Working Moms and Domesticity

Today, we can see the word domestic being used in various ways. Traditionally, it is used to describe things and actions in the house. Domestic activities include taking care of the house and children, cooking, laundry, cleaning, running errands, etc. These jobs were solely preformed by women up until modern day times. Since then, we have seen a shift in responsibility and have seen women picking up jobs that traditionally belonged to men and men staying in the home more often. Although we have seen this change, it hasn’t been a full switch. By comparing Little Women with the TV show Working Moms, we can see that women are still required to be “domestic” compared to men.         

As seen in the Keyword Essay ‘Domestic” by Claudia Nelson, the word domestic mainly applies to the concept of home. Domestic fiction applies to stories and novels about the home life and families. Domestic education refers to learning about jobs in the home and how to take care of the home and family, specifically for women.          

The book Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is a great example of domesticity and domestic tasks in a more traditional sense. In this story, the main characters, who are all young girls, are brought up being taught the importance of their participation in the house work. They all have tasks that they need to complete daily that deal with cleaning, cooking, or caring for their siblings. At this time, this was the job of women and it was basically their only option. 

Working Moms is a show on Netflix that shows the stories of different moms with young children and their lives when they end their maternity leave and resume their jobs. All of the women have different jobs and different family situations. Their professions range from a high up PR executive, a relator, therapist, and IT professional. Additionally, they also have different child care for their babies. Some have partners that stay home, and some have nannies. This show does a great job at showcasing the differences in people’s experiences in the relationship between motherhood and careers. Also, this show provides a great example of how the word domestic is seen. In this case, we can see domestic in a more modern sense. While all of these women have careers, they are still required to be in charge of the children’s well being and they experience the daily pressures of balancing their domestic duties and their various careers.

5 thoughts on “Working Moms and Domesticity”

  1. Hi Emma,
    I remember scrolling past Working Moms when I was looking for something to watch on Netflix. After reading your post about domesticity I am actually interested to go back and watch it and see domesticity at play. It’s also really interesting that you chose something that depicts real people and their real lives where other movies and TV shows tend to make up characters. It really emphasizes that the ideas of domesticity are real and at play every day.

  2. Hi Emma,
    I really liked how you make connections between the keyword essay on domestic, Little women and Working Moms. From the show we could see that the pressure for working mothers to balance parenting and work is huge. But I am more than glad to see that in today’s world, women are no more limited to only domestic tasks but are shifting to various working fields.

  3. I think it is great that our media is portraying women, particularly moms, accepting that they can obtain both an occupation and a significant life at home; however, you do bring up a good point in that this certainly does come with reoccurring daily pressures. Hopefully as society continues to progress, moms won’t endure these pressures so heavily. All in all, I think this modern day portrayal of the term “domestic” is a step in right direction when it comes to alleviating the stress of mothers.

  4. I liked your analysis, Emma! I like the TV show “Working Moms” and think it plays an interesting role in showing the modern “working mom” and how she is expected to both work and take on a heavy amount of domestic responsibility in various ways. I agree that domestic work is complex and ranges from cleaning to caretaking to organizing/scheduling. I think considering this one can see how disproportionately women are still often expected in many cases to take on the bulk of this workload in many families with a mother/father dynamic. I think additionally it’s interesting to consider how wealth played into this and effects the type of role parents play in their child and household lives.

  5. I’ve never seen the show “Working Moms,” but it sounds like an excellent way to spin a more modern take on what being “domestic” means. A lot of times, it seems like a woman has to either choose between being a mom or having a career; rarely do we see portrayals of women who “do it all” by balancing both. Being domestic doesn’t have to be a bad thing nor does it have to be any woman’s defining characteristic. It’s super awesome that this show sets a new example highlighting a modernized version of domesticity in contrast to the more dated vision of being domestic that is exemplified in “Little Women.”

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