I Am The Luckiest Woman in the World (American Home, March 1949)
Being that it's Women's History Month, it's so important to look back at just how far we've come. It's almost shocking to think that being a homemaker was considered a viable "career" option, as the responsibility was obviously supposed to be toward home and hearth. This is a period in history after the men came home from the war, and society was nudging women off the production line and back into the kitchen. That their role as the CEO of the home was far more important than working on the outside. This piece was written by the editor of The American Home, Mrs. Jean Austin, in the March 1949 issue.
I Am The Luckiest Woman in the World...
Because - by choice and by profession, I have one of the most important, most exciting jobs in the world. To me has been entrusted the privilege of serving, influencing, and entering nigh unto three million American homes each month of the year. My personal joy is likewise my public carrer - the making of a home.
Because - my responsibilities are illimitable, my opportunities boundless, my duty is a hallowed one: the fulfillment of my sacred trust a rousing challenge.
Because - unlike my mother, I do not have to be content with being a housewife. Like her, if my job be well done, I can make home the abiding place in the affections of my family that nothing can ever dislodge, no matter how far they roam, how long the years of separation. But within my four walls are opportunities unknown to her.
Because - in this disturbing, challenging, changing year of 1949, homemaking is not just keeping an immaculate house, setting a good table, and sewing a fine seam. modern equipment has replaced manual drudgery; homes are no longer "furnished" but decorated with skill and taste approximating the professional. Food, we've learned, is not just cooking and eating but nutrition and family health. Wives in this year of 1949 are not expected to know more than their children, but less than their husbands. Keeping mental pace with atomic-wise children; conversing intelligently on psychology or world affairs; sharing civic responsibilities; being a sporting companion and glamour girl too - these are but a few of the skills, mental and emotional requirements of this newest of all careers. Why homemaking, unlike housekeeping, is a profession.
Because - I am my husband's trusted partner, good companion, and alter ego. I am a source of wisdom and security to my children. My unselfish time and moral strength are necessary to public institutions, national crusades, private charities. I have respect, trust and companionship unknown to any other one profession. To my family, my community and my country, I am a V.I.P.
Because - if I am wise enough, skillful enough, and care enough, I can pioneer and help shape the changing pattern of the American home, make it the core of every significant, rich, happy experience in life. Together - you and I - we can make it the strongest, most important and most beloved institution in the world.
Because - mine is the job that gives solidity and meaning to life, I am a homemaker. Truly, I am the luckiest woman in the world.