An Honest Conversation about Being a Stay at Home Wife
If you had told me when I was in high school or even college that I would eventually be a stay at home wife (which I'm going to refer to as SAHW for the rest of this post) I probably would have laughed. Who, me? NEVER. But God/The Universe/Whoever is the captain of this ship had other plans apparently. As the end of my time working for the foreseeable future was nearing an end, I began panicking about my new role as a SAHW. Would I hate it? Would I be bored out of my mind? Would I feel happy and fulfilled? There were so many unknowns going into this new role as a SAHW that would cause anyone a great deal of anxiety.
I get asked to write about this a lot because a lot of you are going through the same transition that I am. It seems so cliche that a woman would give up everything, like her job and her dreams, to marry a military man and become a SAHW. In a way, it is cliche but I think if you ask any SAHW whether or not they've given up their dreams and aspirations to live this life, they would say no. Your dreams change. Your aspirations and desires change. It can be so confusing to handle at first, especially if you're someone who hates stereotypes and doesn't want to be "one of those women" but I think that's a huge flaw with our society and the way we look at SAH wives and mothers.
No one made me stop working. Sure, finding a job as a military spouse is notoriously challenging but it's not impossible. My husband didn't come to me one day and say, "I need you to give up everything for me." If we're being honest, I was happy to stop working. I didn't realize until about a month into being a SAHW how much I hated my desk job. I hated having to get up every day and go to an office where there was drama and mundane tasks to be completed when I had a To- Do List a mile long of other things I needed or wanted to do. I was exhausted both mentally and physically from the level of interpersonal interaction I had to endure on a daily basis. I found being a SAHW refreshing.
No longer was I afraid or embarrassed to have people over to our house on the weekends because I knew how much effort I had put into cleaning it that week. My husband and I weren't spending our few precious moments together arguing over who was going to do the dishes. I stopped going weeks on end without doing laundry. More than that, I felt like I was working a full-time job regardless, not because I felt the need to "earn my keep" but because of how much I could tell my husband appreciated walking into the house in the evenings and not having to worry about dishes. Instead, we cook dinner and enjoy it together and we get to relax and enjoy each other's company without having to worry about mundane chores.
As for following your dreams, I have more time now to pursue the things I truly love than I ever have before. The blog is blossoming so much so that I'm thinking about starting a second one to expand my brand. I'm beginning to brainstorm resources that I would never have been able to create while working a full-time job. Most importantly, I'm writing again. I can't remember the last time when I actually had a solid creative writing session. My dream for as long as I can remember has been to be a writer and being a SAHW has helped me to get one step closer to achieving that dream.
It hasn't been easy. Don't get me wrong. There's a lot of fear about what other people think of you for becoming a SAHW, and what's worse, you tend to be hard on yourself too. But we live in a day and age where women have the right to choose. Feminism and equality for women don't mean that every woman needs to go out and be a big boss lady. Mad respect to the women who are kicking butt and taking names. But we all need a reminder now and then that equality for women is about choice too. You can choose to be a powerhouse in the corporate world or you can choose to be a SAH wife and raise your family. Does this mean that you can only be either or? Not at all! You can be both. Some of us have that desire and some of us don't. That's the truth about equality.
I don't know if any of this is actually helpful or not. Y'all know that when I write these posts, it's mostly just me free writing. But my biggest piece of advice for those who may be struggling with the transition to being a stay at home wife is to not be too hard on yourself. Give yourself time to grow. Take this time to really explore your passions, do things you've always wanted to do, and really pour into your relationship with your partner. Whether your planning on being a SAHW for a short time or for the rest of your life, you'll find your way. Just have a little faith in yourself.