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Q&A Tuesday: Advice for becoming a stay-at-home wife?

Any advice you can share on becoming a stay-at-home wife would be greatly appreciated. My fiance and I are getting married in two weeks, and we’re thinking about having me stay at home. I’m a little nervous as we live in LA (high cost of living area), and he works freelance in the entertainment industry.

We’ve prayed a great deal about it, but as I don’t know any stay-at-home wives, I’m having a difficult time seeing how this works in “real life” not just how I think it’s going to work out. -Rhiannon

Congratulations on your upcoming marriage, Rhiannon! What an exciting time in your lives! Everyone’s situation is different, so it’s hard to give clear-cut principles that will apply to everyone, but here are some suggestions I thought of for you:

1) Be on the same page as your husband.

I made this point in last week’s Q&A post, and it bears repeating again here: if you are not in complete agreement with your husband on decisions like whether you stay at home or work, it can cause serious friction in your marriage. This decision must be made mutually, with both of you realizing the sacrifices it will mean if you choose to stay home.

2) Get on a strict written budget.

I believe that if God calls you to something, He will also provide a way to financially pull it off–even if it doesn’t always work out on paper. However, it’s important to put feet to your faith. Thus, you need a clear plan of action.

Sit down with your soon-to-be-husband and make a detailed, written budget that includes every single category. There are free downloadable budgeting forms available here if you need help getting started.

Commit together to live on this written budget no matter what. If you are going to be a one-income family and you want to avoid debt, a budget is imperative.

3) Hold regular Budget Accountability Meetings.

Not only is a budget a must, but you need to regularly review your budget and see where you stand. This is why I heartily recommend monthly Budget Accountability Meetings. Schedule these on your calendar and make them a priority.

During these meetings, you’ll go over your budget categories and make sure you both stayed within them during the past month. If you didn’t, or you struggled to stick to them, discuss why and what changes can be made to help you adhere to the budget during the next month.

This is also the time to talk about tweaking, eliminating, reducing, and/or raising budget categories. Remember, a good budget isn’t set in stone; it will change somewhat as your priorities and situation in life changes. The ebb and flow is healthy, so long as it’s something you’ve both planned and communicated about.

4) Make sacrifices to achieve your goals.

If your desire is for you to stay home, it’s going to require sacrifices. In the early years of our marriage, it meant that we went for months at a time without buying anything but the bare necessities. It meant making most all of our food from scratch, planning our menus based upon what was on rock-bottom prices at the store, not eating much meat, being a one-car family for three years, shopping at thrift stores, not buying gifts for Christmas or birthdays for a number of years, and looking for any possible way that we could earn additional income on the side.

I won’t tell you that it’s always been easy, but I feel beyond blessed to be a work-at-home mom. Our mutual decision for me to quit working outside the home when I was pregnant with my first is a decision we’ve never regretted.

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200 Comments

  • Amanda says:

    My advice is don’t! Work part time or something you will be bored to death. Put your part time earnings into savings so that when your ready you can be a stay at home mom rather than just a stay at home wife. While it is a blessing to stay at home with your children, without kids you’ll probably just be mopeing around the whole time. It takes also takes budgeting. Unless you are fortunate enough to not have to budget and are able to spend money at your convienance, I would save save save, and enjoy being a wife for now. Your not a mommy yet. Unless you are already a mom in which case. Heck yea! Go for it!

    • Amanda says:

      So i’m a little confused after I posted this I read the about section and it said you were already married to Jesse with 3 kids. If that’s the case sure why not you have probably already worked your butt off. Too bad all the soaps are being cancelled.

      • Crystal says:

        Amanda: Rhiannon emailed this question to me. (Q&A Tuesday is when readers ask me questions and I answer. I’m sorry if you were confused and was thinking I was asking this question for myself!)

    • April L. says:

      I think a lot of people would be bored to death as a stay-at-home wife. But it’s a bit of a generalization to assume that would be the case for this woman. I have been a sahw (without kids!) for the last year or so, and it has worked wonderfully for our family. It’s not what I would have ever thought I’d be doing, and it’s not for everyone, but a series of circumstances made it the right solution for us, and I really enjoy being able to stay home. I definitely do not mope around the whole time!

      OP, if you decide to stay home, I would definitely recommend getting yourself on a routine or a schedule. The assumption is that sahw’s have no real work to do and get bored, but I find that there is *always* something to be done. I personally am easily distracted and overwhelmed, so having a routine helps me to prioritize.

      My other piece of advice is to guard your time, and get comfortable with saying no. I love that my being home has given me the freedom to help others so much. Countless times I’ve been able to babysit a friend with only a moment’s notice, or take someone to work when their car has broken down, etc. I truly love being able to do this, but there are times when I have felt taken advantage of. The assumption is that since I don’t do “real work,” I must just be sitting around all day with nothing to do. Quite the contrary! It takes a lot to keep a household running smoothly, and my time is important even if I don’t get paid for it. So I’m not saying to be stingy with your time–after all, if you are blessed enough to be able to stay home, you should in turn be willing to bless others. But your first duty is to your own home and family, and sometimes you will just have to say no.

      Best of luck with whatever you decide!

    • Cindy says:

      Amanda, I’m not sure that’s the best advice. First of all, being a stay-at-home wife is a blessing, and not at all boring! Secondly, why bother with working outside the home if that’s not what she wants to do? I was a stay at home wife for nearly 3 years before I had my first child, and my being home was a blessing to my husband!

      • Brandy says:

        I agree it can be a great blessing. However, in our area, jobs are hard to find and people are losing work every day. I would honestly be more inclined to work and save as much as possible so that I would have an emergency fund in place when the kids came along in case my husband lost his job due to unforeseen circumstances.

      • I have to echo that being a stay at home wife is a blessing. I worked for the first six months and it was difficult. Now that I work from home, we have much less stress, plus I have the ability to focus on supporting my husband. I have the freedom to have lunch with him, drop him snacks off at work, create homemade meals and keep the house in order. I love it and wouldn’t trade anything in the world for it.

        If you choose to stay home, find some freelance work that you enjoy! That way you can still earn a side income, but still maintain your focus on being “at home”.

      • joanna says:

        i agree w/ amanda, although sometimes i do admit i can get bored. however, it’s due to a lack of motivation & not lack of work. =( my husband & i live on a farm, so our situation probably is a little different than most. i do help on the farm some, but not nearly every day. i’ve found that being a stay-at-home wife gives me the time to stay in touch w/ my family that is spread out, allows me to volunteer w/ organizations as well as w/ busy mothers from church, & of course, my husband def. enjoys seeing me throughout the day & esp. @ lunch! =) i would encourage you to go for it, Rhiannon, if you & your husband are in total agreement. yes, it prob. will be tight financially, but if you follow crystal’s steps & God’s help, i believe you can do it. i’m not saying that it’s wrong for wives to work outside the home; i’m not the judge. however, i believe God will bless you for putting your husband & your home ahead of monetary gain. best wishes on your upcoming marriage & God’s abundant blessings on your life together!

    • Melodie says:

      Do you really think that, Amanda? Yes it is possible to be a bored, self-absorbed, lazy stay-at-home wife who watches soaps all day. But that’s a choice. There’s plenty to do if you use your head. I think you could at least really save some green by staying at home and using the time to develop your skills in other areas. Unless you are pulling a larger-than-average income, having a second income only helps so much. Especially when you count the unforeseen overhead like taxes, a second car, the gas, the wardrobe/hair salon bills, the eating out, and the other conveniences that you have to rely on due to your crunched time.

      First, make it a goal to develop or hone in on skills that you can use to earn an income from home if possible. Develop goals for yourself to motivate you to work hard and be diligent.

      Next, develop homemaking skills that will further save money and live more healthy . . . like mending, tailoring, baking and cooking from scratch, couponing, crafting your own decorations around the house, building your own furniture, etc.

      Finally, use the time to serve others too! There’s always a need for volunteers for this and that in the community and school and church. I guarantee that if you have skills of any kind, they are needed somewhere that can pay nothing but the invisible rewards of kindness.

      The life of a full time homemaker is not just for mothers of littles. In every stage of life, I have always felt that I did not have enough time to do everything that there was to be done. This will open up huge doors of opportunity to craft your own day and make your own priorities to be a blessing in whatever ways you can imagine.

      • Candice says:

        Well put Melodie!

        Rhiannon,
        Homemaking is what you make it. You can approach it with the same mindset that you would a full or part-time job. It’s a great blessing that you have two really great options: employment and/or homemaking. Pray, pray, and then pray some more that the Lord will lead you in this decision.

        If you decide to stay home, make goals for yourself just like you would do for your career. This will help you decide how/where to invest your time. Do you want to minister to other women? Do you want to learn how to do your own home improvements? Is there a cause that specifically pulls at your heart that you can get involved with in a volunteering type role?

        Congratulations and good luck during this exciting time!

    • Janet says:

      Amanda,

      I agree with Crystal you have to do what is right for you and your fiance’ soon to be husband. However, as a woman who is older than almost everyone here.

      #1. As soon as you set up retirement accounts make certain there is one for you and one for him. Never assume that you will be taken care of assume you must take care of yourself first and for most!
      This is the only additional piece of advice I have for all ladies.
      Try to stay active in community so that you have skills as well.

      As someone who was shut in for almost 30 years and then dumped out on the streets to fend for myself when he decided it was time to move on to younger. Protect yourself above all!

  • Sara says:

    Rhiannon,
    Congrats on getting married! One tip I might add is if money is an issue for you staying home you could work from home. There are some great freelance sites out there. Depending on your skills and if someone is willing to teach you there are lots of possibilities. The best site I have come across is hiremymom.com. Hope this info is helpful!

  • Jenny says:

    I was a stay-at-home-wife for the first 6 months of our marriage. My husband was in the military, getting ready to deploy, we only had one car and i was planning on moving home for the deployment, so it just wasn’t feasible for me to work. If our situation had been different, I probably would have worked, but I was so blessed by that time at home!

    The one thing that staying home really afforded me (other than a really clean apartment…) was the opportunity to make good friends with some of the other wives in my area. Even though we’ve moved away now and live more than a thousand miles from any of our friends from when we first got married, we are still very much involved in their lives. We are Uncle Nick and Aunt Jen to their kids, and are free to visit at any time. I truly believe that those relationships only exist at the level they do because I was able to stay home and foster them.

  • naomi says:

    I think it’s important to ask yourselves “Why?”
    For mother’s the answer is more obvious. But for wives with no children you really need to think what would you do with all that free time?
    Do you make crafts to sell on etsy? Would you volunteer part time? Would you provide support to him with his business?

    • Megan says:

      I think your point on volunteering is very good. Volunteer service used to be a staple of American life and women, especially stay at home wives and mom, did much of this work. It was an important part of the culture that we have since abandoned.

    • Jessica says:

      That’s spot on. “Why?”. Will there be a major change in your lives that means staying home makes sense, or is having a housewife a status symbol for your husband? It seems like, if anything, you guys might be maintaining two houses now and will only be maintaining one after you get married. I know some women have always imagined that they’d stay home after getting married, but personally, I can’t imagine being in a marriage that wasn’t flexible enough to have me doing whatever I wanted. It doesn’t sound like you’re completely comfortable with the idea of leaving the workforce either. If circumstances permitted, I could see myself working part time, say, right after we bought a new house, which might need a lot of attention. Or working from home with a new baby, if that were possible. Or taking some time off to travel. But I can’t see quitting my job just because I was getting married.

  • I quit my job a month before I got married. My husband was doing similar work to your husband in LA as well prior to that.

    The money is irregular, so you’ll definitely need to budget (oft times for several months in advance) but you can do it!

    I’ve learned so much being at home. I absolutely love it.

    Congratulations on your upcoming marriage.

  • Erin says:

    My advice (take it or leave it) would be to work now and then stay home once you decide to have children. You could really build up your savings a lot quicker with 2 incomes and that will definitely come in handy once children arrive!

    • A H mom says:

      I totally agree with this poster. There does seem to be much reason for a woman to stay at home without children. It seems much wiser to work now and save for your future child(ren)’s education, etc.

  • Christine says:

    I never thought we could afford for me to stay at home with our new baby boy. We also have an 8 year old son and twin 14 year old stepsons which my husband pays child support for. I was assuming that there was no way we could survive on a one income budget. Now with saving money by not using daycare, not spending carelessly, and putting time into couponing I don’t know how we could survive me going back to work…lol. Before and after school care adds up. So does gas money, car repair, spontaneous fast food purchases because you don’t like what you packed, ordering in or eating out because you are too tired to cook, etc. All of those things really add up. We actually have more money in our account now than when I was working and our family is a lot less stressed out. My husband and I get to spend more quality time together to because there is less to do when he gets home because I already did it. 😀

  • Shea says:

    Look into a Direct Marketing Business called AdvoCare. Its a Health and Nutrition Program that has a business plan that is AWESOME.

  • I would be happy to share some details or answer questions, if you want to you can e-mail me at thedollarholleringhomemaker at gmail dot com.

    You won’t be bored, watching soap operas all day. Properly taking care of your husband and home is a lot of work. Being at home will give you the chance to learn many of the skills you will NEED to know when the kids come.

  • Amy says:

    I was a stay-at-home wife for almost 4 year before God blessed us with our first child. I applaud you for desiring to be a homemaker! Apart from Crystals great points, I would just add my thoughts. It is a great blessing to be able to put all your efforts into your home and your husband. It is wonderful to be able to focus on your marriage in those beginning years without adding the extra stress of two people coming home at the end of the day stressed out from the pressures of an outside-the-home job. It is so nice to not have to fight about dividing up household tasks since that would be your domain. I would recommend serving in your church if you are involved in one, serving any family members or neighbors who might need help (think grandparents, young parents with new babies, etc.) I was definitely not perfect by any means, but I tried to think of my life as one of serving those I loved and that kept me plenty busy! Focus on doing all you can to stretch your husband’s hard earned income and possibly supplementing with things you can do around the house (ebay, surveys, blogging, etc.).

