One of the expressions that irritate James and I the most is, ‘just a housewife’ or, ‘just a stay-at-home parent.’
This idea is ridiculous, because it implies:
- The role of a ‘housewife’ or stay-at-home parent is less work than working a traditional job, which in many cases simply isn’t true.
- That one partner is inherently more valuable to the family than another.
This entire notion is ridiculous in more ways than one.
In this article, we’ll be going over why being a housewife (or househusband, no discrimination here) is something to be proud of, and the tips we have to make it work for you.
1. The Non-Working Partner Helps Their Spouse Become Their Best
The way I think about being a housewife perhaps might make some people angry, but it is the way I see it:
My husband may be the one making most of the money, but it’s my job to help him do that. I work behind-the-scenes to make life as smooth and as straightforward as possible for him, so that he can excel and thrive at what he’s best at.
I am happy to take care of little problems that pop up, so he never has to even know that they existed, let alone stress out about them. The fact that he isn’t burdened by more issues after work ends means that he can properly recharge, meaning that stress doesn’t carry over into other areas of our relationship, or back into his work either.
I feel that it’s important for him to recognize this side of things, and he does. He doesn’t see me as ‘doing nothing’ if everything has already been taken care of – he consciously notices the fact that the dishes are clean, and appointments have been set.
As a housewife, it’s very important that your spouse takes time to recognize and appreciate you for your work, even if they don’t actually see you working all that often.
Because let’s be clear – if you were to stop working entirely even for a short period of time, they would very quickly realize how much thought, effort and time goes into it!
2. Keep It Fair
When I say that my job is to make my husband’s life smooth, that doesn’t mean that it’s okay to be walked over.
If you’re going to use have a situation where one partner stays at home, it’s vital that you two are on the same page, and the working spouse does not take advantage of the situation.
Just because you are a housewife doesn’t mean that you bear ALL household responsibilities or chores.
With an average commute time of 55 minutes along with prep time, most full-time jobs take around 50 hours a week, or 7.1 hours a day. As a housewife, household responsibilities do not pause on weekends, and it is VERY possible to spend more than 7 hours taking care of things.
And if you have young children, it’s pretty much a guarantee.
So, both people shouldn’t hesitate to help out and work through things together. It’s not as black and white as ‘one brings home the money, the other takes care of the house.’ You are both partners, and are both worthy of respect.
3. Expectations Are Key
If you want to make this work, you need to have clear expectations laid out for each person.
We’ve already kind of covered this already, but it’s worth going deeper into it.
For the working spouse, it’s important for them to understand that they still hold responsibilities both to the household, and to your relationship. Just because they’re working doesn’t give them free reign to throw everything else on you.
And as a housewife, it’s important that you put a fair amount of effort in to handle your responsibilities as well. Of course, sometimes that just means making sure everyone makes it through the day without any catastrophes, and that’s okay.
What’s important is that you both are on the same page, and uphold the commitments the two of you have in place.
4. Break It Down Financially
Housewives should not have to demonstrate their worth. However, thinking about it from a financial perspective may help you feel better about it.
Your working spouse brings home X dollars per month.
- The average cost of a house cleaner is $45-50 per hour.
- The average cost of a nanny or babysitter is $694 per week – and nothing is more valuable than having a parent be the caretaker.
- Having a virtual assistant to take care of various small tasks like appointments costs at least $400 per month.
- Having food delivered via Instacart or a similar service will run you at least $10 per trip in additional fees.
- Having someone stay at home to cook saves an enormous amount of money versus eating out or buying pre-made food, not to mention the health benefits!
If you add all of this up – plus the additional time and cost savings that staying home can provide you, you’ll really start to realize how much you contribute financially as well.
Sure, you could get a job that brings home additional income – but if all of that money has to go out the window to cover these expenses, than what is the point?
5. Of Course, Only Do It If You Want To
It should go without saying, but you should ONLY become a housewife it’s something that you actually want to do.
Much of the negative connotations surrounding being a housewife are due to the fact that women were historically oppressed in the workforce, and were expected to stay home and serve their husbands, even if they had other ambitions.
Thankfully, we have made a lot of progress. If having a career or a work life is important to you, than this is not something that you should sacrifice.
It’s important to work with your partner and discuss what actually brings you fulfillment, along will work for your situation.
My husband and I are blessed to be in a position where I actually can afford to stay home. However, I understand that many people are not so lucky, and even two incomes are often not enough to stay afloat in today’s expensive world.
If you want to be a housewife, than you should do it without shame. It’s really nobody else’s business. But if you don’t, you shouldn’t let anyone pressure you into it either.
I firmly believe that there is nothing wrong with wanting to be a housewife – as long as it’s actually your choice, and the situation is handled fairly.
Housewives are not unskilled, uneducated, or lazy. We are not any less capable than anyone else.
Rather, we have chosen a path that brings us joy, and is a good fit for our unique families and values.
Are you a housewife, or considering becoming one? Are there any questions, issues or concerns you have about it?
Share your story through the comment form below, and I’ll be happy to chime in!
– Amara McAllister