Pros and Cons of being a Homemaker

Hello. I'm new here and am seeking some advice for a good cause. I have volunteered to set up a display at our local middle school's career day as a Homemaker. I have had a very difficult time finding solid resources to provide information to the students who may visit my table. I wanted to do a hand out with Pros and Cons and a list of resources. HELP!!!

Sparrow's picture

I don't think I would've thought of setting up a table for homemakers at a career day, but now that you mention it, it's a great idea. :)

Here are the things I can think of off the top of my head:

Pros:
Taking care of your family and children yourself, the way you'd like it done, and getting to know and enjoy them
(Corollary: No or lower childcare bills)
A person minding the home can keep on top of things so a working spouse doesn't have to worry about them
Errands can be run during off hours
Self-direction and flexibility

Cons:
Self-direction and flexibility! ;) (With few outside deadlines, it can be easy to procrastinate or let tasks take all day.)
Possible social isolation (unless you take steps to get out and be involved)
Possible disdain/disinterest of others (it can be hard to answer the question "so what do you do?" at a party or join in conversations about work)

Have a look around the rest of the site, too, if you haven't already. There are a lot of good articles. Good luck! :)

jennye's picture

The only con in this household is that lack of one income. But the fact that with childcare and price of fuel these days, I would owe money to work, so it's offset there.

Then again, I'm prejudice. LOL! I love staying at home and raising my kids myself. So worth any sacrifice!

Shaun's picture

Some Cons:
Some people may not respect what you do or assume that you aren't smart/ambitious enough for work outside the some.
You are on duty 24/7
The work is often tiring in a way that non-homemakers can't understand. (Like husbands!)

Pros:
Usually a more peaceful homelife. (Bet you'd get lots of guff for suggesting this one!)
More direct control over how your children are raised.
Opportunity to make healthier foods (healthy foods can't be pulled together in 15 minutes between work and socccer!) Notice I say *opportunity* :grin:
More direct control over how you spend your own time (well, to some extent . . . )

Shaun
www.homeschoolblogger.com/shaunms

Becky's picture

Some cons:

If you fall on financial hard times, it can be difficult to get back into the paying workforce quickly after being out of it for a number of years.

You may not get as many verbal pats on the back as you are used to (I've never worked in a paying place where I got a lot of those, but I hear some people do and I can see where it would feel frustrating to lose those as a homemaker).

Some pros:

The flexibility of "moonlighting" in an at-home business.

Depending on the partner's job, may be better off financially because of reduced taxes and expenses.

Jilsyt's picture

PROS:
Once I actually get my schedule organized (I try to run the place like I ran my office, it helps keep things done--but of course with a little more love!!) I find I have time to explore ME more. I read books I WANT to read, I learn different gardening methods, I cook much more elaborately than I could before, I have time to call and/or write those I love much more often, I remember more birthdays, my husband gets more support & therefore our home is more peaceful. Of course, this all actually depends on me doing my "job" of home maker.

CONS: There are days when I'm less patient with my children than I'd like to be, and I find myself taking my kids for granted a wee bit more (when I worked, I'd look forward to seeing them, now there are days I can't wait for them to fall asleep). BUT, I'm getting better.

Things don't always get done at home, resulting in the "What did you do all day?" question, even if I'm pooped from being a referee (when kids argue--more bonks usually due to young age), or putting up with tantrums.

I've got longer lists for pro & con, but no more time to write, as my children require my help at the moment. Best wishes with the booth!!!

tamara's picture

Thank you all so much for your comments! Not only have you given me some "wording" to use, but I feel like there are others out there who share my thoughts and feelings. I've been to other stay at home moms sites and homemaker sites in the past, but never really felt compelled to spend the time re-visiting them. I found this site over the weekend and it has been wonderful.

tamara's picture

I wanted to let you all know that my booth at Career Day was well taken. Many kids stopped and aksed me questions because they had a form they had to complete with questions for more than just one booth,(or career). The questions I got the most were 1. What are your responsibilities? 2. What are your hours? 3. Were you a top student in school? 4. What is your favorite part of your job? 5. What is your least favorite part of your job? 6. Do you set goals? These were easy to answer, but giving them my responsibilities in one sentence was difficult!There were a couple of gilrs who were interested and ironically they had mom's who were homemakers! I also got a positive response from the other(career)participants. They all thought it was a great idea. Thank you all again for your responses and help. It gave me an extra boost of confidence that day.
Tamara

Shaun's picture

It's great to hear how things went. Glad it was a success!

