(Closed) The Housewife

posted 10 years ago in Married Life
  • poll: What is your opinion of housewives?

    I'd love to be one, but the idea makes me feel guilty for not contributing to the household income.

    I respect women who choose to be one, but it isn't the right choice for me.

    I want to be one, but we can't afford to live on only his income.

    It is not for me, and I have a little ill-will towards those who choose that lifestyle.

    Other - I'll explain below!

    I already am a SAHW or plan to be one in the future

  • Post # 184
    5592 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: June 2010

    Oh my… I don’t really think that being a Stay-At-Home Wife would be for me.  I like the interaction with people, and feeling of accomplishment that my job gives me.  If someone can find that elsewhere, or is happy just doing their thing, more power to them. 

    However, for the people who called out those with college degrees that stay home, where do you think women go to meet husbands who can afford them, and become interesting enough to keep their attention?  I’m being slightly facetious, but even today I think a latent function of attending university is to find a suitable mate.

    Post # 185
    1295 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    @cbee: ” People find fulfillment in different ways and that is okay, whether through a “job” or all the other ways they affect the world.” THIS. I completely agree. I think it’s a really hard concept to grasp if all you’ve ever been taught is that job = success/life/fulfillement.. I know it was for me.

    Post # 186
    1741 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    @JewishBride:LAZY? Housewives are not lazy at all. I mean, some are, but some people in every career, profession, workforce are!


    I just know that I could never do it the “picture perfect way”  it drives me nuts. I need to build up frustration with something outside in order to do art. I make jewelry and fix things. The only possible way I could be a housewife again is if we bought a house and my “job” as housewife was to paint it/renovate it/ fix it/ build things for it. Then I would LOVE it. At least for a little while.

    Post # 187
    254 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    But what happens to that SAHW/SAHM if something goes wrong?  What if you and your husband get divorced?  What if your husband dies unexpectedly?  What then?  I’m not talking about any bees who are indepenently wealthy and don’t NEED to work, I’m talking about the ones who are completely dependent on their husband’s income.  My Mom married my Dad not realizing that he would go off the deep end when his psychotic  mother died.  She married an intelligent, driven, highly successful doctor – someone with huge earning potential, and he LOST. HIS. SHIT. due to depression.  She had to abruptly take us and leave him to get the point across that things NEEDED to change or else she was out of there.  And if she had left him, she would have been absolutely screwed.  He agreed to therapy and they worked things out, and are still happily married today.  But you bet your ass she went back to graduate school to get more education because she saw how easily she could have been completely fucked over in that situation and stuck with three little kids to raise on her own with zero income and the daunting task of finding a job after being out of the workforce for 14 years.

    My FMIL was abruptly abandoned by her husband when my fiance was 9 years old – she was 35 with 3 kids to raise on her own.  He was ordered to pay support but never did, because he turned into a completely self-absorbed asshole.  But, thankfully for her, she had an education and had been working as a nurse.  She was screwed over in a major way but I can’t even begin to imagine how horrible it would have been for her had she not had an education and at least a part time job leading up to the divorce. 

    I guess I’m kind of rambling here, but shit happens.  Unexpected things happen in our lives and I think people need to be prepared for the worst.  If other people want to say that it’s their life then that’s fine, because it’s true.  At the end of the day I couldn’t care less what all the stay at home wives do with their day because does not, and will not, have an impact on my own life.  And of course my opinion has no impact on them, and that’s fine.  But I do feel rest assured that if something goes terribly wrong in my marriage, I’ll be better prepared to handle the fall-out because I will have been financially independent all along.

    Post # 188
    2811 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: December 2004

    @Meealissa:  I can’t answer for anyone else but in my case if my husband were to die, he has plenty of life insurance.  I would never have to work again.  As far as divorce goes, that is impossible.  We have been together for 10 years and will be together for the rest of our lives.  I realize that everyone will think that I am niave, but this is our reality.  We are even more in love with each other than the day we were married.  We believe that marriage is a covenant between ourselves and God and divorce is something we will not let happen to our family.

    Post # 189
    2400 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2009

    I voted “other” and here is why…

    I am currently sort-of a stay at home wife, but I am a student.  Once I earn my master’s degree, I plan to work in my new field.  We are TTC right now, which means that I will need to look into daycare.  But my future career is one that has flexible hours (eventually), so I may be able to work school-day hours.

    Post # 190
    5259 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: July 2010

    @LeftHanded:  Fantastic point!

    View original reply
    @bakerella:  You are a fantastic person, you don’t have to defend yourself 🙂

    Who you are, not what you do.  😉

    Post # 191
    3338 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    @Meealissa: Living on the pretenses of “what if’s” is tiring.  I think it’s kind of a “duh” thing that any of these things could happen, but making choices based on some scenario that may or may not happen to you 10, 20, 30 years from now is borderline paranoia.

    Do I agree women should be educated, independent and able to take care of themselves should something terrible happen?  Yes.  But to turn that into a reason to be a self-sufficient machine who needs no help from anyone else in the world… I don’t know.

