homemaker makes me think of sanitation engineer for plumber and cleansing operative for cleaners etc it also sounds too cutesy and 50's - Doris Day might have said it!
I'm with Soz on the fact that the baggage follows the new word
oh to have a housekeeper - heaven! your friend is lucky <sigh> - high on my wish list if i ever won the lottery
this is something we picked up in germany : housewife in german would be "hausfrau" , and it's a term that's been around for a long time. now they also have the word "hausmann" for the man who stays at home. my sister-in-law calls her (retired) husband a "hausmann" when he does the shopping or does some work around the apertment. we also found out that the houskeeper/maid in a hotel that used to be called "zimmer-maedchen" in german has been elevated to the title "zimmer-dame"(hotel kempinski, berlin). hbg