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I am a stay at home wife with no kids, and often judged, but it doesn’t make me someone who’s siphoning off my husband. My contribution to the marriage is just as important.
I’m married, without kids and have not worked in 4 years. I never planned to be a stay at home wife but not working actually worked out for me.
After graduating from college, I got my master’s degree in literature and just after that, I did another master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA-HR). For me, it was all about making sure that I can survive on my own. That I should be qualified enough to get a good job and be independent before I planned to get married.
I achieved everything as I planned. I even worked for a year before marriage. This was just one phase of my life. As they say ‘there’s a new beginning that’s waiting for you once a chapter of your life closes.’
I was excited to move to Europe with Mr Husband after marriage. I desperately started searching for a job after shifting, because I thought it was what I’d wanted. During this ‘searching for job’ phase Mr Husband suggested that it was a good chance for me to pursue my interests in photography, dancing and writing, which is what I have dreamed of doing since years.
Along with homemaking, I had fully enjoyed exploring a new city and culture. Meeting new people was so enlightening. I got the time again to read and write, learnt so much about photography, developed my editing skills, and got to travel a lot, which was really soothing to my wanderlust spirit. Another wonderful experience that I had in this period was welcoming Murphy in our lives and becoming a Dogmom.
One thing that we both strongly believe, is that this phase was strengthening and fulfilling to our bond in so many ways. If I will ever have to return to work I will do that gladly; but for sure it is not my first choice, staying home is. I thoroughly enjoy being by myself with our dog and this alone time is refreshing to me, not boring or lonely.
When I made the choice to be a stay at home wife, I got tired of getting those disappointed and unsatisfactory reactions from people. I noticed that there is a lot of backlash against women that stay home. They have to face so many judgements and opinions on this.
There are so many preconceived notions and myths that need to be settled and dispelled.
No work is easy: whether it is a high paying job, a low paying job or being a housewife. I never believe that I have a harder/ easier life than the women trying to balance a personal life with a job. I appreciate them and wish them the best. I am not here to argue; all I am saying is it’s wrong to look down upon a woman who chooses to be a housewife.
Yes, there are no kids running and filling my home but that doesn’t make staying at home any less significant for me; between my pet and my husband I stay enough busy. A housewife’s schedule is different every day which allows her to do her main household tasks as well as things she likes doing like crafting, writing, painting etc.
Oh yes, I can tell you that many people think that She Is Nothing Without A Man. I want to remind them of one thing – that she is a wife, neighbour, sister, and daughter and so much more just like you. A woman of her own.
We are different, but not less just as talented and educated.
There are so many women who are such great artists, writers, bloggers and social activists but are stay at home wives. Even if you are not doing anything specific, it’s still ok and commendable to keep your marriage, home and your husband as your number one priority. Why do we define a woman’s identity just by her educational qualification or a job? She is much more than that. In the words of Julius Charles Hare, “Be what you are. This is the first step toward becoming better than you are.”
According to some, the concept of SAHW probably contributes to the reinforcement of gender stereotypes. Arguments like that are the result of assumptions and judgements based on personal experiences. People generalize and apply it to all housewives which is irrational.
To me, empowerment is about giving women the freedom to choose for herself. As J. Martin Kohe said, “The greatest power that a person possesses is the power to choose.”
I agree that this lifestyle doesn’t suit everyone but if it works well for you and your family, you should not bother what others think of your arrangement. That’s totally your call. Some women find meeting deadlines at work is fulfilling, that is fine. Stay at home wives find staying at home is fulfilling that is fine too. It’s a matter of choice and as they say Different strokes for different folks.
Yeah! They have opinions about the husbands too. Like, “the husband might be a male chauvinist” or “the poor husband might be under so much of financial pressure” or “he must be a millionaire”. And, they generalise again!
Decisions like these are always taken with mutual consent. If the spouse agrees on being a sole provider and has full knowledge of the plans then it’s no one else’s business what arrangement any family has. Also, it’s not that all stay at home wives have a millionaire husband; we are middle-class people too. And, no, these husbands are not always sexist.
My husband is very supportive. He believes that everything that I do at home is a better support than extra money. He never puts me down; rather he encourages and helps me with my passions and hobbies. He will be equally supportive if I choose to do a job any day. Wayne Dyer has rightly said, “Judgements prevents us from seeing the good that lies beyond appearances.”
A good marriage is always mutually rewarding. It’s not about what’s his or what’s hers. It’s our marriage and our family likewise it’s our money. I am not getting paid for my contributions, but my contributions count too.
Though I totally support the idea of financial independence in a marriage, I don’t see myself as a ‘dependent’. Just as I depend on Mr Husband for money, he also depends on me for so many household things, be it food, clothes or the emotional support. That’s how marriages work, right?
Marriage is about ‘give and take’, and balancing each other out. Both the partners should contribute equally to the growth and success both as individuals as well as a family.
I want to remind all the stay at home wives that it’s important to have educational degrees and developing your skills. Have a strong backup plan so that when you, your family, or your marriage needs you, you can save the day and rise to the occasion.
Never be ashamed of the choices you make and let them judge. You are the best judge of your life. If you are happy with your choices and decisions, that’s enough. You don’t need to prove anything to anyone.
“It’s your road and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.”― Rumi
Images credit: the author
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I am a Stay-At-Home-Wife and a dog-mom. Little girl who always
congratulations on your choice. But realize having a choice is a privilege.
