I was bemoaning to DOB last night about the slowness of my progress at such tasks as organizing the house. Just keeping up with the bare minimum of chores fills all my time; I can't imagine having a hobby or going out except for grocery shopping. Why did I have so much less time than everyone else?
Then he reminded me that I do have a part-time job. For some reason it never occurs to me that this factors into my time. I do it at home, and I do most of it before D1 even wakes up in the morning. And I do it for DOB--doesn't every good wife spend a few hours every morning doing data entry for her husband? But it's still time I don't spend on other things. So. It's OK.
I do sometimes remember to mention it to people who ask if I work. Which makes me wonder: why does it make me feel more significant to tell people I work part-time for DOB's firm--a job for which I am, with all due humility, vastly over-qualified--than it would to tell people I am a full-time housewife and mother, a job which I could study for my entire life and not begin to master? Why does our society place value only on activities which lead directly to monetary remuneration?
I think the slighting of the contribution of housewives is just a symptom of a value system that equates productivity with money and leisure with amusement (i.e. mindless self-indulgence). We need to revive an appreciation for leisure as a means by which we can become better people; and a definition of success which only has a small place for money and much larger places for health, good relationships, and a capacity to appreciate what is excellent.