This is a repost from the archives. Original posting date: August 14, 2015.
I’m reposting this post because the decision explained here, however “weird” or unpopular, has singlehandedly shaped my husband and my lifestyle, marriage, and routine more than anything else in our life. Me not working in the traditional sense allows us freedom and simplicity that we are deeply grateful for. There is an update at the end of the post if you’re interested in hearing my reflections one year later.
Early in our relationship, Riley and I began to discuss our dreams and goals for the future. I have many…I dream of traveling the world, building a home, founding a summer camp. I have the goals of authoring a book,
learning how to make French macarons, and finding a way to live at the beach for at least part of the year. There are, however, two aspirations that trump all–being a writer and being a wife and mother.
So, as conversations unfolded, these desires would naturally weave themselves into our discussion. Our relationship progressed, and after we got engaged, we spent a great deal of time in both conversation and prayer as Riley and I began to make real, no-longer-hypothetical decisions that would actually affect our life together.
After significant contemplation, we finally decided that I would quit my job in Austin and move about three hours north to Denton (where Riley lives), where we would start our married life together. Then, of course, our next step was to decide where we’d live and what I would do after we wed.
Deciding where to live was difficult and complicated in its own right. Texas, as each of you surely knows, is huge. It is a sprawling state with myriad off-shoot cities and small towns surrounding larger, more well-known ones. It isn’t like living other places, where families simply live where they work; here, it is common for people to have long commutes each day to and from work and completely acceptable to drive 20 or 30 miles for an appointment, restaurant, or store. (This was shocking to me when I first moved here, now I’m fully accustomed to frequently driving long distances.)
That being said, Riley and I looked at houses in more than three cities. We would try to narrow our search down to just one, but there were such different pros and cons to each that we ended up remaining open-minded. Months of house hunting led us to dead end after dead end, so we ended up finding a small, homey apartment and rented it. (I should note that even apartment hunting was tiresome–it took us several days and 11 different complexes to find the right one.) Now we’re happily settled and thankful for some more time to scope out the area together and decide where we’d like to make a more permanent home.
Deciding what I would do after we became Mr. and Mrs. was equally involved and complicated. I studied Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing in college, and went on to work in marketing for a measly six [miserable] months before the company went under and laid off nearly every employee, including me. After some soul searching and hours on my knees in prayer, I was graced with the opportunity to work as the Preschool Director at a large church called Gateway, which I attended for the duration of my time in Austin.
This was both an extremely exciting opportunity and a very intimidating one; I had never studied ministry, interned in ministry, or worked in ministry. (Though I had little experience, I had done all three in marketing.) The 18 months that I spent working at Gateway were some of the hardest and best of my life. The city of Austin is, simply put, unbelievable. I loved living there and have had several I-miss-Austin moments since moving. My job allowed me the privilege of working with a group of people on the NextGeneration (we called it NextGen, it represents all ministries birth through college) team who became my family and some of my closest friends. (One of my NextGen co-workers even officiated our wedding!)
My job allowed me to spend a lot of time with NextGen volunteers and their families, which was enjoyable and encouraging albeit difficult at times. I was able to help start a sustainable ministry for kids who have special needs and their families, which was highly rewarding (though equally challenging). I am proud of the work I put in over the year and a half that I worked at Gateway, and I will forever remember those years with joy.
It would seem natural, then, to pursue another job in children’s ministry, being that I hated my job in marketing (to be clear, I still find marketing fascinating, but my job required absolutely no creativity whatsoever, which was life-draining for me), but enjoyed my job in ministry. There are many layers to this, but the bottom line is that I didn’t feel a pull to continue to work at a church–the outermost layer being that ministry is absolutely, unequivocally exhausting. In Austin, my entire life revolved around my church job. Every relationship I had was with a staff member, volunteer, or attendee. I worked lots of overtime; especially on nights and weekends. I was in a position where I was meant to work through logistics, while also managing, mentoring, supporting, and discipling many (as in 100+) complex interpersonal relationships. (There are a plethora of good things, great things even, about working in ministry as well, of course.)
As days went by and Riley and I continued our “what will you do when you move?” discussion, it became abundantly clear to both of us that ministry wasn’t my next step, and that even if I would pursue it again in the future, I would need a true break before jumping back in. With a peace about moving on, I began to think about (which, in Blair terms, means research extensively) different jobs and lines of work that would both touch on one of my passions and allow for a simpler lifestyle (something I’ve craved for years).
I spent many nights researching opportunities in the Denton area, finding a few jobs that sounded interesting to me, but not many. I decided to stop trying to figure out what I was going to do and instead pray and let God choose instead. (This is always the better route, isn’t it? So why is it usually the second…or sixth…or ninety-fifth route I take?)
