A homemaker is any person, whether at home full-time or working outside the home, who quite literally makes a house, a home – a place where all the family members live peacefully and comfortably.
However, the job of a homemaker is not valued enough in our society. It is often seen as a simple and mediocre job for which a homemaker does not get enough credit for what it does and is subjected to constant criticism, along with being called ‘unemployed’. This mostly happens because there is no direct monetary income that the job of a homemaker brings in a family, although it is one of the main reasons for the indirect income of any house.
But homemakers, who are usually women because of social and cultural constructs, are much more than mere care-takers of the house.
Working Round the Clock
A homemaker, usually a woman, is someone who cares for her own home and family. Her entire day is filled with chores like cleaning, cooking meals, doing laundry, running errands, caring for pets, etc. She does managerial work as well like working within a budget, organising things, planning schedules, etc. She does not have time to be lazy. She realizes the value of her unpaid job as a homemaker because it brings stability to the family and less stress for all can fill those needs. She even sacrifices her own needs and does not care enough about herself due to her busy schedule. After all this, her job is always under scrutiny and is always prone to criticism. This has negative effects on a homemaker’s self-esteem and it is a constant challenge to not let their low self-esteem affect the functioning of the family.
Backbone of the Family
The primary objective of a homemaker is to ensure that the family is healthy, happy and prosperous. It is a responsibility that a homemaker willingly undertakes and fulfils every bit of it but it is often forgotten and devalued. She is the backbone of her family – from morning till night she is on her toes managing and looking after everything like a pro. She takes care of the bread-winners of the house, the elders, the kids, the pets; and in the process of being the best wife, the best parent and the best homemaker, she often forgets to take care of her own self.
No rules/governance to secure their job
A homemaker is so invested in a job of creating a healthy environment for its family that they often forget to even take care of themselves. There are no rules governing her services and she can never retire. The only thing she can rely on is the love and happiness of her family and that is her only reward.
An Added Job of a Mother
A mother wears several hats during the day. From cooking two to three dishes per meal to doing the laundry, from sweeping the house to cleaning the dishes, from taking care of the kids’ education to taking care of the kids’ health, mental and physical, – all count as a homemaker’s job, in a one day’s routine. In addition to this, a mother is always judged on several bases for whether she is a good mother or not. This adds another duty to the homemaker – to constantly prove herself as a good mother, which is in a way unfair as she is always on her toes to provide her kids with the best.
Finance Minister of the Family
A homemaker is also the family’s finance minister, who manages the household budget. She keeps a record of all household purchases, looks after the timely payment of all the dues, fees, etc., ensures that no bill remains unpaid and also tries to save some money for the rainy day. She is the finance manager of the house and makes sure that there is always enough supply of money in the family.
Second-Shift for Working Women
After finishing one work-shift at work, the “second shift” begins at home. It doesn’t matter whether you are a clerk or the boss at your workplace, at home you are working from day to night, that too mostly, without any credit. Working women often have it worse in terms of social expectations of a woman taking good care of her family, even at the expense of their professional lives. They often have to strike a balance between their work and personal life.
A homemaker is like a private chef that takes care of all the food demands and needs in the family. It takes care of the entire family’s health and ensures that a healthy and fulfilling meal is served to all the family members. Not that all homemakers need to be excellent cooks, but most of them get into the habit of cooking or learn it as they want to keep their family happy by providing them with healthy and satisfying food.
Another thing important for food is grocery shopping. A homemaker must drive to the supermarket; make purchases keeping in mind the budget of the house, choose nutritious vegetables and other grocery items for providing her family with a healthy lifestyle, and also meet the food demands of her family members.
Homemakers vs. Professionals
A clean and tidy home is the basic essence of a healthy household. Typical cleaning duties like dusting, sweeping, doing the dishes, washing clothes, making beds, etc are all done by a homemaker. Professional maids or house cleaning service providers often charge exorbitant amounts on the basis of the number of hours required to do the cleaning, the number of rooms, size of the house and number of people in a family. If they’re hired then another duty that comes over the shoulders of a homemaker is to guide them and keep a timely check on them. As mostly both the homemakers and the helping-staff at home are women, they have to understand the responsibilities that the helper has back at her home and therefore, take care of the women helping them.
Hiring helpers also come with added responsibilities of providing them with paid vacation, sick leaves and bonuses, some benefits in addition to drawing a salary. A homemaker, on the other hand, has no such demands or liabilities and is of course, not given a salary, as giving a salary to the homemaker will not only demean their work but will also devalue the love and care with which they voluntarily do the work of their home.
Value of a Homemaker in Monetary Terms
Homemakers contribute a lot more to the home financially, than just taking care of the budget. It takes care of the bread-winners of the family and ensures that there is no issue in the flow of the finances due to anything lacking back at home. They do not go out to get economically independent, even when they are engaged in domestic activities that are economically productive, but they don’t get paid for them. All the services of a homemaker could earn him/her a considerable wage if he or she took those skills to the marketplace. But many of the homemakers do these services for free, out of love and care for their home and family.
Homemaking is an art. Its boundless creativity affords the opportunity to keep your mind sharp. Its flexibility is massive on most projects and the bonuses are measured by how seamlessly house occupants’ transition from one day to the next, task to task without great effort or exasperation. It is definitely a job that is less-valued in our society and should be given the most respect and honour, as it is because of the homemakers that we all function properly and the society functions properly.