"By the time men were fully ensconced in the workforce and the children were gone to school, the women were left, isolated, at home. They were still charged with procuring food and necessities to ensure the comfort and survival of their families, but now they did it as chauffeurs and shoppers."
That quote resonates with me. I hate how my To Do list can sometimes be just one long list of errands, as I drive my car from one huge parking lot to another huge parking lot and shuffle through stores purchasing things that I then drive back to my home and unload into the house. My other role, of driving the kids around to all their activities and to school, is also an unsatisfying chore.
The division of labor in my household could be described as "He earns most of the money - she spends most of it". I don't like that either.
I first realized years ago, when I was a stay-at-home-mom reading about how to be happy at home, that the main discontent I felt was with the feeling that I was primarily a consumer and not a producer in life. When being a housewife, homemaker, or mother is primarily about shopping, it feels like there is something out of whack.
Now that I have a full-time (and fully rewarding) job outside the home, I find that I still have the responsibility to shop and drive for my family, and it's still just as out of whack. I don't want to leave my house an empty shell; I don't want to spend more time with my family in the car than we do in our home.
So how do we stop being shoppers and chauffeurs? What other ways of living are there?