My answer came one night as I was flipping through one of my old journals from a couple of years ago. (Rereading old entries is one of my favorite pastimes!) I found page after page of written prayers asking God to allow me to write full-time, to use my blog as a platform, and to open doors for my writing…these pleas were woven throughout the notebook, every few pages at least. Among prayers to be able to pursue writing were intermittent prayers for an honorable husband, that I would be a young wife, so that I could be a young mom. Though there were many other types of entries and prayers in this tattered leather journal, these overwhelming two requests reflected the overwhelming two desires of my heart: to write and to be a wife and mother.
The more I thought about this, the more I realized that I had so easily fallen into the mainstream way of thinking, the this-is-the-way-everyone-does-it, the “norm.” (Psh, I let go of living the norm years ago.) I realized then that I would absolutely love to stay at home and be a homemaker while writing and working on my blog. I remember feeling heart-flutters as I thought about the kind of flexibility I would have and the simplicity and slow-pace that would accompany my days.
With a blanket of peace wrapped around me, I breached the subject with Riley. He was not only supportive, but wholeheartedly convinced that this would be the proper next step for us as a family. His income (plus my blogging income) could easily support a modest, quiet life. (Additionally, I will stay at home with any future children, so we feel it is wise to become accustomed to living off of Riley’s salary now, so that when babies arrive, we aren’t faced with the shock of scaling way back.) My staying home and taking care of domestic duties would be both enjoyable to me (I love keeping house) and relieving to him, because it would allow him to focus on working during the week, knowing that there would be food in the fridge and that his clothes would be clean. I would have the chance to take a break from the hustle of a full-time job as well as pursue blogging and writing, which is what I’ve dreamed of doing for years.
After this initial conversation, we discussed this plan at length over and over again. (How funny to think that this setup is so strange and unheard of in modern society that it required dozens of conversations when just a few decades ago, a wife acting as the homemaker was entirely expected and probably required little discussion!) We talked about how we would break up responsibilities around the home, what our budget would look like, who would handle the finances, what my goals were for blogging/writing, and how often we planned on reevaluating all of these things so that we could make adjustments where necessary.
And now, it’s been a week of living it. (That sentence almost makes me laugh–a week, wow! I must really be an expert after a week! ;)) So far, this arrangement has been truly wonderful. I really love to cook, so the fact that I actually have the time to do so (and have a husband who is more than willing to taste my meals!) is such a blessing. I’ve enjoyed keeping our home clean and organized and making sure we have a made bed to get into each evening and clean clothes in our drawers.
The complete flexibility in my schedule paired with Riley’s already-flexible job means that we get to spend quite a bit of time together, even on workdays. On Fridays, Riley gets off work early (at 2:30pm), so we get the afternoon and evening together, plus Saturday and Sunday.
I dealt with fairly regular anxiety earlier this year; a feeling of tightness in my chest and the inability to get a deep, refreshing breath wore me out. I’ve been so thankful for the way that this simple life allows me to live in complete peace, makes it easier for me to spend time with the Lord, and gives me ample opportunity to bless and care for my husband.
Beyond homemaking, I have thoroughly enjoyed the time I’ve spent writing here on my blog (oh gosh, maybe a little too much–word count is currently 1,766 on this post!), There have been hours of brainstorming this week about new post ideas and what direction I’d like to take this little slice of the internet. I’ve had the time again (finally!) to read other blogs, gathering inspiration and ideas from them.
I have already gotten a lot of questions from friends and family about whether I’m looking for a job or what I plan on doing in the coming months, because obviously this couldn’t be for the long-term. Well, it’s certainly too soon to tell, but it’s not at all unlikely that this arrangement will indeed be for the long-term. For now, it’s lovely to have a hot meal waiting when Riley arrives home, wonderful to be able to plan vacations and trips around just his work schedule, a dream come true to have the time and energy to write again, regularly. Perhaps we’ll change our mind in the coming months and go with a different arrangement entirely. Or perhaps I’ll be a stay-at-home-wife until I’m a stay-at-home-mom and I’ll never work full-time again (what a weird thought!), or at least for a while.
Right now, I’m living this verse: “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart,” Psalm 37:4, and I’m loving living it.
Update (August 2016): We have lived this lifestyle for over a year now, and it suits us perfectly. I would more readily describe myself as a “work-at-home-wife” (or just “someone who works from home”) rather than a “stay-at-home-wife” because blogging (and its surrounding activities) now produces a monthly income that matches or exceeds what I made when I worked full-time outside of the home. (Glory to God!) The freedom that comes from me staying/working at home is a blessing and a privilege. I don’t miss working in an office setting, and I get more fulfillment and joy out of working on this blog, podcast, Etsy shop, Mentorship Program, and other activities than I ever did in a more formal work environment.
