Recently, cnn.com/living reported that a growing number of women are choosing to leave the workforce to become stay-at-home wives. Good choice, ladies! I applaud your decision and raise my margarita glass to you!
In the 1960s, our mothers and grandmothers fought for our right to choose a career path fitting to our needs and free from the constraints of society’s expectations or demands. Almost fifty years later, we can choose to stay home to maintain a happy home and raise a family without shame, criticism or question. Even though the pay stinks and vacation time and sick days are an absurd notion, many of us refuse to hang up our aprons any time soon.
As the article reports, some women have the option to stay at home with their decision having little or no financial impact. As in my case, my husband’s salary covers all of our household expenses and I feel fortunate to have the opportunity and choice to be a stay-at-home mom Domestic Diva.
Even once my children are in school full-time, I have no desire to return to teaching, but my professional skills are by no means “wasted” as I apply those skills in all aspects of my life as a stay-at-home mom. The skills acquired during my teaching career are utilized when managing my moms group and raising my children. Essentially, I teach children all day long. I also dust off my teaching tools on days that I volunteer at my daughter’s school.
Even the women in my moms group tap into their professional skills as SAHM. In her former life as an administrative assistant, Erika adopted the most amazing organizational skills. Those skills play into her stay-at-home career as she generates and maintains filing systems for every project in her life. Perhaps, if Erika does not return to work, she should offer how-to organizational work-shops in between pedicures and household chores.
However, stay-at-home wives have an advantage over stay-at-home moms. A stay-at-home wife has the luxury to focus on her own needs and personal goals, whereas stay-at-home moms often find it difficult to put their needs first. The needs of a stay-at-home mom often fall behind the needs of her children and her husband, and therefore her personal goals are put on hold.
When choosing to trade your paycheck for an apron, there are two important points to consider: lack of income and lack of adult interaction. While in the workplace, you are accustomed to having frivolous spending money and a disposable income. Upon entering the world of domestic bliss, the absence of an income becomes a difficult adjustment. One less paycheck means a lot less spending. To help with your transition, plan a budget for fun money in your weekly or monthly budget, which excludes household bills, groceries and other expenses.
Unless you prefer solitude, staying at home can be a lonely choice for some. Although work may have caused you some stress, there were co-workers to chat with and many opportunities for stimulating adult conversation. Therefore, to keep you sane and connect with other people, join an on-line social network to find others with similar interests, such as scrapbooking or an outdoor adventure group. Also, search for local special interest happenings related to your hobbies. An all night scrapbooking event or a book discussion at a local coffee shop can provide a means to satisfy your craving for adult interaction.
As for me, working was over-rated. Sure the money was a perk, but the stress out weighed the benefit for me. I actually prefer a pile of poopy diapers over a pile of paperwork. These days, I have achieved a work-life balance like none other.