I recently tried to find clothespins so I could air-dry clothes to maintain their condition and help them last longer. It was difficult going, but I did find a small family owned company that offered a decent product.
Conservatives need to consider business ventures revolving around producing small household goods like clotheslines, clothespins, small hand tools, small crafting kit, and the like. There is a desperate need for high quality products that make home life more pleasant and help make household goods and clothing last longer. As these household goods serve both male and female household stuff, businesses providing them provide the kind of infrastructure support for traditional living that is so badly needed. It’s the sort of respectable work that won’t make anyone rich, but does provide family-supporting opportunities that conservatives need to have on offer.
Something that most people with conservative values and beliefs don’t really have knowledge of is that there is an extensive history of the domestic sphere and its evolution over the centuries as technology and economic developments shaped it into various forms. This extensive history is mostly recorded linearly in feminist narratives speaking against domesticity. Yet they are in fact the only ones preserving any trace of this traditional, culturally-specific knowledge.
So, to get quite practical, what would be useful is for some of the conservative homemaking bloggesses out there to use their leisure time they spend blogging in doing something far more helpful to women– reaching into those feminist texts and pulling out the threads of history and compiling a series of essays, ebooks or print books outlining the Anglo, Scandinavian, Germanic and other culture-specific domestic traditions and where they spread out into other cultures and where enclaves of transmission from older women to younger women remain.
Conservatives of all stripes talk about culture wars and values and such all the time, but live cut off from deep historical pools. Diving in and gathering those pearls would be a valuable tool, as it would offer women a connection to traditional ways of living and show that there is status and glory in maintaining the hestia as a center of traditionally oriented life. Instead of feeling beaten down and inadequate, women could be renewed by studying their ancestresses and bring that honesty and reality into their marriages, childrearing, homemaking and community life, lifting up so much instead of being pulled down into despair and anomie. Older women with the free time to blog could shift to this other path instead of building themselves up as de facto authorities without any obligations of responsibility to the desperate SAHMs reading them seeking any crumb of support in their journeys.
It is quite cruel to tell women to come home, lie about or deny the long history of the domestic sphere and its complexities, and then act surprised that not very many women want to sign on for a life of closely spaced pregnancies, zero community, relative or paid household support, and ridiculous, non-historical and physically impossible standards of “Christian SAHMness”. It is practical and reasonable to offer them a true connection to the threads of the past and the ways of their ancestresses and allow them to know that they are part of a vast, complex and extensive historical world. There would still not be vast waves of women rushing to SAHM, but you’d get more of the sweet nice types who currently end up 47 and unwed because they aren’t blind and would rather be “in ministry” than a crumbling wreck of health with a side order of spiritual and psychological abuse.
Also, accurate information would allow in a broader sphere for transition to a service economy that offered really sweet services instead of selling massages and poorly built townhomes to each other.
It would be immensely helpful for conservatives to look within their local communities for older women who could provide what used to be fairly traditional night nursing for women with fresh newborns. Night nursing means being available to sooth a baby by being awake between midnight and about 6am so a mother can be relatively to decently rested. Hiring such a woman is not cheap, but older women who are already awake at 4am are still around, it is just a matter of encouraging them to offer this support, either explicitly with money or implicitly via social pressure.
The helpfulness lies in the fact that it is truly cruel to ask women to stay home with closely spaced children without devising some schemes of support for the most arduous immediate periods, such as the first early months after a new child is born. Women staying home with they kids are the backbone of conservative life and the current norm of handwaving the social support they need from other women is crippling their families at the individual level and conservative re-norming at the societal level.
By bothering to recognize the essential importance of night nurses, there’d be more of them, and it’s not like conservatives haven’t got the money. Instead of buying the latest nostrums from horrible con artists, they could buy the services of some nice older woman. Win-win!