Choosing to be a stay at home wife (with or without children) is a brave choice. There will be many people who judge you for your choice to stay home. People will tell you to “get a real job” or they’ll roll their eyes at you if you say that what you do is a job (and an exhausting one, at that). But, it’s between you and your husband to make this choice, and if being a stay at home wife is the choice you’ve made, here are a couple things you can do to learn how to be a good stay at home wife.
(And how to love what you do!)
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Shortly after my husband and I got married, I was in between jobs and temporarily staying home. It wasn’t until I went back to work that we realized how much we both (it’s important that you and your husband are both on the same page) loved having me be a stay at home wife, so I quit my job and never looked back.
It hasn’t always been easy – there have been more times than not when we have to decline an invitation to the movies or have to have date night in because we don’t have the money to go out at the time. But even though we’re living on a low income, we feel richly blessed in so many ways.
Want to make your home a haven?
Each couple has to choose for themselves since everyone’s situations are different and staying home isn’t for every wife out there, but we have loved these past few years of having me be a stay at home wife, and become a stay at home mom.
Since I don’t have a “real” job to go to each day, we get so many unique opportunities –
- I get to focus solely on my role as a homemaker
- If my husband has a few days off we can pick up and go on a vacation without having to ask for time off from my job
- I get to find ways to cut costs and be creative with our finances
- We have grown a greater appreciation for what we have
- We don’t impulse buy – it’s just not an option
- I get to stay home and raise our children rather than sending them to daycare
- We’ve learned that quality time spent together is far more valuable than fleeting gifts
- We count our blessings rather than our challenges
And so much more. Since we’ve chosen to live as a single income family, we’ve had to find ways to become creative with our finances and incredibly intentional with our spending.
Being a stay at home mom & single income family isn’t for the faint of heart!
How to know if being a stay at home wife is right for you
Do you feel like you’re working at a job that is constantly taking everything out of you and you’re never getting refilled? If you do, it might be time to find a new job. But how do you know if choosing the job of a stay at home wife is the right choice for you?
Here are a couple reasons why being a stay at home wife might not be the right fit for you (right now):
- Your husband isn’t on board. The very first thing you should do when thinking of becoming a full-time homemaker is discussing it with your spouse. Going from two incomes down to one is a big decision and you’ll both need to be on board with it or it won’t work. If your husband isn’t on board with this idea right now, give it time and try discussing it again in a couple of months if it’s something that is really important to you. Lay out the pros and cons so you can both go over them together and make a unified decision.
- You’re not ready to make some lifestyle changes. When you become a stay at home wife you’ll likely be leaving one income behind. If that’s the case, you’ll have to be ready for some serious (and some minor) lifestyle changes. You can’t expect to drop from two incomes down to one without changing your spending habits. You’ll want to sit down and write up a realistic budget, budgeting only your husband’s income, to see if becoming a single income family is even a viable option right now.
- If spending too much time at home drives you crazy. When you become a stay at home wife there will most likely be days (quite often) when you don’t even leave your house! (Gasp!) So, if you can’t stand the thought of spending an entire day at home then becoming a stay at home wife may not be the best move for you – right now. Of course you can – and should – get out of the house on a daily basis and go for a walk, but if you need to constantly be doing something away from home the adjustment to staying home will be tough.
- You aren’t a self-motivator. If you struggle to get stuff done without having someone above you telling you what to do or setting deadlines, then you can bet you’ll struggle to get anything done at home.
Being a homemaker is a wonderful, rewarding job and you can bless many people with the role you have, but while you’re deciding what YOU should do, remember that it’s not for everybody.
➡️ Do you desire to stay home with your kids? Learn how you can stay home with your kids on a tight budget, here!
Stay at home wife duties
“What do you even DO all day?” – a common question stay at home wives get asked.
We don’t have kids. We don’t have a “real” job. So, we must sit around and watch TV all.day.long. (What else would one do with all that time?!)
But no – we don’t sit around watching TV all day, or TV at all. We are busy, but we can also make time for someone to drop in for coffee un-announced.
Since leaving my job to become a stay at home wife, I’ve had to learn how to be intentional with my days. Sure, I do have the option to sit around and get nothing done – but why would I do that? Stay at home wives don’t choose to be stay at home wives because they’re lazy, they choose it because they want to thrive in their God-given role as a homemaker.
