I am an oddity among black women, I have a husband who has a good career so I am a housewife. Now I know a lot of black women who are stay at home moms, they are usually married interracially like myself. But I don’t know a lot of black housewives. Although I know of white, Hispanic, and Asian women who are housewives. Finding another black woman that’s a housewife is like looking for a purple unicorn. It’s so unknown when I googled ‘black housewife’ all the links were for pornos, wow! I think when I tell people that I’m housewife, they think I’m lying or kidding. When I say it to people of all races, I get the oddest kind of looks as if to say ‘well, you’re a black woman, you can’t be a housewife’. I could certainly be a working single mom, I could be a working wife but no, I can’t be a housewife. I think even amongst black women who are stay at home mothers, I’m kind of unbelievable.
Now I stay home because of a chronic disease but I can’t say that even if I could work I would. I like being a housewife, my husband likes me being a housewife, it’s not always exciting but I can take care of all my business and the household business without having to rush and fit it in when I have time. I think it would be acceptable when I showed up at the grocery store to shop midday if I had a child with me, then at least people would say I kind of worked because I had a child. I think it would be okay for folks if I was going to school but I have a bachelor’s and graduate degree. I think for some people what makes this unacceptable and even uncomfortable for them is that I’ve gone to school and I should be working but I’ve made a conscious choice not to. But I have a husband that it is perfectly acceptable to him for me not to work. He is able to take care of us and I have a pretty good life. He takes care of me and I take care of him. I don’t want for anything but I think because I’m black and sitting at home or out and about taking care of business or at lunch, it just rubs folks the wrong way.
Black women are workers, our image has always been that of hard workers and if we don’t work then the alternate image of us is we’re supposed to be on welfare. That’s an acceptable image, that image makes many people feel comfortable. To the white young woman working hard checking groceries, me saying I’m a housewife or I’m on my way home throws her because she really probably thinks I’m in a place she believes she has the right to be. Now I can’t say this for sure but the odd looks, the cutting of eyes I get when I say those words tells me so much. If I ever feel better with more energy I may just volunteer or even join a group of other housewives or stay at home moms but I’m pretty sure I’ll be the only black one.