I realize that this lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but it works well for my husband and I given our goals, personalities, and desired pace of life. I think it’s important to note that I am introverted and enjoy/need lots of time alone to function. Being by myself during the day (with our puppy!) is enjoyable and refreshing to me, not lonely or isolating. I’m also very self-motivated and don’t require a boss or leadership figure to move forward and accomplish tasks; this personality trait lends itself well to working from home and homemaking.
Many people deeply pride themselves on being “crazy busy,” but I’ve never wanted that. I’ve always sought out simplicity, quietness, calmness, and peace–and now, my life reflects that. I have time to think and breathe, time to pursue my personal goals and dreams, and time to spend with my husband. We don’t live rushed or frantically, but steadily and intentionally. This takes effort from both of us, and requires saying no a lot (“Say no to the good things so you can say yes to the best things” is our mantra). We both undoubtedly agree that any challenge we’ve faced through this decision is wholly worth it for the reward of slow-paced living.
My soapbox-ey thoughts? For a country that’s pushing women’s empowerment, it sometimes feels like we as women are only empowered to make mainstream decisions and work mainstream jobs and have mainstream dreams. I’m all for educated and empowered women–ALL for it–but it has to be inclusive. Just as there is great value in a woman working a corporate job, there is great value in a woman running her household well. Just as there is great value in a woman sitting around a board room table, there is great value in a woman sitting around her dining room table, feeding her family. It takes courage and a thick skin to live counter-culturally, but in my life, and in the lives of my current and future family members, I see great value to it. I hope and desire to see women follow God’s calling in their lives bravely, whatever that may be.
Through this past year, as we’ve lived an “unpopular” lifestyle, I’ve learned how critically important it is to make choices that best suit my family, not someone else’s. We respectfully don’t care what other people think of our arrangement; it works for us! Similarly, we understand and support friends and family who have chosen very different routes. It takes all kinds. You do you!
All photos courtesy of the lovely Sonja DiNanno at Sonja DiNanno Photography.
Jess Deisher says
This is incredible. I definitely need to take a step back and put more faith in God and what he has planned for me.
Blair Lamb says
You can trust Him! I would recommend finding a church where you feel comfortable and getting a good daily devotional (The Confident Woman by Joyce Meyer is great) to infuse some God into your day-to-day life! 🙂 Praying for your heart!
Taryn Pearl says
Love being able to catch up on your life through your blogs. Miss seeing your smiling face at church.
Blair Lamb says
Miss you too! Thanks for reading! 🙂
I just found your blog yesterday and I already love it. Can’t wait to read more about your adventures with your new life in Denton!
I live just south of you in Dallas – I’m a senior portrait photographer for high school girls and a blogger (over at 120photography.com), and would love to meet up and chat sometime over coffee/tea (sorry, not a coffee lover like you!).
Have a fabulous weekend!
Blair Lamb says
Thank you for reading, Haleigh! 🙂 I checked out your site–your work is great! Hugs!
I pursued a career after college – and I loved the work and the experiences it offered. My heart was always set on being a stay at home wife and mother, though, and soon after I married I got the opportunity. You framed my thoughts perfectly in your blog. I was challenged to make the most of what we made, happy with the idea that more is not always better, delighted to have BOTH quantity and quality time with my children (and as much time as I spent with them, it was never enough!), and blessed with a husband that supported my career choice. It is a marvel to me that others feel this way. . . and a mystery to me that more don’t. Thank you for sharing in your perfect way.
Blair Lamb says
This comment makes me smile so big! 🙂
Blair, I’ve been reading your blog for a long time and this makes my heart so happy!! Of course this path makes perfect sense. I’m excited for the blog posts to come. I really hope you blog about home making. I have always loved your organizing ideas (still loving my shower dispenser). Can’t wait to read about all the wedding details too. The photos so far have been beautiful. Xo Emily
Blair Lamb says
Thank you for your support, Emily!!! 🙂 So glad you love your shower dispenser…we love ours too!
Bailey Kay (@BaileyKayYoung) says
I love this post! I have a full-time HR job, but I would love to stay at home someday when I get married. Have you joined the Peony Project? It’s a Christian blogger group for women… I think you would like it!
Blair Lamb says
Hey Bailey! 🙂 I haven’t joined The Peony Project…I’ll go check it out!
Marie-Pier D. says
I’m so jealous you get to do this! 😛 I’m thinking more and more everyday about being a wife and mother at home, but right now I have to go to university (I’m excited about it, just a little stressed out wondering if I’ll like it). Good luck! 🙂
Blair Lamb says
Aww, what a sweet heart you have. Thanks for reading and commenting! Best of luck at uni!
