Tuesday, April 6, 2010

perceptions of a "housewife"

In the feature article ("Mama Wants a Brand-New Job") of the winter issue of Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers, Katy Read reports that "in a 2007 study by psychologists at Northwestrn, Princeton and Lawrence Universities, researchers measuring public perceptions of different groups found that "housewives" were perceived to be approximately as competent as elderly and mentally retarded people" (p. 34). This is the public sentiment (sentence?) I'm in for.

In an earlier post, I wrote about how I've been fretting this winter about where to settle with my little family; what kind of lifestyle I want for us. We've come to a decision: we're going to do our very best to make a living for ourselves here in the US and not move to my native Norway. I'm not going to put my soon-to-be 2 year old child in daycare; I want to continue to attachment parent her, no matter how hard and intense it is. Throughout this year, I'll be able to take turns with my husband writing and being with her while he finishes his thesis. After that, I might have less, and perhaps only her nap times, to write, depending on what my husband ends up doing. As of fall 2011, she'll be in preschool and so even if my husband is away from home all day, I'll at least have from around 8:30 till 11:15 or so to write. Plus nap time, if I'm lucky.

I'll continue to perceive myself as a writer and a mama, but in the eye of the public, I'll most likely be seen as a typical housewife. And now we all know how they're judged.


  1. Hi Anne- I'm working on a blog about women and work for my Women's Studies seminar at St. Olaf and was referred to your blog as a place to start thinking about generating conversation. I write mostly about what I've learned in my classwork and individual research in an attempt to bridge the gap between my academic work and the experiences of real mothers.

    It's really interesting to read about your thoughts on childcare and motherhood, and I would really appreciate any comments you have to make on what I've been writing about. Obviously as a college student I don't have the actual experience of being a mom and a worker, so any feedback would be wonderfully helpful! Thanks :)

  2. Thanks for your interest! I've checked out your blog which has spurred my inspiration to write a longer response to your work and query as a post in this blog but I'll also comment to your individual blog posts. In the meantime, you might want to check out my post "seeking home" where I touch on cultural differences between work/child care in Norway and the US. http://quizzicalmama.blogspot.com/2010/03/seeking-home.html#more


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...