    • Sandy B says:

      Excellently stated! I’ve been married 33 years, and I worked the first couple of years we were married. There is definitely stress involved in working outside the home and I realized I couldn’t be the wife I needed to be plus work. I quit my job and focused on being the homemaker and wife I needed to be. Then when the children came along the pattern was already there. I am still a stay-at-home wife/mother though my youngest twins are 22 (one with special needs). It’s a ministry I truly love!

  • Katie Haney says:

    Congratulations on getting married! Marriage is the GREATEST blessing on Earth! 🙂 We have been married 6 months and for the first two I didn’t work. Then, because my husband is a Marine and is gone more often than he is home :(, I wanted to use my free time in a way that would keep me busy, and help me be a blessing to both of us and put a little income into our savings (that we don’t touch– we’re saving up for a house!) I work now part time as a nanny (which is also great training for being a mom someday!) and I still have plenty of time at home to take care of our apartment, work out, do laundry, and cook for my husband! For me, having a job is comforting when my husband is away because it keeps me busy, but I think if he worked a 9-5 type job I might feel differently!

    {Sorry for the novel!}

    • Katie Haney says:

      Oh and just to make it clear too– once we start having kids our plan is for me to stay home full time! 🙂 And honestly I am really looking forward to that and not working outside of our home!!!

  • Karen says:

    Congratulations!
    My advice would be to find something to occupy some of your time, while your husband works. It can get quite boring at home by yourself.

  • Jenna says:

    Hi Rhiannon! Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!
    I understand how nerve wrecking it can be to make a big transition, especially when it comes to making the ends meet (my husband is a musician, so I know all about the freelance industry!) I went through a similar process when my husband and I prayed about the decision for me to become a stay at home mom. Have you considered doing a home based business just part time as a hobby during your transition? I am a consultant with the Pampered Chef, and LOVE the flexibility that my job offers. There are no monthly sales minimums in this business, and you work when you want to. It was a great solution for us to be able to have me stay at home, but earn some quick easy income in the months when I needed to help bridge the gap. There are lots of home-based businesses that you could choose from, but if Pampered Chef is something that interests you, I’d love to chat with you and see if you wouldn’t qualify as someone that would benefit from joining my team! Blessings to you and your husband as you begin your new life together!

  • Brooke says:

    My question, as others have said, is why? Although I chose to stay home with my children and made many sacrifices to do so, it took us many years longer than we thought to have them. If I had just been staying at home, dinking around all day, I would have been out of my mind insane when our first two babies died. I couldn’t imagine not having work to go back to. So, if your why is because you think you’re just going to have babies right away, I’d reconsider. There is something INVALUABLE to having had a career before children. And you cannot really truly plan when you will have children. Because I was working for several years before our first “take home” baby, we were able to buy our first home, save money and pay off debt before I left work and stayed home. Also, I have an established career so that if, God forbid, anything happens to my husband ever, I should fairly easily be able to go back to work.
    So, I guess just make sure you have good reasons and that it is truly what is best for your family at the time. Now is the best time to save up and get a cushion so that staying home with children some day won’t be as hard to do.

    • Heather says:

      Amen.

    • Guest says:

      I second (third?) this comment.

    • Jenni says:

      I would agree with this in general as well (I worked for one year after we married until our son arrived), but the big key is that you feel peace about working outside the home. It’s hard enough explaining to some people when you stay home with kids, let alone not having them yet, but I think that it has a lot to do with the vision of what homemaking is all about. If handled in the right way, it can be a great opportunity to bless people.

      Having said that, living on one income in LA can be done, but you really have to be careful on the budget side. We lived in the San Francisco Bay Area with me staying home (w/our one, then two, and now three boys) for almost four years). We didn’t eat out much, shop the deals at grocery stores, and limit purchases of clothes, etc. to what we absolutely need. It can be a fun creative challenge, and I definitely learned a lot of skills, like cooking things from scratch, etc. from doing all of these things. What you have going for you right now is that you can live in a smaller space because you don’t have kids, so you can save in rent, etc. And because the weather is generally good year round, utilities are lower there, and you can enjoy free activities like parks, free festivals, and the beach (if you live close enough).

      You may want to check out a website called http://www.down—to—earth.blogspot.com – an Australian woman blogs about the value of homemaking and has really encouraged me as I pursue some of those things myself.

    • eli says:

      Huge amen to all that!

    • Erin says:

      Couldn’t agree more! At least work part time! I also worked before we had children. My husband and I agreed to only live on his income and use my income to build our savings. We had some fertility issues and it took longer than planned but when our baby came we didn’t have to change our budget much and we had a wonderful egg nest built up! Those savings have been a huge blessing for us! Now I still work, just 1 day a week, to keep up with my skills (and its a nice break) so that if, heaven forbid, some tragedy struck and I needed to be the bread winner it would be easy to do.

  • LoL love your blog. However advice #1 and #2 directly go agianst each other in my home. I’ve been trying to get my husband to even try a budget. He can’t even last 2 hours. We had sat down and talked about it once, but went to the store and he said no way…as if the idea was weighing on him so heavy that he couldn’t even enjoy the walk around the store. I’ve talked with him endlessly and he flat out refuses. Funny part is for the most part he goes by his own mental one anyway.

  • katie says:

    Aside from the financial considerations, I would encourage you to form a network of support through volunteering in some capacity. When I was a younger stay-at-home wife, I joined the Junior League in our area. I met amazing women, many who were married without children (though very few who stayed home). Because it’s a training and volunteer organization, I learned tons of skills that have carried over into all areas of my life-running meetings, heading committees, raising money, etc. And nearly any metro area that you might move, there’s usually a league to transfer to. Plus it’s affordable and not the “ladies who lunch” type of crowd that our mother’s might have belonged to. I’ve moved 3 times and have transferred and made new sets of friends each time. Plus I get the greatest satisfaction from being a part of an all-women’s organization committed to bettering communities and other non-profits. Good luck and best wishes as you start your new life together!

  • Rhiannon,

    It sounds to me like you’ve already prayed about this and the decision has been made that you _are_ staying home. I would encourage you to follow what you believe to be God’s will for you and your fiance in this regard. Bored or not, if it’s God’s will, then you should do it. Other people have other situations (and God has other plans for them). Do what’s right for you.

    As for your question, I think the logistics of it would be that you would take on a heavier “home” burden than your husband. Your “job” would be to create a sanctuary in your home for your husband, yourself, and any friends/neighbors/family that God brings into your lives. As part of that, you could focus on saving your household money (or even making money) through couponing, eBay, cooking from scratch, etc. Those things take time which you wouldn’t necessarily have if you were working outside the home.

    I think you probably already knew all of that though. What’s potentially really bothering you is that current American/Western cultural norms put women in the workplace whether there are kids in the picture or not. You could very well be an oddity, but instead of feeling strange about it, use it as a launching platform for conversations about following God’s will for your life in the face of cultural norms.

    If God has called you to do it, you can trust that He’ll provide for your needs (not _wants_ necessarily, but _needs_). Serve your husband and your community. Do it as to the Lord.

    May God bless you, your fiance, your wedding day, and your marriage!

    • Lana says:

      Thank you! Well said! I believe there is also the issue of Biblical submission (dare I say it?) to your husband. Husbands and wives are not instructed to be in agreement about every issue but we wives are instructed to be in submission to our husbands. I have been married for 33 years and it took me 18 of them to learn this lesson. I can not tell you how blessed I have been to submit to my husbands’ decisions. It does not mean that I am a door mat! In fact I am very strong willed but, God did not make females the way he made men and men do not make decisions emotionally like women are inclined to do. Men are responsible before God for decisions they make and a Godly husband will not take this lightly. Once I learned to submit I saw that my husband takes his responsibility very seriously and he always has my best interest behind his decisions. Our marriage improved greatly by me submitting to my husbands’ headship and I feel more loved and cared for than I ever did before. Blessings to you both as you begin your new life together!

    • jeannine says:

      amen, beautiful

  • Holly says:

    I love how most assume that stay at home wives are not as busy because they do not have children. I was a stay at home wife- MY CHOICE- during my first marriage. I didn’t just dink around all day. There were always things to be done and I was able to fully take care of my home and my husband. I thought it was wonderful. Making a budget is very important and sticking to it can save you a lot of stress. Good luck!!!

    • Misty says:

      I agree, Holly. I am a stay home mom and will continue to be so, probably for the rest of my life. This is not something my husband forced me into, he is extremely supportive of whatever I want to do. My daughter is in middle school now and doesn’t need constant care the way she used to but I could never imagine being bored as a stay at home wife. I addition to volunteering at the schools, zoo and womans shelter. I maintain 1000 sq feet of vegetable garden and 3/4 acre of other yard. Help babysit neighbors kids when they are in need. Take care of and run errands for my elderly parents as well as 2 elderly aunts. I also can food, knit, sew curtains and take care of my sisters family. I can’t possible imagine being bored and almost none of this would be possible for me to do if I was working full time outside of the home. There are many things to do in life that are worthwhile but don’t generate an income.

  • Heather says:

    I was usually a stay-at-home wife (or I worked part-time) even before we had kids. My husband is just the type of guy that needs a “personal assistant”, and our lives just run more smoothly if I’m not gone more than part time. Also, we were both determined that I would be staying home when we did have kids, so we figured it wasn’t a good idea to get too used to a second income. Hubs is a computer programmer, and we currently live in Silicon Valley. I’m a stay-at-home Mama with about-to-be 3 kids now. It can be done, even here. Before you have kids, make a point of learning how to be a homemaker with panache–it can be boring or not. It’s what you make it. Living frugally can be a burden or a game–again, what you make it. For example, if you are willing to play the game right & put a _small_ amount of effort into it, you can furnish an entire home, and nicely, too, from the FREE section of craigslist. Being good at thrift shopping and/or learning to sew are frugal ways to beat the ridiculous cost of clothing (when you KNOW you can knock out a good T-shirt in an hour for $5 worth of materials, those mall prices seem even higher!).

  • Jenn says:

    I live close to LA (note, not IN) and my hubby works in the entertainment industry too. If you plan on living in the more expensive areas of LA, yes, it can be VERY expensive. There are plenty of places within driving distance that are cheaper areas to live in. There are also drugstores a plenty compared to some other parts of the U.S. It’s very easy to price match, coupon, and play the drug store game to cut back on a lot of expenses. If you really want it to work, and so does your soon to be hubby, you’ll both find a way to make it work.

    A good church is also a good place to meet other people, and you may find some other SAHWives. Good luck in your future plans.

  • Noah says:

    I think being able to stay at home before you have children will give you many opportunities to bless others with your time. Sounds like a great time to spend helping out at your Church and even helping care for some of the othe women’s children a bit to bless them with some free time and get some “practice” for your future! I think being a stay at home wife could be a great thing! Time to focus on your husband, the Lord’s work, and others before your life gets super busy with kids and you won’t be able to do as much!

  • AS says:

    I am in the small minority that says, why now? I am a SAHM mom to our newborn, but I worked before then. We were able to build a financial base that we would not have otherwise. I also built up my resume in case we decide that I should return. I think that working now, either from home or outside, will provide a postive mental return, as well as a financial return. Similar to another poster, it took us more than one year to have a child. Work provided a distraction for me during that time. The thought of sitting at home during that time is inconceivable to me. I gave my leave two months before the baby was born and am thrilled to be a SAHM! This comment does assume that the possibility of children are in the picture…if not, then the financial picture is different.

  • A says:

    Rhiannon, maybe you use some vacation time (or even unpaid time) and stay at home, kind of like a trial run before your leave your job. Forget about work for a couple of days to see if being a SAHW would work for you. Plan a routine to test out. How often will you clean, cook, do laundry, volunteer, etc.?

    And to the other commenters… just because she doesn’t have children (we’re assuming here), doesn’t mean she will be bored. She can spend more time with friends, pick up a new hobby, volunteer, etc. I can think of a ton of things she can do! She can spend more time finding deals as well 🙂

  • Christine says:

    I started staying home when I was 5 months pregnant. I developed a kidney stone and working was out of the question for a month. During that time my husband felt that me being home was better so I could care for myself and I enjoy it much more than my job anyways. Once my son was born I received maternity leave pay and that’s over with now so staying on budget is not just important but it is key to staying home. I’ve been in charge of household management since February and am far better at it than I thought I could be. If you want it bad enough you’ll make it work for you. I encourage you finding a hobby or something to keep you “sane” because managing a house is hard work but you don’t want to forget to make time for yourself.

  • Becky says:

    There are part time jobs also where you can work when you want to. I work part time for a marketing research firm. I work 10 to 15 hours a week and make my own schedule. The rest of the time I stay at home with a 6 month old and 3 year old. The breathing room that this job makes in our budget is a life saver.

  • Meghan says:

    My sister-in-law was a “SAHWife” for about 8 years before they had their first child……I never quite understood why. I do know it wasn’t due to the religious convictions that many “SAHWives” have about serving their husbands and all that (really disagree with that mentality, but that’s me). All I know was that she cleaned constantly and was extremely “meticulous” (I would say OCD) about the most minor things and how everything was ordered in her home. I understand being a SAHM to raise children instead of put them in day care (I’m one myself), but I really can’t comprehend what someone does when they stay home all day without kids. But then I think about one of my favorite quotes (which is referred to as Parkinson’s Law but I remember from “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath)….”Work expands to fill the time available.” So I guess everyone fills your days with something; in my sister-in-law’s case it was cleaning excessively and making sure everything was ordered just so. Definitely not the life for me…..I worked pre-kids and look forward to going back to work when they’re in school full time.

    • Brandy says:

      First, I am in no means saying there isn’t alot to do if you are a stay at home wife, but I would have to decide if how I spent my time matched up with the goals we have set as a family. For me, I would want to save as much money so that I either wouldn’t have to work at all when the kids came along or I could greatly reduce those hours. So if I had been in this situation, I would have worked as much as I could while still maintaining my home to save up money for the future—saving this money would help me meet future goals for my family. Because once I became a mom, I struggled with letting go of some of my work b/c I had not stored up the emergency fund during those pre-mommy days. As a result, he was 2 before I could quit work.

