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I’m a Stay-at-Home Wife

I debated pressing publish yesterday for a post I wrote for SpouseBuzz. But after some encouragement from some amazing friends I’ve never met (thank you, Twitter!), I pressed “publish” and hoped for the best. I’ve been nervous before posting things before, but not like this. I’ve been working on this piece for several weeks and even had my husband read draft after draft, helping me find my words. To be honest, I still want to go in there and tweak it more…

wifepic 
I titled the post, The Stay-at-Home Wife and I’m blown away by the positive responses I’ve received from it. I wasn’t expecting so many other SAHWs to come out of the woodwork and say that they’ve felt the same way. The post went up SpouseBuzz’s FB page and the responses there said the same thing; I even had friends post the link on their FB page with the same results. It’s amazing that so many of us have been feeling that way and just kept it hidden.  

The subject is personal to me, and sharing something like that for everyone to see is like showing someone your underwear drawer. Don’t get me wrong, there was nothing bad about it, but I was incredibly insecure about how others would view my/our decision. 

I grew up very independent and while I’ve never had anything against stay-at-home wives or moms, I just never thought I would be one…or want to be one. I’m so thankful my husband and my family supports my work decisions, especially since I’ve learned (details are still sketchy) that when we move to Europe, spouses are only allowed to work on base or volunteer. No more freelancing or bringing in outside income unless it’s from a government job on base (like I said…I don’t know all the facts, that’s just what I’ve heard around the grapevine).

I want to thank you, the friends I’ve never met, for continuing to be an amazing support throughout this journey—that includes my non-military friends. Being a military wife and living this lifestyle is still so new to me, but I love knowing I have your support. And to my non-military friends (I hate the word “civilian,” by the way): I want to thank you for your continued encouragement. I haven’t met many of you, but I feel like I know you from Twitter and reading your blogs. I love that even when I write military-related posts you still read and comment. I love that you’re interested in it. You guys rock. Seriously.

Anyway, go read the post I wrote, and if you have a different view, by all means, share it. I know several of you reading this are military spouses who work and I seriously applaud you. This post went into an entirely different direction than I was intending, so I’ll end it now before I get even more mushy. Love y’all!

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12 Comments

  1. I loved your post! I'm a stay at home wife too, for the time being and it's been interesting. I haven't found a job since we moved here almost a year ago, but I've been thankful to watch some friend's children weekly on base. Definitely not what I thought I would be doing!

  2. You are so lucky you have the support of family and friends! Mine doesn't really understand why at this time I'm working only part-time. Never mind the fact that I volunteer, too. To my family, I'm not looking hard enough for a job, or I'm being lazy. But it's not the case! The market here is just really bad for military spouses.

    I'm happy you've had such positive feedback on your post! 🙂

  3. Both of my cousins are SAT Army wives so I figured it was a growing norm. There is a huge difference, however, between the two of them. One is like you, she volunteers (FRG leader), rescues Great Danes (like a hobby, I swear), keeps their house immaculate, is supportive and wonderful. They actually just moved to Ft. Bragg and while he was TDY she visited to scope out houses (one they ended up buying without him ever seeing it) and just applied for a part time job!

    The other, well. She is horrid. She spends all of my cousin's money shopping at the mall or online. She doesn't volunteer or think of working and while she keeps the house clean, I'm not sure she can put a meal on the table.

    So that is the difference {I think} if your only experience with a SAHW is one who is lazy and spends money – you're not going to think of it in a positive light. But if they're awesome {like you} it is wonderful!

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. I'm a stay at home wife as well!! I loved your post! After I graduated college, I got the big girl job and worked for 2 years…then right after I got to visit my hubby on his deployment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, I upped and quit because my boss wasn't going to give me any time off at Christmas to be with my family who live 5 hours away! She obviously didn't understand what it's like to be a MilSpouse and had no sympathy for me and my situation. It's hard being away from family at Christmas, especially when your hubby is gone for his first deployment! So, I quit and I have never looked back.

    I've been a stay at home wife for 4 months now and I LOVE IT! I get to spend as much time with the hubs as I want and we travel to see family and friends at the drop of a hat! Getting ready for our PCS to Germany has been SO much easier now that I don't have to beg my boss for time off for numerous appointments.

    We are definitely NOT lazy, we DON'T spend our husbands paychecks frivolously, and we AREN'T eating bon bons on our couches day in and day out! Sometimes I don't know how I squeezed everything in when I had my 8-5 job! This has been the biggest blessing in our lives and has made our marriage much stronger. It's not for everyone, but I'm thankful it works for us…especially now that we're moving to Germany in a month and I might not be able to work! Thanks for posting!

