“Why don’t you work” “Are you ever going to work”
These are two questions I get asked quite a bit when I mention I am a stay at home wife. I normally get the same reactions every time. People seem to fall on one of two sides….either they think I am crazy and think I should be working since we don’t have kids or they think it is awesome and tell me how much they wish they could stay home.
So, I thought it was time I tell the truth about being a stay at home wife.
When both Colby and I were out of the house, me at work and Colby at school, we constantly felt like we never had time to get anything done, let alone spend time with each other. We made the most out of the late nights we had together and the random weekend when we both might be home. Our first year of marriage was busy to say the least. Not only was I working full time but I was also going to school full time online to finish up my degree. Colby was also a full time student finishing up his senior year and very involved in his fraternity (he was president that year). You would be surprised how demanding Greek Life can be.
We would come home and have an endless to do list that needed to get done in the hour or two before we collapsed into bed. It was like running a race: make dinner, run errands, clean the house, school work, fraternity activities and so on. It didn’t help that we were on opposite schedules most of the time. When Colby was getting home from class I was just heading out to work. Although class wasn’t in session on the weekends, I was generally scheduled shifts for those days. I have a lot of fond memories of our first year of marriage but I also remember what a pain it was trying to get everything done while maintaining a new marriage. I also remember how tired we both were and how many late nights we pulled just so we could spend time together.
Once Colby was employed, we made the decision to have me stay home for awhile to set up our new place and deal with the move. A temporary thing soon turned into a long term scenario and we have loved every minute of it. I constantly get asked why I don’t work, or if I am going to go back to work and honestly my answer changes all the time. Some days I want to work outside of the home and have applied to jobs and gone on interviews. Other days I am completely content to be a stay at home wife. So if my answer changes each time you ask, it’s simply because I’m not sure. There are a million in one reasons why I stay home. Honestly it isn’t just one reason but an assortment of them.
In today’s society with so many options to work from home popping up, our decision for me to stay home makes even more sense. While I mainly consider myself a stay at home wife, I do also work from home. The work I do is pretty flexible and this provides me the ability to take care of our home while still bringing in an income. Being able to stay home allows us to have the best marriage we could possibly have. No more late nights trying to spend time catching up and no more weekends running errands or doing chores instead of spending time relaxing.
The truth about being a stay at home wife really comes down to this…
When Colby comes home at the end of the day, his work is done. After spending 8+ hours at a job he is able to come home and simply relax. The house is clean, the bills are paid, errands are done. Having that down time is great for him because it gives him a chance to recharge for the next day. Not having to come home and jump right into other things means he isn’t as stressed and means he can enjoy life more. It also gives us the entire evening to just relax together. When he comes home, we can both curl up on the couch and fully enjoy each others company. Everything has been taken care of already so there is no guilt while we watch a show or lounge around the house.
Staying home also gives me time to cook dinner every night. I don’t have to rush around trying to throw something together at the last minute because I have been home all day and actually have time to prep for dinner. I have the time to make my husband breakfast in the morning and the time to pack his lunch. While all this can be done with a job, it is so much easier to do without one. There is no rushing, no scrambling at the last minute, and no need for takeout because I forgot to take dinner out the night before.
As for the weekends, although on occasion Colby may need to work, generally we have those days to spend together. When we were both in school/working the weekends were a day we used to play catch up. All the things that we weren’t able to get done throughout the week we had to do on the weekend. I think this is pretty common in most households. Weekends become days meant for cleaning house and running errands instead of spending time with family and enjoying your days off. In staying home, this doesn’t happen anymore. I am able to take care of everything throughout the week so when the weekends come, everything is done. We don’t need to vacuum the house or go to the bank because I already took care of it during the week. This again gives us more time to spend together, more time to spend on hobbies and time to spend with friends and family.
I know not everyone can have a spouse stay home and in some families this is near impossible. I’m also not saying this would work for everyone. For us though, we wouldn’t have it any other way. Becoming a stay at home wife has helped my marriage be the best it possibly can be. There is less stress, less work and less mess. We communicate better, we appreciate the little things, and we value the time we get to spend together. When we collapse into bed every night it is because we are excited to spend some quality time together watching our favorite show NOT because we can’t keep our eyes open for even one more second.
The truth about being a stay at home wife is simple. It is a luxury and not one I take for granted. I realize how lucky I am to be able to stay home and this is something I thank my husband for every day. You might think a simple thing like having a spouse stay home couldn’t improve ones marriage but let me tell you, it really can. While we definitely fall into more traditional roles with Colby working and me tending to the house let me be clear that we are a team. Neither one of us takes the other for granted or what they accomplish in a day. I am completely supportive of my husband’s job and goals and while cleaning the house might not win me a noble prize, I know my husband appreciates that I do it. We value the work each of us do equally. One persons work is not more important than the others. I think when one spouse stays home it is important to have this mindset in place. If not, it becomes way to easy to start comparing what each person does and it is easy to make the person who stays home feel less appreciated or that their work isn’t valued. In any marriage, regardless if one stays home or not, it is always important to work together as a team and appreciate what the other person does.
So, there you have it folks. The truth about being a stay at home wife. I hope that the next time someone asks why you stay home you remember this post. And the next time you meet someone who stays home, I hope you think twice before you judge their choice. Just as you made a choice that works for your family, so has everyone else and it is important to respect their decision even if it doesn’t line up with your own.