      Also, I find that I fill my time one way or the other. While I have been greatly involved in the community and my church activities, my family is first. I would make certain that my time and efforts are meeting my family’s needs first…..before I offered my time elsewhere….I know that sounds bad but I can relate to being so involved in other stuff that it took away from my responsibilities at home.

      Lastly, once you have children, your life will completely change and it will require lots of time and effort just to do the simple things of today. If you can save up money now so that you can 100% focus on your husband and children later, it would so be worth it.

    • N says:

      That is so true about “work expands to fill the time available.” I work full time and have two children, one of whom has a terminal neurodegenerative disorder and is a total care. People say they fill their day with all of these household tasks, yet somehow I get them done after 5:30 and on weekends along with taking care of my children. Actually work is a welcome distraction from my “real life”, allows for great friendships and helps me to maintain my sanity. You do not NEED all that time to maintain a successful household. To each his own and I work by choice, but you can have a manageable household and great family life while working.

  • Jen says:

    I sometimes think that women who choose to be SAH wives are just afraid to or don’t want to work (I know this might be a controversial statement, but it’s what I really think). Ask yourself if that is truly the case. If you are someone who is majorly into home crafts or something, it might be good but if not, you might just be watching a lot of TV and going to the fridge for snacks. If I were you, I’d get at least a 2 day a week retail job or something. A little work really makes the time off more precious!

    • Whitney says:

      I have to agree that in SOME cases, women who want to stay home are really just nervous about being out in the workforce. I’ve known several who admitted they felt this way. It’s a very common fear for newlyweds who’ve also recently graduated from college. For some women, beginning a new job is terrifying (when all they’ve known is the company of friends or family at school or church). Starting a new job is scary, especially if you’ve never had a “real” one. If I was contemplating being a SAHW, I would try to consider whether it was best for my family, or just a convenient excuse to stay home and avoid a new situation.

      Rhiannon – you didn’t mention if you currently work. If you do, do you enjoy your job? If the answer is no, then that might be why staying at home sounds so appealing.

  • Amy Miller says:

    Don’t be a stay at home wife until you have kids!

    You need as much income to get started in your marriage as possible.
    Save YOUR money to cover your time home with the kids later.

    Live on his income to pay all of the bills, etc.
    Put your income in the bank and don’t touch it.

    • lindsey says:

      I totally agre with this one! My husband and i have been married for almost 3 years. we do not have any children yet and I work full time. The first few months we were married I was not working and I had way too much time on my hands, especially since we live in a one bedroom apartment. I actually am better at keeping a budget now that i work full time because i have less free time to spend money. We have always lived on my husband’s income only. Everything I make goes into a separate account or investment. this way when children do come into our life it will not be as big an adjustment with our budget. This has worked very well for my husband and I, but each couple needs to pray and decide what God is calling them to do in their lives.

    • Beth L. says:

      I don’t think this is good advice for everyone. For some people, sure. For me, I worked full time the first 2 years of my marriage (celebrated our 3rd anniversary yesterday) and have not worked this past year after we moved to a new state. I have a complete inability to separate work stress from home life. When I worked at my full time job, I was depressed and miserable 7 days a week. On Monday mornings, I longed for 5 pm on Fridays. At 5 pm on Friday, I dreaded Monday morning. It wasn’t just that job, it’s been that way with every job I’ve had to some degree or another. Working outside the home wasn’t worth the extra income for me. Women who choose to stay home after they have kids do so in order to take care of their kids. Right now, I’m staying home to take care of me. I’m every bit as valuable as my kids are going to be.

      • lindsey says:

        I totally agree that it depends on the person and the marriage. My mother in law has never worked out side of the home becuase it is too stressful for her and she would have a hard time balancing. I respect so much how she has cared for my fatehr in law.
        I enjoy my job and am able to come home and still serve my husband. I am a better wife because i feel productive at the end of the day and like that i am contributing to our savings. I dont do well being home in a one bedroom apartment all day without kids to keep me busy.. i learned this our first couple months of marriage when i wasnt working. It works for us and our personalities but everyone is different.

  • Cindy says:

    I am AMAZED at the number of people saying “get a job”. Here, of all places! Being a homemaker is a noble and useful calling even if you don’t have children. A job is a nice thing to have if you want one, but it’s not essential to happiness, or to usefulness. I was a stay-at-home wife for 3 years before I had my first child, and that time was spent making a home for my husband, who is, after all the first reason I ever wanted to make a home. If you’re making your home just for your children, you’re short-changing your husband!

    I didn’t have the best beginning to my adult life, but knowing what I know now, I’d advise a new wife to devote herself to setting up her household, helping her husband navigate the new social sphere you’re bound to find yourselves in now that you’re combining social lives, and getting your family set up in the community as one unit. There’s plenty to do! Also, don’t watch “Real Housewives”. Those people aren’t real.

    • Jennie says:

      I find it very interesting that so many people are saying get a job. Being a homemaker is a job! Sometimes it’s harder than if you punched a clock every day because you are always on duty. As with any job, it can be boring if you aren’t giving it your 100%. Whether you have children or not, there is plenty to do. There is tons of on the job training that you have to do. Being newly married, you need time to spend with and to get to know your husband before those children come along. Personally, I think that being a homemaker is equal to having a job outside the home, not something beneath it that you are obligated to do when you have children. Now I know that not everyone feels they should stay home, but not all payments and rewards for work come in the form of a paycheck at the end of 2 weeks.

      • Jessica says:

        Amen! 🙂
        I was a stay at home wife for most of the 3 years before our first baby was born. And during the time that I worked a couple days a week outside the home, I found that I really couldn’t do my best at my most important job- homemaking. Sure, the work got done. But I didn’t feel it was my best.
        I honestly don’t believe that a wife or mother who works outside the home can really do her best at the job that she is called to: Keeper at Home. No “outside work” is more important and fullfilling than that.

        • Kelly says:

          Wow. I hope your husband doesn’t lose his job, leave you, become severely disabled, either of you have a medical emergency, etc. I’m also kind of sad you think a woman should only spend her life at home. Everything has a season…a season at home, a season in school, a season at work, etc. Do you refuse service from women who are doctors, dentists, cashiers, and bankers because you think they are morally wrong? Everyone has a different row to hoe and what might work for you and yours will NOT be the best for someone else.

          • Beth L. says:

            Agreed! Keeper of the Home isn’t a role determined by gender, it’s a role a person chooses they want to do (or has to do, in some occasions). I know plenty of outrageously talented women who work outside jobs. “Keeper of the Home” would destroy many women inside. I hope that people who believe that keeping the home is a woman’s God-given role don’t send their children to public schools or go to the hospital since most of the teachers and nurses are women.

          • Jessica says:

            My husband did recently lose his job. The Lord provided him with another one just in time.
            Obviously, if someone is a single mother or faces one of the issues mention, they have to make choices that they wouldn’t otherwise have to face. I understand that.
            Also, I do not object to single women working outside the home.
            I didn’t say it was morally wrong for a wife or mother to work outside the home. I do think it is best that she does not.
            However, the point of this Q&A was supposed to be ways to manage staying at home as a new wife. It seems many people were trying to change the questioner’s mind about her decision. I was trying to support the other point of view.
            I did not mean to offend, but I do have a right to what I feel is a Biblical point of view.

        • Mary says:

          Wow. I am thoroughly insulted that because I choose to work outside of the home I must not be doing my best at being a mother and wife. Working outside the home gives me wonderful confidence and a great joy in that I am helping others (I am a nurse practitioner). I come home to my family and enjoy every second with them. Is my house spotless? No. But my family is well fed, happy, and loved. I would be miserable at home and my family would suffer because of it.

    • A says:

      Cindy,

      I agree with you. Though I worked for three years before we had our first child, we didn’t purposefully use that time very well to save money, etc. To be fair, we were making small, just-out-of college incomes as teachers, so there didn’t *seem* to be tons of money to save, but in all that time we managed to *nest egg* only about 10K.

      When I did stay home with our new baby (working until two days before her birth), I found myself completely ill-equipped for life at home. I wasn’t a good cook, didn’t know how to shop on a budget, and couldn’t seem to bring any peace/order to my home. My time in early marriage might have been very well-spent LEARNING these skills. I think it would have made my transition to motherhood much smoother.

      Nowadays, when people ask how I’ll *ever* find work again once we’re done homeschooling (I better start planning, you know…it is only sixteen years away! Hoot!) I keep it a secret that I don’t imagine myself ever returning to full-time, paid employment outside the home. Maybe I’ll dabble as a part-timer, but I can see myself having joyous, productive, and money-saving days as an older homemaker. 🙂

      • Kelsey says:

        While I understand the merits of a well kept home and having a safe haven for your husband to come home to, I do not understand why you cannot create that while working. Both my husband and I work (and are expecting our first child), and we keep a clean home, we live on a frugal budget, and we have been able to save quite a bit for upcoming children-related expenses.

        While I work the standard 8-5 job, I still plan our meals, grocery shop with coupons, and provide home-cooked dinners and leftovers for lunch the next day. While yes, some weeks it can be a lot to juggle, our home is definitely not suffering because I am working outside the home. If I didn’t work, I’m sure I’d be more prone to spend our money than save it (more time to shop, decorate, etc.) Just my two cents!

    • E says:

      Cindy, Jennie, and A–Very well said. Being a homemaker and doing that well is hard work (and it’s full-time). And it’s an excellent training ground for continuing to be a good homemaker when children come along.
      There is plenty to do to make a home. The idea that one would just be sitting around watching TV all day is a misconception of the truth.
      Rhiannon–do what you and your husband decide is best, and feel empowered by your freedom to do that. Despite all the clamoring voices in our culture that say women should focus on outside-the-home career (as if that is all that can benefit society–what about family? I digress), there are a multitude of women who quietly go about their chosen lives as Stay-At-Home-Wives (without children) and bring blessing and encouragement and stability to their homes and husbands. SAHWives can focus their energy on the things that are important to them and their family–cooking meals at home every day (thus learning HOW to and avoiding the expense of fast meals and eating out), finding ways to integrate healthy foods into meals (longer life, perhaps?), being frugal with finances (this helps everything), cleaning and laundering during the day so that there’s time for family(husband, etc) and relaxation in the evenings and on weekends (so all work isn’t crammed into evenings and weekends after one would be out-of-the-home working), painting and updating and refurnishing or remodeling one’s home, and more.
      Being a SAHWife allows you to focus on many other things that matter the most to you–that may mean working part-time or volunteering somewhere where your skills can bless and benefit other people in your community or around the world, or it may mean spending some extra time learning or brushing up on skills and knowledge (through community education classes at a community college, online courses, reading books or studying, etc) that will both edify you personally and give you skills to use now or later on (do you want to home school or even just be able to help teach your own children? Do you want to learn how to be more frugal? Do you have an interest in photography or a foreign language?)
      There is so much that is positive about choosing to “stay home” / be a homemaker with or without already having kids.

      • E says:

        I could mention too that my husband also helps a lot with things around the house, but because I accomplish most tasks while he’s at work, we are generally free to do whatever else we want to in the evenings and on weekends.

        I am also not exactly “staying” at home, since I’m involved with various activities out of my house and I am frequently helping friends and relatives with needs they have. It’s been really awesome to be available to help people out of my house during normal working hours.

    • May says:

      I currently live in Europe and am a stay-at-home-wife. Here many day-to-day tasks take more time. For instance, a standard load in a washing machine takes 1.5-2hours, and most people don’t have clothes dryers so hanging laundry outside/on racks is a must. People here dress a bit snazzier too so that means more ironing. Kitchens are smaller with less storage space so more trips to the grocery store are made. We also don’t have a car but live in a small city where everything is accessible by foot, but it takes a bit of time. My husband hates bill paying, dealing with insurance, banks, etc. so I do all of this.

      Even though I feel I have lots to do, to be honest, part of staying home for me is by default. I really really don’t want to enter the field I’m trained for- I wish I had known this before I started the training. This must happen to others too- they just don’t like the stress of the work world and enjoy the role of staying home much more.

    • Steph says:

      I resent the idea that to be a homemaker and take care of your husband you need to stay home full-time. I am a homemaker, and I have an outside-the-home job. I take care of my husband as well, and I don’t think I’m sacrificing the quality of my “care” for him or our home by working.

      • Kelly says:

        Yes, Steph! Couldn’t agree with you more. Just because there isn’t a made-from-scratch-pie on the table when my hubs gets home, doesn’t mean I’m not taking care of him. I still manage to cook, clean, mealplan, coupon, and work, without feeling overwhelmed. I can multi-task! Imagine that! I’d like to also add that I married an ADULT. Which means that he can do some things around the house for himself and he’s not going to die (or even complain). Because we are a TEAM. And taking care of a husband is much, much more than a hot meal and clean clothes in the closet. Maybe it’s just my husband, but he would rather have some good lovin’ from a wife that respects him than a clean house or a pie! 🙂

        • Oh..I just love what you said: I married an adult.

          I am a SAHM because we have 4 kids and the youngest is 2 years old. I take care of my husband because I want to not because I have some obligation to.

        • Maggie says:

          I totally agree about being married to an adult. I love my husband and want to serve him, but I am his wife, NOT his chef or maid. He is perfectly capable of helping out with laundry, children and even dinner sometimes and is very willing–he is called to live considerately with me just as I am called to submit to him–which means he doesn’t always get to come home to everything ready for him. I know my husband values what I do at home with our child (soon to be children), but he equally valued what I did outside of the home before we made the decision for me to stay at home. I understand that couples have different views on this, but it is important to understand that because a wife chooses to work outside the home, it is still very possible to take care of your home and husband well. Helpmeet does not mean personal assistant–there is so much more to serving your husband than just cooking and cleaning for him.

      • Whitney says:

        I agree. If you don’t have children and your household duties are still taking you 40 hours a week, then you’re doing it wrong.

