Friday, May 9, 2014

5 Struggles of a Stay-at-home Wife

Last week I talked about 5 reasons I love being a stay-at-home wife. Today I'm going to talk about some struggles and negative situations I've faced.

  • You need to schedule and balance your time.

I've learned that since I do stay at home, it can be easy to be lazy. I feel like I need to be much more  responsible with my time and make sure I am spending it for God, not for my own selfish pursuits. I know that no one really wants to be selfish, regardless of their profession inside or outside the home--but I think it's easier for me to fall into the "oops, I just spend 4 hours playing with my iPhone" problem then other people. (Note--see this blog post about how I realized I was, in fact, spending to much time on my phone, and what I did about it)

  • Reversely, you need to stop feeling guilty when you take a break.

I don't know about you, but I suffer from Sudden Guilt Syndrome. You know, that great feeling of self-condemnation that hits square in the chest when you realize that you did, indeed sit down and watch an hour of anime after doing all those dirty dishes. It's weird how suddenly your mind can be full of all the other things you could have been doing, and then instead of that restful hour, being, well, restful, your conscience is sort of driven into a whirl of anxious culpability.  Because, for shame, how dare you sit down for more then five minutes. I mean, it isn't like you have a real job.

Anyway, I've realized that everyone needs breaks. It's perfectly okay to take some time, or even a whole day (gasp!) just to relax and rejuvenate. Now, I don't think this should be a lifestyle--but I no longer heap shame upon myself or feel like a fraud or a terrible person if I sit down and zone out on YouTube for awhile. I get my work done. I also relax. It's okay.

  • There is no good answer to the question "So, what do you do?"

Maybe it's me--but I dread this question. I never know what to say. I've tried all of the following
  • I stay at home
  • I work in my home and help my husband
  • I am lucky enough to have free time to help others...
  • I don't work outside my home right now 

But all these answers seem to do is to make the person talking to me go into full "Befuddlement Mode". An individual in such a mode rapidly attempts to find out the "real reason" behind why I don't work and usually, no matter what I say, tends to assume the following.
  • I am lazy
  • I have more then 3 kids
  • I am better then them
  • My husband is a chauvinistic pig
  • I'm one of "those" women
  • I am rolling in money up to my eyeballs  
  • I think all women shouldn't work
  • I am "working the system" and on government aid
Because of how many times I've had these reactions happen to me, I've developed this weird pause after someone asks me what I do--mostly because my brain was going sigh, now I'm going to have to explain how no, I don't have any kids, and yes, I did choose this for myself and am not lazy...
Now I just tell people I'm a lifestyle blogger. And that opens up a whole other can of worms...

  • Sometimes you will be lonely.

In a world where most people work, or stay home with kids, you might frequently spends days by yourself without another soul to talk to. This might not actually be a bad thing. Many days I am happy to be a home, surrounded by so many creative endeavors. But there are days were I just yearn to get out of the house and have a real conversation with a friend. Alas, I don't know any stay at home wives where I live. Thus, when I really need to get out and everyone else is at work or changing diapers, I will take myself out to coffee and bug strangers. Yes, I'm that person. (extroverts unite! Oh wait, we do that all the time...)

Anyway, I hope this list helps you see some areas where you may have to plan! Can you relate? What are some daily struggles in your life?


Rachel G said...

To-do lists are my answer to making sure I get the things done that need to get done and also schedule in a little "play" time. So I'll write down laundry, finish editing the paper Mom sent me, write a blog post, work out, study Chinese, cook dinner, etc....but I'll also write paint nails, work on dollhouse, sew something, etc--activities that are purely fun for me. I have that kind of personality that loves checking things off of lists. :)
My usual answer is on your list, "I don't work outside the home right now." Occasionally I'll use the lifestyle blogger answer...but not for grandparent-aged people because they don't seem to know what that means...

Angela said...

Thank you so much for doing this! We don't have any children, and are truly considering me quitting work, so I have time to cook, clean and stop stressing about the day to day stuff. My husband works CRAZY hours, so we don't get to see eachother - it would be great if I was home during the week with him. Could I ask another personal question? Could your husband maybe give his side? What he likes about you being home and what he doesn't? Sorry for all the questions! This is just the only stay at home wife blog I've found and I love that you're a Christian couple. Keep up the great writing girl! It's inspiring! Have a wonderful weekend!!

Emma said...

Emma from England again! Just to say, I'm loving all the Stay at Home wife posts, thank you for answering my request so whole-heartedly! And its really helpful for me to know the good and the bad in preparation for leaving work in September. I can't wait! And thanks for posting most days. There are loads of really very 'polished' and flashy blogs out there but I have to say of all the ones I dip in and out of, yours is my fave :)

Carolynn said...

My husband said he likes me being at home because he does not have to stress out over doing all the things after work or deal with trying to find time to see me on weekends. Also he said he can tell I'm really happy and that makes him happy!

He's really shy, so I don't think he'll write a blog post. He isn't as talkative about emotions/feelings/reasons as me. I had to ask a lot before I got an anwser I would consider realistic...

The first thing he said through was this: I don't want you to be a stay at home wife anymore...I want you to be a stay in bed wife!" Then he started ticketing me :P

He also for some reason wanted me to include a picture of shoes in my response. I asked him why and he said because I buy shoes and I'm a stay at home wife. I told him all women buy shoes not just me and he said I should need less since I stay home. Hah :P

Carolynn said...

Oh and for negative reasons from my husband he said "you won't watch funny kitty videos with me on YouTube"

So that is, uh, that. I think I'm gong to watch some videos now :P

Angela said...

Thank you! You're so sweet to open your heart to us. I can tell by his responses, you have a relax and healthy relationship, and a part of that is you being able to stay home and have the time to complete your role as a wife (cleaning, etc.) ... I'm planning on quit my job early next year - and am so so scared, but your blog is helping me soooo much!

Cliff Coates said...

I love the line, "extroverts unite!" I think we extroverts don't get enough credit for helping make the world a much friendlier place, even if others try to resist our charm... :)

dirtdoeshurt said...

I love your blog, just found it! I love to cook and clean and it keeps my husband happy as well, I love staying home and should borrow your occupation name of "lifestyle blogger".

Kristin said...

Thank you for your incredible blog! I am both a new wife and stay at home wife. After a few years of a long distance relationship (3 ish house apart) we are finally married and finally living in not only the same zip code for once, but same house. :) I left my (well paying) job behind and have now been at home for a month. The hardest things for me have been feeling like I always have to be busy, yet still get a fair amount of things accomplished to feel staying home is justified. It's also been very difficult to listen to female friends and family getting higher degrees and moving up and up and up in the workplace. I know it's wrong to be jealous and covet, but it's hard for me to be happy for someone making $90,000 when I am making $0. Had it not been for the distance, I would have kept my job, so that is still a sore spot for me. I have certainly felt my patience and value of material things shift - in a good direction that is. My husband is teaching me a lot of great things. :) I'm not sure how long God wants this for me but I'm attempting to enjoy this season of life as opposed to looking ahead to the next job outside of our home.

Carolynn said...

wow, that is a long time to be in a long distance relationship! I know how you feel about "listening to your female friends". When I hear all my friends talk about their jobs, I feel so behind or left out! But when I'm honest with myself, I love this choice I've made. But I know how you feel!