The Housewife’s Story
The term housewife evolved from the Old English word “husewif” which literally translates to “woman in charge of the household.” The term housewife is often used to refer to a married woman whose obligations are focused on fulfilling household tasks for the husband. This definition has evolved through time, and the perception of a housewife’s scope of affairs has expanded. There are evident changes in the way housewives are perceived when it comes to private affairs (home, family, and personal) as well as public affairs (political, social, and economic).
In the latter, the woman’s function has transformed from being a mere helper of the husband to a more important “character” in the household. The physical, mental, and emotional demands of doing household chores, managing the household, raising children, and performing marital duties, among others, cannot be undermined. People have come to acknowledge the gravity of the tasks and responsibilities of a housewife. It is the woman who keeps the home organized and the family intact. It is the woman who makes the house a home. This is the reason why many are now starting to refer to housewives as homemakers.
Housewives and History
In the 1960s, “housewifery” or the choice of being a stay-at-home mother has been called on for its negativities. Betty Friedan in “The Feminine Mystique” has portrayed how American Women have continuously experienced social injustice in being confined to the private sphere of society – essentially, the private home. American women of that era were taught that a woman’s place is inside their private homes; that the essence of a woman is marriage and motherhood. To cater to her future husband and children’s needs should be the woman’s primary concern in life.
As liberal feminism progressed and women enjoyed increased participation in public affairs such as politics and socio-economic activities, the term “housewife” and everything it embodies slowly became a stigma. Women acquired and enjoyed various social rights, such as the right to vote and education. Freeing themselves from the shackles of marriage and motherhood appeared to be the final step towards genuine gender equality and women’s emancipation.
However, liberal feminism was faced with several difficulties. The movement that sought to enable women with equal opportunities and participation in both the public and the private spheres of society had to struggle with the predominant belief of traditional “housewifery” that undermined the simplicity and nobility of being a housewife.
Liberal feminists somehow failed to consider that while some women find fulfillment in establishing a career and becoming successful in that chosen path, others find happiness in being a wife to a husband and mother to their children. No good will come out of comparing which kind of life is better. In the end, no one else can declare her own happiness but the woman herself.
In some cultures, being a housewife or homemaker was considered being a noble pursuit. Usually, independent career women were frowned upon. People who see the woman’s worth as dependent on her ability to raise and keep a family intact often refuse to accept the possibility that a woman can be happy and content even without a husband and children of their own. People see these women as too liberal, sometimes even going as far as calling them selfish.
A Housewife Can Make Money
When you come to think of it, there should really be no need to choose one over the other. Women do not need to confine themselves only to house chores or homemaking if they want to stay home. They certainly do not have to go to an office or any other workplace to earn their own money. Throughout history, the struggles of housewives are precisely brought on by this failure to reconcile and settle differences in perspective. A housewife can enjoy a career woman’s financial independence by using her talents, skills, and abilities to set up her own income stream from home.
A Woman with Multiple Careers
Even with the rise of modern beliefs and more gender-responsive initiatives worldwide, many people still bat their eyes at women who freely choose to be housewives instead of being career-driven women. Little do people realize that being a housewife is a career in itself.
Many international researchers have taken the time to study and predict the possible annual salary of stay-at-home moms if anybody decides to pay them for their hard work as a housekeeper, machine operator, accountant, driver, and all-around worker in the family household. Not surprisingly, the housewife’s annual salary is never computed to be less than $100,000.00. This is an amount that is considerably higher than the mean salary of workers that is pegged at $45,000.00 per year.
No one should say that a housewife works less than any regular career woman and vice versa. The blessings and hardships experienced by the two kinds of women are categorically different. Though they may not be paid as much as the online estimates say, being a housewife is a career in itself. For many who are struggling to spread their wings, it should not stop with this acknowledgment of their work’s value. They can actually start a second career without leaving their first career of being housewives.
It would be good to stress at this point that there should be no forced impositions or judgments whether you choose to become a full-time housewife or a working housewife. The decision on which path to take is yours alone, taking into consideration your own needs, wants, and aspirations as well as your family circumstances. You also have to carefully weigh the pros and cons of taking on a job or starting your own home business while taking care of your family and home at the same time.
There can be a number of reasons why you would want to make money as a housewife. It could be economical, or it can be a need to fulfill your own personal dreams. Whatever it is, there are definitely several benefits that you can enjoy when you set up your own income stream at home. However, you also cannot deny that having to divide your time and energy between two careers can take its toll on you as well as on your entire family. Carefully weigh the pros and cons when you decide to be a working housewife.
