The Black Housewife

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.

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24 thoughts on “The Black Housewife

  1. Hey! I used to be friends with you on facebook before I deleted it. I was a frequent commenter on Breukelen Bleu’s page as well as many others. I am engaged and my fiancee and I agree on me staying home after I finish school (majoring in family and consumer sciences), even if we aren’t parents yet. He is a physician and it’s easier to support and care for him during his busy schedule if I do not have a job. While looking for blogs on black housewives, not many popped up. I know there are many out there in real life but I would love to see more! Both my grandmother and mother stayed at home. I wish more black women considered staying at home even if they do not have children. I love your blog and hope you post again soon! Take care and have an amazing New Year

  2. Thank u.. From the lack of comments I see u are My answer to my prayers. I’m 25 black a mother a degree holder and housewife. Its wat makes my husband and I comfortable. We enjoy living a traditional lifestyle. We enjoy having a place in our family life. Its hard for me to tell people that I have no job because my husband works so I Dont have to. Its even more difficult when the reason I because that’s the life we both want. I would hate to be a hater that’s harder than a housewife.

  3. I am a housewife and stay-at-home mom as well. I have a Bachelor’s degree. I will pursue my Master’s degree before I reenter working outside the home when my two children are older. My husband and I are both African Americans living in a predominantly White town. i don’t know what gets to people more; the fact that we both have degrees (he’s working on his P.h.D), that we live in a great town with blue ribbon schools, own our home, two cars or the fact that he provides for me to stay home with the children and keep myself up unlike many women that stay home. The problem is people who have never stayed at home really don’t know that its work. If they knew how tired I was from educating my kids and maintaining an OCD level of organization in our home, they wouldn’t envy me so much.

  4. I am one of the black women that would love to be a housewife but i am a working single mother. I would love to relieve the financial duties and take care of solely the home because doing it all has become far too much for me as one person.

    I’d also like to know what leads a person to dating interracially. I am totally open to this but I don’t get approached by other races. Even black men assume im already married and don’t approach often. Just my little random thought since you are inteaccially married 🙂

    • How anyone thinks you’re married and your not is beyond me unless you’re wearing a wedding band? You have to check the blog for more articles oN IR dating, there’s a lot here and at many of the blogs on the blog roll. But really it’s like any other dating, if you don’t know how to date I suggest you pick up the book, THE RULES, best advice on dating ever for women.

  5. I too am a SAHW. However, my husband is African American. We plan to have children in a year or so. In the meanwhile, our home runs efficiently since everyone has a agreed upon, defined role. We avoid many of the arguments that our couple friends of similar age groups may experience with regards to house work, bills etc. The freedom during the day gives me a deeper appreciation for my spouse. And yes, we too receive the questionable stares from folks who hear our story. Few women I know have enough faith in their relationships to feel secure being home without their own source of income. I, however was raised with a SAHM, and therefore can see the benefits more clearly. I’ve been in the corporate workforce for 12 years with the emotional exhaustion to prove it…I’m hoping to never have to go back there again…at least not on a full-time basis.
    Stay committed; there is some support for women like us in the AA community. 🙂

    • I have no desire to go back to working for a law firm myself. I’m glad I left that life. My husband and I are getting ready to try to get pregnant and he is insistent that I stay home, not that I ever objected. If I decide to go back to work it would have to be working from home but we’ll make that decision when we cross that bridge. I wish you and your husband much happiness.

  6. Pingback: “Leave Him Right Where He Stands” | Black Women Deserve Better™

  7. This post is right on time. Two of my sisters and I are also housewives (also married interracially). Even some in my own family could not stand the fact that I stayed home as if they had a say. My children needed me at home and yeah, I missed the money working a full time job but I have no regrets. Now that they are older and in school all day and don’t need a sitter, I can contemplate returning to work maybe in a part time capacity. But I too have some health challenges that would not have allowed me to work if I wanted to do so. I still all this time later am still explaining to folks why I have some free time during the day. I had a neighbor wait until the evening to give me something because she thought she would wait until I got home from work. She was shocked to find I was home all day. She was a white woman but in my experience the most vitriol comes from other black women. Most of the women could have made similar choices but I don’t begrudge them. Life is too short and I have children to raise. I would gladly tell anyone how and why my husband and I decided that I should be at home. I did a two and a half year stint outside the home but was accommodated by my husband, but again, I returned home to run my household. My at home work experience has actually helped me to be more patient and deal with people more effectively. Not holding my breath, but I’ll be glad when states pay us our “at home” pay. Thanks for such a timely post!

    • You’re welcome. I just wanted to share my experience, I’d been working part time for a little while which some odd but when my health couldn’t allow me to work and I became a full time housewife. I stared to notice the looks of confusion on ppl’s face when I told them I didn’t work. I don’t cost anyone anything my husband cares for me but it’s just the strange reaction ‘how dare you!’ almost. It’s just weird, my husband and I are thinking of having a child and our only choice is that w/ a baby I’d be a SAHM no other option and we both wanted that. I’m glad other black housewives and SAHMs are getting their day in this sun, so ppl don’t think that only white women have the option of staying home, taking care of their family. I would be nice to get some pay 🙂

  8. OMG. Epic post! I’ve soo been there. I agree that you do get cut a bit of slack with the children but some ppl still give you the side eye. I’ve had some ask what I do all day even with the kids. Say what?! LOL! Brown skin and any sort of ease, protection, and peace seem to raise eyebrows. Sad world we’re in.

    • I’m sure you get the side eye even w/ children b/c I know some ppl probably assume you’re a single mom. I’m telling you FEQ when I googled to try to find photo of a black housewife, I had a time finding the one I did. My thought was no one thinks black women can be housewives, ppl can’t even picture it in their imagination so not many pics. That little exercise in finding a photo for this blog was very telling.

      • Exactly! I’m always double-sure to stack on my rings whenever I’m out with the children but that only works as clues for ppl close enough to see them. hahah I tried to rack my brain for a popcult example and thought, well maybe “‘Florida Evans’ from Good Times?” but then I remembered that she worked for the Bunker’s(All In the Family) at one point. lolz

        BTW, that photo is super-cute. She’s giving all kinds of retro-glam there!

  9. This is awesome! I, too, am what you would consider a house wife in the making. I have always desired to be one; and it has happened. We (BW) are changing the way the world views us. No longer will we allow others to define us. We now define us. You go, Girl!

  10. I love this post. You are one of the new, new black women. Traditionally black women have toiled away at jobs, took care of their households and sacrificed themselves endlessly and tirelessly for family members and others. Today black women are making great decisions and getting their college education, choosing quality mates, becoming housewives and CHOOSING whether or not they want to have children. I’m sure you do get some looks or side eye glances, but you are just living a life that black women should have been included in all along. I’m glad you have a loving and supportive mate, you deserve it.

    • I’m so glad we can, in the past many bw had no choice. My grandmother was a maid and worked hard. I feel so thankful she taught me the value of hard work but I’m also so thankful that many of the trials and tribulations she had to endure, I don’t. I like that new, new black woman moniker LOL.

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