Why I Chose to Stay Home
When I was in high school, my favorite subjects were always home economics, woodshop, and interior design. However, I was told by my family and the majority of my teachers that careers in these fields would not lead me to success. The idea of being a stay at home wife was rejected by society right from the start.
So I did what every millennial was told to do. Decide on what you want to do at 18, study for 4 years, graduate, and hopefully land a job you love that you can do until you’re old enough to retire.
Unfortunately, I could never seem to think of a career that I could envision doing for the next 50 years. I worked for a solid decade in a variety of different fields, but never fell in love with any of them.
About a year ago, I was talking to my husband about how I could never seem to find a good job, or a workplace that I seem to fit into. He has a great job that he likes and an awesome boss, and definitely had a better experience in the workplace than I did.
I originally brought up the idea of being a stay at home wife and dog mom as a joke. But as we thought about the pros and cons we realized that we would both benefit more from me focusing on our home instead.
When I originally thought about becoming a stay at home wife, I thought we were going to have to cut our spending back a lot. But as it turns out, my $50k salary wasn’t going as far as I thought it was.
First of all after taxes, I was only taking home around $35k per year. Second, I spent a little over $10k on my car, insurance, tickets, and gas just getting to and from work.
Now that I’m not working anymore, my husband and I decided that we can share a car to save money. We don’t even notice the second car is gone.
In addition, I also spent almost $4k on work clothes, and another $6k in networking, conferences, client dinners, etc. Lastly, I was paying $1000 per month on rent on a separate apartment that was closer to my job; another $12k.
So in reality, I was barely saving anything. My salary was going back into my job. Sometimes I even worked online just to cover the bills. It seemed to make more sense to stop working and become a homemaker instead.
Do I Miss the Workplace?
Nope. Absolutely not.
I definitely don’t miss getting up at 6am to sit through an hour of traffic to sit through a job for eight hours that I despised.
I don’t miss the office gossip or politics. Nor do I don’t miss sitting through repetitive meetings or not having my opinion valued.
I don’t miss feeling guilty for calling out when I was sick. And I especially don’t miss my bosses making me feel like I never did enough, even though I built the entire department from the ground up.
By being a professional stay at home wife, dog mom, and blogger, I don’t have to deal with any of this!
I feel like companies don’t care about their employees like they used to. I was never offered medical, a 401k, or any other benefits that companies used to give their employees.
If I knew the workplace was like this for millennials and the generations that followed, I would’ve decided not to go to college and save myself the debt.
Do I Get Criticized for Staying at Home with No Kids? (Just Dogs)
Yes. Surprisingly more by other women than men though.
Whenever I tell people that I’m a homemaker (or stay at home wife and dog mom) I usually get a lot of disapproving head shakes from the women in the room.
I’ve been told by women, “Why would you rely on a man to have that kind of control over you?” And also, “It must be nice to lounge around on the couch all day while your man pays for everything.”
Women were homemakers for most of civilized history. Why in 2020 are women being shamed for wanting to take care of their homes and their partners? That’s my question for the housewife haters out there.
The funny part is that their husbands are jealous of my husband. He’s always the one with the clean house and great, home cooked food in the fridge!
In all honesty, I think it’s a jealousy thing. I worked for an entire decade to figure out what I was good and bad at. And decided that making a house a home and training dogs was what I was the best at.
I usually wake up around 9AM after my husband has already left for work. I usually wake up to Archie spread across the bottom corner of the bed while Cali is snuggled under all the blankets she can find with her head resting on Lazer’s pillow.
Sometimes it can seem more tempting to stay in bed and cuddle with the puppies, but alas there is always a to do list to get done.
Cali isn’t a morning dog, but as soon as my feet hit the floor, so do Archie’s paws. He’s only eight months old so he always has to go potty as soon as we wake up.
While he’s outside I prepare his breakfast and pick out my outfit for the day. Archie will come inside and inhale his breakfast and by the time I’m turning the shower on Cali is sliding out of the bed.
