Should You be a Stay at Home Wife (with no kids)? Freeloader?

Wondering if being a stay at home wife is the right move for you? Find out exactly what stay at home wives do all day and if it’s the right choice for you, inside. (Plus, I’m spilling some of the down and dirty, nitty-gritty stay at home wife duties that no one is talking about.)

I once heard someone say this about stay at home wives, and I believe there’s no better way to put it…

“Being a stay at home wife is a luxury… for your spouse.”


Choosing to be a stay at home wife with no kids is like signing a contract that allows everyone – close friends, acquaintances, and even strangers – to openly share their opinion about your choice to be unemployed with “justified” criticism in their voice.

You know what I’m talking about…

“Where do you work?” 

“I’m a stay at home wife/homemaker/I stay home…”

“Oh. Wow. With no kids? What do you even DO all day?”

But maybe I’m jumping the gun a bit here… maybe you’re not a stay at home wife yet, but you’re wondering if you should be (don’t let the judgmental opinions of others convince you out of it… first consider the following things we’re going to go over before making a decision).

Many, many people believe that it is flat out wrong to be a childless stay at home wife.

They don’t believe it’s just wrong for them. Nope. They believe it’s wrong… for everyone. 

(Unfortunately, these are the kinds of people you just may have to live with… but hey, this is your life. Don’t let the naysayers make your big life decisions for you.)

In this post, we’re going to debunk some stay at home wife myths and help you decide whether being a stay at home wife is the right decision for you.

(If you have kids and you’re wondering whether or not you should be a stay at home MOM, head over to this post here: 7 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Become a Stay at Home Mom.)

Is it wrong to be a stay at home wife without children?

It’s easy to get sucked into the common belief that if you’re going to stay at home, you have to have kids.

And if you stay at home with no kids… well, you’re just lazy.

So many people believe that being a stay at home childless wife is simply wrong, and that there’s no reason whatsoever that anyone should ever be a stay at home wife without kids. 

Related: How to be a Stay at Home Wife & Live on One Low Income

I do believe that there are certain reasons why being a stay at home wife would be the right move for some women. 

Not all, but some. 

While it is true, that some stay at home wives (and moms) quit their jobs to just moping around the house and be… lazy… there are many different stay at home wife duties, so if you’re dedicated and able to motivate yourself to treat your home like you treated a “real” job, then you’ll be well on your way to becoming an amazing stay at home wife…

…so amazing that your spouse will be ecstatic that you’re staying home and never want you to go back to the workforce (because then they’d lose all the awesome benefits of a stay at home wife).

So no – being a stay at home wife is not bad, wrong, or pitiful.

If you choose to do it because you have a passion for it, not because you’re lazy.

However, being a stay at home wife isn’t the right thing for every wife out there, particularly if the only reason you’re becoming a stay at home wife is so that you can sleep in, watch TV all day, and be the stereotypical stay at home wife you see in the movies.

(If you aren’t a very good self-starter and you tend to feel less-than motivated when you spend a day at home, being a stay at home wife probably isn’t the right move for you. But we’ll talk more about that in a bit…)

Should I become a stay at home wife?

Ready to find out whether or not you should be a stay at home wife, and how to know if being a stay at home wife is the right move for you?

Here are some reasons why you should be a stay at home wife… then below we’ll talk about some reasons why you shouldn’t be a stay at home wife.

Being a stay at home wife may be the right move for you if…

1. Your husband is on board

Quitting your job to become a full-time stay at home wife is no small decision, which means you and your husband need to be on the same page with this large lifestyle change because this decision is going to have a large effect on both of your lives.

2. You’re financially smart

Becoming a stay at home wife means you’ll be going from two incomes down to one.

Living as a single income household isn’t impossible by any means (we did it and thrived), but it is a big change, especially when you rely heavily on both incomes. Having some good financial intuition, in this case, will be in your favor. 

3. A change of lifestyle doesn’t scare you

As we went over above, you’ll be completely dropping an income in the process of becoming a stay at home wife.

Which means that, unless you’ve been living solely off of your husband’s income all this time and not touching yours at all, there will likely need to be some minor and some not-so-minor lifestyle changes in the near future.

4. You enjoy housework

Becoming a stay at home wife means your job just changed from a 9-5 to a work-from-home type of gig.

