First things first: being a stay-at-home wife does not mean that the wife is laying around all day, watching TV, and generally being privileged while her husband works hard five days a week. If she’s basing her staying-at-home on Proverbs 31, it means that she’s working just as much as he is, only in a way that entails different and still-needed responsibilities. She’s also not being forced to stay at home in misery while her husband gets to work the job of his dreams. It doesn’t come without challenges or headaches, but it does come with its own rewards. It’s neither lazy nor oppressive, and it’s certainly something that I think is a dying “profession” that is still so valuable.
Before John Mark and I got married he told me that if I didn’t want to work, I didn’t have to because he could support us, but if I did want to work, I could. He also told me that he would completely support me (emotionally speaking) if I did decide to stay home because ultimately, especially after we have kids, that’s what he’d want me to do so I can help raise them instead of a daycare. So, he left it up to me. Neither of us see any problem with a working wife, but I struggled to make a decision about this until at least a month after we married. I knew I didn’t necessarily want to work outside of the home, but I also knew that extra money is always helpful, whether it’s needed or not.
I knew that staying at home would mean that I clean (laundry, dishes, and the rest of the house), grocery shop, cook, and do whatever else I see that’s needed around the house during the day. This is something I’ve always wanted to be able to do for my husband one day, and thankfully am able to do now – more about that here.
So, I came to the decision that I would stay home, and here’s why:
1 | There’s plenty of work to do at home.
Just because I’m not working outside of my home doesn’t mean I’m not working – see Proverbs 31. Being a wife is a full-time job. I didn’t realize this before I got married and was cooking and cleaning for two people regularly, but there is a lot of work to do to keep up my apartment (I can imagine there will be twice as much when I have a regular-sized house). It can take a whole day, or several days if I spread it out, to clean all of the rooms in my apartment thoroughly. Laundry is always washing, dishes are always getting dirty, floors are being walked on, and dust is constantly accumulating. Add to that that we need to eat well every day to really live a quality, healthy life, and I have my work cut out for me. When people ask me what I do, I usually just tell them I’m staying at home and that “I’m able to make myself busy at home.” If I were to work an 8-5 job, I wouldn’t have enough time in the day to do all of the things that I feel are part my job as a wife and be able to spend quality time with my husband. I would be saving the chores for evenings and weekends – the times that he’s not working.
2 | I would get worn out.
Like I said in my last post (read it here), I get worn out easily if I have too much on my plate. It’s simply part of my personality. I need those evenings and weekends with my husband to wind down and grow closer to him, not to switch over from business mode to wife mode and continue working, doing the things at home that need to get done. I would be exhausted, which would end up taking a toll on both of us. I wouldn’t be able to have supper ready at 5, clothes done by bedtime, all of our things organized, and keep the house livable all the time. I know plenty of wives who do this and work either full time or part time, and I applaud them. If that’s something you want to do and can do – go for it! If anything happened and finances were to get tough, I would find a job and adjust to a new routine. But for now, and certainly when kids come around, this is what I think is best for me both physically and emotionally.
3 | I have time to help other people when the need arises.
This one seems like a pretty simple concept to me. Something that’s extremely important to me is having compassion and helping other people. I’ve always been introverted, so it’s not easy when I don’t know the person, but it’s a necessary part of being a Christian. If I’m trying to juggle an outside job, my wife jobs, and recuperating for the next day, I’m going to have a really hard time serving other people – it will feel like it’s all about me and my family. Because I decided not to “work,” I have the freedom to drop what I’m doing and help someone else while still getting everything else done.
4 | It helps to keep our life in order.
Because John Mark and I both have a job that benefits the other, it helps to keep us both thinking outside of ourselves and keeps our life flowing fairly easily. He works in a profession that he loves while still supporting our little family well, and I stay at home to support us non-monetarily. We have responsibilities to each other and to God that we’ve either found in the Bible or set for ourselves, and because we stick to those closely, we’re able to go about our daily life easily and joyfully. It’s an organized and minimal approach (not to mention based on God’s word), and it gives us time to focus on what’s really important.
5 | There’s more time to blog.
When I started this blog in 2013, I hoped that it would be something I could invest my time in, something that would be useful to myself and others. I wanted it to be an inspiration and encouragement both from my Bible studies or conversations and my everyday life. Because I started it during college (and right before my busiest year), it quickly got pushed to the side and forgotten. I would post every once in a while, just when I had an hour or two and felt inspired. It was always in the back of my head, especially because I felt like it was a talent I could use for God’s glory, so I felt guilty that I wasn’t taking the time to use it. So, after I graduated, I was inspired once again and wrote a post or two. But it got pushed to the side again during wedding planning. After we got married, I started it back up and determined that I would keep it up. I wanted to write regularly and stay devoted to my favorite kind of writing. So, that’s what I did. I’m thankful that I have time to do something I love.
// One day I hope to be a stay-at-home mom, and I know that will entail even more different and needed responsibilities, and I’ll gladly take those on. Until then, this is what I do, and this is what I love.