Thursday, November 8, 2012

how to be a stay at home wife

Long before baby(s), I was a SAHW - stay at home wife. My other titles included Trophy Wife, Homemaker and Home Manager (I always loved filling out forms that asked for my occupation so that I could write those words on the blank line).

My breed is a bit hard to come by. Most women these days without kids, married or not, are in the work force. And I was, for a time. But my calling changed and so did my heart.

It happened when we moved from Las Vegas back to San Diego when Ben signed his second contract with the Marine Corps, back in 2007. We had been married about 3 years. I had worked since the age of 15 and was now 22. I decided to quit my job in Las Vegas rather than transfer back to San Diego, which was an option. That way we could move, transition and get settled in without me working. So for a few months, I didn't work outside the home.

And I decided that I really enjoyed it.

And so did my husband.

There's something about "staying home." You have this thing; this thing called time. I had never had so much of it before! granted I was still in school. i wouldn't finish my degree for another year.

But, all this time! I was able to keep the house clean, the pantry and refrigerator stocked, dinner was always made or being prepared when my husband got home from work. And I had time for me and for service! I was able to volunteer, at multiple places. And get lunch with friends on a whim. Or run errands in the middle of the day.

One major challenge was that I had to learn how to not waist my time, but to instead fill it with beneficial activites. It's easy to spend your time sitting around, watching tv, eating, just plain vegging out if you aren't intentional about what you do with it. And that's exactly what I learned not to do.

I got the question often: what do you do all day?

Let me just say, as a woman and a wife, if you stay home, don't let others look down on you because you don't have children and do not work outside the home. Neither of those things has to define us as women. And yet, if you aren't doing one or the other, people can't possibly understand why not or how you can be a contributing member of society. But you are because you can fulfill your God-given purpose as a woman through following His call on your life. And that call does not have to fall in line with the secular world.

My focus during that season of life was clear and simple: I sought the Lord through study and fellowship and ministry. I served my husband well. I served others as best I could. I cultivated friendships. I spent time doing things I enjoyed.

What exactly does that look like? Here are my suggestions for being a good stay at home wife:

1. Get plugged into a church. From there, join a small group or 2. Definitely join one with your husband if you can. Sign up for a Bible study (these are often different than small groups because they focus on specific books of the Bible. I highly suggest Precept Upon Precept). Seek God daily through prayer and study.

2. Serve your husband! I know, that isn't very politically correct to say it that way, but it's the truth of scripture and God's purpose on your life. Learn his "love language" and speak it. alot. Have pride in your home; decorate it, clean it, make it a haven for your marriage to thrive. Learn to cook and sew. Then do it. Spend time with him, give him your attention, listen and be interested in what he's interested in. Learn to manage the money he brings in. Tithe, give, save and of course spend it for both of your enjoyment.

3. Volunteer. Determine what cause and calling the Lord has placed specifically on your heart. If you don't know, pray about it! And try helping in a few different areas until you find one you really enjoy. Many churches support local ministries and outreaches so try helping with those. Serve others because He has called us to be servants.

4. Make friends. And build the friendships you already have. Get together as often as possible. Ask how they are doing. Pray for them. Help them out when they need it. Rejoice with them and weap with them. Study the word together. Be vulnerable. It's worth it.

5. Do something for you! You have free time. Use it to find out what you love to do or do more of what you love! Blog, scrapbook, read, run, cook. Just don't waist your time or your money. Use it to be productive.

I was a stay at home wife for 4 years. It was fantastic. I cherish that season of mine and my husband's life. It was a time when we were able to grow together and with the Lord. We were able to travel and spend ample amounts of time together on the weekends. We spent time seeking Christ as the foundation of our marriage and as a result our marriage is now a strong foundation for our growing family. When we had our first son, a million other responsibilities were added to that list I shared above. But now I get to be a stay at home mother and I couldn't be more thankful for this season of my life.

My last piece of advice would be: if you are blessed enough to be a stay at home wife, cherish the time. Make the most of it now because life moves quickly and seasons change before you even know it.

I would like to note that I was a stay at home wife while my husband was in the military. We were far from wealthy and part of my job was to budget our money and learn to live frugally if I was going to stay home. Please don't think that I stayed home because my husband had some job that made us filthy rich. We lived in a small apartment and shared one vehicle. I took public transportation alot of the time and thrifted most of our clothes. My point: you don't have to have a rich husband to stay home.


  1. What a great post!!!! I wrote something similar a few years ago when I was finally ready to tell the world and their expectations to shove it! ;) Kudos for taking the time for God, your marriage, and yourself. I'm going to share your post on my Facebook page because I agree with it so much! :)

  2. This post is amazing! I'm working full time and I absolutely hate it. I know this isn't what I'm meant to do forever. Someday I want to be a stay at home mom, but kids are still pretty far off for us. I've really wanted to quit my job and stay home for awhile now. My husband has no problem with it, but it just isn't financially feasible at the moment. I'm hoping and praying I get the opportunity soon! I'm so glad you posted this. It's encouraging and needed, especially since it's turned into such a counter cultural occupation.

  3. I've been a stay-at-home wife since I got married, although I've technically also been in school the whole time, besides two summer breaks. But honestly, I love it too! I wouldn't mind having less or even no school, because there really is so much you can get done and so much more time you can spend together. I think stay at home wife is my ideal career, for now!

  4. I love this Jessi. I can still use the advice even as a SAHM

  5. This is the season I am currently finding myself in and your beautiful words felt like the Lord reaffirming that its ok to be where we are. To be at home instead of feeling the pressure to work more outside the home.
    Thank you for your beautiful post!
    Much Love!

  6. Yes! Love this post. This is how I feel every summer when my schoolwork (mostly) subsides and I get to focus on being a home manager and rockin' wife. I love those months!

  7. Jessi,
    I just came upon your blog today and I was so touched by this post. I am a stay at home wife but not by choice: I have an inflammatory nerve disorder that makes it hard for me to get around or do a normal job. It has caused a lot of depression and anxiety for me (something I have dealt with my whole life anyway). I have recently been coming to the conclusion that it is OKAY to be a stay at home wife. My husband is happy with it and it is my contribution to our "team". This post was so comforting to me to read. A lot of kudos is given to stay at home moms (although people even seem to judge that nowadays) but I never read any perspective on being stay at home wife. I need to realize that taking care of my husband and the volunteer work I do IS a worthy contribution to this world!


  8. I love this post and your disclaimer at the end! For the past year I was (almost) a SAHW. I worked 1 day a week. Now I have to work again, but I'm enjoying it. This is so real and good though!
    Alesha <3

  9. I am so filling out those cards with Trophy Wife now!!!

  10. Beautiful post! My fiance and I have decided that I will be a SAHW once we get married, and it's brought a lot of eyebrow-raising from friends and family. This was so encouraging--thank you!