When entering into marriages, men and women have similar expectations: the prospect of establishing and bringing up a cohesive family. Marriage partners look forward to spending most of their time together and sharing domestic responsibilities.
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Nevertheless, as time goes on and domestic expenditures intensify, both parties look for ways to meet these costs, thus pushing one of the partners or both to spend more time at work than with the family. This paper will compare and contrast Terry Martin and Edelman’s opinions on satisfactions of being a housewife.
Terry Martin expresses mixed attitudes about housework; at one point, she views housework as an obsolete and anachronous task (Behrens and Rosen 412). Terry goes to the extent of claiming that most of the housewives live under the provisions of their husbands until they die for ignoring the importance of getting a job and providing for themselves. In a way, she portrays such wives as failures.
Terry laments that, housewives are seen as outcasts in the presence of career women. On the other hand, Terry expresses an optimistic attitude towards housework. She views it as one of the jobs that are gradually facing extinction. Hence, she believes that with time, she will be one of the most sought women, due to her experience in housework. This aspect makes her feel that, housework will be one of the most sought jobs in the world, in the future.
According to Edelman, housework is as vital as other professional works and thus professional works should not eclipse it. She views housework as one of the pillars that strengthen marriage or family ties. Edelman goes to the extent of cutting down the number of hours she spends at the workplace to cater for domestic chores.
Edelman feels that, housework ought to be split between the wife and the husband. Consequently, she feels angry when she finds her husband overcommitted to his company and thus leaving all the domestic chores to her.
According to Terry, serving one’s children is not acknowledged as serving another person’s children. When she tells Ms. Putdown that she is Hekker’s wife, Ms. Putdown is not satisfied and wonders what else she is apart from being someone’s wife (Hekker 414).
Terry does not want to talk about the children that she usually takes care of, since she feels that the society considers looking after one’s children as a task that does not amount to a job. Nevertheless, when she lies that she takes care of her dead sister’s children, Ms. Putdown warmly approves that.
According to Terry, serving her children is one of the best tasks she can ever engage in. However, this task is not recognized by the society as a job, and many people keep on asking her when she would start working.
On the other hand, Edelman feels that, it is her responsibility to look after her child. In spite of her tight schedule at workplace, she is against hiring a nanny or babysitter to look after her child. Edelman is always angry with her husband since she feels that he is not concerned about their child. According to her, the child deserves parental care and attention more than anything else does.
On the other hand, Terry sees her husband as caring and understanding. She acknowledges that she entirely depends on her husband for financial upkeep, and the husband has never complained about it. According to Terry, her husband views her in a different perspective relative to the society.
The society perceives her as a parasite that lives off her husband. However, the husband acknowledges the role she plays in bring up the children and is comfortable with her. At the beginning, Edelman feels that her husband has abdicated his responsibilities as a parent.
She views him as an irresponsible husband who is after making money at the expense of his family (Edelman 430). In spite of John providing for the family, Edelman feels that he needs to be present for their daughter. Edelman feels that, her husband believes that she should assume domestic responsibilities as her income level is too low compared to her husband’s income. Nevertheless, she later realizes that her husband is committed to the family after the company stabilizes and he starts having more time with his family.
Terry Martin acknowledges that, just like men, women would wish to accumulate wealth for themselves. She knows that, by depending on her husband, she stands out as a failure. However, according to her, she does not view herself as a failure. Despite working as a housewife who caters for her children, she seeks to confirm a certain theory.
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She lived in an era where career wives patronized housewives. Housewives were considered failures and ignorant. Terry wishes to reveal the level of ignorance in the society that only perceives anything as acceptable only if done for the sake of a third party. Her desire is to see that she treats her family with devotion.
On the other hand, Edelman desires to see that she has a united family. In all she does, she strives to see her husband create time for their daughter. Moreover, she yearns to strike a balance between working and spending time with her family. The anger she has towards her husband is because she feels that the husband does not work towards getting time to spend with the family.
She is eager to see her husband fulfill the promise he made during their wedding day that he would be her companion, in life and at home. She desires to reenergize the fellowship they enjoyed during the early days of their marriage.
The main reason why Terry and Edelman have differing views towards their children, husbands, desire for self-fulfillment, and housework is the hunger to ensure that their families are happy. While Terry feels that, her husband is particularly supportive in ensuring that they have a stable family, Edelman feels that her husband does remarkably little to nurture their family.
Behrens, Laurence, and Leonard J. Rosen. Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum. 11th ed. Boston: Longman, 2011. Print.
Edelman, Hope. “The myth of co-parenting: how it was supposed to be. How it was.” Writing and Reading across the Curriculum. 11th ed. Eds. Laurence Behrens and Leonard Rosen. Boston: Longman, 2011. 429-435. Print.
Hekker, T. Martin. “The satisfactions of housewifery and motherhood/paradise lost (domestic division).” Writing and Reading across the Curriculum. 11th ed. Eds. Laurence Behrens and Leonard Rosen. Boston: Longman, 2011. 412-414. Print.