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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 July 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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