The Stay at Home Wife

This post is about being a stay-at-home wife. Not a stay-at-home mom, a stay-at-home wife with no children (unless you count my pug baby Ralphie, which we do around here!).

I had an epiphany today, something I have been moving towards for several weeks. I read a great blog post today about how it’s okay to be a stay-at-home wife. It really sparked this final push of a shift that I began thinking about a few weeks ago.

The few weeks ago, my husband and I were talking about what I should do with my life. I think he was getting kind of frustrated with me because I talk about this over and over and always end up just getting really discouraged. I don’t work, but not by choice. I have an inflammatory nerve disorder that makes it hard for me to get around and really limits the jobs I could even consider pursuing.

I also have struggled with (an at times very crippling – which it is currently) anxiety and panic disorder my entire life, since I was a small, small child. While this may not seem like a valid reason to some people, and sometimes it isn’t to me, I know how truly disabling this condition can be and I would never judge anyone else for it, so why should I judge myself? Right now because of my physical disability, the anxiety disorder causes a psychosomatic vortex that I am sucked into.

During that conversation with my husband, at one point I said, “What if I just want to be a housewife?” And he said, “That’s fine with me! I would love it if you chose to be a housewife! All I have ever wanted is to provide for my family. That’s what makes me proud.” He has also said to me multiple times (including 5 months after we started dating) that I can be a stay-at-home mom, work part time, or become a doctor – it doesn’t matter, he will always take care of me. Point is, I know I have his support on this.

Why is this so hard for me? I think it’s because I am an intelligent, ambitious, restless person who has been sidelined by disability, in one way or another, for many years. It makes me sad to feel like I have so much potential that has been brought down by disability. But I have to remember that the point of life isn’t really that everyone makes a profound, huge contribution. The point of life is to be good to people. Sometimes that’s just being good to the people directly around you. That’s good enough. Because if everyone did that, the world would be a wonderful place. I have to be patient and have faith.

To be honest, the ideal situation for me would be to work part time. And I’m working towards that. I can continue to work towards that. I don’t have to give up. But I’m going to be better off coming to peace about being a stay-at-home wife right now. My resistance to this has just caused me to be angry at the world, not take care of myself, and neglect all my housewife duties so in the end I’m not really doing anything. Our house is a mess and some days I can’t even cook dinner. I’ve just been lying around reading because I can’t handle anything. I haven’t even been swimming much because I’ve been letting my anxiety disorder win (I have developed some agoraphobia and get panic attacks leaving the house on the bus).

But you know what? It’s okay for me to be a housewife. It’s what’s right for me right now. I need to take care of myself. Embracing this makes it become my mission and my purpose. When I resolve to be the best housewife I can be, I feel motivated to take care of myself so that I can keep up with everything I have to do. There really is a lot to do around here. My husband works a lot and he works long hours. It really helps us all when I prepare all of his meals for him. I am the one who makes the budget for us, and I could do a lot more to keep our costs down and save money. I want home to be a cleaner, more relaxing place. If I commit to all this stuff, and embrace it, and let myself be happy about it, I know I will get better in so many other ways and be able to pick up a part-time job.

So you know what. It’s OKAY if I am a stay at home wife. Some people aren’t going to understand. Some people are going to judge me. But it’s what works for our household right now. And that’s okay. It’s a natural way to be and there’s nothing wrong with that. Everyone gets to make their own decision on what works best for their family. We would have a lot more money if I could work. We would be able to buy a house like we want to. But like I said, I can do a lot at home to save money. And I really believe a penny saved is a penny earned. I can also work on other things at home, like my writing and crafts.

I’m going to relax and let everything come together. I’m going to take care of myself again so that I can do the best job at my job.

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PS: HAPPY VETERANS DAY TO ALL VETERANS AND ESPECIALLY TO MY VETERAN, my husband, who served in the United States Army for 8 years, including a deployment to Afghanistan.

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7 thoughts on “The Stay at Home Wife

  1. I absolutely think you should do whatever you want to do…if you want to work then you should work. If you want to be housewife then you should be a housewife. Whatever makes you happy is the right choice!

  2. I’m so happy you left a comment on my blog so I could find you. First of all, your husband is a gem. I’m so glad you have him. Second of all, you’re a gem too – not because of what you DO, but because of who you are. There is nothing wrong with being a SAHW, even without all the constraints that you have. I just saw that you know Ameena up there – have you also read Shari at Dusty Earth Mother? http://dustyearthmother.com/ She’s one of my best friends, back from when we lived in NY together. She struggles with depression and has pugs!!! I think you’ll like her.

  3. Hi Katie,

    i really relate to this post. I’m not a wife 🙂
    But I’m NOT happy either. In fact I’m so torn about what to do with potential (?) work or not, etc..
    I too have health issues (though nothing as enduring as yours — you are tough gal), and also have intense anxiety, etc. I’d love to chat if you can/want. You seem to REALLY really be growing in your confidence and clarity in life…I could use some advice/insight 🙂 Either way, thanks for being such a good person> The world needs those.

  4. Your husband sounds like such a wonderful & supportive guy! As long as you’re happy, other people’s viewpoints are negligible. And plus being a stay-at-home-wife is no easy feat, and you should proud of yourself for being one!

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