I’m married, without kids and have not worked in 4 years. I never planned to be a stay-at-home wife but not working actually worked out for me. After graduating from college, I got my master’s degree in literature and just after that, I did another master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA-HR). For me, it was all about making sure that I can survive on my own. I should be qualified enough to get a good job and be Independent before I plan to get married. I achieved everything as I planned. I even worked for a year before marriage, that was during my courtship period.
This was just one phase of my life as they say ‘there’s a new beginning that’s waiting for you once a chapter of your life closes.’ I was excited to move to Europe with Mr Husband after marriage. I desperately started searching for a job after shifting because I thought it was what I’d wanted. During this ‘searching for job’ phase Mr Husband suggested that it was a good chance for me to pursue my interests in photography, dancing and writing which is what I have dreamed of doing from years.
Along with homemaking, I had fully enjoyed exploring new city & culture. Meeting new people was so enlightening. I got the time again to read and write, learnt so much about photography and developed my editing skills and got to travel a lot, which was really soothing to my wanderlust spirit. Another best experience that I had in this period was welcoming MURPHY in our lives and becoming a Dogmom.
One thing that we both (MR Husband & I) strongly believe is that this phase was so much strengthening and fulfilling to our bond in so many ways. If I will ever have to return to work I will do that gladly but for sure it is not my first choice, staying home is. I thoroughly enjoy being by myself with our dog and this alone time is refreshing to me, not boring or lonely.
When I made the choice to be a stay-at-home wife, I got tired of getting those disappointed and unsatisfactory reactions from people. I noticed that there is a lot of backlashing against women that stay home. They have to face so many judgements and opinions on this. There are so many preconceived notions and myths that need to be settled and dispelled. Such as:-
1) It’s a LAZY Option: No work is easy whether it is a high paying job, a low paying job or being a housewife. I never believe that I have a harder life than the women trying to balance a personal life with a job. I appreciate them and wish them the best. I am not here to argue, all I am saying is it’s wrong to look down upon a woman who chooses to be a housewife. Yes, there are no kids running and filling my home but that doesn’t make staying at home any less significant for me, between my pet and my husband I stay enough busy. A housewife’s schedule is different every day which allow her to do her main household tasks as well as things she likes doing like crafting, writing, painting etc.
2) Her IDENTITY: Oh yes, I can tell you that how many people think that She Is Nothing Without A Man. I want to remind one thing here that she is a wife, neighbour, sister, and daughter and so much more just like you. We are talented and educated too to get good jobs. We are different, but not less. There are so many women who are such great artists, writers, bloggers and social activists but are Stay-at-Home wife. Even if you are not doing anything specific, it’s still ok and commendable to keep your marriage, home and your husband as your number one priority. Why we define a woman’s identity just by her educational qualification or a job? She is much more than that. In the words of Julius Charles Hare,
“Be what you are. This is the first step toward becoming better than you are.”
3) Feminism & Women EMPOWERMENT: According to some, the concept of SAHW probably contributes to the reinforcement of gender stereotypes. Arguments like that are the results of assumptions and judgements based on personal experiences. People generalize and apply it to all housewives which are so irrational. To me, empowerment is about giving women the freedom to choose for herself. As J. Martin Kohe said,
“The greatest power that a person possesses is the power to choose.”
I agree that this lifestyle doesn’t suit everyone but if it works well for you and your family, you should not bother what others think of your arrangement. That’s totally your call. Some women find meeting deadlines at work is fulfilling, that is fine. Stay-at-home wives find staying at home is fulfilling that is fine too. It’s a matter of choice and as they say Different strokes for different folks.
4) HUSBANDS Face The Judgements Too: Yeah! They have opinions about the husbands too. Like, the husband might be a male chauvinist or the poor husband might be under so much of financial pressure or he must be a millionaire. And, they generalise again. Decisions like these are always taken with a mutual consent. If the spouse agrees on being a sole provider and has full knowledge of the plans then it’s no one’s business what arrangement any family have. Also, it’s not that all Stay-At-Home wives have a millionaire husband; we are middle-class people too. And, no, they are not sexist. My husband is very supportive. He believes that everything that I do at home is a better support than extra money. He never puts me down; rather he encourages and helps me with my passions and hobbies. He will be equally supportive if I choose to do a job any day. Wayne Dyer has rightly said,
“Judgements prevents us from seeing the good that lies beyond appearances”
5) The Issue Of DEPENDENCY: A good marriage is always mutually rewarding. It’s not about what’s his or what’s her. It’s our marriage and our family likewise it’s our money. I am not getting paid for my contributions but my contributions count too. Though I totally support the idea of Financial Independence in my marriage, I don’t see myself as a ‘dependent’. As I depend on Mr Husband for money, he also depends on me for so many household stuff be it food, clothes or the emotional support. That’s how marriages work. Right! Marriage is about ‘give and take’, and balancing each other out. Both the partners should contribute equally to the growth and success both as individuals as well as a family.
I want to remind all the Stay-at-home wives that it’s important to have educational degrees, developing your skills and have a strong backup plan so that when you yourself, your family or your marriage needs you, you can save the day and rise to the occasion. Never be ashamed of the choices you make, let them judge. You are the best judge of your life. If you are happy with your choices and decisions, that’s enough. You don’t need to prove anything to anyone.
“It’s your road and yours alone.
others may walk it with you,
but no one can walk it for you.”