Traditional but Not a Tradwife


A tradwife. My social media feed has been taken over by tradwife influencers. What is a tradwife, you ask? A mom who stays at home with their ever-growing brood of children. Definitely, all homeschooled, birthed at home, and fed homemade meals from their family garden or grain mill.

Videos of women in pretty dresses making sourdough bread while in labor with their eighth, picking eggs from her chicken coop, making a hearty meal for their hard-working husbands, taking care of the homestead, and enjoying faith and femininity.

Sounds lovely and idyllic. It also sounds like a 1950s Valium housewife hellscape. I vacillate between both ways of thinking.

I may be a working mom but am involved in my Catholic faith. I make bread from scratch every weekend, and my children join me in cooking. I enjoy more traditional family values. I love wearing dresses. I dress modestly and would LOVE to get chickens if my HOA allowed me.

Does that make me a tradwife? Nah.

There’s a difference between the social media homestead cosplay and real life. One of the better-known tradwife influences is extremely wealthy, with a $30,000 stove in the background of her seemingly humble-from-scratch kitchen. There’s also the idea of submission to your spouse. Relationships and marriage, even within a religious worldview, are partnerships. I want to keep the dresses and baking and leave the toxic relationships and anti-feminist views in the 50s.

I have tradwife tendencies, but I think the balance between wanting old-school ideals and simplicity with the empowerment of, oh, I don’t know, being allowed to have a credit card should be merged.

The balance looks more like this:

I don’t stay home with my kids, but I DO take the role of solo parent most of the week.

I don’t homeschool my children, but I send them to a school where I have more input on the curriculum and encourage learning at home.

I don’t over-sanitize my kids and think rubbing dirt on a scrape is still the best remedy, but I vaccinate them on schedule to keep them safe.

I don’t worry about my kids eating processed food in moderation, but I try sourdough recipes for my family.

I don’t mill my own grain and make my own jam, but I do wish I had more time because I would 100% try it out!

So it seems like I’m not so traditional after all. Then what are women like me called? The moms who bake bread from scratch and want an industrial water filter but also roll their eyes at homeopathy and can’t imagine staying home full time.

I think it’s called balance, but if you think of another social media friendly term, let me know in the comments.


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