Ramona. I have always found it irksome that feminism and being a wife and mother are seen as two ends of the spectrum. I am all three. I have been married since I was 25 and my husband is a feminist also, as are both of our children. I have sometimes worked part-time, sometimes stayed home, but have never felt that I am 'letting down the sisterhood' by building a home with someone who is my biggest champion. I also feel that I would not be the writer I am if it wasn't for the love and encouragement of my family.
On a side note, my own mother was and will always remain my greatest heroine, who was a wife and mother first and foremost to the end.