Women reverting to 1950s housewives?

Does anyone else have female friends that as soon as they get married and pop out a kid, they revert to the traditional 1950s housewife role? They drop everything they had going for them and settle into this role. Does it make you feel sad for them?

I've found this to be the case with some of my friends. Mostly because they had a whole hell of a lot going for them. But as a friend, I'm somewhat disappointed in them that they cut their potential short and decided to turn their lives into such a subservient role (in their cases, that's what it is).

I'm not knocking marriage or parenthood, but I'm a firm believer in going out in life and getting you done before getting into either if you can help it. Getting all your hopes and dreams taken care of, if possible. Two friends in particular are smart and were doing well in school. But they decided to let estrogen take over, let their boyfriends consume their lives, and fast tracked into marriage and kids, all while dropping school and everything else. One just finished a trade school (yay for her, she's at least trying now) and another remains jobless and a stay at home mom, popping out children.

I think also, knowing all the things that opened up for women with the women's movement and all that, it can be kind of annoying as a fellow female. Some women know right off the bat that they just want to be a stay at home mom, which is fine. I just think it's kind of sad that you have women with so much potential, on the right track to go do something in life, and the second the right d*** shows up, they revert to the traditional role. With a couple of my friends in particular, I think their lack of self esteem comes into play. They're settling.

But it just baffles me. We're in an era where women have more opportunity and chances to succeed. Yet you have women like this who go from so much potential to the little housewife. ...why? Anyone else noticed this about some women? Is it esteem? Is it the idea of just letting the guy work while they don't have to? What do you think?

Updates:
...wha? How is this a sexuality question? I originally posted it in behavior. :/
Guys, just please stop responding. I don't expect any of you to get it. Most of your responses are really sexist. You don't see anything strange about it because you've never been in the spot to sacrifice. Women are expected to sacrifice more than guys for the sake of families. Guys are encouraged to focus on work, not kids. 50/50, people.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • Some woman like that role, and that's fine, you shouldn't knock someones lifestyle choice it fulfils them and makes them happy.

    What bugs me is that I've worked with a lot if mothers who aren not content house wifes, so they are constantly torn between their careers and their kids, either they end up essentially doing two full time jobs (mother + day job) or they give up the career/work, to raise their kids.

    ...but these things are never issues for men, you never see men sacrificing a fulfilling career to stay home and raise kids, you rarely see men working full time coming home and cooking dinner every night or worrying about how to balance career and home life.

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    • THIS. This is also why you see the answers that exist from all the men that responded. They will never get it, unless they're single dads. Our society has been constructed to mostly benefit men. It's getting better, but there's still a lot of traditional roles out there. I think it should be at least 50/50. It's why I find it sad that some of my friends so readily dropped everything they had going for them to revert to this role. Meanwhile, hubbies haven't sacrificed as much.

What Guys Said 8

  • "But it just baffles me. We're in an era where women have more opportunity and chances to succeed. Yet you have women like this who go from so much potential to the little housewife."

    Right, because accumulating material wealth through the pursuit of a professional career is a far better choice than devoting yourself to raising your children and bettering your family. I mean, we all know that success in life is defined by the monetary value of the things you have when you die. I think you might consider the possibility that devoting yourself to being the best parent you can be IS a success. It's certainly something most people can't manage to do.

    Do you think these women were going to make incredible contributions to civilization through their professional pursuits? Have we lost the next Gutenberg or Tesla? Chances are, no. So in what way is their chosen direction worse than the yours? Are they happy? If they are, then as a friend you should be happy for them, not talking about them as though they've devolved into some lower life form.

    Also, I really don't think it's about letting the guy work while they don't have to, because if they've got kids they are working.

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  • warning warning Feminist alert...

    Maybe because they like being house wifes? Maybe they are women who care more about creating a good family and taking good care of their kids, instead of being materialistic and work and make money neglecting their children...which is what is happening these days, women caring too much about "success" and "material things". That is why now days, you see kids not respecting their parents, kids doing drugs, kids getting into trouble, kids getting pregnant, kids being rude and unrespectufl etc etc, why that is? Because when they grew up, they didn't have a mother that will tell them what was right or wrong, so basically they just learned what was right and wrong with the TV, his "friends" and on the streets.

    There is so much that a father can do to help raise children, but he cannot take completely on the role of the mother and with the mother not there either, it makes it even more difficult.