        • Rachael says:

          I think it really depends on your husband’s wishes. I’ve stayed home this past year and a half while finishing graduate school (we also have two young children). While I really enjoy the being home with the children and feeling like things at home are more under control, my husband really values my work. The income I will be bringing in when I return to work in a few weeks actually makes life much less stressful for us. I think I also feel more fulfilled by having a job, which makes me easier to live with. I know this isn’t the case for everyone, but it really works for our particular marriage.

          • Kelly says:

            You have children though, that makes a big difference. I think we are all talking about a married couple with no children.

      • E says:

        I’ve been thinking that the term “stay-at-home” (in the stay-at-home-wife or stay-at-home-mom phraseology) is misleading. I think most women who are a SAHW or SAHM don’t literally “stay home”–it’s just a distinction made between going away from home for most of the day for a career. Also, the term “homemaker” is defined as “A wife who manages a household while her husband earns the family income”…but methinks that doesn’t really mean that someone who “makes the home” can’t also have an outside-the-house career.

    • jeannine says:

      amen, think of the blessing you can be to your husband by being his helpmeet.

  • Kristy says:

    Congratulations on your upcoming marriage, Rhiannon! I have enjoyed reading Crystals advice (as always) and the follow up suggestions! I would really echo one very strong piece of advice– make sure you and your soon to be husband are truly on the same page! This is a choice that is you and his alone, and knowing that you both support the decision will make it a peaceful one regardless of the work it might take! That’s all…remember that happiness is a priority in life too!

  • Jen says:

    My two-cents: work now and save money then stay home when you have children. Why? I think it helps to be able to appreciate the blessing of being able to stay at home plus the extra savings will be something you are grateful for down the road.

  • Angie says:

    I’ll admit like the other readers, my first question was “Assuming there are no kids yet, why?” However, I’m one of those people who resents when others tell me what I’m “supposed” to do, and I’ve become more open and accepting of people who make decisions outside the culteral norms.

    However, not to assume you haven’t already done this, but if you haven’t already done so, I would do some soul searching. “Why?” is an important question to ask. I don’t mean to pry, and I don’t expect you to answer these questions in this forum, but I would ask myself: Do you want to be a Stay at Home Wife because you hate your job? If you hate your job, would a different job or a part-time job solve that problem?

    Assuming you have no debt, personally, I think trying to live off just your husband’s income for a few months before you make the leap is a good idea. You can bank your entire earnings, and assuming there are no kids and you hope to have some, even if you get pregnant right away, you would have a good chunk of change by the time you make your dream of being a Stay at Home Wife or Stay at Home Mom a reality.

    Good luck.

  • Jessica says:

    I would recommend that you immediately start living off of your husband’s salary and no other. That includes being able to save. To be in safe financial shape in the future once kids arrive, it’s best you have cushion now. Second, I would recommend some sort of part time work where you SAVE every penny you make OR you purposely use that money for things you can’t do easily once you have children. I am SOO happy that I had some time and money to travel before I had children. (and I’m not talking about Florida) I always miss traveling but if I had never been anywhere and seen how others live, I think it might be worse now. Now that I am a SAHM, I no longer have the resources to take care of the kids if I travel or the money to do those things I enjoyed in my younger years (or as much desire). It was an important time for me.

    In addition, I would look for that part time job with purpose, more than money. What is it you enjoy doing? What is it you think you need to learn? Cooking? Sewing? Gardening? Child care? Try to find a job somewhere you can learn those skills for your future career as a SAHM. Restaurant, preschool, garden center? I would love the opportunity to just learn professional advice and experience in all those things. I never thought ahead there, and I sorely regret it. I never really learned how to clean efficiently. When it was just me and my husband, I got by just fine, but now I really struggle with a house and family. Good luck.

  • Sarah says:

    I understand all those who are saying that you should work before you have kids and build up a savings. That’s what I did, and the savings helped us immensely during that first year of my staying home. I wish, however, that instead of just saving my income during my pregnancy, we had thought ahead and paid off our students loans before we had kids.

    That said, I think if I had been a SAHW, it would have been a great time to learn how to coupon, save money, do meal planning, etc. You could still be a financial blessing to your family by being a wise steward of the money your husband is bringing in. I’m a SAHM, and I consider one of my jobs to be as frugal as possible with the resources we have — although sometimes it’s hard with 2 kids under 3 running around. I know i would be saving even more money if I could devote more time to it!

  • Laura says:

    Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! I love that you’re considering being a stay-at-home wife! I have been one for a year and a half, and it has been such a blessing to us both, even though we don’t have any children yet. My husband loves that I can spend the time to keep our home nice and clean, shop around for the best deals, clip coupons, etc. I worked for the first few months of our marriage, and I was always stressed out, dinner was always late, and we just weren’t as happy. Give homemaking your all, and it can be a wonderful thing.

  • Jenny says:

    I would agree with those who say work until you are ready to have children. I worked up until my first child was born ( I stay home now) – we were able to pay off both cars, all our students loans and a big chunk of our mortgage before having kids! Definitely an option to consider 🙂

  • No Debt MBA says:

    It looks like Rhiannon is concerned about two things:
    1) What being a stay at home wife is actually like
    2) If she decides to stay home, what can she do to minimize the impact to their finances.

    I’ve been home for about 4 weeks at a time between international trips for work and found the experience frustrating. I did not enjoy being primarily responsible for house work and was very bored even with gym time and side projects. That being said, those periods were more of an interruption to our routine than a conscious long-term choice. I am not interested in staying home so it was a poor fit for me. I’m not interested in giving up my career; I currently earn slightly more than my SO and my earning prospects are higher long-term, especially once I complete my MBA. Rhiannon may be in a completely different situation.

    As for helping their finances, I’d agree with other commenters that a budget would be very helpful. They should plan this transition several months in advance and live only on the husband’s salary for at least three months to make sure it’s feasible for them before she quits. During those 3-6months save Rhiannon’s earnings and use them to supplement any existing emergency fund. That way they have a buffer if the husband’s irregular income takes a drop right after Rhiannon quits. It might also be good to discuss which expenses they’d cut to make their budget fit reduced income. Making sure that they can currently support themselves on only the husband’s salary is crucial since it would likely be hard to cut enough expenses fast enough to make up for the loss of Rhiannon’s earnings. Also, once Rhiannon has quit her job it may be very difficult for her to go back if they find that the husband’s earnings are not enough.

  • peever says:

    I don’t really understand wanting to be a stay-at-home wife, but that being said, I’d do a trial run for a while. I’d continue to work and deposit all of my earnings in savings while we lived off my husband’s income for 6 months or so to see if we could actually make it work. I’d make a good effort during that time to menu plan, have a written budget, coupon, and try to be as frugal as possible. If you are still constantly dipping into savings, it might not be the best decision for you. It’s also a good test to see if you can handle making the financial sacrifices without feeling totally deprived.

    I’d also make sure I had a good 6 months worth of expenses saved before I quit my job. My husband is self-employed so it’s not a steady and dependable income and there’s definitely been several occasions where we really needed it. I’d try to be debt free with only a mortgage if I were going to quit as well.

    I’d try to have a good plan for my time as well. I think I’d get pretty lonely if I stayed at home all day with no children. Sure there’s always something to be done around the house, but I’d find some volunteer opportunities so you still feel like you’re contributing something to society and you have some adult interaction. I think I’d end up at the store too often and probably end up spending extra money because I was bored and wanted something to do.

  • Rosie says:

    The time when you are married without children is really a prime opprotunity to get some financial traction and squirril money away like crazy, which can really be helpful if you want to be a stay home mom once kids come along. I would recommend working, at least part time for the financial benefit. However, if you feel very strongly about being a stay home wife it is certainly a blessing. I’m not sure how one would fill a whole day without kids (man, my house could be immaculately clean in less than 2 hours a day without the kids around to “help”), but the time could certainly be used to serve others, develop your talents and hobbies or to seek out and develop work-from-home opprotunities that could prove to be a blessing now and in the future when kids do come along. Good luck, and congratulations!

    • Rosie says:

      ya know… as I’m thinking about this know, taking time to be a stay-home wife could have been incredibly beneficial to me. I think it might have given me time to practice and develop habits for things that I am struggling with now that we’ve adding kids to our mix. However being a stayhome wife was never an option for us: I married young (we were both 21), we were both still in school full-time and we both worked partime just to make ends mee. My husband continued to go to school for 3 and a half years after I graduated. By the time he graduated I was staying home with our two kids (I taught part-time and we juggled schedules until our 2nd was born). I do have to say that while I stuggle with home-keeping habits, we were very blessed financially for the sacrifices we made to make it work. While we were in school we paid off $13000 in debt and even saved a little money, both of which saved use so much panic when my husband was unemployed for 5 months after graduation.

  • Heather says:

    I have to admit that I am one of those that favors working before having kids, but if you have prayed about it and are sure of your answer, then go for it.

    Besides, I read recently that the new status symbol for men in LA was to have a stay-at-home wife! So you may meet some others – although perhaps not exactly like you . . . .

    • Heather says:

      And to echo others, make sure your husband if 100% on board with this. If not, he could easily feel resentment as he treks off to work every day.

  • Lynn says:

    I have been on both ends of the spectrum, but this is just my experience. I did not work when my husband and I were first married – my choice which he supported. I had worked pretty much my entire life and sometimes multiple jobs throughout college and to be honest, I was ready for a little break. We were moving to a new city, so it was just perfect timing to take a little time off. I think it is important to ask yourself “Why do I want to stay home right now?” If it is because that is where you want to be, regardless of what other people believe, then you should do what is right for your family. If this is because of an expectation your husband has for you and you are hesitant, then you two need to discuss that BEFORE you get married as you will not find it fulfilling. Are you looking for a little break or do you think you do not ever plan to work? If you think, well I plan to go to work after my children leave home, then you may need to keep your work experience now – I know that may be 20 years off, but the key to everything is truly long term planning.

    I eventually did go to work, because to be honest, I did get a bit bored. I was extremely efficient at managing our home, walking the dog and working out and was done by 10:00 AM. I enjoyed working and had a wonderful job, was able to make a great salary and contribute in a multitude of ways to our home. When we had children, I was ready to stay home (although working moms can also be wonderful moms as well :-)) because that is where my heart is and we reap many benefits from my having a job before I had children. FYI – we were married for almost 7 years before we had kids, so I would have been at home without children for a long time!

    Whatever you do, make your decision and stand by it. You should not ever have to feel you need to explain yourself and your family decisions! Good Luck to you!

    • A. S. says:

      Well said!!

    • Cate says:

      I worked as a nanny when my husband and I were engaged and first married, and after I got pregnant I developed hyperemesis (excessive vomiting during pregnancy). I lost my job. After the worst of the nausea had passed, I was very efficient at my homemaking duties and did find myself a little bored for those last few months at home before our child was born! I wish I’d volunteered, done more work building up my blog, etc. Definitely have activities in mind for when you start staying home, because without kids it’s unlikely that caring for your home will take up your whole day (unless you live in a mansion or something).

  • Spendwisemom says:

    I have been a SAHM for years. We decided when we were first married that we both wanted to have me home to raise our kids. We have had to cut back and be creative to make money stretch, but I would never trade it. You need to do what is best for you and best for your marriage. We are all different. I will warn you though, that many women have gone to work temporarily and have never quit because they don’t want to give up the extra income. If you do work, maybe you can just live on his salary and put all yours in the bank so you don’t get used to a higher standard of living. Otherwise, the transition may be more difficult. My husband has never put pressure on me to work, and I realize that it is also my choice to stay at home and have to cut back.

  • RuthS says:

    When I got married, I had a freshly minted degree, and when I finally found a job in my field, it was only 3 days a week. So I was a stay at home wife for 2 days a week and it was great. I could get housework and chores done, but I was still bringing in some money and doing a job I enjoyed as well. Plus, the job transitioned really well into staying home part-time with the two children we have now. So, there is always the option of finding a part-time job that you enjoy, if you are worried about money. But there’s plenty to do even without kiddos bouncing around. (I only did it 6 months before I got pregnant, and then I used those two days to get some extra naps :D)

  • Heather says:

    You could spend the time furthering your own education. Even if you never plan on working another day in your life (ha ha), knowledge is never wasted.

    Definitely make sure hubby has a good life insurance policy and disability.

  • This is a hard question to address with out all the facts. What reasons do you have for not wanting to work? Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years? Are you planning to start a family? These are essential questions to consider when you are considering living on one income.

    If you are planning to have children and aren’t sure if you can be financially secure now before kids, I am not sure that you not working would be the best decision for your family in the long run. What if something happens to your spouse’s income? Are you financially prepared to be without it?

    The best advice I can give you is to not only pray about it (God wants us to do more than just pray), but to sit down with your husband and create a financial plan that will make you feel more in control of your finances and allow you to plan for the future.

  • Jennifer says:

    Personally….I would work until you had children. I had my first child at 18 so I have been a SAHM since then but if I did not have children until later in life I would have definately worked until my children were born.

    My kids are 12 and 9 now. During the school year when they are in school all day I am already bored. I still stay home because I am finishing up my degree online and I also need to be home when my kids get home from school. When they are both in high school I will be going back to work full time. There is only so much cleaning and cooking you can do. I loved when my kids were little and I could spend all day with them but I cannot imagine just being home with no kids to raise.

    • Jennifer says:

      Also…from my personal experience I think it is wise to work before having children to gain experience in the workplace. You may never go back to work but what if you have to? I know many cases where the SAHM/SAHW had to go back to work and had no experience! When your kids get older you may want to work to help pay for college expenses.

      My husband makes great money and has a great job but it is still hard to manage on one income. I coupon and I am very frugal but we still need to save more for college and my kids will be driving soon….

      Anyways…my point is if I had the opportunity to work BEFORE I had kids I would do it in a heartbeat. You would still have plenty of time to clean the house and make dinner. I get all that done quickly not that my kids are older.

      • Many people have worked before getting married. I had a degree and worked outside the home before being married. I was so happy to come home and be a fullt-ime homemaker.

