(The original Lazy Housewives post can be found here.)
I just Googled “lazy housewife.” Yes, I knew that typing in a search term like that was hardly going to bring up balanced commentary. I am all too familiar with the wisdom of Le Internet Culture when it comes to the ladies. As I expected, there are plenty of people who don’t think it’s ironic to spend time sitting on their butts complaining online about lazy women.
“Is the lazy housewife who mooches off her husband any better than the welfare mom with six kids? Just something I thought of today. Both of them are leeches, but most of society looks down at the welfare mom but not the spoiled suburban housewife. Why is that?”1
“I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but [censored]! Why do some lazy [censored] women get to not work and just stay at home and be a “stay-at-home-mom” and “housewife”? They’re so [censored] spoiled, and they DONT EVEN deserve it! Men or women either one, can give me their opinion, i just wanna know the reason WHY? Is it because of the way they look? Is it just because their husband wants to baby them and wants them to not have to work? What is it????”2
Thanks, Internet. Fun stuff.
I also learned there’s a breed of bean called Lazy Housewife.
Represent, ladies. We’ve got a bean named after us!
It was the first kind that didn’t have a string that needed to be pulled out before eating. That’s why it’s named after us. Because not wanting to pull the strings out of fifty beans every time you cook with them? Lazy. Leave it to a housewife to complain about something so silly when her husband spends eight hours a day toiling at who knows what.
I also found some people drawing a distinction between a lazy housewife, and one who contributes properly by keeping the house clean, cooking good meals, playing with the kids, and being ready with a smile and a pretty face when hubs gets home. Those aren’t lazy housewives. They earn their keep like they should, dang it.
The Internet clearly needs wider life experience before it makes judgements on who is earning what.
Beans and forums full of sexist internet jerks aside, I also found a lot of women calling themselves lazy housewives. Some seemed to have reclaimed the term, and used it as a badge of honor, like the song Yankee Doodle. “I’m a lazy housewife and proud of it! Come see how I cook meals/clean house/stay organized-the lazy way!” Still others felt truly guilty about their performance at home. I think they’ve been looking at Pinterest too much. In fact, one blog title read, “Pinterest Moms You’re Making Me Feel Guilty!” so there you go.
Here are a few of the sensible things blogging moms and moms I talked to online had to say about the subject:
“It truly is a never ending cycle this housewife business, and I do not wish it on any of you.”3
“I am sick of hearing of the joys of motherhood. Joy isn’t getting hotdogs thrown up on you. Joy isn’t having referee yet another fight between siblings. Yes, joy can happen, but it isn’t all the time every time. Damnit once in a while we are allowed to say being a mom sucks.”4
“Frequently no one understands it’s hard to live your life surrounded by people you can’t relate to. Young children do not have jobs, do not pay bills, do not have serious man issues, and do not know enough about [religion] to have a self-developed belief in it.”5
“There is no work that is more soul-suckingly thankless, endless drudgery, than housework. None.”6
Not that I’m judging anyone who likes cleaning up the wood chips their toddler just brought in from the back yard on her tea set, again. Seriously, I’m looking at a pile by the back door right now. “I’m making dinner!” she says. Thanks Pixie.
The fact that very few stay at home parents enjoy doing it all the time, that the endless cycle of chores with the kids almost immediately wrecking your work is frustrating and “soul-sucking” in its own special way, and that the job of SAHP means being cut off from other adults most of the time, needs to be taken into account before passing judgement on SAHP’s who don’t appear to outsiders (or to themselves) to be “working hard enough.”
Tomorrow: More Lazy Housewives: the Screaming Toddler Edition. Because taking care of children often leaves little time for cleaning up after them.
1Godlike Productions, July 12, 2011; retrieved January 31, 2013. http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message1559785/pg1
2Topix, July 17, 2012; retrieved February 3, 2013: http://www.topix.com/forum/city/richlands-va/TPNF045LI8TAFDQ7B
3Adventures of a Fab Brunette, February 1, 2010; retrieved January 30, 2013: http://www.fabbrunette.com/?p=955
4Personal correspondance, anonymous. January 17, 2013
5Personal correspondance, anonymous. December 2011
6Personal correspondance, anonymous. January 17, 2013