How to be a Stay at Home Wife or Mother
Did you see how I used the stylish name and not the one most of us are used to put up our noses at. Yeah, the H-word. I mean housewife. Another way to describe staying at home as a wife or mother is as a Homemaker, this I think is the best description. But whichever way it is put, a housewife usually does not have an external income, or she just does not earn as much as she would if she worked outside the home.
For this reason, a lot of stay at home wives and mothers will tell you, "I did not plan to be a housewife", but in my case I actually did. I mean we did, Atala and I. Let me start from the beginning. I am one of those never say never kind of people, I try to remain adaptable, and not to think in absolutes. For instance, it was never taboo in my mind for a woman to choose to be a housewife, the key word being choice. If a woman gets married and decides to stay home, either for the husband or the children, who was I to judge? Especially if it is working for their family?
Having a career or not is one of those topics that can get educated and socially-aware women up in arms, the debate being whether career women can be good mothers, and how much housewives contribute to the economy. I remember when Michelle Obama said at the DNC last year, “... my most important title is still ‘mom-in-chief.’” Some people were not happy about that, and feel that with all her degrees she should be out building on her career and not staying home.
Being a feminist, I see where such talk comes from. Some of our grandmothers and mothers did not have the opportunity to get education to the extent we have now, and most times, they were coerced to stop working after marriage or pregnancy, either by their husband, or male bosses. In those days, a woman is expected to focus fully on her home and nothing more. The argument now is that since we are not so disadvantaged, why not use our freedom to the full extent? I believe that freedom should depend on individual choice rather than collective mandate.
From personal experience, I would say if you and your husband are fine with you staying home, then it shouldn't matter what outsiders think. A couple can either agree for a woman to stay home from immediately after the wedding, or from when she becomes pregnant, or takes her first maternity leave. As a stay at home wife or mother, I will suggest a hobby, cause, or charity work, or you may choose to find a job you can do from home.
Let's discuss, my part two is coming soon :)