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

Updated on May 8, 2018
Hearts and Lattes profile image

I left my desk job after ten years to be a stay-at-home wife, and I haven't looked back. I am known on the web as the Quaint Housewife.

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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. In addition, 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.

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 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!

Questions & Answers

  • 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?

    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.

  • 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.

    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.

  • 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 make your decision?

    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. I wish you the best in your own decision. Here is my blog if you are interested: https://quainthousewife.blogspot.com/.

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

    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.

© 2012 Hearts and Lattes

Comments

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  • Hearts and Lattes profile imageAUTHOR

    Hearts and Lattes 

    7 months ago

    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.

  • profile image

    mellissaperkins 

    7 months ago

    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?

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