        If you are bored, perhaps there is something new you can learn. What interests you? I have never had time to be bored. I am too busy learning. I have lots of interests, and homemaking incorporates all of those (gardening, cooking, sewing, etc.) You could learn to refinish furniture, for example. There is more to do than I have time to do!

        • Jennifer says:

          Well I would rather volunteer at an animal shelter (which I do) and also find ways to earn an income so my children do not have all the financial burden of college.

          By the time noon comes I have my house cleaned, dog walked, workout done, school stuff done and dinner figured out. In my spare time I do volunteer and once the kids get home I am busy running to football and soccer practice and other school activities.

          Once they leave the nest I know that volunteering, cleaning and cooking and not going to fill my days up. I do like scrapbooking.

        • Jennifer says:

          Well I volunteer at an animal shelter and I am finishing my degree. I like to scrapbook and I am still bored.

          I have the cleaning done, workout done, dog walked and eveything else done by noon most days at the latest.

          When my kids leave the nest I know that cleaning and cooking and volunteering and hobbies are not going to fill up my days. I would rather make money to help them with their college rather than putting the burden on them.

          I love being a SAHM and I miss the kids when they are at school but being a SAHW is just not for me. I can get all of that done plus work and still have time for hobbies once the kids are gone.

  • Megan says:

    Just a quick note: Several have mentioned that staying home can reduce friction over household chores since you would presumably be doing all of them. I would encourage you to thoroughly discuss the division of household labor with your fiancee BEFORE you get married. It may be the case that you take care of most of it while you’re a stay at home wife, but if you choose to have children, then you will be working more than one full time job (homemaker + mother/caregiver). At that point, you will almost certainly need your husband to step in with chores.

    I’ve heard from many women who did things the old-fashioned way, took care of their homes and their husbands completely, and then when they took jobs or the children grew up, their husbands refused to help around the house (or just didn’t know how). This can cause a lot of resentment, so it’s something to plan for up front. My husband and I are both full-time students, but my schedule is more flexible than his so I do most of the cooking during the week (he does the dishes) and on weekends we share cleaning chores and errands. It’s fun to do those things together; I think it’s good for men to have a hand in building the home with their wives 🙂

    • Whitney says:

      Excellent point, Megan. Even if you WANT to do all the housework, it is important that your husband is both willing and able, should the need arise for help. That’s exactly why I expect my sons to help around the house. My MIL wouldn’t allow any of her four sons to do any housework, which meant that my 31-year-old husband didn’t know that a toilet brush was for cleaning the bowl of the toilet (he truly thought it was for cleaning the outside, so he never used one because he thought that was gross).

      It took me a good two years to show him the basics of how to load a dishwasher, fold laundry, and which cleaning product to use for what surface. And though I really enjoy grocery shopping, I send him on the occasional trip so he’s familiar with the process. While I still do almost all the cleaning, at least now I know that he can do it if he has to. We have the understanding that if I’m hugely pregnant/tired/just not feeling well, that he’ll pick up the slack. Keeping the house is not MY job, it’s OUR job that I just happen to perform at this stage of our lives.

      • Heather says:

        Great points. I stay at home with the kids, so I do most of the housework, but my husband usually does the dishes after supper while I put the kids to bed (that’s what he prefers). Sometimes we swap. Point being that he is not going to sit back and watch me work. I wouldn’t have married him otherwise. Only exception I see would be if the husband works a VERY physically demanding day job (such as roofing in the heat), and just needs to sit and rest when he gets home. Mine has an office job, so he usually has more energy left than me by 5:30 pm!

    • Cris says:

      Couldn’t agree more!! Sure many women don’t mind doing it all, or do they? Crystal often mentions Jesse helping with the kids, they both have jobs, except for hers is at home. I really can’t stand men that expect their wives to do all the house work because “they work”. And then will sit on the couch all weekend watching football and waiting to be served. Sorry if this offends anyone but it’s 2011!

    • That is really good advice! Just like talking about money, chores as well.

  • Jennifer says:

    I am on the “work whilst you don’t have kids” boat along with many people above. I had a unique situation whereby I was working and fully supporting myself whilst living in Beijing. Then I met my soon-to-be husband and we moved to his home country of Australia. I was unable to work for the first 8 months I was there because of Visa issues – so I went from total self-sufficience to total dependence. It was great for me in the sense that I was living in another new country and had a lot to adjust to, including learning how to cook from scratch, drive on the other side of the road, etc, etc, but I was totally itching at the bit to get to work, and as soon as my Visa came thru I was out looking for work.

    We continued to live only his salary alone and saved 100% of my earnings towards our future. We knew from the very beginning that we wanted me to be a SAHM, so anything we could do to build the nest egg was great.

    When I was not working, I did 100% of the household stuff – we/I just figured why should have to to bother with that when I’m home all day. We’d rather be spending our time together when he’s not at the office, and the household was my “job”. When I went to work, we started to split things a bit more, or work together on the weekend to get through the house stuff. Then when I had our first child we went back to my taking care of the house (and kids). Granted, he still doesn’t seem to “get” that life happens sometimes and as great as my intentions are to do certain things each day, it doesn’t always happen like clockwork with two little kids! So now, if something is really bothering him, he just does it.

  • E says:

    To the idea that exists out there that being the Stay-At-Home-Wife or homemaker (with or without children) is unfair to one’s husband….My husband always assures people that he doesn’t feel it’s unfair to him because my being “at home” directly benefits him. That’s the reality of it. By the work that I do taking care of our home and keeping track of many things, I am able to relieve the home-care burden (and all that includes–cooking, cleaning, laundering, painting, organizing, grocery-shopping, keeping our clothing stocked, keeping our pantry stocked, providing healthy meals, scheduling, etc etc that all just scratches the surface)…that burden/responsibility that he would have to take care of without me if we weren’t married. Plus, by our being married and me being a homemaker, it frees him up to pursue hobbies and interests outside of work (after work when he comes home). He feels it’s a huge blessing to him and not unfair.
    (And doing what I do as a support to my husband and a preparation for future family–kids–is so vitally important to me. It makes me feel empowered as a woman and fulfilled, as well.)

  • Julie says:

    If you can live easily on one income and still put a lot into savings every month, that’s one thing, but if one income means you’re going to be scrimping or (even worse) relying on credit cards, then you would be much better off bringing income into the home. If nothing else, save your income for your children’s college education, if you plan on having them. I worked before we had children and stayed home afterwards, and my income during that time really helped us in the future.

  • Guest says:

    If God has laid it on your heart that you are to be a stay at home wife, then that’s what you should do. Crystal laid out good principles for making that happen.

    If it’s something that you “want” to do but God hasn’t necessarily “called” you to do, I’d personally recommend working until you have children. Live off of your husband’s salaray only (since that’s what you’ll do staying at home anyway) and save every dime that you bring in. Those savings will be your cushion when you do have children and want to stay at home.

    One of my closest friends was a stay at home before they had their first child and it really was not very healthy for her or her husband (this doesn’t mean that it can’t be a great experience for others). She’s a fabulous stay at home mom now, though!

  • Lorianne says:

    I, too, am surprised at how many say “work; you’ll be bored!” or “you’ll need the money”. I have never had a job. I did odd jobs before getting married, ironing or cleaning house for a friend. Then we were married for two years before having kids, and I was never bored. We lived in a starter home that needed painting, curtains on the windows, etc. I enjoyed doing stuff with friends, having a home ready for entertaining (I have never been OCD, but I try to keep my house clean and neat), and it left me free to meet my husband for lunch or go on a last minute vacation. He always said he didn’t want to ask another man if he could take me on vacation! 😉 I also think we spent less money than we would have if I had worked. We didn’t have someone else clean, we didn’t eat out a lot, and I cooked from scratch.
    Anyway, all that to say, I don’t believe that you will definitely be bored, or that you “need” the extra money. I will be praying for you as you make your decision!

    • Lorianne says:

      I also want to add that we did not have a TV, and still don’t, and I didn’t spend time watching stuff online, either.
      I did read a lot but I don’t feel like that was wasted time.

  • Brandy says:

    I personally would work and save the money. You never know when there will be job loss, huge medical expenses, etc. If your ultimate goal is to be home when you have children for the long term, I would save up as much as I could now so that you would be able to make it at home financially as long as possible.

    If nothing else, I would look for a work from home job (which is honestly harder work and more hours than one might think) or even work 1/2 time or 3/4 time to get some hours in. This might even allow you time to meet your home goals as well and still save financially.

  • Emma K says:

    My humble opinion is…
    Pray About It.
    Talk About It.
    Do What works for you and your future husband.

    Each family is unique and what works for one person’s situation won’t necessarily work for anothers.

    When I was teaching and had the summers off, I enjoyed them but ended up wasting a lot of time (this was before kids) watching tv and reading.

    Now that I stay home with the kids and my husband is in the army, we keep busy and have something going on each day.

    I would suggest finding a good Bible Study to attend where you can meet other wives and become involved.

    Good luck.

  • Congratulations on getting married. I think staying at home is fantastic. You can get the swing of things before kids come along and it won’t be as much as a financial adjustment if you quit after having kids. I had to work three years after my first was born to be able to be in the right financial situation to quit. So far we are loving it!

  • Rhiannon, congratulations on your upcoming wedding. Sweet times and challenging times ahead. I echo what Crystal said about being on the same page as your husband. I also echo what a lot of others here have said and that is I would probably work part-time for this “season” of your lives. You and your husband will be a family even before children come but for many, children come later rather than sooner.
    My husband, too, was in the freelance business, so I totally understand the pressures. I also understand that at times our husbands need a little pressure taken off them, even in small ways. That could be maximizing your home budget, couponing, etc and it could also mean a part time job. I would consider it part of the “game plan” or goals to be a part of setting yourselves up in the best possible position for when your are at home full time. Just my two cents.

  • Valarie says:

    Rhiannon-
    I have been a SAHW for just over 2 years and would like to offer you encouragement and support. I did work for the first 5 years of marriage. We do not have any children yet but pray we will be blessed with them. The varied comments here are much like the responses I get from people in “real-life”- some are understanding and others just don’t see the value in being a SAHW. Personally, I can say that some of the negative reactions I get come from others’ jealousy. Please listen to God’s calling for you! Yes it’s important to consider the financial implications of only having one income. However the greater the balance of your bank account isn’t a measure of happiness! Exercise financial preparedness but in your faith rest assured that God’s plan for you will be supreme to all others, if you are willing to embrace it. Good luck with making the decision that is right for you and your husband!

  • Michelle says:

    I feel like I need to put in my two cents worth here. I became an accidental SAHW when I lost my job a year and a half ago. I’ve worked a couple of contracts, but while we like the money, we also like it when I’m at home. There are pros and cons to both, and I like to think with contracts, I have the best of both worlds. We make the money while I’m working, and save it to spend on bills that we know will be comeing up. But when I’m at home, the house is actually clean; supper is on the table at a decent hour (and take out is limited!). With that said, it’s also important for me to have “me” time while I’m at home. I think I would go nuts if my life was just the house and my husband. I usually end up having summers off, which allows me to volunteer with a non-profit summer camp for underserved elementary students. I love it and wouldn’t trade it for the world! So, my best advice would be to make sure that you’re doing what needs to happen at home, but find something that you can do outside of the house too. Make sure that you’re allowing yourself the “me” time for what you think is important.

  • Brittiny says:

    “Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson.

  • Ashley says:

    Congratulations on your upcoming wedding and ignore all the comments of people insisting on you working. If that is your decision, then go with and see how it works out… just have FAITH and DISCIPLINE.

  • I have never for one minute regretted the decision to quit my job to be a full-time homemaker from the very beginning of my marriage.

    I never had time to be bored!

    There are so many skills that a homemaker should have. Housecleaning is a VERY TINY part of those. I used that time before my children were born to:
    learn about frugality and make a price book
    Learn to cook more–in particular, new things that my husband liked as well as what I liked
    Learn to sew better. I knew how to sew before (I had made clothing for myself before marriage), but I still had a very basic unserstanding of sewing. I was able to get a used sewing machine for $75, get a good pair of Ginger scissors for 50% off, and start to build up a supply of thread.

    I was able to volunteer with my husband. Becuause of the nature of my husband’s job (which was like yours), we had downtime in between work. We had time to spend together, and I got to know my husband so much better during that time, since he was also home. I know many think you would be home alone all day, but with your husband in the industry he is in, there will be plenty of times when you are home WITH HIM. Enjoy that time! Even if you have no work coming in, find things to do together. We went to the library together. We also spent a lot of time doing genealogy together. I did a ton of genealogy during that time, and it was wonderful!

    I have this quote on my site; I think you will enjoy it:

    “Homemaking is the highest, most noble profession to which a woman might aspire.”

    Flora Benson, quoted by her husband, Ezra Taft Benson, October 1986

    We didn’t get any work or a residual check until 6 months after we were married. If I had it to do over again, I would do it the same way. A homemaker is a glorious profession.

    • Guest says:

      I love your site and have been very blessed by it. I do want to respectfully point out, however, that I believe the highest, most noble profession a woman might aspire to is whatever God has called her to do. When I look at the amazing contributions women have made throughout history, it is clear to me that God has given talents, interests, and callings in more areas than homemaking alone. We shouldn’t limit God’s calling to a single profession.

  • Maureen says:

    Congratulations, Rhiannon, to you and your fiancee. There is nothing greater in life than finding that partner that makes the sun and stars align for you. With regard to your desire to stay at home, I as a wife and mother, would suggest that you work first – even on a part-time basis. You have been given talents and possibly a college education; so why not put those to good work and make the lives of others better through your talents and training. There is plenty of time to spend doing household chores, and everyone knows they are not what makes life more pleasurable. Giving and sharing of your talents with those in your community will make you feel whole; not dusting and cleaning toilets. I also don’t think there are that many husbands in today’s world that truly want their wives home all day cooking and cleaning for them. That is archaic. Generations of women before us did not strive for equality, so that we could take steps backward in 2011. Spend some time before you’re married and think long and hard about where you see yourself and your family in 3, 5 and 10 years; and how you are going to get there. Financial security can’t be beat. Struggling and worrying about money will ultimately put undue stress on a marriage.

