Why is the modern day "housewife" WITHOUT kids de-valued?
Let me clarify a few things for those of you who find fault in a woman 'choosing' to become a housewife without children. During my first four years of marriage, my husband worked like a slave as a low wage earner without vacation time to achieve his career goals through educational pursuits. During that time, I worked 40+hours per week and my husband and I were only able to take one true weeklong vacation. In our early 30s, neither of us entered the marriage with children. I owned (and still own) a condo and my husband lived me, contributing financially because our situation required two incomes. Now, our financial situation has changed. We moved to a new location because my husband completed his education and accepted a lucrative job offer. We purchased a new home, evaluated our 'new' financial situation and mutually decided that he would work 'outside' the home while I work 'inside' the home. I am now 35 years old and given our newly acquired financial ability to travel as well as my husband's first life opportunity to travel 7+weeks per year due to his generous vacation package, we are taking full advantage of our situation. Because my husband's income places us in a very high tax break, which will be MY tax bracket should I ever decide to 'work' outside the home, we prefer to waive what would be left of the 'extra income' I may earn after Uncle Sam takes a chunk and travel for two years prior to having children. I have been home for a year and I am shocked by comments from family and friends alike who seem so envious of our current situation that they find it difficult to abstain from making negative comments about my current status as a "stay at home wife without children". Let me add, I went to college. I earned my degree and them some, with 7 years of college under my belt. If my husband's work situation were to change, I would be the first in line to aggressively pursue employment outside of the home rather than the first in the welfare line. It's almost laughable to read some posts written by people who dub housewives with or without children as "lazy, gold-digger, hoes" and the like in the discussion panels pertaining to this issue. I would appreciate an intelligent response to my question, particularly from those who oppose my perspective and can validly defend their perspective. Thanks for reading...
...To clarify, I volunteer at Habitat for Humanity (a wonderful non-profit) in addition to maintaining our home + yard. I clip coupons, bargain shop and find every way imaginable to reduce household expenses, not because I need to but because I want to. It's fun. I am also our vacation planner and explore enterpreneurial opportunities as they arise and should the right opportunity present itself, I am open to it as long as it meets our goals (part-time work, flexible and ample vacation). As you can imagine, these types of entrepreneurial endeavors aren't falling out of trees. As a driven, career-oriented woman during the last chapter of my life, I always believed women who stayed at home must be 'bored' until now. This experience changed my perspective. I often wonder where the day went. Men who can barely pluck their dirty clothes from the floor and find the hamper while their wives work 40 hour work weeks need not respond. FYI: We plan to have kids after we travel.
...My goodness... My sister at age 38 just gave birth to her first child 'all natural'. Her baby is healthy and happy. A woman is never "too old" to have babies and adoption is an option for people who cannot conceive.
...And I have not 'thrown' away my education. Education breeds a lifelong love of learning in a person. I am well-read and continue to take meaningful courses (such as a photography course I am currently taking). And, by the way, when my husband and I share our evenings, weekends, and vacations together, we talk about things we are passionate about (wakeboarding, travel plans, our organic vegetable garden, etc.) We deeply love on another and I can assure you, I am no less intellectually handicap than my husband because he works 'outside' the home. Our financial ducks are in order and we have contingency plans for all possible scenarios. What I'm learning through this meaningful dialogue is that people have a lot of misconceptions about the modern day "housewife". I'm finding your comments very interesting.
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
I don't think women like you are, or should be called, "lazy, gold-digger, hoes". While I can understand the envy, it is inaccurate.
But the fact of the matter is that you indeed are not a contributing member of society. I think you should at least be doing some volunteer or charity work. For me, it has nothing to do with your finances. What it has to do with is the fact that you are an intelligent woman who has a great deal to offer, but who is wasting her extensive education performing tasks that any high school dropout could do. Yeah, it's my sense of wastefulness that bugs me.
- Anonymous6 years ago
I am sorry, but I had to laugh. I guess I am one of those who devalue a "housewife" . To me everything has a purpose, a function and I don't know what a function is of a stay at home wife with no kids. I did it for 8 years with 3 children. Now I work, volunteer and do all the things you do when you "stay home" while taking care of 3 school aged children. My husband was in the military, now a slope worker and was and is hardly home. It was hard for me to get back into the workforce being a stay at home mom, and trust me, you will one day. So good luck to you when that day comes. I work because I want to. I am not jealous. Been there, done that. I just like working and feeling accomplished outside the as well as inside the home.
