The 200k earning woman who turns SAHM is doing so not purely as a form of consumption, but as a socially productive act that props up the kind of privately administered institutions conservatives tend to fondly recall from their own salad days. Even the 20k earning woman who quits to stay home can be one of these socially productive anchors in the community with her volunteer labor and administrative efforts. In fact, such SAHMs are essential to having anything resembling a halcyon traditional-topia social order.
This is a separate function from basic care of the home and children, and yet it’s very much as important, but goes unremarked upon by conservatives. It is a gaping hole in their arguments about why women should be SAHMs. So much of children’s athletic and enrichment activities, and co-ops, and PTA, and etc. rely on SAHMs even as the middle class SAHM becomes an increasingly rare specimen in American society.
Despite the hedging for the people who really believe men will someday soon stay home in large numbers, this short article says as much too.
The social productivity of housewives is quite as important as their abilities to economize or generate income of various amounts and levels. It’s something that also has to be considered when raising daughters to be comfortable with staying home and homemaking in general.