The preferred moniker for many of us who would otherwise be called “homemaker” or “housewife.” Contrary to popular opinion, we are not “unpaid domestic slaves” and do not call our husbands “master.” Most of us are at home because that is where we choose to be. Some of us work from home. Some of us are artists or musicians or dancers. We are looked down upon by many feminists as throwbacks to an age when women did not have free reign over their own lives, as if being a feminist is solely associated with making an income. When we meet up with old friends and tell them what we do, what we are, we often get a disappointed, “Oh,” in reply.
In the United States of America, we are counted on the census as “not in the labor force.” But according to a 1995 United Nations Human Development Report, if the “non-monetized, ‘invisible’ contribution of women” to the workforce – i.e., full-time moms – was tallied according to prevailing wages, the contribution would total $11 trillion; to keep this in perspective, the total paid global output is $23 trillion. We should be a force to be reckoned with, but we are uncounted, undervalued, and essentially invisible.
Full-time moms don’t just spend our days caring for their children, although that is our primary focus. We volunteer at our local charitable organizations, mosques, synagogues, churches, and schools. We are political, feminist and ecological activists. But our motherwork is the most important of our many duties.