A housewife does many different things throughout her day, but the very thing people often think of when they hear the term “stay at home wife” – a woman sitting at home watching soap operas and eating ice cream all day – is far from reality. Here are some common housewife duties –
- Meal planning & prepping
- Grocery shopping
- Paying bills
- Making & packing lunches
- Making meals
- (Or all at once)
- House cleaning & organizing
- Running errands
- Scheduling appointments
When you look at a stay at home mom’s daily schedule, it’s easy to think that their job really isn’t that hard. Heck, you could do all that AND work outside the home. While that might be true, how in-depth can you do it all without burning yourself out? There are healthy limits, and you don’t want to go so hard and keep yourself so busy that you exhaust yourself and burn out. Looking at the schedule of a stay at home mom and actually being a stay at home mom and doing all the things are two completely different things.
It’s like the old saying goes:
Never judge a book by its cover. (There is more to the daily duties of a stay at home wife than meets the eye.)
ULTIMATELY, BEING A STAY AT HOME WIFE HAS CHANGED THE COURSE OF OUR MARRIAGE AND LIVES, AND WE WOULDN’T HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY.
Being a stay at home wife means that I need to find new ways each day to be productive and get things done.
It means that I spend the majority of my time at home, so I never really leave my job. It means that there are many people who will be judgemental when they hear I’m a stay at home wife. (And many people who think I’m lazy.)
But, it also means that my husband and I get more time together. It means that when he has a day off of work unexpectedly, we can spend it together because I don’t have to leave the house to go to my job.
It means that I can have a home cooked meal hot and ready for my husband when he comes home from work. It means that I can kiss him goodbye at the door in the morning and kiss him hello at the door in the evening.
It means that we have so much more freedom.
If I wasn’t a stay at home wife I wouldn’t have had the time or drive to start up this blog and find a passion I didn’t know I had.
Stay at home wives (and moms) have a calling in life that is often overlooked or forgotten about. Our calling is to be a homemaker.
I believe that being a homemaker is a precious job that shouldn’t be taken for granted.
She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. – Proverbs 31:27
But with choosing to be a stay at home wife comes an important decision. We need to decide if we are going to use our days for good and be productive, or if we will be lazy, idle, and let our days slip by.
An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. – Proverbs 31:10
11 ways to be a good stay at home wife
1. START YOUR DAY OFF WITH GOD’S WORD
If you only take ONE THING away from this entire post on how to be a good stay at home wife, let this be the thing you take away: spending time in God’s word regenerates, energizes, and equips you with what you need to face your day.
Starting every day in the Word of God (don’t have a good Bible yet? I use this study Bible and LOVE the way it explains things) will help you start your day on the right foot and with your head screwed on straight. You’ll be amazed at what a difference it makes in your productivity, attitude, and the total outcome of your day.
If you want to be a GOOD stay at home wife – or just a good wife at all – spend time with the Lord.
2. GET DRESSED
If you think being a stay at home wife gives you a pass to stay in your PJs all day, think again.
(Sure, you could stay in your pajamas all day, but really, you don’t want to be THAT person, do you?)
Getting dressed will help you be more productive throughout your whole day – because who really feels like vacuuming their entire house when they’re in their pajamas? Not me.
3. MAKE A LIST
Whether you’re a person of routine (ME!) or you prefer to fly by the seat of your pants, using a list to organize your days will help you ensure that you get the most important tasks done first, then work your way down each and every thing that needs to be done throughout the day.
If you’re famous for making lists and forgetting about them, this list formula will help you make lists that you FOLLOW. (It’s genius!)
4. KNOW THAT THERE’S ALWAYS SOMETHING TO BE DONE
Finished washing the dishes and don’t know what to do next? The floor could use a good sweep.
Done running errands and tempted to sit down and scroll through Facebook for half an hour? Meals could be being prepped.
Standing around with nothing to do? There’s always more laundry to be done.
You get the point – there’s always something that can be done. Even when you think you’ve finished everything, there’s always something else.
You could organize a drawer (or just use this so you never have to organize a drawer again), sweep the floor, throw in a load of laundry (with your homemade detergent), wipe out the cupboards, make next week’s meal plan. There’s never a shortage of stuff to be done around the house.
(If you have yet to start meal planning, there’s no better time than the present. This is what my husband and I did to go from spending $1,000 on groceries a month to $300!)
5. FIND A CLEANING ROUTINE THAT WORKS FOR YOU
Keeping the house clean is just a part of being a stay at home wife – no matter how much you wish it wasn’t. And I’ll be the first to admit, it can get very exhausting and boring. And sometimes it’s just plain hard to find the motivation to clean.