Here’s a quick rundown on the pros and cons of being a working housewife:
❀ Extra income for the household—who does not want to have a little (or a lot of) extra money. If you have a tight budget, perhaps this would be an excellent solution to ease the burden on your pocketbook. If your household income is enough to cover the family’s needs, then the extra income can be spent on other non-necessities or maybe even luxuries. It would also be useful to put it aside as savings or investments for future financial needs such as emergencies, health care, education, and retirement, among others.
❀ A new hobby to relax and distress with—setting up a new income stream, whether in the form of a business or a work-from-home job, does not need to be stressful. You can find something that is interesting and enjoyable to you. It will be a great way to break your homemaking routine and earn money at the same time. You can also engage in this hobby when you have pockets of time on your hands, such as when the kids are in school. For some women, a new hobby can be a way to fight boredom and loneliness when there’s nothing else to do at home. It can also be a stress-reliever from the demanding baby care, tedious budget management, and tiring house cleaning tasks, among others.
❀ A growing enterprise—what you initially thought of as a home-based business could turn out to be something big later on. Your own skills can be developed, and your small-scale business can be expanded. Who knows, you might eventually be able to convert your den into a home office to house a couple of employees to help you with your home business.
❀ A way to improve self-worth and self-esteem—even without considering societal perceptions, housewives feel some emptiness inside of them and tend to belittle themselves just because they do not get dressed up in suits and stilettos for work. It is even more of a downer when you feel that you do not get appreciated enough for what you do. These are damaging thoughts that can make you go crazy. Divert those destructive thoughts and do something productive. A work-from-home job or a new business can make you feel better about yourself in more ways than one. When you improve yourself, you also improve the life of your family. Your enhanced self-esteem will give you more confidence to do all your tasks, whether for your home or work.
❀ Divided time and attention – time management is an essential factor for any activity or endeavor for anyone. Even more so for housewives who seem to always have a thousand and one things to do on their daily checklists. Homemakers who want to start making their own money from home might not be able to manage their time and tasks well. It’s easy for the line between personal time and work time to get muddled. The tasks can get mixed up, and certain things might get overlooked. Important dates might slip by, the kids’ activities could go unmonitored, and some housekeeping chores might be left unfinished. When this gets out of hand, it could result in conflict with the other household members. Family life could suffer, and the working housewife could be forced to choose one over the other.
❀ Health problems—overworking yourself constantly is never a good idea. A working housewife could spread herself too thin and take on more responsibilities than she could manage. Even if she is able to manage her time well and finish everything she needs to do, it is her body that’s taking the brunt of all the load. Fatigue, anxiety, and illness are not far behind when the mind and body are overloaded.
❀ Change of heart—there’s a certain thrill that comes with the prospect of making money from home. The trouble comes when the housewife suddenly realizes that it’s a working or business career that she wants more than tending to the household. In this case, it becomes a family issue that needs to be resolved by talking things out, recognizing needs, understanding wants and respecting decisions.
Overcoming the Cons of Becoming a Working Housewife
The identified cons of choosing to become a working housewife can be remedied. They are not reasons you decide that you cannot or should not try to make money from home. What is important is for you to get a good grip on your present situation and circumstances, and your future needs? Be clear on what you want to do, why you want to do it, and what you are willing to do to pull it off. Make sure the entire family is on the same page. You can actually enlist their help when it comes to some tasks. Make them realize that this is good for everyone. Assure them that you will not forget your duties and responsibilities at home. You are a housewife, and you can successfully make money from home.
What a Housewife has to offer
So, you want to make money from home. The question is, how does a housewife make money from home? Just like companies and big businesses, you have to know what you have to offer. In a broad sense, you can make money by offering products or services. That’s virtually everything people need and want, from food to beauty and skincare products, from babysitting services to payments or remittances processing. You simply have to zoom into what you are capable of offering and what you have the market for.
Aside from selling products, there are generally two types of “jobs” you can take on as a working housewife. You can offer blue-collar services, or you can provide professional services. It all depends on your education, hobbies, and talent. Do not make the mistake of getting into something you do not have the expertise or are not interested in. If something unfamiliar to you, yet something that you truly want to do, take the time to prepare for it first, perhaps by going to seminars or training or consulting with experts.
If you do not want to deviate much from your usual household tasks, you can offer to help an elderly neighbor for a few hours a week. You can also offer gardening services if you have a green thumb. Some companies even hire people to come to their offices and water the plants regularly. You can also offer clean up and closet organization services if you enjoy getting things nice and tidy.
Suppose you are educated and skilled in specific fields. In that case, you can offer professional services like accounting and bookkeeping, writing and editing, web design and programming, medical transcription, secretarial services, and online tutorials, among others. You can choose to be a freelancer or an independent practitioner, or you can get employed in a specific company on a telecommute or work-from-home basis.
