I come from a “matriarchal family” by saying that I mean my gran ruled the roost and all my aunts studied and worked and studied some more.
My mom however was “only a housewife” I never understood that term especially the “only” part.
I knew she had a really tough upbringing (she could write a book that would have you balling your eyes out) I also know that she was never “only” anything.
Before she stopped working she put in crazy hours at a diner (yes an actual diner, no I wasn’t born in America in 1960) She did that to help my dad pay for his studies after he was wrongfully dismissed on my first birthday.
When she “stopped working” my cousins were always over, the people in town started to think my mom (who even to this day looks super young) had way too many babies. She looked after them so my aunts could work and study.
She sewed and knitted for people to make extra money and we sold things like popcorn, fudge and the ice lollies we would make by freezing juice in cups with sticks in.
I remember my parents taking on projects together, he can fix anything, she can sew anything (but she has never been afraid of a challenge so I know she even tiled and painted under my dads guidance) she has also always been involved with the church, from Sunday school teacher to treasury.
Through it all she had our uniforms ready every morning along with our breakfasts, lunch for when we got home and supper at night (takeaways were not big back then, or should I say money wasn’t) and she found the time to craft and bake with us and teach her awkward daughter who didn’t have many friends how to jump rope and play hopscotch. (She was a pinterest mom before pinterest was a thing)
She quizzed us for exams, made sure God was not just part of our vocab, but our lives and ruled with an iron fist and a dirty look.
I’ve heard jealous women refer to her as lucky, “she has a fancy car and doesn’t even have a job, must be nice” I’ve watched her hold her composure as they would suggest she was lucky to “land my dad” She was referred to as a trophy wife in front of her children and remained so dignified it instantly taught me the meaning of “ladylike”.
Now she helps raise my child, she teaches him about gardening and sharing and loves him and my sister’s son fiercely.
She’s the one who puts flowers on my other sons grave, who opens my windows when she fears I’m getting depressed and always manages to put others first even when she vows she will take some “me time”.
She leaves me notes of encouragement when she cant find the words to say and probably “gets me” way more than anyone else.
My mother was and is not “Just a Housewife”… like every woman who chooses this route she is a superwoman and my inspiration.