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Housewives Without Children: Celebrating Life as a Stay-at-Home Wife

I left my desk job after ten years to be a stay-at-home wife, and I haven't looked back.

When I got married, my husband was offered a job in a new city, and the idea came up that if we lived very close to his workplace, I could stay home and be a homemaker.

If not, his commute would be at least an hour each way. Mine would also be at least 30 minutes each way. Our work shifts would also differ. He works 3 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., and more than likely I would have found a 9-to-5 job. So if we lived this way, not only would he be on the road two hours a day, but we would barely see each other.

Why I Don't Miss the Working World

The working world just does not revolve around anything I can relate to. The only thing I missed about it was the money. The politics of the workplace—he said/she said, the blame-game, nightmare personalities, fighting for salary increases, etc.—was not for me.

If anyone had told me when I was in college that this is what it all came down to and that this lifestyle was supposed to take 35 to 40 years of my life away, I never would have volunteered for it. I'm not competitive in general. Also, I didn't want to spend my day with people who were absorbed in that lifestyle. So after a decade, I left my desk job that already left me unfulfilled anyway.

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Why I Love Being a Housewife

We moved to an area where my husband could be at work in ten minutes, and I became a housewife. It was the best decision. And it isn't just an ideal life for wives without children. Here are five reasons why I enjoy being a stay-at-home-wife:

  1. I have made our home into a little oasis away from the rest of the world. Since I don't have to deal with most of the stresses of the outside world, I can concentrate on making our home comfortable, cozy, and most importantly, a welcoming place for my husband to come back to at night. He deals with the big, bad world, so massages, candles, and lots of love are always in store for him.
  2. I love cooking, baking, and making meals with effort and care. In fact, I make almost everything from scratch. At home, I make dishes full of nutritious vegetables and delicious meats. I also bake sweets and bread freshly each week. When you cook from scratch at home, you realize that the food prepared at restaurants isn't any better. You won't miss eating out.
  3. I pride myself on perfecting a traditional, old-fashioned lifestyle that women lived for most of civilized history. Homemaking is indeed an art form, and I like that as a SAHW, I am in the minority of people who absorb themselves in this. I sew, decorate our home with homemade crafts like wreaths, and tend to a garden that gives us lots of great vegetables.
  4. Being taken care of: I enjoy the fact that I have a man that takes care of me financially and is happy to do so. I feel that being a housewife allows me to be feminine in the most traditional form. I feel like the working world is very masculine, and I am happy to have left it behind. I will take the "1950s lifestyle" over a career any day.
  5. It made financial sense.Often, the public is led to believe that you need two incomes to stay afloat. This isn't always so.
    • You can have an IRA as a housewife. You do not have to work outside of the home for retirement security.
    • You can get rid of the second car, the gas for the long commutes, the money you spend on take-out and restaurants, and the extra wardrobe costs.
    • When you do the math, sometimes you will realize you are profiting much less than you previously thought. The few extra thousand dollars for contributing to the workforce simply aren't worth the trouble.

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Homemaking Is a Beautiful Thing but It Isn't for Everyone

A lot of people, especially working women, do not understand the allure of being a housewife, and many of them do not respect those who choose to have this lifestyle. Even though their mothers and grandmothers and most women in history were indeed housewives, but the truth is, you don't need to worry about this.

When you choose to be a SAHW, and especially a housewife without children, be prepared for some of your working friends to scoff at the idea or even stop talking to you. Sometimes their feelings are born out of jealousy, and sometimes they simply feel they are superior to an old-fashioned domestic life. In the end, it's none of their business what arrangement you and your husband have—different strokes for different folks.

Many feminists also believe that all women should work outside the home and that even mothers shouldn't be stay-at-home moms. Perhaps they believe that getting take-out most days of the week, having both spouses stressed out and overworked, and hiring babysitters for your children equals a "normal" life. If only they understood the art of homemaking and the happy, mellow mood it brings to all our lives. As a housewife, I feel blessed to be doing what I love each day, and I hope all of you do as well!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

Question: How do I not feel guilty about staying at home as a housewife when our budget is tight?

Answer: First, it would be best to feel comfortable with any financial decisions you make. If your budget allows you to stay at home, and you and your husband would be happy this way, then go for it. If it would make you two unhappy, then you would want to consider other options.

Question: I am 19 and a (mostly) stay at home wife. I have a hard time knowing what to do after the cleaning is done. I love to do crafts but I feel bored. (At the moment, we have no children) That's why I said mostly. I get paid to clean a museum once a week and I volunteer at the museum twice a week. My husband wants me to be full time at home. But, my dilemma is, what do I do once the chores are done?

Answer: Learning to cook healthy meals with fresh fruits and vegetables would be an ideal pursuit. This is a healthy hobby that will serve you and your family the rest of your life. Scrapbooking, decorating, sewing and other hobbies can take up time as well. One hobby that will take up even more time is gardening. You can grow your own vegetables to cook at home. You can also grow flowers and plan a beautiful landscape. You can also go join forums for young moms or stay in touch with friends over the phone and online. It doesn't all have to be obligation once the work is done.

