I'm talking here about housewives, not women who work part- or full time and still do (some) domestic chores.
As human beings, we all want to be appreciated. Mrs Andelin points out in "Fascinating Womanhood" that women should appreciate the efforts of their husbands to earn the living, even though by earning the living the man does nothing more than his duty. The same goes true for women. We all like it when our husbands compliment us on our housekeeping or our cooking, give us flowers and the like. However, should the husband's appreciation be the only motivation for the wife to keep the house? I believe not.
Look, if you are a housewife then keeping the house is your job. You are supposed to do it in the best way possible, whether your efforts are complimented by others or not. Women nowadays are all paranoic about men taking them for granted if she does as much as bring her husband a beer, yet they aren't afraid of their bosses taking them for granted, it seems; though I doubt they get rewarded for simply showing up in the office on time or doing anything at all work-related. It's pretty much expected of an employee to perform his tasks, so why should a housewife feel different?
There is something sinister in the idea that we only should do our duty because we expect compliments and rewards. It shows the degradation of society when people expect compensation for just being a decent human being. I suspect next people will start demanding bonuses for not stealing or not murdering someone, but it's a topic for another discussion.
For me, having a clean house isn't only a matter of duty, though, it's more a matter of self-respect. As my Grandma used to say: "I keep a clean house because I respect myself too much to live in squalor." She had an internal motivation to keep things neat and tidy which didn't depend on others. It was similar to not looking slovenly; taking a shower, brushing your teeth etc. It was just something which a decent woman did, because she was, well, decent.
The fact is, when people come on a visit and see a mess, they won't think worse of your husband, they will think worse of you. You may disagree with it, find it sexist and unfair, but it won't change the way things are. Screaming at reality doesn't make it disapear, it only makes one look stupid. It's better to accept it and try to make the best out of it.
My friend and I are big fans of a British TV Series "Keeping Up Appearances." Though it mocks Hyacinth with her pretensions, it hardly shows Daisy and her family in a positive light. I mean, would you rather have you house look like Hyacinth and Richard's or Daisy and Onslow's?
We can't all of us live in an upscale neighbourhood, or have an ideally looking house all the time (it's essentially impossible with small children), but I think we can all make an effort to have a reasonably well-organised household. As a housewife, you owe it to your family, but most important, to yourself.