- 7 years ago
Even though I already know what the general consensus is among the Bees concerning being a SAHW; based on comments and responses I’ve read in other threads; I’d still like to get my concerns out there and get some friendly advice (no snarky comments about how SAHW=unemployed and non-contributing please). Although it appears most of you disagree with a woman being a Stay-At-Home Wife in this “progressive” society, I have always believed that being truly “progressive” means allowing people to make the choices that are best for them personally and not simply doing what society or non-involved relatives dictate they should, like blind sheep. That being said, I know my in-laws (mainly my MIL) will make mine and my DH’s lives a living hell if I do become a Stay-At-Home Wife simply due to their staunch, very rigid and somewhat unresonable work ethics, and I need some thoughts on how to proceed. I’ve been thinking about this all weekend…
My DH was already bringing home twice my amount to begin with, but as of Friday he found out he was about to be promoted to a newly-created position in his company; effective May 25th; and that this new position will double his current salary! Woo hoo!!! This means that he will now be making 4x what I make (I am 25K, he WAS 50K for a total of 75K but NOW he will be 100K in this new position, which is 25K more than both of us combined right now) and will give us the opportunity for me to become a Stay-At-Home Wife like I would prefer to do. He is very on-board with this idea as it will give us more time together each evening and allow more flexibility for plans, give me the chance to take on all of the projects and volunteer work I have wanted to do, plus will allow me to focus on maintaining our home the way I would prefer to do. I am already covered under his benefit plan so nothing will be lost by my leaving my job other than my salary and lots of work-related headaches, and with his new salary being 25K higher than both our previous combined, this will not be an issue for us at all. The problem with all of this will come when we break the news to my in-laws that I am quitting my job to become a Stay-At-Home Wife. Even though we are an older couple who has all our proverbial shit together, we will still catch an enormous amount of unholy hell over this decision, and I know I’m liable to get pissed to the point of really telling someone off about minding their own business…and I want to avoid this.
Most of my ILs; especially my Mother-In-Law and best-friend/SIL with whom we spend the most time; have super-rigid and somewhat militant views about work/work ethics, and STRONGLY believe that there is no reason AT ALL that any person between 16 and 70 years of age should NOT be gainfully employed in some manner, whether they need to be for financial reasons or not. They see employment and bringing home a salary as being a “requirement” for being a true and functioning member of society, and even frown upon people who are not working due to TRUE disabilities and illnesses, and say that “everyone can find some type of job they are capable of doing, no matter what their level of disability is”. My Mother-In-Law uses Stephen Hawking as an example anytime this subject is broached, which isn’t often considering her views. For example, there is a younger woman (married) in our church who is permanently quadraplegic due to suffering a stroke while giving birth to her twins, and my Mother-In-Law keeps telling her and her DH that there is “an excellent vocational rehab center in the area that could help get (her) back into the workforce and being productive again”…The woman is quadraplegic and is trying to raise 3 year-old twins with her husband’s help, and my Mother-In-Law thinks she needs a job so she can be “productive”…WTF??? When my DH and siblings were teens she required them all to be gainfully employed and earning money by the time they were 16, and also to pay 20% of their earnings to the “household budget” even though they were minors still in high school, and she and her DH were rather well-off financially! My SIL did the same thing with her own children when they were 16…anyway, I digress.
My own DH has a strong work ethic and feels that both spouses should work IF there is a financial need, but if there is no need then the wife can make the decision for herself if she CHOOSES to work or not…and together as a couple we have decided for me NOT to work once he begins his new position. We will still be gaining an extra 25K per year, but will be spending less money on take-out food as I will be home in the evenings and will prepare homemade dinners for us plus will no longer need to purchase my lunches out, spending half the amount on gas as I will no longer be driving to and from work, and I will be spending less money on clothing as I will no longer need businesswear for work but can instead wear my casual stuff 24/7. I am not a shopper and a spender like many women and couldn’t care less about expensive clothes, handbags, shoes, perfumes, and jewelry, so being able to “maintain myself” is a non-issue…I’m a casual, simple kinda gal and always have been.
My BIL’s wife is a Stay-At-Home Wife since he makes over 160K/year and their house is paid off and they have no large debts, and my Mother-In-Law complains and gossips non-stop about her behind her back (they live in a different state) and bottom line I DO NOT want to be on the receiving end of this myself, especially since I am local to my Mother-In-Law and see her at least twice a week. Granted the BIL’s wife is NOT productive in many ways at all, but I am nothing like her and never will be. “Ginny” sleeps until noon most days then goes out shopping 3-4 days a week and spends TONS of money on crap she doesn’t even use half the time, she never cleans, does laundry, or cooks meals for her family (kids complain of going hungry if dad doesn’t cook or unless they find something to nuke in microwave, I’ve heard the kids say this myself), she gets her hair and nails done weekly and has a massage and spa day every Friday to “recover from the hectic week”, and what time she actually is home during the day (and not in bed) she is on Facebook and Twitter posting selfies and bitching about how “hard” it is to take care of a family these days!
I guess what I’m getting at here is that “Ginny” has really thrown gasoline on the fire of my MIL’s already negative thoughts and ideas of SAHWs, and I just don’t want to deal with her attitude myself…and I KNOW she will have something to say, especially since this news comes so soon after our getting married, and will try to accuse me of latching onto her son and then up and quitting my job just to lay on my ass all the time. My job already consists of having the summer months off as I work for a non-profit organization which runs a massive after-school outreach/intervention program for underprivileged and at-risk kids, and last summer my Mother-In-Law (DH and I were living together not yet married) threw a couple of semi-snarky comments my way here and there about money (even though I had enough in savings to cover my share of the bills for the summer months…I’m a responsible adult who follows a budget) even though she had no idea what arrangements my then Fiance now DH had between us, and that really pissed me off. I”m NOT “Ginny” and I have no plans to lay on my ass all day long or go out spending all of my DH’s money, and I certainly don’t plan on letting my home go to pot while on my ass…I plan to do even MORE around our home, do some volunteer work with my church, the animal shelter, and the battered women’s shelter, and learn a couple of new hobbies I have an interest in.
How can I deal with the ILs and not lose my sanity over this? It is mine AND DH’s joint decision, we CAN easily afford to do this, and frankly it is none of anyone else’s business. He is 53 years old and I am 42, and I have worked my entire adult life. Any thoughts? Sorry for the length and the rant, this has been eating at me all weekend long.