    • Meagan says:

      I am a stay-at-home wife because this is what my husband wants from me. Yes, I do cook and clean for him. I make his breakfast and lunch every morning, and I cook dinner in the evenings. I do clean the house, dusting and scrubbing toilets. But, to assume that is all that I do, and I am not making the lives of other people better is just wrong!

      First and foremost, I am making the life of my husband better. Behind God, he is my first priority. Secondly, you can help others by being home! I am able to have time to make cards to send to wounded soldiers, I have time to help my mother in law out by helping with the schooling of my young sister in law, and any other number of things.

      Also, what if cleaning and dusting does make someone feel whole? Who cares!! They are following God’s calling in their life, and that is all that is important. Perhaps, instead of feeling bound by what women did generations before us, we should be bound by the calling that God has placed in our lives. For some that is working full time or part time, or maybe being a SAHW. What it all boils down to is that we shouldn’t be so judgmental about what others do with their life. You do what you need to do, others can do what they need to do. You can offer up advice, but it doesn’t have to put others down.

    • Meagan says:

      Also, I wanted to add, two incomes doesn’t always mean financial security. Yes, it can definitely help. However, being in God’s will for your life, doing what HE wants you to do, is the only way to be 100 percent sure that your needs will be taken care of!

  • Emily says:

    A lot of women are saying “WORK AND SAVE MONEY!” I’m sure this woman could not work and still save money .. she could work hard at budgeting and saving her husband’s income. It is not impossible (nor imprudent) to live off of 1 income. If she does not want to go to the office every day, that isnt’ wrong. It costs money to go to work, too (gas, lunch money, work clothes). It is a noble calling to be a wife and it is a “job”. It takes thinking, and hard work to take care of the affairs of running a home (groceries, bargain hunting, taking care of errands, helping your husband do HIS job better, etc). It is not boring, especially if you are spending time helping OTHERS (instead of staying home watching tv). You can volunteer or help at your church, or help other moms, babysit, and so forth. And of course you can try to earn income from home if you’d like, but you are not obligated too just because you don’t have children. But we will all have differing opinions on this based on what our worldview is. I am a new wife and would love to get OUT Of the workplace. I am submitting to two men (my boss and my husband) and spending all day with a male co-worker. Not the best environment. And my home life suffers because I am gone during the best (and most energetic) hours of my day working at a job I don’t really care to be at, but I work because we need health insurance. A few decades ago it was normal for a woman to be at home (even without children). It is only recently that women were expected to work as if they were a drain on society being a manager of a home.

    • E says:

      Good reminder, Emily, that working costs money. I read a book recently called Miserly Moms, about how to be frugal in a tough economy. In this book the author points out how she and her husband were able to save a significant amount of money just because she quit her job and they lived on only his income.

      The costs of working include things like child care, taxes, parking fees, gasoline and car upkeep, car insurance (sometimes even a nicer car is required for particular jobs), clothes (a larger wardrobe because you need to rotate your outfits more frequently, and often nicer clothes than you’d necessarily want or need so much of), eating out for lunch and breakfast sometimes, eating out for dinners or having fast-prepared (and non-frugal) meals for dinners, housekeeping or cleaning help, dry-cleaning extras, gifts for co-workers, etc etc.

      The author of the book said that experts have calculated the “cost of working” to be between I think 9 and 30 dollars per hour. That makes me think twice about whether it would be cost-effective to work even just part-time to bring in some extra money. If that income is negated because of the costs inherent in working that job, then perhaps it’s not worth it financially or economically.

      Of course it all depends on how much a person makes and how frugal and cost-conscious a person is. I’m not saying that one shouldn’t work outside the house. It’s just interesting to realize that working costs money, too.

  • Cindy says:

    Alright. I got inspired and blogged about it. Hope you don’t mind my dropping a link! http://getalonghome.com/2011/08/homemaking-husband-community/

  • Julia says:

    I commend wives who stay home without children. A lot of issues crop up from working prior to kids that people don’t necessarily discuss. I had a very hard time giving up my job and seeing a purpose in what I was doing at home (which is, if you’re a Christian, a sin issue). I’ve come around to loving being at home and being with my son, but even if my son were not here, and in school, I think this is still my place. (I do tutoring and odd jobs online from home)

  • A. S. says:

    My vote, echoing some of the other comments, would be to work until you have children (if that is your path). Live off of your husband’s salary and save your own. Whether you work from home or have an office job, an extra income that you save is invaluable. My husband and I did just that. I worked for the first two years of our marriage and left work two months before the birth of our first son. I love being a SAHM, and I love that I was able to contribute to our savings.

    If my husband were to lose his job, God forbid, then I would be grateful that we had the extra money, versus be grateful for time spent in the home.

    In the end, it’s your decision and what works for you and your husband. The bottom line is…be on the same page, no matter what! Congrats on the wedding!

  • Lana says:

    I am on the other end of the kids rasing part of our marriage, our yougest is 20. I have an empty nest and a large house to maintain and clean everyday. I cook all of our meals from scratch. I coupon and keep a frugal budget. Most of my empty nest friends have gone to work and it would be difficult to even find someone to meet for lunch if I wanted. But all I hear from them is how tired they are and how dirty their houses are. They eat out many times a week because they don’t have time to get to the grocery store or cook. All weekend they try to balance getting some rest for strength to get through to next work week and catching up on the laundry and housework. All that I hear from them is how clean my house is (I am not obsesive about this) and how great it is that we have healthy meals at home. I am constantly asking myself why they all feel like they had to get a job just because their children are grown! I am never bored and I have plemty to do with keeping my home. Just a thought 🙂

    • Jessica says:

      I’m 26, but catching up on chores and trying to rest up for the week definitely sounds like me. I am tired a lot, and my house usually isn’t clean. That stuff is annoying, but I genuinely feel right about my decision to put my nose to the grindstone. Right decisions still have downsides. These things are the cost of being in an environment where I sometimes get to see scientific history being made. I am learning the skills that may allow me to leave an impact on the world that will matter in 200 years. I look at my dirty house and vending machine meals a bit like battle scars. At the end of the day, I feel like I put my energy in the right place.

      That said, I believe in following your inclinations. I often think about how deeply wonderful it would be to have someone whose job it was to cook me healthy food and keep things clean. I hope someday to have a mother in law, housekeeper, or husband who can do that. Having seen the other side, I think I would make sure to be considerate and appreciative of that person.

      I think the best advice to the poster is to do what feels right. Is your job stimulating? Who wants you to stay home more? Are there a whole bunch of things you wish you had time to do? Would staying home mean you get more quality time with your husband? Does your husband’s work schedule mean that he has plenty of time to help around the house?

  • Congratulations on your upcoming marriage!

    I never intended to be a stay-at-home-wife but find myself in that situation now. My advice would be to plan out what a typical day/week could like like once you are at home full-time. Review this plan with your husband. Discussing these type of details may help you both see the benefits of you not working outside the home. Remember, though, that the plan might need to change once you are actually in that situation. A lot of bloggers post a general schedule or example day, which may help you get started.

    I’d also recommend tracking expenses for a few month (or reviewing past expenses) to determine a budget. It usually surprises people to see what they are actually spending, versus what things “should” cost. Make sure your husband’s income can support both of your expenses (including saving for your future).

    The biggest challenge for me has been getting asked A LOT about what I do all day. It gets a little frustrating because I never felt like I had to justify my work before. Just be prepared for that to happen.

    The most important thing is doing what works for you and your husband. Have open conversations about how you see your life together and move forward with love and support for each other.

  • Rachel says:

    People will say what they want, and they already have on this blog, but do what you want. Staying at home without kids is NOT something people should look down upon. I was a stay at home wife for the first 2.5yrs of our marriage before having our daughter. It was such a blessing to be able to work on my homemaking skills before children came, especially since I did not come from a family who taught me these things. I learned how to cook, how to coupon and budget effectively. My husband and I spent lots of time together when he was not working, something that we cherish now that time is harder to come by with children. During my early pregnant, I did not have to worry about working and could get all the rest I needed (which was essential considering I have very very bad morning sickness while pregnant for the first half of the pregnancy).

    I also wanted to add that I have never been truly happy working at a job, and it took its toll on me when I did prior to marriage. For us, having me stay home even without kids was a no brainer.

    Those who criticize homemakers and say that they will be bored do not understand everything involved in running a home. I was always busying myself with something and learning so much, and I still am. Also, If you wait to stay at home until your kids are born you don’t have as much time to acquire certain skills, which can make the transition stressful. Learning how to live on just one income is NEVER a bad thing. Go for it if you can and disregard all the naysayers!!

  • Kathryn says:

    I don’t have any advice, as I’m a newlywed and currently unable to stay at home myself, but I wish you the best of luck, Rhiannon! I know how you feel.

    (My husband and I got married almost nine months ago. Before getting married, we had talked about my potentially staying home with our future children. The idea was to wait a few years to have kids and pay down the mortgages [yes, plural, and no, we can’t sell] as much as we could. But God had other plans for us, and our “honeymoon baby” is due next week…)

  • Maggie says:

    I am with the others who say work before you have children, or at least for your first year of marriage. I am a stay at home mama and I look back now at the time I worked outside the home and cherish it. Once you have kids and choose to stay at home with them, you won’t get to go back. I LOVED my job before I became a full time mama–it was challenging, the people were fantastic and I honestly think it made me a better wife. The evenings and days that I had at home were precious–my house was clean and I cooked dinner for my husband every night. With my husband and I both working in the beginning, it was like we were a team, instead of so much financial pressure being on him alone. I know how much pressure there is on him now as I stay at home and to be able to take a little of that off of him during those first years made our marriage so much more enjoyable–we had the wiggle room in our budget to go out to nice dinners and take trips…things that we don’t get to do often now that we have kiddos. There are still so many ways to bless your husband while working outside the home–I still kept our home clean and cooked dinner every night. If you know that staying home is something you want to do, I’d seriously consider finding at least a part time job that you enjoy and save for a little bit, even if you don’t wait until you have kids to stay at home.

    • Monica says:

      I totally get this! I was a teacher for 12 years and came home 16 months ago when we had twins. We have five kids and three of them are under three. I have loved on my children, taken care of the household duties, etc. BUT I have to say that I am so excited to go back to work next week. After seeing how depressed I have become over the past year, my husband totally agrees that I am “better” all around when I work outside of the home. I LOVE teaching. I LOVE being a mommy. I am looking forward to combining all of the God-given talents that I have.

  • Whitney says:

    I have difficulty seeing the benefit of being a full time SAHW. Yes, maintaining a household can be time consuming, and if you are couponing, preparing meals from scratch, etc., you are “making” money. But I’m a SAHM of two, soon to be three, and even now the work isn’t what I would call “full time.” What I mean is, if I had just one day alone at home every week, without children, I could accomplish everything that it takes me 5 days to do with children underfoot. If I had been a SAHW, I can’t imagine how I would have filled my days (besides seeking volunteer work outside the home).

    Why not work part time? Then you’d still be afforded time to maintain your household, and you could save everything you earn. When my husband I got married, we didn’t touch a penny of what I made for the first 4 years. When I quit my job after having my first child, the additional savings made staying home comfortable and not financially strained.

    • Jennifer says:

      I agree…even when my kids were little I still had everything done and had plenty of time to just play with the kids and relax.

      Even with hobbies…and no children at home I would just be bored. To each their own…but I just really do not understand the concept of being a SAHW. I personally do not know any myself so it must not be a big thing around here.

  • Leah says:

    I am having a really hard time with the question, and some of the answers. The idea of your PURPOSE in life being to take care of your husband is rough for me, bible or not. Of course we want to take care of each other in a general sense, and as a homemaker that’s part of MY job. But I stay home to take care of my children primarily, and I would be bored to TEARS making price books and learning how to clean better and keep a perfect home. I can’t imagine looking back and not seeing something bigger and, IMHO, better behind me. You’re young, get out and explore the word. Travel. Read. Work at a job and find out what you love, and what you hate about it. Quit. Get another job. See what you like about it. Save money for the future. LIVE. Don’t shut yourself up in a little house and make it perfect. Life is way too short. You and your husband should be a team, and in my life teammates work along-side each other. One doesn’t stay home to dote on the other. You are going to regret it when you’re my age, and your youth is waning, and doors are closing to you. I hope you accept my advice in the spirit with which it’s intended. Best to you.

    • Molly says:

      Amen!

    • Pam says:

      That says it all perfectly!

    • Melodie says:

      Leah, when I was young, I got a job over seas for several years. I traveled the world and careered my little heart out. I’d had nearly a dozen either salaried or hourly wage jobs, both full and part time, before I became a stay at home wife. While I enjoyed every single one of those opportunities, none of them came close to the AWESOMENESS of being a stay at home wife. Now it’s true that I would never have found fulfillment in being a wife had I not made it a point to be fulfilled in the Lord no matter where I was. But I can say that since I became a stay at home wife, I have never been so happy in my life as I am now. I am finally LIVING. I am not shut up in this little house. Being in this little house finally gives me the chance to look outside of my world to serve others instead of running the rat race and thinking only of my own next move. I don’t dote on my family. I support and raise them up. I have never known such beautiful teamwork as the relationship between myself and my husband. There is no such thing as boredom to those who realize moment by moment that life is bigger than their own priorities.

      There is nothing wrong with a wife holding a job. I held one my first year of marriage. I haven’t read all the comments, but none that I read suggested that it was wrong. Rhiannon has not suggested that it was either.

