Hail to Housewives in Their Unsung Roles

Article excerpt

Byline: Ken Potts

Job title: "Housewife"

Hours: 60 to 100 per week, seven days, 24 hours on-call

Compensation: room and board, clothing, general living expenses, medical/dental care, vacation optional. Retirement benefits/Social Security not available.

Qualifications: Expertise in interpersonal relations including communications, conflict management and human sexuality; child development and supervision; financial management/accounting; scheduling; dietary science; purchasing; food preparation; education and general tutoring (all subjects, all grades); facility upkeep and cleaning; household and small appliance repair; interior design/decorating; entertaining; clothing manufacturing/repair; laundry science; landscaping, lawn/garden care; health, beauty, fitness; emergency medicine; inventory management; and chauffeur services.

Application: Must be made in person to single adult male (and don't call them; they'll call you).

You probably won't ever see this advertisement in the Sunday employment section of the local paper. Yet it can remind us that the "position" of housewife is as detailed, challenging and important as any of those we'll find in the weekly job listings.

Analyses have been done that suggest that the job of housewife is comparable at least to that of any middle-level manager. Though it's hard to put a price tag on such a job, certainly we would have to talk about $20,000 to $40,000 annually.

Ironically, the recent explosion in the number of women working outside the home has not dramatically changed women's responsibilities in the home. …