Shaun
www.homeschoolblogger.com/shaunms

Andrea's picture

Very cool Tamara! It was fun to hear about this. Please join us again.
Andrea

Erik's picture

I believe the single most difficult problem facing families today is the issue of finances. Unfortunately our economy is not friendly to one income families unless that income is rather exceptional. The costs of housing, transportation, education, to name a few, presuppose at least a high five figure to low six figure total household income. Our society does not give enough deference to the time commitment that is required to run a household and raise a family. We apparently value corporate “productivity” more highly. Has anyone out there noticed how involved we are nevertheless expected to be with our children's education and how many school functions there are? And, what about all of their extra-curricular activities? For these and many, many other reasons it is very important that both spouses have time to commit to their family and also be able to earn enough money to help their children and themselves now and in the future.

To accomplish that goal, we need to re-orient how money is earned, invested, taxed and inherited so that we can have a more democratic distribution of wealth. We can and should have the time to commit to our family and provide for its current and long term financial well-being. It is ridiculous that any family must take a “vow of poverty” to do what they believe is in their family’s best interest. In the long run many couples are essentially sacrificing their retirement for their children, and no one should have to do that. What’s ironic is that by not earning enough money now many parents will not be able to help their children in the way they would like when those children are in college and when they are adults – let alone helping grand children.

tamara's picture

I was a little nervous to mention having this as a career day option, too, but so far I have received good responses. It has been intersting though to hear different peoples opinions about what a homemaker really is. I know my personal feelings on the pros and cons, but I really wanted to get some other comments. Thank you so much, your comments are helpful. I will post my experience once I get through this thing!

tamara's picture

Thank you, jennye. I agree and it has been difficult to provide non-bias information to the students without getting on my soapbox! I will see how it all goes this year and maybe I will keep doing it wach year for the school. Thanks for the reply, it's appreciated!

Lynn's picture

And you made me stop for a moment to think of MY answers to those questions. :)

Lynn Siprelle, Editor

CityMama's picture

What a great website -- I've enjoyed reading these posts and other content. As a mom who works full-time in a typical NY rat race job, I often find myself questioning that fundamental choice that I make every weekday morning.

I agree with Erik that our society doesn't leave us much middle ground. I won't get on my soapbox about the US' amazingly miserly regulations in support of working parents -- which overwhelmingly act to disadvantage single moms, not mention all of our kids. But I imagine some percentage of homemakers wish the options weren't so black and white and would gladly take on paid, traditional work 1-2 days a week if appropriate/affordable childcare arrangements were available and such job options were more readily available. That's where I see our society not being sufficiently family-friendly. :O

A traditional part-time job usually requires more than 8-16 hrs/wk, rarely offers a high level of job satisfaction or promotional possibility, and often pays relatively poorly regardless. If corporations and smaller employers could envision employment options built around the amount of time that traditional homemakers are able to contribute -- e.g., through job sharing and/or breaking a single job into more discrete management skill sets -- I think they'd be amazed at the productivity value they'd get as a result, at no additional cost to them.

I know, most homemakers love their 'job' and aren't exactly pining away for a cubicle! :) But per the pros/cons listed here, working outside the home in some capacity offers:

* A mental break... and your kids benefit, too, when you come home re-energized and missing their cute little selves
* A mental pick-me-up, thinking about business issues that have nothing to do with diapers, etc
* An environment where your identity is individualized and not tied to your kid(s). You're judged on your own accomplishments, and yours alone.
* An option to contribute financially to the family (assuming access to lower cost childcare), balancing the scales a bit with your spouse
* Social interaction, although honestly you don't need a job to have that!

But unfortunately, you won't get most of those benefits working at your typical hourly job that allows you to work 1-2 days/wk. It's such a pity that our corporate culture can't make room for such 'radical' arrangements. In the meantime, homemakers will continue starting eBAY businesses, writing books and articles, organizing community activities, supporting local schools, and finding other creative outlets that recognize their individuality beyond their parent status.

I can only hope that by the time my 2-yr-old daughter is facing the same choices, her options will be richer.

Lynn's picture

What a thoughtful post! Welcome to the site.

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