AKA… you never leave work.

Your house is now your job, so you have to be willing to face the housework that you never had time to do when you were working fulltime outside the home.

5. You’re a self-starter

Being a self-starter is vital when it comes to staying home. There’s no “big boss” telling you what to do and when to get it done by.

Now you’re the “big boss” of yourself, and you’re the one in charge of making sure stuff gets done.

6. You’re prepared to make sacrifices others don’t have to make

Living off of one income means you’re going to have to make some sacrifices that friends of yours who are living on two incomes won’t have to make.

Weighing your options to see if the benefits of staying home outweigh the sacrifices you’ll have to make is a good thing to do before making the switch from employee to homemaker.

7. You’re okay with saying no

Some of those sacrifices we just covered will be having to politely decline a night out with friends. Unfortunately, dropping a job means your income will be significantly lower – which means there will be some things you’ll have to start saying “no” to.

8. You’re prepared to serve your husband

Since your house is now your job… you shouldn’t spend the entire day sitting on the couch binge-watching Friends then as soon as your husband gets home from work, ask him to help you clean up the house or make dinner.

It just doesn’t work like that.

When you both worked outside the home, you most likely split the housework up evenly. Now that you’re quitting your outside job and taking on the job of a homemaker, housework, cooking, and everything that comes with being a homemaker are now your responsibility. 

(I’m fully aware that I’ll likely get a lot of flack from some women who don’t like the thought of “serving” their husbands.

But what’s so wrong with creating a haven that our husband longs to come home to after a long day of work, kick off his shoes, and relax on the couch because it’s somewhere that he can finally let the weight of work off his shoulders and relax?

What’s so wrong with cooking an elaborate – or not – homemade meal for your husband to come home to? What’s so wrong with washing his laundry so he has fresh clothes to wear to work tomorrow? What’s so wrong with serving your husband? Nothing.

I truly believe it’s an honor and a blessing to be able to do this. If you don’t feel the same way, please feel free to leave the article. There’s no need to leave a nasty comment. I won’t approve it anyway. 🙂 )

9. You enjoy cooking

Or, at least, you aren’t opposed to cooking. Maybe cooking isn’t your forte… but now that homemaking is your job, you’re going to be doing a lot more of it. 

10. You’re okay spending all day at home

Becoming a stay at home wife means you’ll be spending most of your time… at home. (Go figure!)

While it will most likely take a bit of time to adjust to spending your days at home, some people simply can’t handle it. It’s important to know whether or not this is something you’ll be okay with.

11. You’re willing to live with fewer luxuries

Slashing your income means you may have to give up some of the luxuries you have a hard time living without – cable, dining at fancy restaurants, your daily Starbucks coffee, etc.

(Trust me, they may seem impossible to give up now… but life is just as good without all those things.)

Being a stay at home wife may not be the right move for you if…

Now that we’ve gone over the reasons why being a stay at home wife may be a good thing for you and your husband, here are a few things to consider that may mean being a stay at home wife is not the right move for you (right now)…

1. You and your husband aren’t on the same page

If your husband isn’t on board with you becoming a stay at home wife, it will have to wait. Both partners need to be fully on board for becoming a stay at home wife to work.

If, however, this is something you’re really passionate about, pray about it (these prayers for wives are absolute gold), have conversations with your husband about the changes that can be made to make living as a single income family possible, and ask him why he doesn’t think it’s a good idea.

(And then really listen to his answer. Don’t be thinking of your comeback while he’s talking. Take time to listen.)

2. You’re living paycheque to paycheque

When dropping an income you’re going to want to have a big of money saved up to fall back on in the “adjustment stage” (the first 2 – 3 months of living on one income when you learn where your money is going, where you’re spending too much, and how to cut expenses so you don’t go into debt).

Related: How to Live on One Income & Save Money

3. You don’t want to give your lifestyle up

Living on less means doing less stuff (that costs money). You can still live just as much as you did before – or more, really, because now you can’t just dish out $200 on a night out.

Now you have to be mindful of your purchases and get creative to find a more affordable way to do things.

4. You can’t stand to spend an entire day at home by yourself

You won’t be racing out the door every morning to get to your job by 9 and coming home in the evening. Most days, you’ll spend the entire day at home. If just the thought of that is enough to drive you bonkers, this probably isn’t the best decision.

