“It would make a good mathematical game some evening for the whole family to sit around a table and figure out what would have to be paid in hard, cold cash for what ‘only a housewife and mother’ is doing day by day. How many days has she been a nurse for sick children? What would you have to pay for her baking, her cooking, her canning and freezing of vegetables? What about the slipcovers she made for the couches and chairs? What about the sweaters she knit for her husband, the boys and girls, and herself?…How about the curtains in the living room or dining room? Count in the homemade toys and the fudge and thousands of cookies and the popcorn, while you are doing it. As recreational director, party planner, and organizer of picnics, what would she be paid an hour? What about the letters she typed for Dad? What would a taxi driver be paid for all the driving she has done? Who could pay for the loving child care with baths and rocking, singing and reading aloud, teaching and answering questions honestly? Now that she is doing dressmaking and she has started to learn to tailor vests and jackets, the price of a tailor must be added in! What about the vegetable garden, the flower garden, the window boxes, or even the pots of chives and cress on the kitchen window-sill?…The list would be much longer for many housewives and mothers. The point to be underlined and put in capital letters is that there is always a double contribution to the economic situation in
every family. To think of ‘wage earning’ as the only financial contribution is to be utterly blind and without imagination.”
Mothers, don’t forget the inestimable worth of your role in your home!
Encouragement from my chapter for the week in Edith Schaeffer’s “What is a Family?” – An Economic Unit.