    You say you are not knocking on parenthood and marriage, but that is exactly what you are doing as you say " I'm a firm believer in going out in life and getting you done before getting into either if you can help it. Getting all your hopes and dreams taken care of, if possible", and also you keep ranting about how they have ruined their lives because they decided to take care of their kids. You make it seem as being a mother or having a family is first burdensome or two that having a family will ruin your dreams and hopes.

    What what would you know? Do you even have kids either? If you don't, then you cannot critize them. I can see how great these women are, giving up work and school for the love of her children and even their husbands as well...hard to find these days.

    I don't care what people say, but to me being a mother its a very important thing, I think women should be highly involved with children, specially the first 5 years of their lives.

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    • I love how she prob thinks that yet she would still get married. What's the point of getting married to someone who only cares about themselves and not family? So she has no problem with getting an expensive ring and wedding but has a problem with raising a child because she does not want that "Role". Its amazing how easily woman are brainwashed from this feminist crap.

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    • women are better mothers, that is just how it is. For instance women seem to be more compassionate and more understanding of what the baby might be going through, I don't know hoe to explain it, but my friend told me since women the baby was inside of them, they can understand the baby better, because it was a part of them, so its like they are connected somehow. I don't know if I can explain myself. Women by nature are just simply better suited to be mothers than men.

    • ^ I think the word you're looking for is "nurturer."

  • I think that being a housewife is VERY difficult. I respect it. I've been taught (not by my father, but by women in my house) to respect the heck out of it. If a woman is happy in that role, and there are no financial issues, then more power to them.

    Now, if this means the guy is abusive and she won't get help and constantly defends him... (like "Mad Men" where all the guys are constantly cheating on their wives) or if he doesn't respect the woman for her role and contribution to the household, then it's a problem. Otherwise if they can do it, and she does it well, and stuff gets done, then I respect it.

    If a woman is vacuuming, cooking, doing laundry, taking care of the kids, planning schedules, etc, improving herself, and the guy just thinks she's sitting around doing nothing all day, then it's a problem, but with him.

    Maybe you need to get "stuck" ("stuck" would be from your point of view, not mine) in that kind of life before you knock it - maybe it's not as easy as you might think.

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    • the point she was making was that women shouldn't be housewives all the time. She can be a working mother who is also a housewife (some are house husbands). She's disappointed in the fact that these women who have such potential threw it away because they wanted kids and marriage so early.

      She never once said she disrespected housework. It is a lot of work, but it's not suppose to be an 8 hour job.

      She's saying women shouldn't have their ceiling capped at being a housewife, a point you missed

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    • I find it sexist if a woman refers to guys as "the right d**ck comes along" - reducing a guy to genitalia is sexist. As sexist as if a guy referred to a woman by her genitalia (I don't believe I've ever done this, though it happens with some guys.)

      "Women are expected to sacrifice more than guys for the sake of families. Guys are encouraged to focus on work, not kids." This is a shame, too, whether men or women do this, and it's sexist, no matter who's doing it.

    • No honey, it wasn't a shot at the guy. It's a shot at the girl because she drops everything for the right d***. Unfortunately, in the cases that I know of, the guy wasn't exactly the best option to drop their lives for, hence falling in love with the "right d***." You know girls do stupid things when estrogen kicks in, and that includes marrying questionable guys.

  • I have a few co-workers at one of my jobs that are like that. They think that they can have a kid so they can give their parents an excuse to keep them in the house.

    They'll be like "Its hard to find a job when I have these kids running around!"

    They might live off social security or welfare...despite hardly ever working (I have 4 coworkers like that).

    I agree though, women should have equal rights as men (some might argue more rights to make up for past discrimination a so called "affirmative action for women") and some of those girls totally slap the other girls right in the face who will wait until they've not only found the right guy, but are financially secure and have a stable job with a quality education.

    The girls you talk about are truly the crap of society...when opportunity knocks, they'll never answer.

