“the Satisfaction of Housewifery and Motherhood/Paradise Lost”

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“The Satisfaction of Housewifery and Motherhood/Paradise Lost”

For most families, parents both work, each heading off to his or her own job. But in some cases, one spouse chooses to be a stay at home parent. In Terry Hekker’s article “The Satisfaction of Housewifery and Motherhood”, written in 1977, the author talks about her everyday struggles with being a housewife and mother in the times of the women’s movement. In her second article “Paradise Lost (Domestic Division)” she discusses how her outlook has changed in the 30 years since the first article...

In” Housewifery” she discusses how her husband mumbles under his breath and her son lies on this college application about what her profession is. Both seem to be ashamed of what is a noble profession, albeit an anachronism today. In her mother’s day, women were supposed to stay home and take care of the family and she cannot see how that has changed in her world. She cannot understand how a wife and mother would want to be anything else. Hekker states, “I come from a long line of women, most of them more Edith Bunker than Betty Friedan who never knew they were unfilled. I can’t testify that they were happy, but they were cheerful. They took pride in a clean, comfortable home and satisfaction in serving a good meal because no one had explained that the only work worth doing is that for which you get paid” (414). She took pride in making a home for her family and the satisfaction in serving a good meal. No one had to explain to them that the work they were doing was satisfactory for her time. At the same time becoming an anomaly to almost everyone around her including her son and husband. Hekker says she received no respect moving from decade to decade and her profession becomes a topic not discussed. The feminists deplore her and cannot possibly understand why she would only want to be a wife and mother; consequently she comes to see herself as expendable and totally out of touch with today’s woman....
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