But, cleaning is a part of our lives, so we had better find some way to do it – and some way to make it at least a little bit bearable.
After a lot of trial and error when it comes to cleaning, I have found that using a cleaning routine or schedule works the best to keep me on track. That way I don’t need to batch all my big cleaning tasks on to one day – I can spread them out over a number of days to make the workload lighter. I like to use a cleaning schedule just like this one.
6. MANAGE YOUR TIME
Time management is crucial for stay at home moms. We can get out of bed and slowly do a couple chores, then before we know it it’s time to start supper and we don’t know what we did all day.
One thing I found when I became a stay at home mom was that I constantly felt busy, but I was never getting anything done.
Kind of like spinning my wheels but getting nowhere. I was wasting energy on things that weren’t important and forgetting about the things that were. That was until I started to learn how to manage my time better. Now that I have a time management system in place I am able to be productive and get more things done than ever.
(My time management system is simple. I write everything I have to do for the day down on this list then work on completing the tasks in a timely matter so I can get them all done in the morning/afternoon – if possible – and still have some time to relax. The biggest thing I did for my time management was focus on getting my tasks done FIRST, then doing “fun stuff” last. If I didn’t get around to the “fun stuff” it wasn’t as big of a deal as if I didn’t get all my tasks done.)
7. CREATE A MONEY MANAGEMENT PLAN
If you’re becoming a stay at home wife chances are finances are going to get a bit tight until you can figure out how to balance life on one income. The good news is that living on one income IS very possible – my husband and I have been doing it for years – it just requires some adjustments.
Creating a plan for your money is the starting point. You’ll want to create a budget that is tailored exactly to your family’s needs so you can ensure you’ll be able to live comfortably on one income without going into debt. If you’re struggling to create a budget that works, The Ultimate Budget Breakdown will walk you through in step-by-step form how to create a budget that is perfectly tailored to your lifestyle.
8. TURN OFF THE ELECTRONICS
If you want to be a good, productive stay at home wife, electronics are NOT your friend. It is convenient to be able to catch up with people in just a couple of seconds, but it’s far too easy to get sucked in to the endless Facebook scroll or texting with a friend when you should be doing household chores.
If you really need to focus in on something that you’re doing, turning your phone, computer, and TV off will help you focus and get the task done without getting distracted. You could start getting things done in half the time simply by focusing all your energy on the task until it’s done.
9. make your home a haven for your husband to come home to
Spend some time each day making your home a haven for your husband to come home to each evening. Make it a welcoming, cozy, and safe place – a place that people feel comfortable in when they come to visit.
It’s especially important to focus on making your home somewhere that your husband is excited to come home to. Does he want a certain piece of furniture, picture, or decoration but hasn’t gotten around to getting it? Surprise him one day by having it at home for him (if finances are tight, buying online through Ebates will give you cash back and you can check for any available discounts. Use Ebates for free here & get a $10 bonus through this link).
Maybe there’s a meal he’s been craving for weeks. Have it hot and ready for him when he gets home from work.
If a clean and organized home is important to your husband, try to do little things every day that keep your home clean and tidy.
10. get up early
Just because you can sleep in doesn’t mean you should. Waking up early and starting your day before the rush sets in will help you feel more relaxed and at ease throughout your day. You could even get into the habit of waking up with your husband (or before) and making him a nice breakfast before he sets off to work.
11. Take care of yourself
Stay at home wives work in the house. Homemaking is their job. The catch? They don’t get to leave work at the end of the day. This means that day in and day out, all day, they are at work which could result in burning out.
To avoid burning out and continue loving your role as a homemaker and stay at home wife, you need to make sure you take time for yourself. Spoil yourself every once in a while. Make yourself look good and don’t just wear sweats with bedhead all day. Putting effort into the way you look and taking time to pamper yourself (with an at-home spa kit) – or just do something you enjoy – each day will keep you refreshed and ready to face each new day.
Do you ever just wonder how to be a good homemaker or what stay at home wives do all day? Maybe you are a stay at home wife and you feel lost and like you’re not getting anything productive done with your days. I’ve been there! The biggest change was when I started using a daily list (like this one) and took a bit of time each morning to write down everything that needed to get done during the day. This way my list would keep me on track and keep me accountable.
What are some of your tips from one stay at home wife to another? Maybe you have a favorite stay at home wife schedule! I’d love to hear your stay at home wife tips.