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    • Yeah, and it annoys me that I have to keep reiterating that it's not about ALL of them, just the ones that seem to just... give up. The ones that DO become subservient. They no longer have an identity- it's all about the husband and kids.THAT is the crap that the women's movement helped get rid of, yet it's still alive and well in some families. The examples that I speak of aren't exactly fine and peachy. If they were, I probably wouldn't feel sad for them. It's like you gave up everything you

    • had going for you for THIS? You could have at least waited a few more years til it was better for everyone. :/

    • I don't know if they become subservient, but a housewife does lose "power", even if the husband and wife don't realize it. I mean after all, what's to stop the husband from finding someone who is younger, prettier, and can do the same thing? I'm surprised by some of the machoism found in the guys' comments really. Most males do love the power and do not want to give it up to another woman it seems.

      I know for me, I will NOT marry a housewife...it's almost insulting.

  • Lol How is it "reverting"?

    Do you even know how that "Role" was even founded?

    Back when the world was a dangerous place it was the mans job to hunt and protect his family. Logic was needed on the battlefield and in the wilderness. Men use logic while woman act on emotions. And having a family, it wouldn't be Logical to bring a crying baby hunting with you. So while the man was out hunting, Gathering wood and building a home to protect from god knows what, the woman was there taking care of the children she gave birth to and cooking the days catch that her man risked his life to bring the family. Men are naturally build to be stronger then woman. so men having the "role" of hunter makes Logical sense.

    This "Role" carried over into the "1950's house wife" that you spoke of. It was only until recently that this whole "woman are better then men" movement started. It would never have happened in the old world but because its a much safer world out there and not every thing is trying to kill us you can now make a living on your own. Thanks to Mass advertisement and a bunch of nonsense Woman are now told that being a "stay at home mom" is a bad thing, While still enforcing the idea that its still the "mans job" to provide. So now we have a country where Most woman try so hard to be a self provider that they can't even Fulfill that "house wife" role. Unless your family has culture influence of another nation most woman can't cook, or clean and are terrible mothers overall.

    So while they have a child they are still caring about "being the man" and they end up neglecting that child and the cycle continues. So while Men are still pressured to "be the man" , woman are stuck to either being one or the other. or just bad at both. Since this Big movement has begun they have already doe plenty surveys and research and it shows that Most woman Overall are unhappier then men. because now that they got the rights that men do, they are now raised being told that they have to be someone and have all the pressures that We men do. And now realize that its not all that great.

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    • Aw, ain't that precious.

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    • You can still be a great mother without being with the children 24/7. Just because you are with them all the time does not make them good children and does not mean you know how to raise them. It's quality over quantity easily.

      But we do not live in a hunter society, if we need food women and men can easily buy it. If a woman can easily earn the money that men can, then let them. My mother was a working mother and a student, yet I never once felt neglected or unloved. You need new logic.

    • Theres a difference between a student/working mother and someone who thinks being an actual caring mother is a waste of time and a stupid stereotype because of media nonsense that was fed to them their whole life.

  • the most honest answer is everyone has a different perspective in life. some dream of the mom role, and others are independent and do what they want. your life ain't over cause you have a kid. and exploring the world will one day make you meet some one and you settle down etc. see the point? it all up to everyone to make up what they want

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  • Well, kids are KINDA a big responsibility. Pretty sure once you have them a LOT of things become all about the kids an not about the parents anymore. And the biological reality of life is that there's a lot in the kid-having process that mom can do that dad can't.

    The other thing to consider is that a lot of women really ENJOY being a mom once they have a kid and would rather spend their time and energy on that than on whatever else they were doing earlier.

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    • Did you miss the part where I said I wasn't knocking having kids? I didn't downplay the significance of being a mother, either. I'm well aware that some women enjoy that. My whole point is that some women go from having aspirations to completely dropping it because they think they found prince charming. It's kind of depressing that they throw away their potential like that. :/

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    • Yeah. You SAY you get what I'm saying, but I really don't think you do. What was the point of the women's movement? To allow women to have a CHOICE. You seem to think that when women today exercise that choice in favor of spending more time on their kids and their partners that somehow that's a "waste." For you, maybe. For many others, not so much.

    • Actually, I do. I'm not going to continue to argue with a 23 year old who thinks he knows what's going on in my thought processes. Go take some reading comprehension skills and a women's history class and get back to me. YOU really don't get it.

  • 1950s housewives, oh yeah its such a bad thing for women to be busting their ass taking care of their family, F*** the family they don't matter

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    • Your logic is absolutely astounding.

    • I don't care if women want to dedicate their lives to children and not work, as long as they do it with their own money and not live off the state (uk).

What Girls Said 7

  • Some women prefer that role.

