Many housewives have defined success on their own terms. Western society teaches us from a very young age that we are what we do for money. It all begins during our formative years, perhaps quite innocently, when people ask, “So what do you want to be when you grow up?” The elation and acceptance of our childhood dreams often coincides with the level of prestige, power and income associated with those roles. Doctor? All smiles. Teacher? Not so much. Housewives who have broken the mode have applied a different definition of what success looks like in their own lives. Even if our society doesn’t celebrate us or understand the choices we’ve made, we find solace and meaning in knowing we are who we are, independent of the temporary status or ephemeral esteem of a job title.
Many housewives are among the bravest, most gutsy women around. We live without the safety blanket of job titles and instead have developed identities based on our talents, interests, priorities and personalities. We often make for the most engaging and interesting dinner party guests, as our conversation will rarely revolve around office politics, industry jargon or ascending the corporate ladder. We are confident in the knowledge that our tombstones and epitaphs will have meaning beyond “Jane Doe, Administrative Assistant” or “Janet Smith, Vice President of Human Resources.”
Housewives are a major ingredient in the glue of communities. These days, I can’t imagine what my neighborhood would be like, if not for the housewives who are the heartbeat of so many communities. Many of us work from home, as freelancers, consultants or small business owners. Others are caring for energy-zapping infants and toddlers, while some are navigating the increasingly complex world of raising school-aged children. Though housewives are often busy and preoccupied with assorted tasks, errands and obligations during the day, our availability also increases the quality of life for others. We are a relief valve for sick children, neighbors who work conventional full-time jobs, spouses and partners with insanely busy careers, and nonprofit organizations and schools that need volunteers. What do you get in a neighborhood with no Housewives by Chance? A street full of houses, not homes.
Share your thoughts. Which characteristics make housewives "rock"? Do you think we get enough credit?