I have been so happy to find such a welcoming homemaking community here on WordPress. But it is my impression that there are still a lot of people who don’t understand or approve of this lifestyle (or let’s just call it what it is: a job!) But is the stigma real, or am I making it all up in my head?
I fear this stigma (real or imagined), to the extent that I am sometimes afraid to meet new people in the event that they will ask me what I do for work. I’m inclined to just say that I’m “not working right now,” to try and avoid the issue altogether, but that inevitably leads to questions about my education, “career,” or what I “want” to be doing for work. If I say I’m a homemaker, I am worried that I will get blank stares or even heads turned away to start a different conversation. It would be nice if I could look forward to thoughtful questions like: “Oh, what does that entail?” but I expect that I’m more likely to hear: “I wish I didn’t have to work” (I did hear that one once). In that sense, perhaps there is some type of jealousy involved…
I am aware that some of the problem here is with myself, with my fears and expectations/ caring what other people think about me and how I present myself. But in general I think it’s unfair for “homemaker” to be considered a dirty word, especially when it is applied to someone who doesn’t have children. There are shirts that joke: “I wish I were a stay-at-home dog mom,” and honestly, that’s kind of what I am. But in reality, I don’t think people take that job title too seriously, even though some dogs actually require a lot of care!
It is just so standard these days for women to work outside the home—even to have a baby and then go right back to work within weeks—that it actually feels subversive to be a homemaker, particularly without having children.
Maybe if I just own the title more, I will have better luck with these types of conversations.
What has your experience been when telling someone that you are a homemaker?