Guest Post: Life As a SAHW

Leah’s Note: I am currently frolicking around San Diego with my husband. The hilarious and endearing Kim was kind enough to offer up a guest post to keep you entertained. I secretly dream of the day that I can be a SAHW so this definitely piqued my interest! Can’t wait to see everyone’s input!

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Stay at Home Wives vs Stay At Home Moms

Is One Better Than the Other?

By Kim Ulmanis – Life as a Foodie

First off, allow me to thank Leah for bringing you this guest post. I’ve learned I am no longer the queen of deadlines as I managed to miss hers for writing this. Rather than a nasty e-mail (I wouldn’t have blamed her), she gently nudged me and gave me a chance to bring you this piece. I hope you enjoy and will visit me on my blog Life as a Foodie sometime.

I happen to fiddle around from time to time on Yahoo! Answers (yes, I know I’m lame) and most of the time it’s overrun by lovelorn teenagers, aspiring writers, wannabe photographers, and many more. Recently I stumbled on a question titled “Would you be/or want a stay-at-home-wife?

In the writer’s question she said SAHMs have it much more difficult because getting household responsibilities done is mandatory and cannot be held off. She then seemed to imply stay at home wives were little more than lazy bums, especially when they stay home by choice.

When I read this, I became a bit annoyed. I am a stay at home wife by choice. Initially my husband and I wanted me searching for full-time employment. But the grim realities of a 15% unemployment rate in our area coupled with the stress and frustration of finding something was not a strain we wanted, especially considering we’re newlyweds.

Do I want to work outside the home? Certainly. But my husband and I are realistic and know it isn’t a viable option. Do we struggle financially? Somewhat, yes. But this has only strengthened our marriage. We work as a team to communicate and discuss the things we have to do to keep our home running. And oddly enough, being a stay at home wife has worked out well despite some rough moments of my own.

To keep busy I work part-time for a web developer as well as the mundane daily chores we all do. I also stay involved in personal projects from my blog to photography. Yes, there are some days I sit at my desk doing nothing all. But for the most part, I try to stay busy rather than pull a Peg Bundy sitting on the couch watching T.V. with bon-bons. I’m still independent, have my own money, and still me but just a bit better.

Whether a woman is a stay at home wife or a stay at home mom, I think both are equally important, just in different ways. A woman without children can be just as busy as the mom balancing her home with a child or two. Both roles are important and both contribute to their home to ensure it runs smoothly.

I will say raising children does carry somewhat more weight in all of this. But does that mean Wife A with two little ones is better than I or any other wife without a child? Of course not. The thing to remember is that we all make choices in our lives and it would be smart to consider what each couple or individual goes through before passing judgment. Just like there could be the lazy stay at home wife, there is also the lazy stay at home mom who neglects her home and children.

I’m sure the asker meant well and had good intentions but the wording threw me for a loop. Her reasoning for asking such a question was 1. Because to her it seemed rare in 2011 for a woman to choose to stay at home and 2. Because she has a friend who is a stay at home wife and proudly does nothing. And I’m sure you all know that just because one person is like that, not all of us are.

While it may be rare or odd to some in this day and age, it is important to note that with the economy being what it is many are forced to re-think how they manage their lives. And for some families it simply makes for a much happier marriage for one partner to remain at home. I am no 1950s housewife but I’m finding that being given the chance stay home pursuing my own interests while also caring for my home and husband suits me just fine.

What are your thoughts? Financial or independence reasons aside, would you, if given the option, choose to stay at home? Men or women apply to this question.

Thanks for your input and for reading. I hope all of you have a wonderful week.

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3 Responses

  1. This is an interesting topic.

    I will always work. I was in a relationship years ago and the guy said I should quit my job to finish my degree. I did that and had no money of my own, no sense of pride in my own work and when the relationship ended I was f*cked. I had no money, no where to life. It was a hard lesson to learn but I will ALWAYS work no matter what–even when my current boyfriend and I get married. When we have kids someday I’d like to work part time, but for me I feel more comfortable being able to take care of myself.

  2. I’d like to think that I’d say ‘yes’ to staying at home, but really, I would feel like I’m staying behind. Although It would be nice to focus on my interests, I’d find it irresponsible on my behalf to stay out of the workplace for an extended period of time. I would say a few months off would be ok, but not years. I’d always fear that if something were to ever happen to my husband (who would be providing the majority or all of the income) and I would have to find work; I’d be outdated, with years of inexperience in between and therefore have lost my value as an employee. It would be emotionally devastating to me if I would have children to support on a minimum wage income and I would feel like I’ve failed my family.

  3. I think staying at home or working outside the home is purely an individual choice based on what works best with any given family situation. There are times when I wish I could stay at home, take care of the menial chores and do my own thing, but I like to spend money, so I earn it. Honstly if my hubby made zillions of $$$ I’d be happy to be a stay at home….

    Truthfully, there are many wives and husbands who stay home and don’t earn their keep but there are also many workers earning a wage who don’t earn their keep either. It’s all dependent on the person and the situation, that detemines what works best. Don’t judge unless you are in the know.

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