Both dogs always feel the need to be in the bathroom when I shower, so they curl up together on the bathroom rug and enjoy the steam from the hot water.
After I’m done getting ready I set aside 1 hour to clean up the house. If I don’t set an alarm to go off in an hour, my OCD will take over and I’ll end up cleaning the whole day. (It’s happened before.)
I take a basket with me and place anything that doesn’t belong in a particular room into the basket. As I move through the house I’ll put things back where they belong.
Once the house is decluttered I’ll usually make the bed, put in a load of laundry, and unload the dishwasher.
I also make sure to open all the blinds to let the sunlight in which subconsciously improves your mood. This also allows me to see any dirt on the floor that needs to be swept up.
Usually by this time my alarm goes off and I have to stop myself from cleaning and move on to the next stage in my day.
My afternoons are for knocking out my miscellaneous items from my to do list. If it’s a day where cooking is on the list (I make large batches of food for multiple days), I’ll do that first so Lazer has something to eat when he gets home from work.
Next, I’ll take a seat on the couch with my laptop and check my unanswered emails and messages. I’m not great at answering people back (major introvert right here). Especially when there are multiple different platforms that people can talk to you on. So I make sure to set aside time each day to go through and answer them.
Once everyone has been responded to, I’ll do my blog tasks for that day. This could be anything from writing a blog post to making graphics on Canva for Pinterest. I consider this part of my job as a stay at home wife, so I try to do a little every day to prevent myself from getting overwhelmed while still being productive.
Lazer usually gets home around 2PM, which is about the same time that I’m finishing up with my work on the computer. So I’ll set my laptop to charge and focus on him settling in after a long hard day of work.
Usually the food is ready to eat when he gets home. So he grabs a bowl and lounges on the couch for a bit in front of the TV.
We have very different tastes in TV shows. So when he starts watching his shows I start tackling any physical tasks on the to do list. This could be things like yard work, watering all of my plants, running errands, or walking the dogs.
Since we just moved into a new apartment, much of this time has been focusing on selling old work clothes and home improvement projects . (Which is secretly my favorite thing to do anyway.)
By the time that I’m done with my errands and get a chance to look at the clock, it’s usually around 6PM. Since I practice intermittent fasting and only eat from 4PM-12AM, I’m almost always cooking something at this time.
After I cook I’ll sit down and check social media and answer any comments I have. If it was a hot day I’ll take the dogs on a walk when the sun is starting to set. (Cali hates the sun so I’ll usually walk her in the evenings.)
When I get back I do another quick round of tidying up the house to make it easier for the next day. And when all of that is done it’s time for me to sit back and relax after another productive day.
Weekends are for relaxation and fun! I made sure to structure my week like a regular work week. This way I can enjoy weekends with those that are in the workforce.
In the wintertime we go to the movies, visit museums, and have lots of cuddles on the couch with the dogs. In the summertime we go camping, hiking, and have a blast on the beach.
We trained Cali and Archie to walk off leash. So spending time in nature with them is easy on all of us.
The only work that I do on the weekends is on Sunday evening. This is when I make my to do list and plan out our meals for the week.
I also make enough tuna sandwiches for Lazer’s lunch and stick them in the freezer so he can take them in the morning.
For most of civilized history, women were prided on their ability to keep their home and family well maintained. Only in the past few decades have women been guilted for deciding to stay home and become a homemaker.
For me, creating a safe haven where my family can stay and relax is the best job on the planet. It gives us all the ability to spend more time together, budget better, and definitely is less stressful than when we were both working full time.
I definitely believe that more women should consider going back to homemaking full time if they want to without feeling guilty or antifeminist. When women used to stay home and men would leave for work everyday, they were more productive as a unit. And because they were more productive, they were able to have more balanced lives and were happier overall.
Are you a stay at home wife without children? What does your homemaking schedule look like? Let me know in the comments!