On National Homemaker Day on November 3, we celebrate the women and men who keep our households running! In the 1950s, feminist Betty Friedan famously wrote that “housework seemed to fill the time available,” to sum up the existential doubt that women often felt at home shining the kitchen floors while their husbands went out to the office. No more! This special day is devoted to celebrating and appreciating all labor done in homes, including looking after children, cooking, buying groceries for the family, doing laundry, cleaning the house, and carrying out much-needed repairs. Meanwhile, the homemaker’s partner might go out and earn financial income from a job outside the home. Whoever the homemaker is in your modern family, this is the chance to thank and celebrate the homemakers of America!
National Homemaker Day - History
The TV show about 1950s advertising on Madison Avenue focuses closely on the woes of Betty Draper, homemaker to her husband Don, who fails to appreciate the challenges she faces in running the home.
Betty Friedan’s book The Feminine Mystique was published February 19m and is widely credited with sparking a second wave of feminism in the United States.
The First Dishwasher
December 28, 1886, Josephine Cochran invented the first useful dishwasher in Shelbyville, Illinois. A wealthy woman, she wanted a machine that could wash dishes faster than her servants without breaking them.
A Magazine Launches
The issue of Good Housekeeping launched on May 2, 1855. Its founder hoped “to produce and perpetuate perfection as may be obtained in the household.”
National Homemaker Day Activities
1. Do the work
There’s no better way to show appreciation for the homemaker in your life than by taking on some of the labor they do on a daily basis. Take a day off and do the dishes, wash the windows, make the beds, cook the dinner, groom the pets, and sweep the yard. If you’re not grateful for their contribution after doing all that work, well, you’re ungrateful! But it’s a lot of work, and the chances are that by doing it, your homemaker will feel more appreciated. Just don’t expect a medal afterwards. Remember, your homemaker does this stuff all the time. Maybe if you’re feeling particularly heroic, you can download a chores-sharing app and agree to take on some of the homemaking work yourself, on a regular basis.
2. Pay someone else to do the work
If you don’t have the time to do all the chores but still want to recognize the homemaker in your life, then this is the day to pay a cleaner to come in and do it, or hire a chef for the evening, or a pet groomer, or a gardener. You can advertise on a chores website for somebody who’s willing to do this kind of thing, but be sure to thank them (and pay them well!) for doing the homemaking too!
3. Treat your homemaker to a day of rest
Spa days, relaxation times, flotation tanks, mani-pedis, you know the drill. Thank your homemaker by treating them to a nice experience, maybe while you’re at home doing the jobs they tend to do.
Why We Love National Homemaker Day
A. Everybody’s contribution is valuable
Whether you’re out earning a paycheck or at home raising children, everyone’s work has a value and yet, there aren’t many MVP awards given out to the people who do the work in the home. This is a day that’s about changing that.
B. American homes are changing and becoming more diverse
More and more American homes are bucking the old-fashioned norms, particularly since the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage across America in 2015. The idea that it was “less manly” or somehow weak to show too much interest in raising children has gone out the window with so much other nonsense from the mid 20th century and this is a great opportunity to celebrate that.
C. We’re all more than what we do to earn money
We might all be proud of that fat bonus check or an inflated bank balance, but you can’t take that money with you, and things like love and care don’t always have a price tag attached. We really love this day because it’s an opportunity to remember that.