What is a stay at home wife? Essentially, it is a women with no kids who stays at home while her husband works outside the home.
I am a stay at home wife.
You would not believe the flack I get when people realize I do not work outside my home! I get comments from "Well, I have a real job" to, "it must be nice to be lazy all day". Most assume that I lightly turn on the washer, scrub a few counters, plop myself in front of the TV and munch on a bag of chips while nonchalantly rifling through the newest issue of Cosmopolitan. I've even had people tell me that I am lazy and a burden to my husband; why don't I get off my butt and get a job? One acquaintance even asked if I thought I was better then her, since she works a 9-5 and I don't. Apparently being a stay at home mom or stay at home wife means I look down on those who choose to or are financially obligated to work.
Being a stay-at-home wife does not mean I am judging any non stay-at-home women. It does not mean I am somehow a better christian or person then any other woman or man who works.
Being a stay-at-home wife is a decision my husband and I made together, taking into account what we wanted for our family and how we wanted to partition our roles.
My husband is an extremely hard worker. On average he works 50-60 hours a week. He does not have time to cook. He does not have time to do laundry or clean the house. I do all the chores for our household. (I talk more about that decision here if you are interested in specifics)
If I was working, managing a household on top of a full time job would be extremely difficult. This is not to say it couldn't be done--it is and has been done by many people--but the way my husband and I wanted to structure our household was for me to be the primary homeworker. In order to cut back on stress and for me to have enough time to keep up with our house and prepare all meals, I needed to be a stay at home wife. He also needs me to be here and take care of those issues so he can then completely focus on work.
Another reason we chose to stay at home also revolves around my husbands schedule, but in a more trivial, personal category. He works Monday through Friday. This means that he has weekends off. The weekend is really the only time we get to spend together as a couple, the only time I usually get to "see" him. I did have a job when we first got married and there was no possible way that my job would give me both Saturday and Sunday off. No job that I know of will give an individual both days of the weekend off--it just isn't done and would be unfair to other employees who would also want those days off.
Because I am now free on the weekends we are able to sleep in and snuggle together. We are able to take trips and go camping on Fridays without worrying about my job or hours! I cherish these weekends with my hubby, the stolen moments where we can live our lives and be unified together. This time helps keep our relationship intact and keep us intimately connected.
Perhaps the greatest factor that helped me be a stay-at-home wife is that I felt lead by God to be one. This is a touchy subject, because I know not all stay-at-home-wives are Christians, nor do I expect them to be. The truth is I feel very comfortable being at home and taking care of my husband and helping others with my time instead of being paid for clocking hours. I know that I am doing the right thing. Daily I pray that I am doing what God wants me to do--and I am not the least bit stressed about my position or embarrassed about my status as a stay-at-home wife.
Perhaps the final point of my stay-at-home status is the direction I want to take my life. I want to eventually own my own business. Right now its just a small Etsy shop, but that shop is my passion and my dream. Staying at home allows me to work towards my goal of being a small business owner and gives me time to grow creativity and plan projects. If I had another "Outside" job I would never be able to give my business the attention it needs to flourish.
Oh, and yes, with only one of us working we do have less money then if both of us worked. But money is not what I am pursuing with the time God has given me, and my husband and I are frugal enough to live off of one income. Please do not think I am saying that if you work you are not frugal and are just interested in money. What I'm saying is that my husband and I can easily live of his salary. We don't go hungry. He makes enough money to provide all the necessities and pay for our bills. I thrift everything--I can't remember the last time I've bought something that was new. We choose to not have internet at home and to live without cable in order to save money. These decisions help us live off one one salary. When its wants vs. needs, I clearly value my time to choose to forgo many "wants" in my already consumer-saturated life in order to follow God's plan for my life.
The truth is, no matter what you decided to do with your life--that's your own personal decision and a decision you and your family unit must make together. It's really not anyone's business, ey?
Check out my other stay-at-home wife posts! I wrote about what I love, things I struggle with, and my thoughts on what you need in order to be a stay-home wife.