    My mom got her Bach degree in pshycology while raising my older brother on the side; she took on both mom and dad roles after the dudes took off - but even when she was married, she still wanted to do something more with herself.

    On the contrary - my aunt is a stay at home mom by choice; she loves being with her children all the time and taking care of the home. My uncle is cool with doing all the financial supporting - so it works out.

    Just depends on the chick.

    Me, I inherited my mom's more ambitious nature, so I won't be settling down as iconic wifey anytime soon.

    I'm all for equal contribution as well; I'd feel less of a partner, not helping my guy take care of our home when I'm married - and likewise, I'd hope he'd feel the same about rearing the kids.

    But the desire to build a home and manage it is inherently apart of my feminine nature.

    When I think about having a family, I do take pleasure in the idea of cooking and cleaning to make sure everyone is nourished and well taken care of. I don't see it as being a servant to anyone - I mean, that is a major responsibility nurturing the human race. Men are like the walls that help preserve it, and women help it grow - it's the dynamic.

    The refined details of how it's done however, is what people can tweak to their liking.

    If a chick wants to be a 1950's wife, more power to her nurturing the next generation -

    To the girls who have that extra ambition or means to pursue more available fields in life, more power to them for embracing new ideas - promoting our overall progression.

    My hopes is to fall somewhere in between when the time comes to figure out what type of mother I'd like to be.

    I believe men did at a time, abuse this position of women. It was all we were limited too - women were beaten, scolded by men if they didn't take up the role - it was usually the only available spot, because women depended on men for essentials.

    So naturally one would think it's horrible to be a stay at home mom. That she is being used as a servant, belittled and seen as less than.

    I can't fathom doing the stay at home thing 100%, like you, because we just seek to explore the other available oppurtunities.

    But I respect every stay at home mom for her contribution.

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    • I'm not putting down stay at home moms all together. I'm really not. I guess I'm just baffled that women aren't taking the opportunities that have opened up. Maybe it's just the examples that I know of and the women I've known to do this stuff. I know there are women out there who rock it, and good for them. But many that I know of either turn into servant to the husband (she thinks she owes him because he married her), or they gave up because hubby provided a work free lifestyle. All they have

    • to do is stay at home, watch the kids, spread their legs, oh, and spend husband's money. It's like okay, wtf did we have the women's movement for, ladies? Are you kidding me?

    • Lol - honestly I'm sure, it's for all the reasons and them some that you listed.

      To you and I, as young ambitious females, such an idea seems so limiting to the grander possibilites. Likewise, I'm sure several house wives look at those ambitious women and scoff at the idea of giving up some of that aspect of " woman hood."

      But alas, we are all our own - and so is our outlooks and realities.

  • Some women actually prefer the traditional housewife role, and are just doing everything else for the time-being until they find someone and are able to play that role. Some women never planned on taking on that role, and wanted to have children and a career but have found that raising children is extremely hard and tiring and have realized that they have to choose one or the other. Some women find that they are able to both if they want, so they do. Some women find that the whole career thing has not cracked up to be what they thought it would be and prefer to stay at home with the kids.

    It has nothing to do with self esteem, and it is kind of offensive that you said that. I personally have no family and am very career-orientated at the moment. However, if I became a traditional housewife, it would be because I wanted to and not because I have low self-esteem. I am actually one of those women who always wanted to be a stay-at-home mum, but that doesn't mean that I am going to get pregnant to the first man who comes along, I am picky and want to find a good partner, sitting at home waiting for the right man to come along just happen and is boring. So I work, which has lead to a career. At the moment my career is my first priority, but that is because I have no children or family, as soon as they come along I am quite happy to put my career on the back-burner. However I am lucky enough to have chosen a career that could be done while also being a stay at home mother.

    Don't be disappointed in your friends, they are doing what they have chosen to do. If you don't approve of what they are doing, then find new friends. There are many different people in this world. Some share your views and some don't. It's great that you are very career-orientated, but don't get angry at women who aren't as ambitious as you. Some people don't see having careers as the pinnacle of success.

    The women's movement was about giving women the right to have careers, and be the bread winners for their families etc, it's not about forcing women to work when they would rather be at home raising their children. It was about giving women a choice, not forcing them to do something.

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    • You don't know the entire story behind my friends and why I'm disappointed in them. This is one of many poorly made decisions in their lives and chances are they're going to end up with some regrets later on because they thought with their estrogen and not their heads. It's all a long story, but there's reasons behind the disappointment.