With all due respect, being a working mom is also a “privilege”. If I want to work, I have to pay for daycare of our two children, which means my salary will all go to daycare, which means I would be working for nothing. So only “privileged” women who have fancy high paying jobs can really benefit from going to work. The rest of the women are spinning their wheels living stressful lives with little time for their families, all to get a little “chump change” and back in the day, women had no opportunities for good jobs. I don’t have a degree so I wouldn’t earn much out there, unlike the “privileged” women who’s mommy and daddy sent them to a good college and helped them get a good job. So, who is privileged? I said this to give you a feel for how it feels when people throw the word “privilege” at others. Do you see they are really just being snarky and judgemental? If the author is “privileged” then hey, good for her! We should all be happy for each other. Not jealous! When I was growing up most women stayed home, families and neighborhoods were closer and more cohesive. Now, nobody’s home in most communities. Am I privileged? I have more time for my child, who is blossoming under my care. Why would I pay money to risk putting her with strangers every day all day to learn bad habits from other little kids, get sick all the time, and be raised by other people with no love for her? None of the SAHM I know are wealthy. They are all working class, most of their husbands don’t earn much. They stay home because they feel it is best for their families and children. OK, so the author has no children (yet). She has a dog (I owned a dog for 13 years before he died, and now I have kids, it is NOT the same thing AT ALL and no, having a dog is NOT being a “mom” unless your baby can be left home alone all day and let out to poop three times a day and left with a bowl of food and water – seriously babies and toddlers are NOT the same in any way). But she is doing what she loves. So GOOD for her! Please. Stop “accusing” people of being privileged, because in a subtle way, that is what you are doing. Shaming her for it. And guess what? Most working women I know could TOTALLY afford to stay home if they WANTED to. Truth is many working moms DON’T WANT to be around their kids all day because IT IS HARD!!!! If you’ve never tried it, you won’t understand it. But other SAHM and SAHD know how hard it is!!!!
@EVE, no one is attacking your position to be a stay at home mom. Children are greatly benefit from having an available parent. And I plan on being a working mom. I think it’s a privilege to have the choice to be a SAHParent. And it’s also a sacrifice. My dad was a SAHD for many years since he wasn’t able to find work and my mother made enough money. I think that justifying a stay at home wife’s contribution (one without kids) as being equal to her husband’s in terms of what they bring to the table…that is a flawed justification. I think bring the same love to the table maybe. The OP seems to have a happy marriage, but she is entirely dependent on her husband to buy all her pleasurable activities, food to cook, etc without equal return (like raising kids and managing a family).
Something is off here, I do not remember writing this article.
Totally agree with @Mia. @Eva having a choice is a privilege many women do not have the choice, they have to go out and work to ensure that there is food on the table.
So you get to play with your dog, satisfy your wanderlust, be your husband’s unlicensed therapist, and write/create art for free? I understand that this is very therapeutic and good for your mental health, and I’m not criticizing your decision, but how can you say that this is remotely equal to working a 9-5 job (that may or may not be pleasurable at all times) to provide essentials such as food and rent? And how are you equally as busy as a woman with a 9-5 job? Just because you always find pleasurable activities to occupy your time, that doesn’t necessarily make you busy; the working woman’s state of being busy is one characterized by responsibilities that may or may not be pleasurable, and that doesn’t equate your interpretation of being busy due to filling your time with entirely pleasurable activities. A working woman has obligations, whereas a stay-at-home mother has more choices. Of course this conversation would be completely different if you had children, but you don’t have any. (at least not at the time this article was published) And even though you have the capability to earn and be independent, you still are technically completely dependent at the moment; so how can you make the argument that you are not more dependent on your husband than vice versa? Honestly, doing laundry, cooking food, and taking care of a dog is far more fun than working AND doing all of these things on top of that (which working mothers often do). And finally, do you think that the argument for being a stay-at-home dad is equally valid as the argument for being a stay-at-home mom?
Sounds like someone is JEALOUS.
100% agree with Mia. I think the choice to stay at home as a wife with no human children is a complete privilege. It is wonderful that your husband can be so supportive and make enough money to support you, but without human children you are not putting forth an equal contribution by being a stay at home wife (it would be equal if you were a SAHM managing her family or were somehow disabled). I work from home full time for a clinical research company while my husband works outside of the home and I could not justify staying at home as we do not have kids at the moment. And I’m pursuing a masters degree and I still manage to provide all the support you provide your husband to my own. I cannot imagine how someone with three degrees could not find a remote/flexible position. Working does not always equal a 9-5 grind.
Why cant we just be happy for her. If her husband is very supportive of the idea that she doesnt NEED to work, then great.Good for them. If she chose to be a housewife , and husband is supportive about it, then no reason to call her lazy.She worked and earned a degree.The truth is, She is just Lucky. Because not all men are supportive or have the means. Not all women have the chance to be a stay at home wife/ mother for whatever reason,..or vice versa,..so why cant we just be happy that she is Lucky? period.I dont find the reason to shame a person just because he/she is lucky to be somewhere she wants to be . If their marriage is happy and YOU are not paying their bills,..then carry on.
“Why can’t we just be happy for her” Because she choose to write an article relaying that she outputs equivalent amount of work/energy as someone that works 9-5 or a stay at home mom.
We can be happy that she is happy…However, readers are not blind. Its not the same. At All.
Don’t write an article arguing that this is equivalent. This will be as well received as a Trust Fund Child arguing that their life is just as difficult as someone living in poverty because they have to deal with the stigma of having a Trust Fund. Ugh.
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