Question: I have an amazing job, but I’m overworked, overwhelmed, and stressed most days of the week. My husband would love for me to be a SAHW and has always wanted one. I feel like it would help the minor strains on our marriage. I love the domestic side of being a wife, but there are never enough hours in the day. How did you, the writer of this article, make your decision to be a stay at home spouse?

Answer: I understand there can be a push-pull with making this decision because there are some strings attached, identity issues, and emotions involved. As for me, I disliked the people I worked with, my career was going nowhere even though the paycheck I had was good, and just had too many bad experiences on the job. I was not the aggressive political type corporations tend to want. I just didn't belong there anymore.

I was actually getting physically ill the last few weeks I was there because the decision should have been made perhaps a month before. It's all psychological, but that was my cue to turn in my resignation. So I did. And that was one of the best decisions of my life.

Being domestic was never something I wanted before that. It just clicked.

Question: What happens when the husband wants a divorce with a stay at home wife? How does the SAHW venture forth financially after a divorce?

Answer: This would depend upon the individual woman, what her assets are, what her skills are, and how she wants to move forward. Working, alimony, going back to school, or a combination are all options.

Question: What would you advise to a woman born in 1958 who had no attraction for the things you did before being a stay at home wife, and excelled for forty years in the Fine Art of Homemaking, yet had to move through the difficulty of her husband no longer wanting a wife? In the divorce, she could no longer stay in their home as a wife.

Answer: I am sorry you are going through this. I do not know which aspect of concern you are expressing. If your concerns are economic survival, I would recommend trying to receive alimony and also receiving Social Security based on your husband's income when you are 65 or the legal age to get it. Also, there should be some kind of asset split I would guess? You might be able to look for a roommate situation with someone your age or older, to keep costs down. If your situation is not of economic concern, you can always keep up your new housing situation and continue any crafty hobbies you had or start new ones you are interested in. These are only my opinions.

Question: How do you overcome the loneliness of being a housewife but the children have grown up and left home?

Answer: Hello there, I actually address your question in my YouTube video: https://youtu.be/jaYaTAinPt8 The audio is not perfect but I hope it still helps you.

Question: I am looking for part-time work, but where I live that is typically house cleaning, which pays really well in my country. The problem is, this hurts my ego. What should I do?

Answer: If the house cleaning makes your life easier and would cut back on stress, that is more important than feeling a bit of a bruised ego. Survival comes before all other things.

Question: How did you overcome your pressure and guiltiness for not working? I always feel that there is no purpose of my higher education if I don't work. What should I do? How shall I motivate my child to work if she happens to be a girl?

Answer: I did not feel any pressure or guilt for not working, though some other people tried to impress this onto me. I have a B.A., but even without working anymore the time I spent in college helped me in other ways, for example gaining social skills and lifetime friendships. Higher education, in my opinion, is not all about financial pursuits. I went to college with my mom being a housewife. I didn't want to be a housewife for 3/4 of my life. Most young people like to reach for outward pursuits, so I don't think you have to worry about your daughter not wanting to go to university/work.

Question: I have considered being a homemaker for some time now. Leaving my job means to cut down the half of our income. Still I will be able to pay our bills and buy nice stuff. People are surprised and think I am crazy when I tell them about it. How can I have peace with my decision considering the fact that I have good qualifications and a great job?

Answer: You will still have good qualifications (no one can take those away from you) but just a different job. I have a BA, but I couldn't wait to become a pan scrubber. If it is what you truly want do not be shy. Think of all the peace you can have at home and the domestic hobbies you can pick up. Think of cozy times, for example; I love waking up my household with the smell of fresh hotcakes with butter and maple syrup on a cold winter's morning. Focusing on the enriching parts of homemaking will help you make peace with your decision.

Question: I’ve been a SAHW for 35 years, is that possible? Can a veteran SAHW even enter into a non-SAHW occupation?

Answer: That is a great feat! SAHWs sometimes look for part-time jobs or look to fully enter the workforce after being away many years. It's really up to your wants and needs.

Question: How do you get comfortable with the idea of being a stay-at-home wife when all you know is work?

Answer: If you really like the idea, this will generally not be a problem. If you don't like the idea of becoming one, but have to do so out of obligation, you will want to try to integrate one of your hobbies or interests into your routine.

Question: How do I get the motivation to do anything while staying at home? Especially morning motivation?

Answer: Some of it would be done out of necessity. But for other things, if there is an enjoyable spin you can put on a chore, then that would be more motivating. Like for instance, I like coming up with new vegetable dishes to cook, so it helps me look forward to making dinner. If you can add something to your morning that you would look forward to that might help -- something you could eat or drink, etc. It is harder sometimes for people to be motivated when Fall and Winter come on. I myself sometimes sleep two extra hours each night when it's this time of year. The key is to add enjoyment where you can.

Question: I am 23 and I have been a housewife for 3 years now. He wants me to go to school and finish. The problem is I do want to go to school and work, but I get super stressed out and give up easily. I recently had a job for a month and quite due to being stressed out. I have been planning since getting married to get into the respiratory therapy program, but I honestly don’t think I will like working in a hospital, but I want to just do it. What tip can you give to help me with deciding to go back to school?