    • Also, I say "poorly made" because their situations didn't exactly come from the best circumstances. They both could have waited a bit. I know someone is gonna twist that into "FAMILIES AREN'T POORLY MADE DECISIONS!" :/ Not what I meant.

  • Yes I do agree with you. I almost feel sorry that for some women their only dream is to get married. I don't know hey.

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    • Oddly enough, if that's all they want, fine. I think they're selling themselves short, but if it floats their boat, whatev. I just don't get it when they're doing so well for themselves and then just drop it all and do NOTHING after that point. :/ Yes, they're taking care of kids, which is great. But from one extreme to the next...? :s But then there's women who I know of who did all of it and kept rocking what they did, which is pretty admirable.

  • Don't listen to Fox. I understand what you are saying and in ways I do agree with you. I myself am an ambitious person. I hope to settle down when I am in my mid thirties, so that I will have plenty of time to explore. Although when I was a little girl, I thought that women were supposed to take on this role. As I got older and wiser I realized that the term "settle down" applies mostly to women. My mom died when I was five and my dad had to take on the role as mother and father. He had to do the hard work that is considered the "women's job". He had no choice is that matter and I believe that I some cases that happens to women. When it is the woman's choice it could be self esteem. Or it could just be a change of heart. Women that don't mind staying at home and doing whatever their husband tells them to do have a certain mindset. If I ever have children I will do everything I possibly can for them, but I will also want half of the effort coming from their father.

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    • I wouldn't expect guys to get it, really. So far, none of the answers have quite gotten the point of the post or the questions. :/ I get their points, but it's not downplaying the significance of motherhood. It's the fact that some women just so readily drop the opportunity given to them. What makes it even sadder is that they do NOTHING. You can have a family AND still do all the other. :/ I agree though when it comes to kids. That's why I don't have any right now. When they come along, that's

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    • Yea, I understand what you mean. I feel the same way.

    • Yea, completely giving everything up is a huge waste - especially since there are so many people who don't even get such an oppurtunity :\

  • I am a single woman who is 23 and working my way through school. I think it is sad how you portray your friend as "remains jobless and a stay at home mom, popping out children'. It is obviouse how little you think of her. I know that there is a lot more to being a stay at home wife/mom then just popping out children.

    I am on my way to a very succesfull career along with many of my friends in the enviromental engeneering field. I know several women that started out like me and decided along the way that they would rather be home with their kids and/or husbands. I think that is great! if that is what they want to do and are happy doing it. My mother and grandmother did not March on the steps at washington so that every woman would have a job in the future. They Marched so that every woman COULD have a job in the future IF they wanted it. It was so that women had a choice.

    It sounds a little like you have become the very thing that you are upset about. You want women to have all their rights, but you seem to want to take some away by wanting them to have to work. It seems like you hold ideals about wemon very simmular to in the 1950's except on the oposit end of the spectrum. In the 50's they expected wemon to stay home, you seem to expect them to go to work. In the 50's they were looked down on if they worked out side the home and you seem to be looking down on them if they work inside the home.

    I know many wemon that are drawn to more domestic type work. it seems silly that they should take up maid jobs or work in a child care center just so that they can show they are working. It makes more sence that if they can afford to and want to, that they should enjoy doing what they love to do in the comfert of their home where they will actually be able to see the diffrence they are making.

    It saddens me to see that there are people out there that hate the 50's for what they did to wemon, but then they themselves are doing the exact same thing just on the other end of the spectrum. I hoped we had come farther than that.

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    • I think it's sad that you mention going to school yet can't properly use spell check. :/

  • im a housewife/student its not that bad

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    • I don't see it as horrible. And good for you for going to school and juggling both. I know it's rough. I'm a caretaker to my mom, plus school and a job. I know it's hard to do. In the instances that I mentioned, it's like they lost their drive and settled into something that so wasn't them. Because of that, I'm sad for them. I know them and know that later on down the road they may have some regrets for not finishing what they started.

    • yea but in the end its their choice and I know what its like to take care of people because as of until Friday I tool care of a house of 17 people. I cooked, cleaned, washed clothes, ironed, took care of 5 new borns which two of them are my own twins.

  • I'd love to be a house wife.. though I can't have kids myself.

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