Is the “Domestic Diva” Fading Away?
Is the domestic diva fading away?
The design of our foundation is shifting rapidly. The decades of grooming women into the role of a domesticated diva seems to be fading away, as we are opening our eyes to new possibilities. We are recognizing that we do have a voice, and that we can create a life that is much more substantial than the traditional role as caregivers. We are not saying to ditch the mop and caregiver role, what we are saying is: we have so much that we can bring to the table. This shift has allowed us to open our hearts and minds to greater possibilities for all of us.
To some degree, everybody has a certain level of what is expected of them. This can be relative to school, work, your social life, or a combination of all of the above. These levels can be set by teachers, parents, or even society itself.
What about when it comes to societal standards that are set for women? Most women would agree that there is an endless quantity- how to dress, what career path they should or shouldn’t follow, and how many children they should have, if any at all.
Times have changed for the better, and women have much more of a choice in whether or not they pursue an education or career or stay at home with their kids.
It is fair to assume that the “domestic diva” lifestyle is fading away in the grand scheme of things. But is that necessarily a bad thing?
The Perfect Wife
In the first half of the 1940s, when American men were overseas during World War II, women held down the fort at home. Many of them took over what was known as the manly jobs, such as working in the factories.
Once the war ended, and the men returned home, many couples got married right away. The median age at the time of marriage was 20 for women and 24 for men. They began having children shortly after as well. This marked the beginning of the baby boom.
With the men back at work, and many families starting to grow, this painted the perfect picture for the domestic diva narrative. The women were to be the keepers at home and the nurturers to their children.
Throughout the 1950s, most women spent their days cleaning their home, preparing dinner, so it was on the table by the time their husband came home from work and caring for the children. This was seen as the normal, picturesque, typical American family.
With each passing decade, history has seen an increase of women getting married and having children later on in life. After birth control pills were made widely available in the 1960s, they gave women some sense of control of their bodies.
Women steadily began to enter the workforce as well. They filled the roles of secretaries, nurses, and teachers. Despite there being a much larger wage disparity between men and women at this time in history, working outside the home gave them the ability to have their personal financial means.
In the 1980s, the number of both men and women attending college increased, but the number of men eventually hit a plateau. The rate of women attending college continued to steadily rise.
Graduating from college opened so many doors for women and continues to do so to this day. An education allowed them to develop skills that they would need for a career that they strongly desired to pursue.
Many women in the mid-twentieth century and prior felt that being a wife, mother, and homemaker was their only option. They were told it was their purpose in life. It was normal to bear the label of “domestic diva,” but times are ever-so changing.
In short, yes, the domestic diva lifestyle is fading away. A lot of women are choosing to further their education by going to college and obtaining a well-paying job afterward.
Going to college and establishing oneself in a career field also delays getting married. The average age of when couples get married keeps climbing year after year. These days, it is not uncommon to witness people get married for the first time in their late twenties or early thirties, often after several years of dating.
There is also much less of a stigma of living together before tying the knot. Cohabitation was viewed as taboo in previous decades, but many couples now choose to spend several years living together to test if they are truly compatible as life partners.
The cost of living in the United States has skyrocketed, and it is now rather unreasonable to be able to raise a family on one partner’s income. There is no doubting that children are expensive. Another trend that has changed over the years is that couples are choosing to have fewer children- and also wait longer to try and conceive.
In the 1960s, the average American family had an average of more than three children. Nowadays, the average number is less than two.
When women know that they would like to have fewer children, they also don’t have an issue with waiting to have them. In 2020, a study found that the average age for first-time mothers in the United States was 26. Throughout previous decades, it was just 21.
If you look at the big picture and consider women in other developed countries, it brings the average age of a mother having her first child up to 31.
The number one reason why women today are waiting to have children is financially related. In this study, 60% of women reported that they were delaying having children due to not having enough money. 51% also reported that they would like to make more career moves to earn a higher salary first.
The Power of Choice
Women having a say in when they would like to begin having children is so important. After all, it is their body that is bearing them. Taking financial considerations into account is incredibly responsible. Like I said, raising children is very expensive. Knowing that you have the financial means to support them will ensure that they have the best possible quality of life.
Also, no woman, or rather no person in general, should feel ashamed for making their wants and desires a priority before choosing to have children. Once you bring a child into the world, the entire family dynamic changes.
It is also completely fine to choose not to have any children at all. In today’s society, there is still a negative stigma about women being unmarried and childless by the time they reach the age of 30.
While a woman’s biological clock does start to tick faster in their thirties, it is still possible to bear children- my mother did it three times. Not to mention that many women are well-established by the time they reach their thirties. Raising a child or two is not something to take lightly. While it is incredibly rewarding, it is also a huge responsibility.
Let’s Be Supportive
Times have changed drastically in the last sixty years, but that does not mean that some women do not work outside the home. Some of them even have the job title of stay-at-home mom.
Do you want to know my two cents? I don’t think that stay-at-home moms receive enough credit for what they do. Raising children is no walk in the park. When they’re young, meaning from the time they are born up until they start school, they need to be constantly monitored.
Stay-at-home moms also juggle all of the housework on top of raising a child that you can’t let out of your sight. It is a job that you never can clock out of.
The bottom line is, women should never feel that being a homemaker or a stay-at-home mom is their only option. But, if they choose to, they should know that that is completely fine too. As long as it works for them and their lifestyle, and it was a mutually agreed-upon decision by them and their partner.
Here’s another idea- stop judging and putting down other women who choose to stay at home. Everyone’s path in life is different, and we are all meant to do different things. What works for you might not work for somebody else, and vice versa.
Why do we care so much about what others think?
Women have always been told they need to look a certain way to be considered “beautiful” or pursue certain goals in life to be considered “worthy.”
If a woman chooses to stay at home and raise a family, some tell her she is wasting her life and will never uncover her true potential. Others will constantly ask a career-driven woman when she is going to have children. When she says she doesn’t know or that she is choosing not to, she is told she is going to be unfulfilled in life.
Do you want to know what I think is empowering? Letting women choose what they want to do. Whether they want to climb the CEO ladder or stay at home and raise five babies, it should be entirely up to them.
Women taking on the roles of “domestic divas” is no longer the norm in the United States, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s wrong if some still do.
Somebody will always have something negative to say about how anyone chooses to live their life, but let’s put a stop to shaming the career choices of women. You are worthy no matter what.