Where You Can Find Opportunities to Make Money
Opportunities to make money are all around you. You just have to know where to look and what you are looking for. Aside from personal connections and interactions, modern technology can be tapped to discover wants and needs that you can provide solutions to.
❀ Family, friends, and acquaintances—surely, you know people in your community. You have friends in the neighborhood and other places. Your husband has co-workers. And there’s also the teaching and administrative staff at your children’s school. Don’t forget your co-parents, too. You can use your social network to get ideas on what you can do to earn money from home. Keep your eyes and ears open to possible services that the community would have a need for. Ask around and find out what job opportunities are available for you. Generally, the more extensive your social network is, the higher the chances of gaining information about possible job opportunities. A neighbor might need a part-time babysitter. A friend might need a catering service supplier, a friend of a friend might need a fresh eye to read and edit a book he or she is writing.
❀ Internet and social media – one of the advantages of technological developments is the easy access to knowledge and information. The Internet is one of the most popular knowledge sources available today. Social media like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have made communication faster and easier for everyone, that it is almost impossible for a millennial to survive a day without these. For a housewife who wishes to find the perfect income-generating job, internet search engines are a good friend. Conduct research on the most in-demand products and services these days. You will indeed find one that matches your preferences and skillsets.
❀ Online forums—check forums of homemakers and work-from-home moms. You will surely find interesting ideas of what to do to make money from home. In most cases, the members who post in these forums are friendly enough to help out people who ask questions and guide them through the process of becoming working housewives.
❀ Books, magazines, and other information sources—you can get a brilliant idea from reading articles about whatever interests you have. Keep yourself up to date about the latest in whatever products and services you are interested in and be the first to offer something novel to your market.
It might sound quite trite but, if there is a will, there is a way. You have to be willing to go through the process of examining yourself, determining what products and services to offer, and actually going out to provide them to your market. Remember that it takes commitment, persistence, and dedication to become a successful working housewife.
Making Money by Offering Services
There are plenty of services that homemakers can offer. The skills set of women are vast and are not at all limited by conventional gender stereotypes. Some housewives could be trained to operate heavy machinery as easily as they could operate any home appliances. They could also do carpentry work just as well as they can do home crafts and decorations. Many are also skilled in numbers and business. Homemakers who wish to make money should capitalize on their own skills set.
Working housewives can choose to offer blue-collared services or white-collared services. Basically, blue-collared services are those that require physical work or manual labor. On the other hand, white-collared services are those that involve mental work and are usually done in the office.
The following are some of the most common blue-collar services that working housewives can offer:
❀ Housekeeping—cleaning and Housekeeping works best for housewives who enjoy and excel in the process of keeping homes neat and tidy. One could start by doing these for neighbors and acquaintances. If things pan out well, the working housewife can turn it into a housekeeping services business with her own staff of cleaners and helpers.
❀ Cooking, baking, and food preparation—not everyone can afford to have a professional chef to cook their family’s meals. You can be an angel in the kitchen and be a personal cook. Some people are hired to prepare as much as a week’s worth of meals, complete from breakfast to dinner and including lunch packs and snacks. Some prepare the food from their own kitchen, while some go to their clients’ homes and use their kitchen and equipment. There is good money in this type of business, and the potential to grow into a catering services company is big.
❀ Babysitting and caregiving—patience and compassion are key skills to have to be able to offer these services. You have to love caring for children or the elderly to do well in this kind of job. There’s also a more solemn responsibility as the well-being of the baby or the elderly is on your hands while they are in your care. Those who have had training in the nursing field or health services would be a good fit for this kind of work.
For those who have specific fields of expertise, here are the white-collar services that a working homemaker can offer:
❀ Online writing and editing—housewives who love writing and have a knack for words can offer their writing and editing services online. This is good for those who do not wish to leave the house to make money. They can simply advertise their services, contact customers through email or internet messaging, and then do their work on their computers.
Many online sites are looking to hire writers and editors. There are also job portals that connect freelancers and business clients. Those who can build a good reputation online become in demand and can fetch higher rates. The jobs involve different written work types, including articles, press releases, sales, advertising copy, literary pieces, academic papers, and scripts, among others.
❀ Graphic design and layout—the online world will never run out of the need for graphic design and layout artists. Even in the offline world, brochures and other printed materials still need to be produced by marketers and advertisers. Homemakers equipped with the basics of photo editing and layout design could definitely take this path. Aside from website and online graphics, working housewives can be graphic designers for other businesses such as tarpaulin and shirt design and printing, photography, and many more.
