Saturday, April 25, 2015

Can You Afford To Stay Home?

Today I'm going to confess that despite my aversion to MSM I do read newspapers still. It's especially interesting to follow comments and to notice the incredible shift to the right on a lot of issues in recent years (of course, I usually choose the rightest newspapers to begin with:) So there were a couple of interesting discussions I read today, on healthy food and mothers staying home.

Surprisingly, a lot of men who are quite liberal on many social issues still agree that the best way to raise your child is the one income family where the mother stays home (some suggested it could be the father, but it didn't cause much enthusiasm). However, here came the usual trope of ''it was alright in the 1950s as everybody earned enormous salaries when nowadays the father can't provide" and even "the government should do something about it."

While I agree that the government could at the very least stop the incessant propaganda campaign to get more women into the workforce, the simple truth is that people in the 1950s weren't wealthy at all according to the modern standards and certainly not in the post-war Europe. The housekeeping books which I have give advice on how to substitute beans for meat and how to cook in the hay box to save on gas.

A 1930s children's book I possess talks about a young man who went to work as a driver for a wealthy woman and ate a ham sandwich for the first time in his life. His mother was a widow, but she didn't work.

This topic ties up nicely with the info about the majority of people in my country eating unhealthily, especially those of the younger generation. Again, the usual excuse is "we can't afford healthy food", and yet, as many commentators pointed out, those same people can afford cola, french fries, candy and all other sorts of unhealthy foods which are quite expensive over here but don't need much preparation.

There was someone who tried to give suggestions on healthy and cheap meals and was told that all that food preparation sounded too much like work. Well, I can excuse them because they are all men and when they come home from work they aren't probably that much into spending all that time in the kitchen. That used to be something which the wives and mothers used to do, before they became persuaded that cooking healthy meals was the nefarious patriarchy plot to keep them barefoot and pregnant as opposed to the freedom of eating junk and dying from diabetes type 2 at the age of 45.  

It's interesting that older people eat healthier, probably because they still cook instead of eating microwave dinners.

We as a society did away with the homemaker's role and got all sorts of problems in exchange. So may be, instead of asking if we can afford having wives and mothers at home we should be asking if we can afford not to.


  1. There was not much wealth in the 50's for most people and yet womn stayed home. Men were proud of being the providers. And things were not cheaper, as some people think!

  2. Where is the will, there is a way! Or a whip in some situations:)

    Seriously though, I think it's more the problem of desiring to maintain a certain lifestyle with some people than the lack of wealth.

  3. Very good post. Homemaking is such a challenging job that if you don't try your best when you are young it is more difficult to cultivate skills when you age. Staying at home provides the housewife with a treasure she won't find outside her home, not even if she is a cook or housekeeper outside the house. Being there where husband and children need you is the best reward you can get. The children asked me some weeks ago why I used to work as a teacher in the past and they were very upset and told me: I don't like you being a teacher at all. And I told them I'll never work as a teacher again but I still have a degree that cannot be deleted now. The children were trying to delete everything that could keep me away from the home front. And not only children or husband, but the home itself, the animals and the poultry have their own language to ask: Stay at home, don't leave us.

  4. Alexandra, that's really a very interesting observation!

  5. Housewife from FinlandApril 27, 2015 at 5:17 AM

    Great post.

    People seem to "need" so much nowadays. They need smartphones, AND a laptop AND a tablet. AND disgustingly big tv. AND two cars. AND AND AND.

    I am prudent by nature and also learned to save money at my childhood home. I think that is a great blessing. I am really thankful for that.

  6. Thanks! Yes, the distinction between wants and needs has become somewhat blurred nowadays.