I was raised by a stay-at-home mom. As I evolved and learned more about the feminist movement throughout high school, part of me felt resentment towards my mother for being what I considered to be, dependable. Looking back on those moments, I feel disappointed at the skewed version of feminism I had created in my head, one where my picture-perfect version of a feminist was an independent woman who relied only on herself.
As I grow up and as I make my way into true adulthood, I now find myself feeling grateful for the choices my mother made and still consider her to be one of the strongest people I know. When I was younger I felt that it was a shame that she had to rely on my father in order to provide for her and myself; I had wished that she would go out into the world to become her own person.
The reality is, however, that we seem to forget that sometimes this is truly genuinely what some women want and we should not shame them for choosing this lifestyle for themselves. To believe that a housewife is a representation of anti-feminism is to do away with all the unpaid labor and hard work she dedicates herself to every day. Women stay home for a variety of reasons, to move forward as a movement it is vital that we respect these decisions and do away with the idea that housework is “useless" or "inferior." After all, we pay others to do the work a housewife does — cooking, cleaning, childcare — yet we resort to calling these women lazy for choosing their family and home life as their priority. By all means, if your passion is your career, aim for the stars, and don’t let being a woman in the workforce stop you.
Nevertheless, if you find yourself feeling your happiest working in the home (and can afford it), do not let others make you feel like you do not respect yourself. Don’t let society diminish your hard work in a tireless job where clocking out doesn’t exist.