After I wrote my post vindicating housework, I found a much better explanation of its dignity in the book Beginning at Home: The Challenge of Christian Parenthood, by Mary Perkins:
The great difficulty about the vocation of marriage for many of us today (especially, perhaps, what are called well-educated men and women) is to learn how to appreciate the sacramental value of the whole physical side of married life, not only of the marriage act, but of all the processes of childbearing and child care and of ordinary household tasks. A great many of us never realized until we were married and had children that human life was so very physical, or that so much time and effort has to be spent on basic physical needs. Our education, our special training, our ‘careers’ had given us to suppose that our bodies were more or less incidental to our human make-up, rather useful instruments, perhaps, or annoying handicaps, but not to be particularly considered in getting ahead either on earth or toward heaven.
We need, then, to devote thought and prayer to the sacramental significance which God Himself has given to all the basic functions of ordinary married and home life. We need to realize, (at least in the depths of our souls, if not explicitly at the end of Monday morning), that cooking and cleaning and tidying and so on are not merely regrettable necessities in family life, but are meant by God to raise our minds and our hearts to Him, and to be a part of our reasonable service of Him in the vocation of marriage. (Chapter VIII)
Read the entire book here.