5. You get lonely easily

As we went over above, you won’t be surrounded by people every day. Some days it’ll just be you until your spouse gets home from work. 

6. You struggle when you have to miss out on things

The phrase, “no, thanks though.” will become your new best friend (not really – but close). Inevitably, there will be some things that you and your spouse will have to pass up on, and you need to be okay with that.

(One way to be okay with this is to focus on the benefits of being a stay at home wife, rather than dwelling on what you can’t do.)

7. Housework drives you mad

If you can’t stand cleaning, cooking, running errands, or managing the home then becoming a stay at home wife probably isn’t the best choice for you, since these chores will become your job and fall solely on you.

Housework is one of the biggest stay at home wife duties, so it’s important that you can actually handle it now, before it’s your full-time gig, without going crazy.

Related: 14 Stay at Home Wife Duties

8. You love your job

If you work somewhere that you absolutely love, leaving that job simply for the desire to try being a stay at home wife, probably isn’t the right choice… right now, anyway. (Maybe it’ll be a better fit in the future.)

9. You struggle to do things on your own

If you struggle to get motivated to get housework or other things done when you’re at home and you thrive with a boss telling you what to do and when to get it done by, becoming a stay at home wife may not be the best idea at the moment.

How to be a perfect stay at home wife

Unfortunately, there are countless wives who feel enslaved to someone (their husband, usually) when they are a stay at home wife. They feel guilty by not contributing financially in the marriage since they don’t bring an income in each month, that they try to make up for it by keeping themselves incredibly busy throughout the day and striving to be perfect.

You can’t be perfect.

No one can. And no one is expecting you to be the perfect stay at home wife. 

You may be the perfect stay at home wife for your husband, but you’re not perfect, and that’s okay. 

Now, you can work on being a good – and a better – stay at home wife. Don’t aim for perfection… aim to be better. (Not better than your neighbor, or your friend, or the woman you met at the grocery store. Better than you are right now.)

Work on being more productive and less busy (because having a day so filled with stuff that you don’t have time to stop for a bite to eat until dinnertime doesn’t mean you’re being productive. It just means you’re busy).

Stay at home childless wives

There are so many women that are feeling guilty for being a stay at home wife when their husband goes off to work every day.

Something important to remember is this: you are making your spouse’s life easier by making the workload they face at home easier.

Rather than having to split the housework up and get it done on the weekend, now you and your hubby can spend the weekend relaxing… because you were able to get all the housework done during the week.

The laundry’s done, the house is clean, and the errands have been run… so all that’s left to do is catch up on time spent together as a family.

One of the biggest hold-ups women face when considering quitting job to be a stay at home wife is that they will lose their sense of purpose.

Their sense of who they are.

But, in my own personal experience (of course, I can’t speak for everyone), I found that when I quit my day job to become a stay at home wife, I found more of who I was than I could ever find working a “real” job.

Should you be a stay at home wife?

And the question still remains… should YOU be a stay at home wife with no kids?

Well, no one can tell you for sure whether this is the right thing or not for you… it has to stem from a passion that you have, and it has to be something that both you and your husband are fully on board with.

For me, being a stay at home wife before I had kids really helped me learn who I was, helped me give more of myself to my husband and nurture our marriage in ways that I never could when I worked a job outside the home, because when I worked outside the home I would come home in the evening exhausted from a long day of work, then step in the door to face a sinkful of dishes, dinner that needed to be made, and bathrooms that needed to be cleaned.

We didn’t have time for us.

Becoming a stay at home wife – and now, stay at home mom – has allowed us to strengthen our marriage and make spending quality, energized, and purposeful time together a priority. 

Stay at home wife duties

Here are just a couple stay at home wife duties that stay at home wives are responsible for:

  • Housework (all of it)
  • Errands
  • Appointments
  • Meal Prep & Cooking
  • Grocery shopping
  • Paying Bills
  • Budgeting/Tracking Finances

…and anything else that pops up throughout the day.

(This cool invention cuts down on the amount of time spent on housework.)

So, is being a stay at home wife right for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. 🙂

More articles for stay at home wives:
11 Steps to Love Your Role as a Stay at Home Wife
60 Creative Ways to Say I Love You to Your Husband
For the Days When it Feels Like You’re Failing as a Wife