  5. I've had bad experiences with SAHW and SAHM who really just irk the living hell out of me. I've yet to see a SAHW here who does anything that you do. I'm under the impressing if you're doing something productive its fine, but if you're just sitting around doing nothing and spending money on needless items then you need to go out into the real world.
    I hate lazy people.. I really do. But I think as far as you're concerned that you're doing the right thing. Besides, from what you say you do bring in some income, you have things you want to accomplish and are keeping everything in order for a big move. Go you, I hope this can inspire some SAHW I know to do more than they do.

  6. Jessica, I read the post and I totally know where your coming from. Although I'm not a military spouse and not even technically a stay at home Mom yet, I've had so many different thoughts on the subject.

    I think it's great that you have the opportunity to stay home. I am slowly realizing that maintaining a household is a full time job and an important one. Good for you in putting your time with your hubby first, in the end that is what really matters.

  7. I totally understand. I had every intention of graduating college, moving here, and having a job in no time. Now it's been over a year since we PCSed here and I'm still unemployed. I didn't think I would be a housewife until I had children and would be a stay at home mom. But, here I am. It's definitely not what I expected but I've adjusted and, now, I think I can honestly say I'm okay with this "job".

  8. I loved the article! I'm a SAHM right now but I've often thought that being a SAHW would be good use of my time when my children go to college (years away!). It seems like I could take better care of our family (and volunteering and serving others too) but there's a cultural stigma about "stay-at-home". I think that the feminist movement fought hard for equal employment opportunities but they tend to forget that we need freedom to choose if that's right for us too. And either way that's years off so I don't know what I'll do when the time comes!

  9. Thanks for being so bold and not afraid of letting people know how you feel. I'm not a military spouse but I am a Stay at home wife. While I'm perfectly happy about it, alot of people have issues with it. I"m glad there's a community out there that is okay with it. I'm sick of the question, "so what do you do all day?". So exhausting. I support you in your stay at homeness, and not everyone will understand it, some people will always look down on it, especially if you don't have kids. I still have people that won't ever "get" it. SO thank you for this Jess, made me feel good about how I live. And you're a wonderful stay at home wife 🙂

  10. You are so much more than the "stereotype" SAHW. Don't ever sell yourself short. I am impressed with all that you do already!

  11. Well, I guess you can count me in on the SAHW category as well, my friend!

    Honestly: you probably do more than I do (but hey, who knows). I work half days M-F…not making much money. I also am a substitute teacher at a private school when they call me in. However, I take care of all of our shopping, my own gas in my car, and any shopping that I want to do (mainly items from TJ Maxx and Marshalls). I make dinner every night, do the laundry, and keep the house clean. To be honest: all of those tasks take a lot of time, and I hate to admit it, but I LIKE that I only work half days so that I'm able to take care of the things I need to at home.

    I cringe when I think about how long I've been looking for a job (almost a year now). I almost feel like I've grown to be complacent with my current position…I've pretty much accepted my schedule and my pay, even though I am incredibly overqualified for what I'm doing. I want to scream when, time after time, I get turned down for positions that I am fully qualified for (but people with more experience who are out of work are willing to take the pay cut to get the job); I have a college degree…I was starting a PhD for heaven's sake! It never makes sense to me, and it can be embarrassing/awkward when people ask me what I do for a living (what do I say? I work part time doing data entry? I usually tell them that I'm a writer…that isn't a lie, right? Haha). However, I am incredibly grateful for my amazing husband, who has the patience of a saint when it comes to my job search. He is 100% supportive of me finding a job that I love, rather than snatching up the first full time position that I can find.

    Anyway, I will stop rambling on and on, but what I want to say in conclusion is: your HAPPINESS is of the ultimate importance here. If you are happy, then it absolutely does not matter what your job title is. I can tell you that I am 100% happier now…working part time…than I was at my last full-time job (making 3x or more what I'm making now), and I would never ever trade my happiness.

    Also, is it bad for me to admit that I'm secretly a little happy to hear that you will probably have a good amount of time to devote to your creative outlets when you're in Italy? I kind of want to live vicariously through you. Ok, that is totally selfish…I know.

  12. Thanks for sharing Jess. It was nice to read… I can not remember a time when i didn't work. It's always been a part of me…some may even say a workaholic. 🙂 My husband is in the Navy and he just got orders to Naples Italy. We will be moving there this September. Because of the employment law I will soon be a SAHW. I have mixed feelings about it… I am very very excited to not have to get up and go to work everyday but i am also torn by the independent person that is a big part of me. I know i will definitely stay busy with things at home (and we plan on starting a family while we are over there) but i'm one of those people that have to get out and do something…i go stir crazy if I am in the house all day:(

    Thanks again for sharing:) I know i will love this time at home it will just take some adjusting. Nothing new for a military wife 🙂

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