      But there is nothing ignorant or shallow about staying at home in those first few years either. Her staying at home may have nothing to do with finding her purpose. Rhiannon hasn’t revealed the circumstances surrounding the decision at all, so it is not for us to belittle her as if she had a shallow perspective of life to even bring it up as an option. Besides, working outside the home is itself a pretty paltry definition of purpose filled living. So, lets not suggest that those who commend the decision are not looking at the full picture. I see your perspective . . . and I’ve lived it . . . and I looking back would prefer Rhiannon’s if I had had the chance to make the decision again. But that’s just me. It doesn’t mean that every other wife-to-be should avoid careers and travel and what not. It is Rhiannon’s and her fiance’s responsibility to work together toward a happy marriage. If this is how the Lord is leading them to work toward that goal, then lets offer them advice to help them through it. It sounds like they’ve been getting plenty of the “Don’t do it!” advice you gave above already, but they are still uncomfortable with assuming it to be the only viable option. So lay off a bit and let them take a look at the other side of the picture a while.

      • Leah says:

        She asked for opinions, and I shared mine respectfully. And I would make the case that the reason you found contentment staying home is probably because you had those experiences out in the world. I could not have found contentment doing that as a newlywed, and I shared my concerns in the effort to help. Isn’t that what this is all about?

  • Molly says:

    Go for it! It can be VERY difficult to quit the job when you have a child because you get used to having that second source of income. Plus, you can work on house managing skills before you have children. This would also be a great opportunity to volunteer a few hours a week (instead of working part time) with your church, or a local organiztion.

  • Shannon says:

    Crystal, your response about God providing a way to financially make your choice work is so true. I gave up my teaching job to stay home with my baby girls, and on paper, my husband’s salary doesn’t quite cover all the bills, even after cutting many things out and pinching pennies. We even relocated to a new state to keep the cost of living down. After doing all the math (over and over!), we made the heartbreaking decision that I would start applying for full time work again. Yet, month after month, we keep squeaking by… making me hesitate on sending out those resumes. I think for now I will hold off a bit, keep working on building my blog and keep living on a shoestring and then revisit the idea each month to see where we are.

    Good luck to you Rhiannon! You could always work for a few months and put your entire salary in savings and live off just your husband’s income. That would tell you if you could swing it, plus then you’d have some nice savings!

  • Molly says:

    At the risk of sounding ignorant, could someone please explain to me the “stress” everyone is talking about if a husband and wife with no children are working. I remember that time in my marriage and it was the most stress free time we had! My husband worked 50 hours a week and I worked 40. With 2 people working, the house doesn’t get messy by itself during the day, so cleaning is very minimal. Also, it took just a few minutes to throw something in the slow cooker before work, or we went out (because we had the extra money), or my husband and I would cook TOGETHER. My opinion is that if you’re both working outside the home, then you can both do the chores at home together. Also, if you decide to stay home with kids in the future, your hubs will have a better idea as to what these chores involve and appreciate your help more.

    • Whitney says:

      Molly – I’m also confused. I’ve mentioned to several people recently about how I wished I’d known that being at home doesn’t mean it’s easier to keep your house clean. Instead, it’s dirtier because you’re living in it all day. When I worked I’d leave a clean a house in the morning and return to a clean one in the evening. At home with children all day, I’m in a constant wipe up/pick up/clean up mode. In my ignorance, I used to think my house would be so clean if I was home all day. How wrong I was! The time before kids, when we were both working (yes 40 hours and 50 hours, just like you) was the easiest, most stress free time of our marriage. AND – I socked away every penny I made, just as most of us are suggesting Rhiannon do. So when it came time to quit, there was no “lost” second income.

  • Dee says:

    I never comment, but feel very close to this situation. I’m facing a fall with all 3 kids being in full day school. The society/extended family pressure to find at least part time work to be productive is frustrating when I want to still be home for my family and I have no worries about being productive. There is so much to do!

    Along with what Chrystal and others have suggested I would:

    – Consider getting rid of as many monthly bills as possible- cable, home phone line, magazines or other monthly subscriptions like movie clubs.

    – Seems like a no brainer on this site- but pay off your debt if you have any and make a commitment going into your marriage to pay cash even for big expenses like cars and home repairs.

    – Use a cash based budget. We read Dave Ramsey’s book “Financial Peace” 10 years ago and listened to his radio show when we were trying to get out of debt and this is the best advice we took from it. It literally saves us hundreds of dollars a month because with this tool we can actually stick to our budget.

    – I’d also make sure that your husband has a good term life insurance policy. Not being in the work force for many years might decrease your ability to get a good paying job in the future if you need it even if you have the right education.

    Good luck!

    • MomofTwoPreciousGirls says:

      EXCELLENT point about life insurance…Ladies, also remember your roles as SAHM’s has a value too. If you pass, will your husband need to have someone clean the house, child care etc.

      Research what those items may cost on a yearly basis in your area and then multiply by ten (general rule is 10 times your salary for coverage amount). That is the amount of coverage you should seek!

      • Crystal says:

        We have both disability and life insurance for me because I want to know that if I die or am disabled, there will be money to pay for help needed to “replace” me. As soon as we were able to afford this in our budget, we made it one of our first priorities.

    • Joanne says:

      I have some advice for you!! I have three kids that are 16,18 and 20. I remember when my kids were in school all day long. I say enjoy the free time that you get while they are in school. You earned it! AND you can just take your time with what you want to do next if anything outside the home. Talk with your hubby about it.
      I don’t know why but for some reason I noticed my home getting even more messy when they were in school all day. Maybe this had to do with the paper coming home or the running around for things after school.
      This might be because when my kids are in school all and the husband working all day I took on more things? I mean I am home all day so I do a LOT of the home chores here. Things will be different this year as two of my kids are moving out but nearby so they can be at college. The 16 year old keeps joking that I will be on her more this year. I told her of course I will!
      If your money situation allows it , just take your time and do what is right for your family and that includes you.

  • Nancy says:

    I would want to know why your fiance wants you to be at home.
    You sound uncertain as whether this is a good plan for you.
    If your fiance is possessive and or jealous when you are around other people, especially other men, that is a big red flag. If this is definitely not the case, then ask yourself if working until you have a child would make you happier. If you are going to have a happy marriage, you need to be happy. If you are miserable, your husband is going to be miserable too.

  • Monica says:

    Wow-what an assortment of comments! Here’s my two cents….work if you feel that God has called you to, Don’t if you don’t.
    I have been home for the past 16 months after the birth of twins. I have five children. Three of them are under the age of three! I will tell you that I LOVE them with all of my heart. They make my heart sing. However, I cannot tell you that I have loved every minute of staying at home. I will tell you that I am exhausted! Because of the financial reality of going from two incomes to one and adding two babies at once, we became a one car family. So this means I have been a stuck at home mom. Being honest, I have felt isolated many days. It has caused strain on my marriage b/c I feel like the routine is driving me nuts. My husband has lunch dinners while I’m eating leftover pb & j sandwiches off of a toddler’s plate as I clean the kitchen. Not his fault – but doesn’t make for wonderful conversation! LOL I know this works for many people but I have to tell you that I can’t WAIT to return to my job as a teacher next week. My husband will like me more, I will like me more, and I will be more intentional with my time with my kids.
    Being a stay at home wife, versus mother, will probably be very different. I just personally enjoy working outside of the home. It doesn’t mean that I don’t love my family and kids. I truly believe that God knows my heart and is blessing this decision to return to work.
    Good luck with your decision.

  • Amanda says:

    Everyone’s opinion is very interesting. I think it’s interesting that a concern is budgeting. It seems if the option to stay home was an option (without kids) then budget shouldn’t be a concern? no?

    • MomofTwoPreciousGirls says:

      Not necessarily, I think budgeting just helps the couple be on the same page. It’s a constant discussion of what is important to you as a couple/team. It gives the ability to establish goals for the future and set up priorities, right now a sports car might be a priority, but when kids come its a mini-van! Just keeping in touch with each other about where you are and where you are going!

  • Kris says:

    Usually, I’m all supportive for a “do what works best for you” approach, but the fact that Mr. Amanda works as an entertainment freelancer makes me think SAHW-ing may not be a good idea in this situation.

    I was a TV freelancer for 10 years. It can pay very well later on, but in the beginning it’s long hours, low salary, and most importantly, zero-to-minimal benefits and vacation. L.A. is super-expensive. Unless Mr. Amanda has a particularly in-demand skill set (editor, etc.), I would continue working. It will pay off later on, when hopefully his job is more stable.

    At the very least, I would speak to other couples/individuals who’ve been freelancing in his chosen area. They’ll give you a good idea of what to expect the first few years.

    • Kris says:

      Forgot to mention the most important part – employment is sporadic, at best, especially given the economy and shifting nature of the entertainment business as a whole. There’s no guarantee he’ll be employed six months from now, never mind tomorrow. Something to think about.

  • Congrats on everything! : ) I’ve been a stay-at-home mother since I was 19. My husband has always been fully supportive and I’m so thankful for that. I knew right away what I wanted in my life. We now have 3 children and my oldest son has Autism. It’s important to find what works for YOU. Not what works for everyone else and their opinion.
    I’m so blessed to spend every beautiful day in the summer at the beach and the park, cooking with my kids, and just watching them grow up. We don’t have any family that helps so we don’t get a break unless we pay a babysitter. No vacations, no honeymoon, and we’ve never had a weekend together since we’ve been together! : )
    What I’ve found for myself is I work with a direct sales company. That way I have a reason to get out and socialize with other adults and no kids : ) Plus, it brings in extra income. There are lots and lots of companies so you could find one that fits well with you. Make sure you do your research though! The pros and cons to the company, how many reps there are already especially in your area, how much you can make, etc. I work for L’BRI an Aloe Vera based skin care company and it has made a huge impact in our lives.
    Good Luck to you, everything will work out the way it’s supposed to! : )
    http://www.cleanskin.lbri.com

  • Jessica says:

    If they can afford it, I would say go for it. However, use your time wisely and build up some skills that can help your family live off one income, such as:
    *Home repair skills including plumbing, carpentry and electrical repairs.
    *Learn to garden, and since you live in a tropical type of climate, you can likely garden year-round and grow much of your own fruit and vegetables
    *Cook from scratch
    *Take a class or two in useful trades such as accounting, a foreign language, computer programming… things that might help you develop a side income if you ever need that
    *Dedicate some time to volunteering. This can develop a network of connections for you should employment become necessary.

  • Betsy says:

    I don’t think wives should be obligated to work full-time outside the home. I worked full time for the first 2.5 years of marriage, and it was very stressful, because I wanted to be at home taking care of things there. I now work part-time and this is ideal for me right now. I still contribute to the income, but being a wife and homemaker is my number one responsibility!

    A personal suggestion is that if you’re not going to work at all, to find cheap-to-free hobbies to occupy your time. It’s hard to not spend money when you have a lot of time on your hands.

  • michelle says:

    Congratulations on your upcoming marriage! Spend the first few years building a solid foundation for your marriage and you will never regret it!

    I worked outside the home for 4 years before our first child was born and thoroughly enjoyed using my college degree and proving to myself what I could achieve in a sales career. One of the benefits I saw to working before children was the more interesting dinnertime conversations my husband and I had about our days and interactions with clients and co-workers. While I was working I was able to spend quality time with my husband, still keep the house, make homemade meals from scratch, keep up with the laundry, use coupons to find great deals on household items and food, and volunteer a lot at our church. I figured it was good practice to do all those things while working since it probably wouldn’t get easier to do once we were blessed with children.

    Another thing to consider is that as your husbands career progresses and he possibly becomes a leader in a church situation or charitable organization his free time may become more limited the longer you are married. I had not considered this when we first got married and now that we have two children and he has more church responsibilities and has been promoted at work his time is even more precious. Since I stay at home now we are able to still have a peaceful home life as I can take care of many of the mundane household chores so he can have more time with our children. I was even commenting to my son last night that before he came I didn’t have to share Daddy’s time with anyone else 🙂 It would be much harder to do this if I still had a stressful full time job outside the home. Just some thoughts to consider.

  • Lisa says:

    Please make sure you plan for how quiet it will be. Plan ways to interact with others, take a class, book club, host coffee morning, volunteer. Get a few a things done that you dreamed about before kids come along. I started to stay home when I had my children. It was too quiet for me… but not long… 3 kids later… I treasure the quiet moments now. I’m glad that I’m there for them.

  • MomofTwoPreciousGirls says:

    Personally, I cannot even imagine being a SAHW (but then again I can’t imagin being a SAHM either!). It’s just not in the cloth I was made of!

    Of course this is because I was raised by a working mom and I have worked full time since I was 16. I always wanted to maintain some financial independance, after watching my parents go through a divorce. AND in my household, I’m the steady and primary breadwinner.

    Lastly, while I love my children and love being with them, I HATE ALL HOUSEWORK and DH believes if there is a SAHParent that person should view the HOUSE and the children as their job. That doesn’t work for me! The most overwhelming period of my life was the 12 weeks of my first maternity leave. DH just stopped doing anything around the house (except for taking out the trash and cleaning litter boxes). He even stopped putting dishes in the dishwasher! He expected me to heal, care for our newborn and do EVERY chore in the house, including cooking and cleaning up after every meal. I was just like WHAT! Not to mention for someone that wasn’t chipping in, he had seriously high standards of clean…most days I was lucky to be able to take a shower! It was the same with my second (and worse bc he simply was not home due to work) and I knew then that was not the life for me!

    NOW…I congratulate you in your upcoming marriage, and I just offer some advice from the experience I have had in the financial industry.

    You need to ensure if you are going to stay home and not bring in any source of income (a decision you and your husband must be on the same page about) it needs to be clear that all the money your husband is bringing in belongs to both of you (it is not his just because he brings it home).

    When you budget, make sure you EACH have some fun money that you can use however you want, no questions asked. All large purchases outside of the normally budgeted items, should be discussed. Set a limit of say $100 (or whatever). if a purchase is to be made from household funds that is over that limit you must be on the same page.

    Make sure you know about all the finances, make sure you get to know all of the advisors in your life (insurance agent, broker/financial advisor, attorney, CPA). Don’t sit those meetings out just because you don’t make the money. Make sure the contact information and the statements are in a place where both of you can locate them.

    Make sure you still contribute to a retirement account. As long as he makes enough income you can have a spousal IRA (or Roth), that you can put 5K in per year and invest for your future. This benefits you BOTH now with possible taxes and gives you another avenue of saving for your retirement together.

