From 'Domestic Tranquility' p48.
Lopata [a sociologist] concluded that working women, many of whom were not deeply concerned with the housewife's role and performed it minimally, believed the role required no special skills; but those who were "performing the role of housewife in a complex and creatively competent manner see it as requiring many different areas of knowledge". ... Because of its indeterminacy, the housewife's role very likely requires more self-motivation than any other. A homemaker has maximum freedom to define the scope of her duties and obtain whatever knowledge she believes their performance requires; hence her dilemma. Sociologists have established that much is expected of a housewife; surely, it is she who must actualize for her family all those "goods" being analyzed and quantified. Yet she is never told exactly what she is expected to do or how she should go about doing it. In the 1950s and 1960s the fact that upwardly mobile suburbanites has often abandoned their ethnic subcultures exacerbated the difficulty of assuming this burden of freedom, for the older generation that had traditionally helped the housewife was much underutilized.