i find that the executive functions, if you will, of a “housewife” are a part of the work…its great having had a part time nanny and having a cleaning woman now, but i do the hiring, managing, paying, monitoring…etc.
i think my husb and i both value homemaker functions, which i think is really important. i felt guilty at first having a 20 hr/week housekeeper…and felt all these complex things about it…she’s an immigrant, i’m the doctor paying her to do “my” (our, whatever) dirty work, didn’t like it…the best i can do is treat her with respect and flexibility (since she has a 3 year old), pay her well and tell her she is saving my life.
in my ideal world all good work would be valued…mothering, cleaning, inspiring others, nursing care, social work that gets done (lots of times by women) through churches….
men are visually and sexually driven, lets not pretend otherwise! (OK, most men)