    I think we’re missing that there is a lot of fulfillment in being able to stay home.  Do what you want, when you want.  Take a yoga class.  Take a stroll outside.  Read a book uninterrupted.  Volunteer.  Visit family.  Take care of your husband, your child.  There are other ways to give back to humanity than to be behind a desk or earning a paycheck. 

    There’s more to life than money. 

    Post # 192
    645 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2011

    I seriously don’t get why other women denigrate those who’ve made a different choice than they would. I went to a good college but have never been career-focused (well, I want to farm, but technically that’s an “at-home” job so there you go), so I do what pays the bills and allows me to live my life in the meantime. I’ts a good job, I like it. When we have kids, I’m going to stay home with them.

    My friends run the gamut from extraordinarily career-focused, to Stay-At-Home Mom, to Stay-At-Home Dad, and everywhere in between. FI’s mom stayed at home (and had a hard time reentering the workforce), mine worked (and as a kid I had a hard time with her being gone a lot). To me, both options are valid; both have their downsides but newsflash: in life, you can’t have it all. You work with what you have, and respect the choices of others.

    Post # 193
    427 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2012

    @Meealissa: What if you crossed the street and got hit by a car?

    Playing the what if game is stupid. You can’t predict these things. You adapt and deal. Women are resourceful, I’m sure when push comes to shove they’d figure something out. Just like anything else in life. Why are we all assuming that SAHW/Ms have no applicable real life skills? That implication is offensive. Having a job doesn’t really make you THAT much more prepared to deal with the profoundness of your husband dying or leaving you. But whatever makes you feel better is fine, I guess.

    Post # 194
    1443 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2016

    I’d feel too guilty for not working to bring in money, even if the house was white-glove impeccable.  I’d have to do some free-lance work from home if I decided not to work outside the house.  I’m an artist, but you ahve to find someone to buy your work or find commissions to make that work, for either fine art (paintings. portratits and stuff) or for graphic arts (digital art, web design and animations).  Either way, I think I enjoy both getting out of the house to go to work (even though I hate mornings) and I like knowing I’m providing for my own upkeep, insurance and could support us/myself if needed.

    Post # 195
    2546 posts
    Sugar bee

    @Miss Lilac: I agree with you that playing the “what if” game can drive you crazy. You cant live in a state of paranoia that any day now, something could happen that could totally change your life.

    However, I understand what @Meealissa is saying. My mom found herself a widow at age 35 with 3 kids under the age of 9. It was a complete and utter shock to all of us. My mom had been a stay at home mom for 10 years, and prior to that was a stay at home wife, with the exception of a few odd jobs here and there. She did not have a career or a degree. My dad made enough to support the family, but his job required him to be away for 3-6 months a year so it wasn’t possible for her to get a job because of his schedule.  But raising 3 young kids was and is a full time job.

    Its been 16 years and my mom is still struggling. She just managed to keep a roof over our heads (which I know now was in the process of being foreclosed on several times growing up), she has a “career” but without a degree she will never make more than ends meat. And yes when push comes to shove you figure it out, like she did. But it was and is a struggle everyday.

    Post # 196
    265 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    I only got through the first page, but I am a Stay-At-Home Mom.

    I have 2 kids, and as much as I love being home with them, I am not really programed to be a Stay-At-Home Mom. To me and my FH it is important to have me home, but I actually LOVE to work. I worked 50 hours a week until the day my daughter was born. I am not saying being a Stay-At-Home Mom is not as stimulating, but its different. I honestly feel, and this is how I am, that working was easier. Even though I got called in at times, I still had a set schedual, lunches, breaks, days off, and sick days. Being home is 24/7. No breaks really, and when they go to bed is my cleaning, wedding planning and shopping time.  Even when you do have some down time your head is going a million miles a minute about them, the house, FH, and everything I have going on.

    I have a guilty pleasure. I volunteer one day a week, and thank my lucky stars I get to. Its actually relaxing to me, maybe I should pay them as well….lol

    Post # 197
    1524 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: April 2010

    @Miss Lilac:  I said this earlier, but think it bears repeating – life skills are only part of the equation when it comes to hiring decisions, and someone who hasn’t been part of the workforce for more than, say, three years may be at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to competing for a position.

    Keep in mind, too, that a less experienced person will take a hit when it comes to compensation.  Every year spent not working means less money when you start back up.

    Allowing the “what if” game to govern your entire life isn’t a good idea, no.  But I think it’s important to acknowledge that every decision has risks and take steps to prepare in the event of an unforeseen event.

    My ILs ar currently going through an acrimonious divorce.  My Mother-In-Law hasn’t worked outside the home since they married and is now looking for a job – any job.  To say that it’s not going well is an understatement of epic proportions.

    Post # 198
    197 posts
    Blushing bee

    I don’t have much to add to this thread outside of my own personal feeling which I already posted, and don’t wish to put anyone down. But I wanted to post again to support @Meealissa. While one can’t predict everything that will happen in their life, knowing that I can be independent and support myself if it ever came to that is a source of security and pride to me. Not to mention, what if someday in the future my husband no longer had work or needed me to support him? It’s totally a valid way to feel.

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