❀ Tutorial services—housewives with school-aged children would most likely be up-to-date with the latest curriculum and subject matters. Those who have the patience to teach can offer online tutorials. Many who have been gifted with the talent for teaching are able to build their reputation and grow their roster of students. Fees for tutorial services are often billed on an hourly basis. This type of work is quite flexible in terms of hours and is good, especially for those who need to be on call for their own family as well.
Making Money Out of Your Own Content
Working homemakers can also make money using their own website. They do not have to sell anything or connect with clients. They simply need to ensure that they have good content to keep a steady traffic streaming into their site. Blog pages and video-logs or vlogs are often the vehicles for this online earning opportunity.
You can blog about your own family life or whatever specific interests you have. Keep churning out high-quality content regularly. Build your following and be recognized as an expert or authority site. You are likely to get offers for SEO and link building posts, paid reviews, advertising, and event/product features. If you maintain a blog anyway, why not turn it into a money-making machine for you?
Enjoying Profits from Selling Products
Perhaps one of the most significant sources of income for homemakers who make money from home is selling. A working housewife can start her own retail business and be a start-up entrepreneur. It could be her own homegrown products or a product from one or several manufacturers. No matter what product a housewife chooses to sell, what is important is that she has the knack for selling, loves to interact with people/clients, and is organized enough to manage the logistic requirements like stocking and deliveries.
Some of the best-selling and in-demand products that working housewives can sell are:
❀ Fashion and Clothing—clothing is one of the basic needs of every human being, and that is why this is also among the most popular businesses working housewives choose to set up. They can offer specific brands of clothing styles. They can also focus on accessories or shoes and bags. Their choice of what to put in their “store” depends on their interest, capital, and market.
Working housewives can turn an area of their home into their own clothing store where their customers can walk-in and shop. However, this would be good if you are not expecting more than just a handful of customers. Otherwise, you could have privacy and security issues with all the strangers walking into your home.
You can also do online selling. Set up an online gallery so you can showcase your products. There are also programs and platforms online where you can set up a retailer account. Make use of technology to reach more customers and increase your sales.
❀ Beauty and Skincare Products—people are naturally vain. Beauty and skincare products abound and are snapped up by consumers who wish to be more beautiful, look younger, and have a smoother complexion. Many do not mind spending on quality products that can give them the results they want. Working housewives would no doubt enjoy selling anything that involves beauty and wellness. They can even be testers and endorsers of the products that they are selling.
Aside from popular consumer brands of beauty products, working homemakers can also make their own beauty products from natural ingredients. This allows them to bring down the cost since their overhead expenses are lower. The challenge lies in the marketing of the products without brand equity.
❀ Food—this category of products is so expansive that you cannot possibly run out of items to sell. You can sell cooked Food, ingredients, cooking supplies, cookbooks, packaging, and so many others. Another one of man’s basic needs is the demand for Food and anything food-related. You can sell commercially available food products, make your own food products, or cook Food for big groups. You can have a food store that’s open 24/7, or you can choose to offer food products only when you have the time to prepare them. This kind of flexibility and freedom makes this one of the best ideas for homemakers who want to make money from home.
The vital thing to consider in selling products as a home-based business is the product’s demand. You can have the best products that promise the best results and not have a single sale when you do not have the right market. To drive the point, even more, a home-based business selling the freshest meats and juiciest steaks would not thrive in a vegetarian community. A tip for the working housewife who wishes to be a retailer: know your market and then choose your products accordingly.
Reaping the Fruits of Your Labor
Ultimately, your decision to be a working housewife is a decision you are making for the family. Even if it is self-fulfillment that you are after, the benefits to you will translate to benefits for your family as well.
In your quest to make money from home, do not forget about your other career. That is, being a housewife. How you divide your time and attention between your work and your home responsibilities should be determined based on what is acceptable to you and the other family members. Only then will you be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor fully. More than the financial aspect, you would have gained a number of other “side effects,” including:
❀ more resources to spend on quality time with the family
❀ less pressure to make ends meet
❀ better mental disposition as a result of improved self-esteem and confidence
When You Make More Than You Need
It is not all the time that the compulsion to earn income from home is brought about by the household’s lack of ample financial resources. More than the financial aspect, the personal reasons are what drive homemakers to strive to find ways to earn money from home. If you are one of the lucky housewives who end up making more than they need, remember to manage your income wisely.
There are three things you can do: invest, enjoy, and share. Just like anyone else who earns not has an idea of what these needs may be. Budget an amount that you can spend on things or activities that you enjoy. Share your blessing with your family. If you have more, perhaps you can consider giving to charity as well.