Candace Ott
I have a confession...

I no longer am a full-time Housewife. This month I received the opportunity to take on a temporary position as an Executive Assistant for Bernards Builders & Management Service. The position lasts one month at the company's satellite office, and 3 months at one of their job sites. After that, an opportunity may or may not arise to continue working; however, this has provided me with the opportunity to really compare and contrast being a working woman vs. being a housewife.

Here are the Pros and Cons I found with being a housewife:
I loved having enough time to cook meals for my husband and me, do all our laundry, keep the apartment clean and orderly, garden in the backyard, complete projects I usually don't have time for (crocheting/scrap booking), grocery shopping, exercising, reading, and always getting a full 8 hours of sleep. I was always in a good mood for my husband when he got home, did my best to look nice for him, and made sure he got to relax once he was home.

On the down side, many times if everything was already done, I would find myself alone while everyone I know was working (sadly, in today's times, housewives seem to be scarce). I also can't lie... sometimes things simply got boring. Not bringing in money can play havoc with your feelings of worth as well, especially when people ask what you do for a living.

Now here are the Pros and Cons I have found with being a working woman:
I love the feeling that I'm helping make money. My feelings of worth have definitely increased now that my husband is not the sole provider. I like being around people, and constantly staying busy. When people ask what I do, I feel good knowing I have a job to answer with. I sense more respect.

On the down side, I have already started getting frustrated at home. I'm sometimes too tired to cook, resulting in my husband and me eating out more. We try to make time for working out, but many times we're both too tired. Laundry, dishes and cleaning are now responsibilities added onto my husband's plate to share with me. There's less time to do these things during the week, so many times they get pushed to the weekend, making it difficult to make fun/relaxing plans for us then. I feel like these things are my main responsibility, and so when chores get pushed off, I start feeling like a failure as a wife.

Living in today's times, I think women feel guilty for taking care of the home, and not being at work. What's worse, is that women seem to have pressure to be everything at the same time. Work full-time, take care of the house, the kids, AND look good for her husband.

In America today, people define themselves according to what they do. Why is it not openly accepted for women to be housewives today? Before, women were encouraged to be home, and not go to work if they were married; however, wouldn't you think that now women should have the choice, and not feel frowned upon? This all being said with the husband's support of her decision.

While I was a full-time housewife, I found that my husband and I were more synchronized. We each played our part: him at work, and me at home. The result was getting to spend more quality time together without the burden of figuring out who would cook, clean, etc. We made up for the cut income, by simply cutting back on eating out and spending less.

Now don't get me wrong, there are plenty of couples, where both husband and wife work full-time, and they find their synchronization. I simply want to emphasize having the choice without the pressure from society.

As for myself, while I prefer taking care of the home, I also enjoy the benefits of working. My desire is to do what helps my husband out the most, whether it's helping at home, or helping bring in a paycheck. But with full understanding that I can't do both 100%. If given the opportunity, I would work until we have kids - to help build a good financial cushion (especially with the economy the way it is). Kids are a whole different arena... they ARE a full-time job, coupled with housework. That then brings up the whole debate on whether women should be working moms, or stay-at-home moms.

Maybe someday, I'll get to do a comparison of that as well. ;-)
2 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    It sounds like your current station in life finds you with a time management issue. My advice would be to do a few things very well and kind of blow off the other stuff. For instance, I go to work every day, work out for several hours every day. I know those two things are happening no matter what unless there's some unusual circumstance. This gives me comfort, and I'm not as worried about the other stuff.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I like how you did the pro's and con's thing. When you see it on paper it makes it more real. Here's my take on the benefit of being a housewife of 31 years. May be old fashioned but still has value to it. I always though that for a man it was important for him to know that he could support and care for his family. Woman's rights has taken that away from them and may be a big reason for the divorce rate. Men don't know where they fit in and what there role in a marriage is. By a wife working outside the home if you break down the costs(not just money) that was deducted from you paycheck it appears that you would be in the neg. Example: working outside the home your expenses would be clothes for work, lunches, gas to and from, dinner out since you were to tired to cook, child care(if you have kids) and the list goes on. To me working outside the home and not being able to give 100% to my husband/kids was not worth it. As far as being bored if you stay at home there are plenty of ways to not only improve yourself but to help others and feel good about what you do for you and your family unit. Volunteer in your community or church, take painting or creative classes that cost little to nothing now days. Once you have kids you will see just how important being home for them is and rewarding for you as well. At times it's a rough day but in the end it will be YOUR values instilled in your child and not a stranger in a daycare from a place that is just out to make money and not have your child's best interest in mind. This I know first hand since I worked in a daycare up until my son Scott was born. I cvan't tell you how many time I was called mommy by these small children since I was all they had from early in the morning until 6 at night. Hubby and I decided early on that we would do what ever it took for me to be home and I can tell you it paid off big time! When I look back on families I knew that worked outside the home not because they had to(that's a different story)but by choice and the kids were the ones that got the short end of the stick. And in a lot of cases I was the one who picked them up from school and took them, I was called when they were sick at school and took them to my place until there parents came home and our home was the place they went after school because they didn't want to go home to an empty house. Instead I choose to be the one who helped with homework, had cookies and milk ready when they got home from school and taught them the values that we wanted them to have. That's all down the road for you and Matt but it will be here before you know it. For now it's your husband that needs your love and care. He's the one that deserves your time and love and not your leftovers(not talking food but of yourself) at the end of the day. I have found the woman who look down at stay at home moms and house wives are those who feel guilty about there choice to work. A great book I would recommend to you is Dr. Laura's "The proper care and feeding of husbands". I ask you... is the extra money worth it all and at what cost? Set your foundation now for your lives together. I always told Sarah and Scott " you put your time in now or you put your time in later". In other words get your families foundation set and give them your time now or you will have to put that time in later down the road dealing with problems and issues. Know this was a bit long but it's a subject near and dear to my heart. Love ya,
    Bonnie(AKA Mrs. Pooley)

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