Answer: It sounds like you are not completely interested in any specific schooling or jobs right now. Maybe you like being a housewife. If you are inclined to go to school, a community college sounds like it could be best for you. They are public and have cheaper tuition, and you don't have to feel pressured to complete an academic program. Just take one class to start if you wish.

When I was your age I was changing majors left and right. It took me 6.5 years to get my BA. At the start, I didn't know what I wanted to do, but in the end, I knew. I also started at a community college and it allowed me to test out and change majors at a cheaper cost. That is why I am suggesting it to you -- in case you are afraid of committing to a career you won't end up liking.

I once wanted to take a chemistry class just to do it, but I got bored because it was tough and not enjoyable for me. So before you sign up for anything, make sure that any financial and time investment you make is well thought out. This will help prevent problems for you in the future.

Question: How should one handle a husband who wants a wife to keep working instead of being a housewife?

Answer: Changing your role, in my opinion, requires the consent of both spouses. You can see if there are any trade-offs he would accept, such as small or large budget cuts, extra pampering for him, etc. Best of luck to you.

© 2012 Hearts and Lattes

Comments

Catherine Vega from U.S.A on July 21, 2020:

Hi there! I am also a child-free homemaker and am thrilled to read your blog! It's seemingly rare to find bloggers like us: women who are superwives!

Hearts and Lattes (author) on May 27, 2019:

Hi Otomita,

I enjoy being a submissive wife. I understand it's not for everyone, however.

Hugs to you

Otomita on May 27, 2019:

You can be a housewive and not be sumisive. You can challenge your husband

Otomita on May 26, 2019:

Thank you Soo much for your post I myself struggle so much with judgemental people and mostly I feel it's always jelousy

I read this in an article that I loved

Having a housewife in the family mix can remind the worker that his (or her!) commitment to work is largely instrumental, and that life is bigger than work. Scoffing at the very idea of a housewife is just evidence that you’ve already drunk the total work kool-aid that you now complain is killing you.

I have always been a very sensitive person and I'm not competitive at all I have already proven my capacity for making money having my own business or getting a corporate job that's highly payed but honestly I choose to not work right now and I don't think It should be anyone's business I might work in the future or not work does not define a person because work is only a mean to get money and survive.

Mari Viking from United States on March 05, 2019:

I know this is a year old practically, but I was looking to find out if there was a blog with the title I wanted to use - there doesn't seem to be - and found your article!

After moving to the state my husband and I are in now, I had trouble with jobs. Like, to the point that I'm really doubting if I was ever good at ANY job I had for longer than a year. I was "let go" (or fired) from two of them - one came with a lot of shame, while the other felt like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders.

We had a serious discussion about me becoming a housewife full time, as it hadn't really worked before. And it was slow going, with a really rocky six months starting out, but then eventually around nine months in I found a rhythm. Through the summer it improved even more since we were in no more than a studio apartment for basically the entire season. Things have been a little rocky since the new year (there are mitigating factors there)... but now that I've got a better schedule set I look forward to things improving again.

So what I'm trying to say is that I'm so super grateful for your article!

Hearts and Lattes (author) on May 08, 2018:

I think you are doing a great job as a husband and provider and a lot of what you say reminds me of my husband and I.

If your wife does not have a reason for not keeping up with the housework, then you would want to talk to her and let her know what you need. If that doesn't work, then:

People are generally motivated by the carrot or the stick. You can offer to take her out or do or give her something she wants on the condition she do X, Y, or Z, which would be the carrot approach. The stick approach would be using power to take away something as punishment if she does not do the housework. For example, do you give her spending money or do favors for her that she would really miss, etc.? You could tell her you are going to take one of these things away if the house is not cleaned.

You can even instill the reward approach as a weekly thing to keep the momentum going.

Although marital relationships are much more delicate that work relationships because love is involved, the carrot and the stick are motivators that can get things done.

You can also try the stern, disappointed tone that fathers, and yes, husbands use to instill a little shame to motivate action.

I would tread carefully but consider these ideas. We should not have to play games to get our spouses to comply and help, but human nature and relationships are full of such dances.

Good luck with this endeavor.

mellissaperkins on May 08, 2018:

My wife is an amazing person. We have a lot in common and typically get along really well. I work at least 70 hours a week and work 7 days a week (shorter days on the weekends) my job is very hands on and stressful but Its also very rewarding and helps us to be financially stable. My wife chose to be a full time home maker, as working a regular job has proven too stressful for her. We don't have any children, so as such her only responsibilities involve cooking and cleaning. We do all household shopping together and I take care of all the bill paying and all other aspects of daily life. I also cook on the weekends and make the meals for all major holidays. I also offer to help her with the house work when ever I have free time, though typically she refuses my assistance, saying "No, you rest, you work to much." However we have weekly arguments due to the fact that she does not keep up with the house work. How can I encourage her to do her fair share with out sounding like a jerk?