In the feature article ("Mama Wants a Brand-New Job") of the winter issue of Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers, Katy Read reports that "in a 2007 study by psychologists at Northwestrn, Princeton and Lawrence Universities, researchers measuring public perceptions of different groups found that "housewives" were perceived to be approximately as competent as elderly and mentally retarded people" (p. 34). This is the public sentiment (sentence?) I'm in for.
In an earlier post, I wrote about how I've been fretting this winter about where to settle with my little family; what kind of lifestyle I want for us. We've come to a decision: we're going to do our very best to make a living for ourselves here in the US and not move to my native Norway. I'm not going to put my soon-to-be 2 year old child in daycare; I want to continue to attachment parent her, no matter how hard and intense it is. Throughout this year, I'll be able to take turns with my husband writing and being with her while he finishes his thesis. After that, I might have less, and perhaps only her nap times, to write, depending on what my husband ends up doing. As of fall 2011, she'll be in preschool and so even if my husband is away from home all day, I'll at least have from around 8:30 till 11:15 or so to write. Plus nap time, if I'm lucky.
I'll continue to perceive myself as a writer and a mama, but in the eye of the public, I'll most likely be seen as a typical housewife. And now we all know how they're judged.