Why am I a "Homemaker"?

So my husband and I went down to sign papers on our mortgage re-fi today. I was stunned to find my occupation was listed as “Homemaker.” I worked hard for many years. I had two careers, one in radio and one in finance. I am currently unemployed. Where it said Occupation, I expect to see “none” or “unemployed”.

But because I’m a married woman who doesn’t have a job, I’m a “homemaker”. I was really annoyed by this. Not mad enough to pit them, but still annoyed. It’s really stupid…I don’t even know what that means. I feel like my mother-in-law or something. I’m quite sure if it was the other way around and my husband was unemployed and I held a paying job, he would not have been listed as “homemaker.”

When I asked them about it it, they said it’s just what they put. And then they guy tried to reassure me by saying that staying home with my kids is the best thing I can do, and he knows how it’s a real job that’s harder than working outside the home, blah, blah, blah. This was really stupid because I don’t have “kids.” I have one son and he’s in school all day. It’s not hard, it’s not a “real job,” it’s very easy. I volunteer at his school library 3 days a week and it’s lots of fun.

I’m not looking for a paying job, nor do I need reassuring. I don’t need a label like “homemaker” to justify my being unemployed. I worked hard and made a bit of money. Why can’t I just be unemployed?

[FTR, I totally support anyone who chooses to be a homemaker or stay-at-home mom or whatever they’re called these days, I just object to being labeled such as a default for not having a job]

A homemaker’s defined as one who manages a household, especially as their main daily activity whereas unemployed is defined as out of work, especially involuntarily; jobless.

By those definitions, you’re a homemaker.

I’ll agree with Aesiron and add, it’s probably to your benefit to be listed as homemaker rather than unemployed under the circumstances. Unemployed looks like (on paper) you are actively looking for work to support your household. Homemaker looks as though your husband’s current income (and any you may have or have saved) is enough to warrant your staying home.

I don’t know if it’s gender related. I think the same would hold true if it was the male that was staying home.

If your occupation had been listed as *unemployed * by the bank, I doubt that your re-financing application would even have made it past the bank’s automatic credit checks.

My sister-in-law, wh is divorced, had a fit when she bought her house, and she was listed in the papers as “spinster”.

I’d much prefer to be labeled a homemaker rather than unemployed. Not that there’s anything wrong with being unemployed, but in the scheme of things I think it’s funny that you’re trying to look down on homemakers.

Rhiannon8404 it is unfortunate that homemaker is the only employment option. I too am currently unemployed and I hate the term homemaker. How 1950’s!! I prefer Domestic Goddess :smiley: it sounds so much more important.

I prefer Domestic Tyrant.

It’s better than “housewife.”

Most women I know who are/were professonally accomplished, and have returned to the role of mother/homemaker take some delight in being considered a “homemaker” and don’t consider it being “unemployed”. A person’s self worth is more than just their SIC code, you really need to get over yourself and this fragility in your sense of professional and personal worthiness.

I took exception to the phrase “an unmarried woman” on my original loan/title papers. I couldn’t get too PO’d, though, because I didn’t know if a single guy would get “an unmarried man” on his.

Read her whole post. I believe she objecting to it because there are more aspects to her than homemaker. There are more aspects to every homemaker, but when you put down homemaker on paper, it brings to mind June Cleaver. Who wants that?

I agree that unemployed implies that you are looking for a new job and homemaker gives the impression that you are financially stable enough to not need something else. It probably does look better on a mortagage application.

I’m a homemaker, I don’t especially like that term either but it’s better than “Stay at home mom” which sounds kind of like I’m a prisoner. As far as not liking it that homemaker doesn’t describe you in enough detail, no job description does. My husband puts “engineer” in the occupaiton space. That doesn’t say much about him either. What if he got laid off and had to work as a retail associate? He wouldn’t put “retail associate but really an engineer who can’t find an engineering job”. When I did work my job title didn’t do justice to what I really did there either. (Though I do have an employed sister who is a spinster, sometimes the title just fits)

Homemakers of the World… lets think of a new job title!

Woah. Seriously?


I worked very briefly for a mortgage company, and yes, a single guy would have had something like “JoeBob, an unmarried man…”. It’s so the house is *just * in your name. There’s also categories for married people buying separate property and all kinds of things.

I wouldn’t mind being labeled a spinster. Only if I could have a bunch of cats.

You really had my dander up until I read the rest of the post and realized you ARE a homemaker. That’ll teach me to jump to conclusions.


Wow, I didn’t really expect much in the way of responses since I was just whinging a bit about something so trivial. But thanks to everyone who did reply.

Bill H. You totally didn’t read my post…I am not looking down on homemakers. I have no idea how you got that idea. You clearly didn’t read my last sentence.

Legal and financial reasons for the label aside, I actually think it’s more of an insult to women and men who have actually chosen to be homemakers to call me one. I’m am terrible at it and don’t really enjoy it. I have all this time and nothing to do. My son is in school all day. I work 3 days a week at his school library…I just don’t get payed. I could get a paying job I guess, but I really like the library work.

Oh, and they guy said if it had been my husband, they would have just put “None” for occupation. So that seems a bit sexist.

Oh well, like I said, I was just whinging a bit. Totally mundane and pointless.

Yes, yes Rhiannon, now run along back to the kitchen like a good little wife.

I hate when anyone labels me a homemaker. I’m lousy at it. I hate doing it. I prefer out of work bum. I think that’s what my husband refers to me as.