    If you plan on using any form of credit (auto loans or mortgages) make sure you maintain credit in your name to protect your ability to borrow for these things in the future.

    Lastly, keep your skills up and your network as well. Don’t isolate yourself!

    I give this advice bc I have seen these scenarios SO many times.

    Scenario 1 – Divorce…I know nobody wants to think about this, but it happens and you want to make sure you are protected, even after you have children (I have seen many wives left behind where the exes are deadbeats and they are left to care for their children alone).

    Scenario 2 – Death…again nobody likes to think about it, but I have seen so many women left behind with NO idea about any of their finances and no clue of who they can even talk to about it.

    Scenario 3 – Incapacitation…something happens where your spouse can no longer manage things…you need to step up and handle it.

    Sorry for being the doom and gloom type, just wish that every person (man or woman) would maintain some control of their financial life whe nthey are in a relationship…you just NEVER KNOW!

    • I would add to this by saying make sure all your financial cards are on the table. Talk about everything, including parking tickets, late fee’s, money owed to an uncle.

      I also think you need to have your own amount that you manage and a little fun money. Say you want to have coffee with a friend or lunch with your mom.

      I would also say work. I personally am a very practical person and sadly half of all marriages in this country end in divorce. Another percentage the breadwinner becomes disabled or passes. It is good to have skills that will support both yourself and your potential kids. My father passed when I was 15 and it had a huge negative impact on our family. Sadly, my mother is in really poor financial shape right now because of it.

      I also say work because you have been while you have been dating and engaged(I assume). It is already a big adjustment getting married why change that.

      Also, no where in the bible does is say that women are required to be a SAHM.

      Use your best judgment. God will bless you and lead you if you let him.

      • Molly says:

        “Also, no where in the bible does is say that women are required to be a SAHM.”
        Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        The Proberbs 31 women worked inside AND outside her home. I think certain people like to ignore that.

        • E says:

          What a wonderful thing it is that we aren’t bound by some prescription but instead have the freedom to make wise decisions about how we’ll live and use our time. For some the wise decision is to not have a full-time or part-time-away-from-family career. For some the wise decision is to have one of those. It takes responsibility and forethought and wisdom to live out any such decisions.

        • Jenn says:

          Yes, she did, but she did all these things “from” her home all the while watching over the affairs of her household. Quite the responsibility! She must have been better at organizing her time than me, that’s for sure! 🙂

      • E says:

        I’d like to humbly mention that it is a myth that half of all marriages in this country end in divorce. The Census Bureau’s latest available data (2004) says that the number of American adults who have ever married is 72% (so when that data was collected, 72% of Americans were married) and the number of American adults who have ever divorced is 22% (so when that data was collected, only 22% of Americans had divorced). This means that nearly 70% of those who have ever married remain married to their first spouse or stay in that marriage until the death of the spouse.

      • Jenn says:

        Can I gently share this verse with you in response to your statement that the Bible doesn’t say things about being a stay at home mom? “…that they may teach the younger women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home…” Titus 2:4-5
        The original Greek refers to someone in charge of all the affairs of their home. Whew, talk about responsibility! 🙂

        I love the Proverbs 31 passage about the virtuous woman. She works and yet it is doing it from her home. It is a wonderful thing to have a variety of skills, the Bible encourages it for women! If a difficult situation happened, those skills would serve her well outside the home. And yet the example we see in Scripture does reflect a woman who hones these skills primarily from her home.

        I love this quote from G.K. Chesterton: “A woman’s work is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute.”

        Whatever your situation, be encouraged that what you do in your home and with your family is important!

  • Melissa says:

    Try reading the book Miserly Moms By Jonni McCoy. I wanted to stay home with my kids and never thought we could live on one income, but this book inspired me and I am now a stay at home mom! It is working out great! I am so grateful for Jonni McCoy’s book!

    http://edlah.com/Everyday_Learning_At_Home/Just_for_You/Entries/2011/7/12_Miserly_Moms.html

  • Tara says:

    Really Rhiannon, it’s up to how you really feel about it. What are your long term financial goals? What about your long term family goals? Do you want to stay home to keep house,or would you rather be fulfilled in yet another way? There is something for everyone. I know a couple who have no children , and each has a full time job to provide their wants, as well as a part time job at retail stores they like to get the employee discount.For instance she is a 911 dispatcher, and works at a large home improvement store. In my opinion I would look into a job working at a clothing chain or other retail store just so you could contribute more to your home. I am personally a stay at home mother who has 8 years of experience in my chosen career path. I plan on going back to work once our little one starts school. If I had not been working when I married my husband we would not be able to give our little girl everything she needs. If you plan on having children this is your opportunity to put money into savings and set out a financial success plan. But of course talk to your husband about your true feelings, and remember we are in a recession. Congratulations on getting married, it is one of the most fulfilling things I ever did, hopefully it will be the same for you!

  • jeannine says:

    First of all ground yourself in the Word of God. Know why you are doing what you are doing. You will probably have people that do not agree with you and try to talk you back in to working outside of the home.

    It’s your turn now to live your life. If you and your husband are willing to make this work it can work.

    I would encourage you also to seek ways to earn money from home. There are ways to earn money and not have a job. Find out what you are good at. Start from there. Pray, alot.

    And finally, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”

  • Janet says:

    Rhiannon,

    I agree with Crystal you have to do what is right for you and your fiance’ soon to be husband. However, as a woman who is older than almost everyone here.

    #1. As soon as you set up retirement accounts make certain there is one for you and one for him. Never assume that you will be taken care of assume you must take care of yourself first and for most!
    This is the only additional piece of advice I have for all ladies.
    Try to stay active in community so that you have skills as well.

    As someone who was shut in for almost 30 years and then dumped out on the streets to fend for myself when he decided it was time to move on to younger. Protect yourself above all!

    I had a medical professional explain it to me this way. Just as you have your own bones and your own teeth and when they need care / your other half does not necessarily need the same bone set or tooth filled. In this approach you should protect for you! It has zero to do with thinking selfish it is protection. The two shall become one however each one should be responsible and have something for retirement.

    Think of this first ! In the very end it is what will matter to all of us.
    Believe me if you have been out on the street at 60 or beyond it is a life learning experience!

  • oilandgarlic says:

    A lot of people (women) want to stay home to avoid workplace stress or because they don’t find it fulfilling. I know 2 women who stayed home years before having kids and while they enjoyed that time immensely, they’re suffering for it now. No retirement savings, one income isn’t enough to support the kids, no emergency cushion, and NO options. They are frugal but sometimes it’s not really enough if you want any sense of security. You can hope that your kids will support you but that’s not really a fair expectation and limits their options. I guess what I’m saying is that you should ask yourself if it’s really worth it? You can’t predict the future but in the 2 instances I know, both would have really benefitted from working UNTIL they had kids.

  • jeannine says:

    Read through the books of Timthy and Titus for support. It will strengthen and encourage you. Your husband will be blessed to have a woman who takes care of the home.

  • Jennifer says:

    Goodness, this is a hornets nest of opinons! I am now at home and have 4 kids, but I did work when I was first married. It did allow me to help my husband pay off the college debt we had so it truly was a blessing. However, I have many friends who have a difficult time switching to the one income once they have children. I would encourage you to truly think about how much you would actually make (look at the gas, clothing, quicker food, etc) and then talk with your husband about whether you would be truly able to put it all in savings. I have another friend who chose to stay home when she and her husband were first married instead of work so they would be used to the one income. She was always busy and didn’t just sit around and watch TV. I’m sure you would find plenty to do! Good luck with your decision. Ultimately, whatever you and your husband decide will be the best thing for you guys regardless of all the other opinons. 🙂

  • Kate says:

    I would like to echo what Valerie (way back in the comments) said. If you and your new hubby agree that being a SAHW is a good thing for you, I encourage you to do so. Very few people (especially in LA!) will understand your choice and even less commend you for doing it. However, being a fulltime homemaker and wife, even before kids, is a deeply meaningful role. It is good to fight for it if you and your hubby want it.

    In my case, staying at home before I got pregnant with my first allowed me to invest in things that young women, for the vast most part, do not learn these day. I learned how to cook rice, had a cleaning schedule, read informative books, and just basically de-compressed from this crazy world that I had been caught up in. Children may come quickly or not so quickly. For me it happened very quickly, so I was glad that I had time to prepare.

    God bless you.

  • Heather says:

    I was a stay at home wife for just about three years, not necessarily by choice. Some of my initial (and serious) struggles were 1., I was bored out of my mind. 2. Because I had been a financially independent person before I married, I was used to making all my own choices when it came to money-spending. It was very, very difficult for me. I felt like since he was making all the money it was his money & that frustrated me to no end.

    But, eventually I came to just “enjoy the journey” if you will. I 1. Started a blog to have and outlet and to make friends (because friends are hard to find. Everyone either works, goes to school, or is a mom and you’ll feel like you just don’t fit in anywhere.) 2. I decided to go make my house and husband my job, I looked at like it was my job. I kept the house immaculately clean, I honed my cooking and baking skills, I learned meal planning, couponing, how to bargain shop -that kind of thing. 3. I began an exercise program.

    Good luck to you!

    • E says:

      Great point! Not having an outside-the-home career does create a lot of freedom because you become, in essence, your own boss.
      But that means that to use that freedom (and time) well, it takes a new sort of responsibility, a setting of goals, and a huge amount of personal diligence.

  • Brandy says:

    Does anyone else ever wonder if all these “things” we have to do like take care of a home, car, etc are just an accumulation of the decisions we have made? For example, my home wouldn’t take me nearly the time it takes to clean if I would declutter, downside, or do something to make it more simple. It could still be lovely without all the bells and whistles that take so much to maintain. Another example for me would be to fill my time with volunteering, organizations, etc that while worthy causes take me away from what I am truly suppose to be doing.

    It is easy to say volunteer or get involved in an organization to gain skills, but these things can often clutter your schedule to the point the interferes with the very purpose one chose to stay at home for in the first place.

    I truly think there is value in reflecting over our homes, schedules, budgets, etc to see where clutter is and how simplifying would make us more efficient people.

  • Chris says:

    My advice is don’t do it. At the VERY least get a part time job.
    My husband and I worked freelance in the entertainment industry for years and it’s a very fickle industry. For example, we were both employed by the same company at one point and the job cancelled on both of us 3 days before it was supposed to start. Our household took a HUGE hit on that one.
    It actually worked best when he worked freelance and I had an office job as I had a steady paycheck and benefits for both of us and his money was more the “bonus/savings” money.
    Try to make one of your jobs be the main income and the other contribute primarily towards savings.
    You need to have a lot more emergency savings saved up working freelance.
    Does he pay his own health insurance? That was then and still is now (we’re both self employed) the next biggest expense for us after our mortgage. Are you going to be on this insurance as well? If so, get some prices before deciding to be a SAHW. You might be surprised what that monthly cost alone will be and that might make you decide to at least work some.
    Being self employed/working freelance can be very different for some people to get used to. There’s no steady paycheck so being a SAHW or SAHM is a totally different story than if your spouse has a steady salary job. Often, there is no 401k or health insurance or workman’s comp or unemployment insurance. All of those responsibilities are on you.
    I hope this info helps some!

    • Chris says:

      One more thought….most people are commenting in regards to just being a SAHW or SAHM. You have to think differently. Your husband (to be) works freelance. I don’t think most people are commenting with that in mind. The SAHW is only one part you need to consider, the other is his fluctuating salary and probably lack of benefits.

      Again, best to you both and hope this helps!

  • Corinne says:

    My two cents – I am a “stay at home wife” but am not religious and had a career before I got married. I don’t work because that is what is best for me and my husband supports the decision because he believes that as well. Once I got married I could no longer handle the stress of full-time employment and a life without being exhausted all of the time. I’ve thought about part time employment and would work if the money were truly needed. In our marriage we are playing to our strengths – he is better at making money and I am better at being frugal with it, and everyone is happier for it. Yes, I am spoiled by more free time than most people, I enjoy it immensely =)

  • Asmith says:

    Congratulations Rhiannon
    Since you indicated you have prayed on this please listen to the answer you have received from the Lord for you and your husband. I know people are trying to give well meaning advice but first be true to the direction the Lord has given you first and foremost. It is an honor and a privilege to give your all to being a wife . I agree with Crystal about first being in agreement with your husband. Continue to seek the Lord and he will show you how to proceed. Do what you know the Lord has told you to do and work out the details as you are obedient. I know He will show you the way if you sincerely are seeking to do his will for your family.

  • elle says:

    We are all forgetting that everyone has different personalities and characteristics, virtues and vices.

    My husband and I balance each other, as we are literally opposites. The things I’m bad at he’s great at and vice versa.

    We need to learn how to provide each other our personal opinions without criticizing each other. We are all made and built differently, so don’t down someone for what they will or won’t do, it doesn’t help anything.

    Whether you Stay at Home or not, its about what works for you and your family. As long as you are honestly happen with your decisions, who cares what others think.

    No one is right and no one is wrong!

  • Tammy says:

    Lots of good advice.I have been married for 26 years and the world is very different from when I got first got married. Hard to give advice without knowing what you do now how wold you are and your religious beliefs about woman working at home or out of the house.

    When I got married my husband and spent the first 2 years of marriage in Iceland.I worked and volunteered because it was to keep my sanity.,Long dark winters were hard to live in.When we came back to the states I worked for 3 years until I became pregnant.

    Looking back I would still work but have the money saved up for any unemployment,unexpected bills and really learned to live on a budget.

    Enjoy your wedding and let us know what happens.

  • Congrats on your upcoming marriage!

    You have received…tons.of.advice.

    All very conflicting and all very thought provoking.

    So my advice is simple. Pray about it with your husband.

    If you two are on the same page…that’s really all that matters. You will learn and grow together. If this is a big fat mistake, you’ll know it quickly. If it’s not, you’ll thrive.

    That’s a big part of marriage, learning and growing together.

    I wish you the best of luck!