Domestication, a Dying Art

I’ve been a stay at home mom for almost six years, and now I’m finding myself in the place where I may have to move on to becoming a Working mom. It’s been hard keeping up with how expensive everything is, and my poor husband is stressed with trying to make it work with overtime and the fact he has not gotten a raise in four years. He so badly wants to get a different job since his job is becoming more and more difficult as he is losing his sight. Doctors are giving him five to ten years until he is completely blind. I pray it will be longer.

This morning I saw an article online that made me a little sad.

(copied, courtesy of

Women Under 30 Losing ‘Lady Skills’ Like Cooking and Cleaning

Posted Feb 4th 2011 at 3:00PM by Emily Tan

Study: Women losing Flickr, toniwbusch

While today’s women are advancing in the workplace and making more money, a new study found that few of them know how to do the same domestic chores their mothers and grandmothers did every day.

Researchers found that only 51 percent of women under 30 knew how to cook a roast while 82 percent of baby boomer females thought it was a cinch. “Women of today tend to be busier, juggling more roles, and are quite prepared to compromise a bit of the homemade just to save some time,” social researcher Mark McCrindle told Australia’s Courier-Mail.

McCrindle also noted that because these women have bigger paychecks, they don’t feel the need to have to bake a cake from scratch or iron their own clothing when instant mixes and dry cleaners are readily available.

“We live in a throw-away culture where, rather than repair something, we will buy a new one, even if it is just a matter of darning holes or sewing on buttons,” he said. “As such, many women have lost these skills. If we do want something repaired, women today are more likely to take it to their local drycleaner because they are busy and can afford it.”

While older generations may find it disheartening to know that their daughters and granddaughters are without these “lady skills,” there are some jobs that research has found women today do more readily than in the past. Over 70 percent of women under 30 admit to taking out the trash, mowing the lawn and washing their own cars.

Which leads us to ask: Why is sewing a button back on still a “lady skill” if we’ve taken over in all of these departments?

Meanwhile, our lady friends over at TheFrisky have compiled a list of the oh-so-2011 things they are good at.

Maybe I’m one of the rare ones who does know how to bake a cake from scratch? I’ve watched enough food network to know and have learned some of the baking skills from my grandmother. I am thankful to my mother and my grandmother for having taught me the domestication skills that it seems more women have not learned how to do (or just refuse to do since they can pay someone else or something else to do). To make it worse, I saw a friend post on facebook that there was an invention of a contraption that can stir for you.

OH, come on! I just wanted to scream… No wonder we’re so unhealthy in this country. It doesn’t take too much work to stir something. If anything, your arm muscles will thank you for using them!!!

Okay… Thank you for enduring my little vent.

Now, my domestic life of being a stay at home mom/housewife is soon to change. It has come to be that I am needing to find a job to help us get out of the financial rut we’re in. I do want a house soon, and the only way for us to do it is if I have a job. I’m not happy about it, but with the way this world has become, the stay at home mom is becoming a dying breed.  Despite the fact that my “career” as one is soon to be over, my domestication skills won’t ever stop. I love to bake, cook, sew, and fix… Though I will say I don’t care for cleaning, but it needs to be done.

It’s going to be hard, but with God’s strength, I’ll be able to do it…. Hopefully.


About coffeenut79

I am a mother to two CODAs, and if you know what I mean by that, than you would know I am deaf. I am an artist in many ways, and writing is one of the mediums I love working in. View all posts by coffeenut79

4 responses to “Domestication, a Dying Art

  • mgmstudious

    Hey Hannah, I read the following and it really is something to keep in mind: BTW I love the new look for the blog 🙂

  • mgmstudious

    Let’s examine what it costs to raise children. The federal government pegs first-year costs at $6,490 to $13,430. Unreimbursed medical bills for the obstetrician and hospital alone will be $1,200; maternity clothes, nursery furniture, baby-related equipment, clothes, diapers, formula, food, pediatrician, and other expenses constitute the rest.

    But that excludes day care. If both parents work, add $10,000 to the bill. Thus, you’re looking at perhaps $20,000 in first-year baby costs. At that price, many couples are convinced both parents must produce an income, and if one parent wasn’t working before, the pressure to start is very high.

    But is this the right conclusion?

    Let’s assume our new parents each earn $30,000 a year, for a combined income of $60,000. To maintain their ability to support the family, especially considering the new expenses that come with their baby, they feel both must keep working. But is this second income really necessary for financial survival?

    A $30,000 annual income is $2,500 a month. From that, most people spend about $250 a month in commuting costs; this covers either the cost of an automobile and parking fees, or public transportation — your choice.

    Also, you’ll spend an average of $125 per month on work clothes. (On-the-job wardrobes extend beyond those who wear uniforms. Office workers buy suits and ties or silk blouses and pantyhose. It all adds up to about the same expense.) You’ll spend an additional $120 per month on lunch, office gifts, and obligatory donations. And don’t forget day care at about $800 per month. In total, you’ll spend $1,300 per month in work-related expenses — about half of one spouse’s total income. “That’s no problem,” you say. “I still net $1,200.”

    Oh, really?

    Don’t forget taxes. If you gross $2,500, you will lose about $1,000 in taxes. Therefore, your net after-tax, after-expense take-home pay is about $200 a month. That’s less than $50 a week. If you work 40 hours a week and devote one hour daily dressing for work and commuting, you’re going through all this for about $1.25 an hour. And that’s on a $30,000 gross income!

    It gets worse. Not only are you netting way below minimum wage, think about all the time you’re not spending with your child and the additional stress added to the family by the fact that both the husband and the wife are working. Who stays home when the baby is sick? Who leaves that important meeting to race to the day care center before it closes? Will it be you or your spouse who takes vacation or sick leave because the plumber is scheduled to stop by? Considering all the non-economic issues affecting the family, does it really make sense for both parents to work?

  • coffeenut79

    I totally agree with that, and our only solution to this problem is that I find a job where I can work at night until Paulie is old enough to go to school. That’s the only way we can get around not having to pay for childcare which is outrageously expensive.
    With the way things are, its a catch-22 situation.. Yet, working nights is the only way we can make it work. Sure, I’ll be tired, but I will only work part time to give me some days to rest when Paulie naps. I just pray that this plan will work.

  • mgmstudious

    No kidding about the catch-22. Man I will totally be praying.

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