05 September 2014

-by Marla

 

Okay, maybe the pictures over-simplify the debate a little too much.  However, I would like to hearken back to the late 50s and early sixties.  When I was a child, everyone's mother stayed home.  I honestly can't think of one instance where anyone's mom in our neighborhood worked, or any of my classmates had to come home to an empty house after school.  Nobody's parents were divorced, and single-parent households virtually did not exist.

This is a concept so foreign, it almost sounds like I'm spinning an "Once Upon A Time" story, but let me tell how it used to be...I lived in a middle or lower middle class neighborhood.  My father was a barber, so he wasn't making a load of money.  One neighbor's dad was a breadman, my next door neighbor's dad was an electrician for the Kansas City Power and Light.  No doctors, lawyers, or big-wigs in our neighborhood.  Still, everyone managed to live on one income.  Everyone was dressed neatly and cleanly.  Families might have only had one car, but that was easily shared on days when mom needed to run errands or take kids to the doctor.  Moms cleaned house, cooked supper, helped with homework, and took kids to ball practice.  Moms also had spare time.  It wasn't unusual for moms to have bridge parties where they would meet at a neighbor's house and play cards for a few hours one or two days a week. They had "coffees" together in the mornings, had quite a few things delivered to the house (such as milk and diapers), went shopping with friends, hung out at the local pool while we went swimming, and always seemed to be cheerful, for the most part. Some moms did yard work, but back in those day that was a rariety, also.    This is another strange thing, now that I think about it, but nobody had a "fat" mom back then.  In fact, obesity was very uncommon in those days.

Later in the sixties, and clear up until the present, the term "Women's Lib" became the catchphrase.  Women's Liberation!  Wow!  I don't have to be stuck in the house all day.  I can get out and feel important and needed, and my life will be worthwhile!  I am a LIBERATED WOMAN!!  Hooray!!  Hmmmm.  Let's take a look at where that landed us.  When women began entering the workforce it increased competition for a certain number of jobs.  Instead of having to pay good wages to keep good employees, they suddenly could lower pay and still have good employees, because there were more workers than jobs.  Suddenly you could no longer survive on just one income.  It took two people working to accomplish what one used to do.   Liberated women still had to cook, clean, help with homework, and shuttle kids to ball practice and after-school events.  The difference is now they had to do it after working a 40 hour week.  How is that liberating?  In my opinion, that seems to be enslaving.  Oh, but you say, the people you work with or for appreciate you so much more!  Not true...I found that I was now being taken for granted in two settings - at home AND at work.  Sure, I got the occasional pat on the back, but it wasn't so different than the pat I got occasionally at home. I had to miss school events and field trips because I was chained to a full-time job.  Well, you say, now you don't have to have kids, and that is a liberating notion!  That frees you to pursue a REAL, IMPORTANT career!!  Oddly enough, childless couples are still not all that common.  I see women doctors that are frazzled after staying up all night with a crying baby, just like I did!  So, rather than being liberated, we are exhausted zombie moms with latchkey kids that we are too busy to take an interest in, and they have no supervision or stability after school.

I have had it both ways, and believe me I would rather be a housewife and stay-at-home mom.  I like having time to do my housework during the day, going grocery shopping when it's not cram-packed like it is on Saturday, and having time to sit and relax with my family in the evenings.  It's nice not having to ask for "time off" to take a child to the orthodontist, or to watch a school play.  It's nice not having to watch the clock, scared to death of being late after taking "time off".  Ladies, we have been sold a bill of goods!  The progressives have had an ulterior motive all this time.  It's to get us willingly to pay more income tax.  Instead of one paycheck, they are cashing in on two.  The women aren't active in what is going on at school.  This enables them to teach our children whatever they want, knowing we're too busy to check up on them.  They get our little ones in daycare from the time they are 6 weeks old until they are ready to fend for themselves.  What are they teaching them?  Is it the same as the love and values they would get from their mother?  It causes discontent at home.  There are frustrated moms on a short fuse that are exasperated if their husbands don't help equally with household tasks.  When people are pushed to the limit, marriages falter and families break up.

I read an article the other day that stated the government is now concerned, because mothers don't have the time to cook real sit-down meals for their families.  Also they can't afford the food to prepare homecooked meals, either.  WHAT?!?  How much does it cost for a sack of potatoes or a bag of beans?  Their big solution is one big community soup-kitchen type setting where everyone helps and eats and they live happily ever after!!  I have entered the twilight zone!  I fear what we've created is a generation of women that no longer know how to cook, and couldn't make a meal from scratch if their life depended on it.  They are so worn out after working all day that they run through the drive-thru and pick up something everynight, and eat it in the car on the way to yet another meaningless practice or function that our kids all seem to need to participate in.  That, I fear, is the reason for so much obesity, poor nutrition, and the harm to the family when they no longer feel it's important to sit around the dinner table and talk about their day.  Is it worth the sacrifice to work that job so you can afford a lot of extra stuff that you don't even like once you get it?  Would it possibly be worth the sacrifice to give up a few "luxuries" in order to take better care of yourself and your family?    We are allowing outside forces to shape our thoughts and actions when they might not be what we really want or need.  As a group, we need to start utilizing our critical thinking skills.  Make your own choices because that's what you want, not because you are told that is supposed to be what you want.  I've been demeaned as being "just a housewife" plenty, but guess what?  The laugh is on the one making fun, because I actually am a "Liberated Woman."