I'm not married to a house, yet I call myself a housewife. Why?
It's a term that has fallen out of favour, generally replaced by Stay At Home Mum.
While I am a technically SAHM, I consider myself a housewife first and foremost. My children are my number one responsibility. However, instead of building my world around only their needs and wants, I put the needs of the whole family unit first. This means that I will turn down a developmental activity for the girls if it means that I won't be able to get dinner on the table in time. It means that instead of playing ponies as soon as it's asked of me, I will prioritize the laundry. And it means that I try to put my relationship with Mr Accident absolutely first.
This may sound harsh, but I have sound reasoning. I believe children thrive in a safe, secure environment, surrounded by love and with a routine that they can rely upon. So making sure that dinner is on the table at six every single day is providing them that security. And doing all I can to make sure that Mr Accident and I have a solid, loving relationship not only models successful partnering, but also keeps our home calm and happy. I am trying to take a longer term view on the girl's needs.
Additionally, calling myself only a "stay at home mum" ignores the hard work I do to maintain the home and support the family apart from the work of raising the children. My grandmother used to say "a penny saved is a penny earned" and I work hard to earn my pennies! There are a thousand ways I save money for the family through my labour. (In my imagination, I actually hear a tiny slot machine "cha-ching!" every time I hang another cloth nappy on the line.) Besides childcare costs avoided by my staying home, there is the home made bread, yoghurt and laundry powder, having the time to use the washing line instead of the drier, being home to open and close the windows and blinds to make best use of our homes heating and cooling capacity, making Mr Accident lunch every day instead of him having to buy it... I could go on and on (and I think I just did!) I am the cook, laundress and cleaner. I am the planner, the driver, the personal shopper. And I do a bloody good job.
So, because I put the family needs over those of the kids, and because I am so much more than just a mother, I wear my slightly unfashionable "housewife" tag proudly. I earned it. Do you want to borrow it?