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8 Common Misconceptions About Housewives

8 Common Misconceptions About Housewives

Housewives have always made great TV. Over the years, we’ve seen them in soap operas, like Peyton Place, followed by modern shows, like Desperate Housewives. The current reality shows based on The Real Housewives continue to make news. This time, The Real Housewives of Atlanta has created a storm of controversy over its depiction of independent African American women.

Let’s look at another type of reality which is much closer to the truth. There are many misconceptions about housewives that don’t get their start on TV. Here are eight misconceptions that might resonate with you if you are a stay-at-home housewife.

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1. People think you are very traditional

There are loads of people who think that housewives always stayed at home to tend the house and the kids. The truth is that many women have had to work over the centuries. An article in the Cambridge Journals shows that in eighteenth-century London, large numbers of women were working outside the home in order to help their husbands or simply to make ends meet. In Victorian times, the majority of women worked outside the home. So, the decision to stay at home and care for the kids is not always based upon tradition.

2. People think that your husband has decided your fate

Some people might be convinced that your husband put his foot down and said you had to stay at home. They might even mention a vacancy in their workplace in order to taunt you or to find out the truth. The reality is that you have decided how to run the household with your partner and that you are both perfectly happy with this arrangement.

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3. People think you opted out of the real world

They look on you as having no ambition within the so-called “real world.” After all, why would anyone want to spend all their time with housework and raising kids? It is a pity that these people have separated the two worlds. The real world is also right inside your home, where you are playing a crucial role in the lives of your partner and children.

4. People think you have no right to be paid for all the work you do

The feminist movement in the 1970’s founded the Wages for Housework campaign which fought for housewives’ wages. This was an obvious and just cause. In spite of the great progress made in many feminist issues, modern society still does not want housewives to be paid. In Italy, Giulia Bongiorno, a famous lawyer, is advocating that housewives should be paid in recognition for the important work they do.

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“Women who choose to work at home should be rewarded, not humiliated.” – Giulia Bongiorno

5. People think you are dependent and submissive

The reality shows have a lot to answer for. We have all seen the trophy wives who are depicted as being incapable, beautiful, and rather vapid. An Oregon State University survey shows that 70 per cent of the 18 to 29 age group enjoyed these reality shows. This is alarming because they’ve probably never questioned the stereotypes about stay-at-home wives or other false prejudices that abound in our society. The reality is that running a household is not for the faint hearted — you are autonomous and in control.

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6. People still think you have no life outside the home

Have you seen those ads for cleaning products? The ones where the women are the protagonists in about 90 per cent of the cases? Some even depict women cleaning the home while the husband takes a nap. Why don’t TV commercials reflect the reality where housewives do manage to escape the chores from time to time and have a life of their own outside the home? Loads of housewives play sports, go to films, and generally have a good time pursuing their interests and hobbies. It would be great to see more ads of men struggling with vacuum cleaners for a change, although the number of men helping in the home is increasing.

7. People think you are not an expert

Advertising, again, is to blame for portraying housewives as the go-to persons for cooking and cleaning, while men are the experts at fixing things. It seems that the housewife is only happy when cleaning and will seek a male expert when things go wrong. The false assumption is that housewives are just a little helpless and only excel at certain tasks. Celebrity chefs, like Jaime Oliver, often steal the limelight in the world of cooking. The reality is that the hardworking housewives are the real chefs and their work often goes unrewarded and unnoticed. How many times have you been tempted to tell the whole family to cook for themselves while you take a few days off?

8. People think it’s easy being a housewife

Either they have forgotten what it is like or they have someone who does all the hard work for them. I firmly believe housewives should be called managers. That is what they do, they mange the household. Shopping, cooking, gardening, budgeting, fetching kids, and helping with homework are not mindless tasks. However, that is the myth that many people seem to believe.

Featured photo credit: 1957 – Frigidare prototype kitchen/ James Vaughan via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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