- 1 decade ago
Ok, it sounds to me that everyone is so quick to judge you when they don't even understand your situation. I know you wanted to hear from people that oppose your decision, but maybe this will help validate your decision. I too have a degree and so far never used it, due to choice. I decided that it is something I have in case I need it but I just decided that the field in which I got my degree is just not for me at this time. Also, I am a military wife and have been for a year now. My husband and I dated for 8 years before we got married. During those 8 years we both worked our butts off to make ends meet. My husband, like i previously stated, is now military and we are financially stable. I got pregnant soon after we are married (7 months after). We moved soon after and decided for me to stay home and focus on the pregnancy, since I would have to quit a job soon anyways. Unfortunately, I had a preterm labor and lost my child. And now three months later I am still a housewife and don't regret it. I do all the house work and we are trying to conceive again. Basically, my point is that housewives come from all different backgrounds and some times staying home and focusing on your house and husband is the best thing to do. It can make your marriage stronger and it absolutely doesn't mean you are lazy. People need to learn that everyone is different and what works for some may not for others. It doesn't sound like you care too much what others think about your decision and that is a good thing. Keep it up. You sound like you have a strong marriage and a good life. If this makes you happy I say continue. Good luck to you :)
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- KarenLv 44 years ago
Because our culture is obsessed with work. We gauge a person's value by his/her job. This is a result of the sexual revolution. I just got married and finished grad school last June. My teaching job doesn't start for a week, so I had about 2 months worth of unemployment after the wedding. You wouldn't believe how many people asked if I was bored "doing nothing!" My response is that I have plenty to do, setting up our new house and creating a semester's worth of syllabi and lesson plans for college classes! Yeeesh...do I have to physically be out of the house to be working?!
- 1 decade ago
I think you are going down a path that could lead to destruction. I don't know your husband and you from Adam and Eve, but if anything were to happen to your marriage, such as death or divorce of your husband, then where will you be? I am not saying that you should go right back out and get the same caliber job you had when you and your husband were struggling so bad, but it would be a really good idea to find some work that will keep you somewhat busy and if one of the above calamity happens, then you won't have been out of the work loop, (as employers call it), and you can continue on with a position that you can do based on your working history.
Maybe if you get a position someplace, you could do it part time or from home and either get a minimum wage or donate a portion to charities. By doing that, you can write quite a few things off your taxes.
- cgspitfireLv 61 decade ago
I completely understand where you're coming from. While I do still work from home, I do it because I could only clean the house so many time before I started climbing the walls. It amazes me how many people think that because I'm at home, even those that know I work out of my home, and chase after a 3y.o. that all I do all day long is sit around and eat bonbons while watching soaps. I don't fit in with the "professional" women and I don't fit in with the "homemakers". I've given up caring what people think about my choice in lifestyles.My thought process and answer to people when they make catty remarks... "At least I don't have so much time on my hands that I have to sit and judge someone else's life!"
As for the kids part; I was 33 when I had my son and I'm considered the "old mom". I don't care. I have an education, a successful business and had the opportuity to travel and see things many of the other moms haven't experienced. The younger moms come to me for advice because many of them can't or don't know how handle their kids. You have the benefit of an education and life experience. Nothing can replace that.
Enjoy your new found freedom. When you're ready to either go back out into the work force or start your family, do it on your terms. Don't worry about those that think you're lazy or crazy for throwing away your education. If you and your husband are happy with the situation, that's all that matters.
- 4 years ago
The big disadvantage for a workaholic such as a scholar is the attention then required for the free partner.
A scholar with a free partner will have difficulty accomplishing supreme heights unless that partner can help,
and so the partner should be extremely able in the fronting partner s ways. Minister s spouses are often positive examples. Mathematician s spouses and writer s spouses are often negative examples.
- 1 decade ago
Perhaps your family and friends are dismayed that you are not sharing your education and obvious intelligence with the rest of the world. Being a "housewife" is not restricted to taking care of the home; many of us pursue a wealth of rewarding activities without being "employed". Opportunities for women to have full and well-rounded lives have never been better. We have a lot of special gifts to share and it is our responsibility to do so.
- ShadowLv 61 decade ago
So what's the question? All sorts of groups, not just childless housewives, are disparaged everyday. Are there people outside your house picketing? I doubt it. If what you read in the "media" bothers you, just don't read it. If it's the people you surround yourself with bothers you, get new people. Otherwise, what's the problem? Your living the life that most people will only dream about. There are other groups, at much more of a disadvantage, to give out pity to.
- 1 decade ago
You are very fortunate congratulation. You get the reaction that you get because the U S is a capitalist country. Time is money (or insert whatever) and someone who opts to stay home instead of doing something "productive" by society's standards is lazy, and useless. I also disagree that you wasted your education, people have been fed that you need an education for a job, but they don't really think much of people who go to school just to learn and know things not necessarily for money. If your debts are paid off and you're happy forget what people say, no one was put on earth to be a work horse.