Is being a housewife & stay-at-home mother degrading?

By housewife & stay at home mother, I mean a woman who stays at home, keeps the house clean, takes care of the kids, takes them to and from school(or extracurricular activities), makes sure the husband and kids have breakfast, lunch and dinner on time...

while the husband works...

degrading? terrible choice?

My grandma was a housewife her whole life and my grandpa never had to lift a finger. She was a housewife up until the day she died...and after that he had to be taken in cause he couldn't even cook for himself.

But they were a traditional Hispanic couple...it's not really common among the other ahem, cultureless races/ethnicities in America


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Most Helpful Guy

  • Something is only degrading if you feel like it is, or are made to. My mom stayed at home and my dad treated her like gold and appreciated what she did, so she didn't feel degraded at all. My wife stayed at home while our kids were young and loved it because I appreciated her as well. She's been back to work now for about 7 years and though she enjoys her work most of the time, not a day goes by when BOTH us don't miss her being at home. Life was so much simpler then for every one of us.

    I think the "degrading" perception comes from the fact that men underappreciated the stay-at-homers for years, and during / after the women's movement women themselves have disrespected them them and made them feel like "less than real women".

    I do feel like the tide has begun to turn and both men and women are finally beginning to realize the value of a homemaker. If you have kids, it's the most important job there is. Unfortunately, most families can't afford to not have both parents earning an income.

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What Guys Said 7

  • I think if she wants genuinely wants to do that then it's okay.. but if she is pressured to live like that my her husband or society and she dislikes it then it is degrading.

    I personally wouldn't want that. I'd want someone who wanted to go out into the world and have goals and dreams.

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  • In my view, it's only degrading in 2 cases:

    1 - You don't enjoy it at all.

    2 - Your partner treats you like that's not a legitimate activity or if he treats you in a generally degrading way.

    Otherwise it's perfectly fine, there's nothing wrong with being a good multitasker, if you break it down:

    Nothing degrading about being a cook, unless you're treated in a degrading way.

    Nothing degrading about being a janitor, unless you're treated in a degrading way.

    Nothing degrading about raising kids.

    And there's certainly nothing degrading about doing all of these things for people you love, unless they don't appreciate it, take you for granted or treat you like sh*t.

    I'm particularly adamant about having a housewife, but I wouldn't mind it if that's what she wants. Also I don't think it wouldn't be degrading to be a househusband or whatever you call that :D

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  • not really but as long as the husband is fine I see nothing wrong with it.

    But she should also try an do something on the side for herself.

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  • Actually it is very common for a man in America to have no homemaking skills. Did your grandpa have a job? If so I consider that lifting a finger. My father could not cook anything really but he worked his ass off. My mother worked for my dad AND was a housewife (an awful one in my opinion). I think being a good mother and taking care of a home IS a job and not an easy one.

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    • Duh? But that's not the same as being able to get around the house

    • Not sure what you mean (and be nice to Elmo and me)

  • It's not degrading, but I'd never be interested in a woman who wanted that kind of a life. It would be way too boring for me.

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  • I think it is not degrading per say but it should be teamwork.

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  • My mom was. It was always awesome to come home to my mom and not some stupid babysitter. Dorothy Mantooth is a SAINT!

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What Girls Said 5

  • Nope I don't see how it's degrading unless she's forced to do it against her will and her work isn't appreciated. My mom has been a housewife since I was born and I've loved it cause it's definitely been a comfort knowing she'll be there when I get home and that she'll come watch my sport practices or matches. In a sense it gave me lots of stability growing up that I don't take for granted. Of course in modern society it's difficult cause money doesn't grow on trees but I'd hope to someday also provide my kids with this kind stability by compromising and perhaps getting a part time job but I just know I'd never be able to fully be a housewife cause I do want a career of my own.

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  • No, being a stay at home mom in itself is not degrading, provided it's the woman's choice. The only way I can see it being degrading is if she's treated with less respect by her husand or family for it, which she shouldn't be.

    Personally, I know I would go a little crazy- I was home for about 6 weeks caring for my mom and running the household with nothing outside of that and I was pretty unhappy. It's not that it wasn't worthwhile work or difficult- I just needed something to focus on besides that to keep me content.

    Some women need that, others feel more centered when they run the household and are there to make everything run smoothly. To each her own.

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  • As long as there is respect between the couple and they both appreciate what the other does for the household then I don't see why it would be degrading. It's worked for my parents the last 30 years, and my dad (who is the breadwinner) will still help out around the house or cook sometimes. Because my mom is able to take care of the home life while my dad works, it gives both of them more free time to go out and do stuff together. If they both worked full time they would have to use their spare time to complete the role my mom has currently, which in turn would end up adding a lot more stress to the relationship.

    Both earning the income and taking care of the home life NEED to get done regardless if you're married or single. Dividing the load between a couple doesn't diminish the value of either person or what they do.

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  • I myself don't know if I'd be up for it but some women enjoy that way of life and I think that's perfectly okay. I do see how it can be seen as degrading, I guess it just depends.

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  • Not as long as the woman is okay with it. It's only degrading if she feels it's degrading. Some women enjoy being housewives.

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