Anna @ SheIsJoyful says
I loved everything about this! I think this is what I want to do too, but I’m a little embarrassed to have these desires in this day and age. Thankfully, my fiance is completely behind me on either choice, but I’m worried what friends/family will think. I can’t wait to follow along on your blog 🙂
Blair Lamb says
Riley and I were just talking about this last night. Well-meaning friends and family keep asking both of us when I’ll go back to work or if I’m interested in X job opportunity! There’s such a lack of acceptance surrounding women keeping home today. But I really, really love it and am so much more fulfilled than I ever was when I was working full time. I encourage you to always seek Jesus is your decisions, and to follow His promptings, and not the promptings of the world!
Hi Blair:) I just found your blog through a friend pinning your 9 things to do every weekend to reset for the week ahead, which I found extremely helpful, so thanks for that! Regarding this post, I just want to offer a bit of a different perspective- that many, many people could never afford to do what you are doing (and not just because they refuse to live simply, which to be honest is a thought I used to hold to). I’ve just been challenged recently to recognize the privilege that I hold in my life, and I believe that as Christians, it is vitally important that we attempt to walk in others’ shoes and see beyond our own experience. Just my two cents:)
Blair Lamb says
Hey Lisa!! 🙂 Thanks so much for reading and commenting! Oh, I TOTALLY agree. I have dear friends and family who would love to stay home but aren’t able to. I am very aware of this blessing and daily praise my Jesus for it!! This post is in no way intended to shame people who wish they could stay home but can’t; instead it’s meant to explain my choice–the why and how–to people who may be curious. It’s a huge blessing to stay home and I work really hard on this blog to be able to help support us and allow us to live this way! Hope you have a lovely week. Thanks for stopping by!
Blair, I am in awe of your heart for the Lord and uplifting-spirit. What a blessing it is to get on the internet and be able to read something that is not only inspiring and enjoyable to read, but also a true testament to the goodness of Jesus Christ! I am currently studying abroad in Ireland, which is actually how I found your blog! I read tons and tons of study abroad blogs before I came a few months ago, and yours was one that I had bookmarked. I was going through all of my bookmarks to organize and remove the ones I no longer needed and came upon yours. I can truly say after re-reading your blog now that I have experienced the whole “moving to a new country” thing, it was so accurate-not to mention helpful! Anyways, just wanted to say that I am glad I stumbled upon your page and am thankful that you are sharing your heart with us. Ps I’m a native Texan, so rock on to that also.
Blair Lamb says
Wow, Brittany, your sweet and encouraging words almost brought me to tears!! Thank you so very much for your kindness. God bless you–have an awesome week! 🙂 Have the BEST time in Ireland; say hi to my ancestors for me!! 😉 Go Texas!!
Anna Panza says
This is such a great post, Blair. I just stumbled upon your blog after searching Pinterest for “the best blogs for moms without kids”!! Thank you for sharing! This is my dream! I have always thought, being a wife is my ultimate passion, but wasn’t too sure if that could truly fit reality. I am a new wife myself and obviously having a love for being a wife and a love for writing are complete realities. You are proving that! Thank you again for sharing!! Prayers and blessings to you and your husband! I will be following along!
Blair Lamb says
Oh I love your search term so much!! I’m so glad that you’re here!
I loved reading this – especially as I am a stay at home wife with no kids! Thank you for sharing your thoughts – God is good!
Hannah Olson says
Hi Blair! I discovered your blog a little while ago and I’m loving it! This post really struck home with me. I am a full-time teacher (a small-group reading and math teacher) and I so would love to stay at home because these 3 years of teaching have been quite stressful, but my husband would like me to hang in a while longer. This post gave me a lot to think (and pray!) about. I’m so passionate about homemaking and marriage, and we eventually plan for me to be a stay-at-home mom. I so want to glorify God with my life, no matter what I end up doing – and it sounds like you are definitely doing that! Thanks for expressing all of your thoughts here! I really enjoy reading your blog, and I look forward to continuing to follow along! 🙂
Blair Lamb says
Thank you so much for your sweet comment. It can be so hard when people think your passions are silly/stupid/worthless, but at the end of the day, I only have to answer to God. (And make sure I’m in agreement with my husband!) Keep on praying and seeking the Lord and He will surely bless you for your faithfulness! Hugs, girl!
Grady Katherine Savage says
Blair, this is amazing! You are living my dream! Right now my husband and I are working out getting completely out of debt, but I do hope that someday I’ll be able to live this life as well. What a great post! Really timely for me and encouraging to help me HUSTLE at work to get to our goal sooner!
(I can’t seem to figure out how to comment NOT linked to my facebook, so my blog link is http://www.gradybirdblog.com which is usually how I sign things! Yikes, Grady, get it together! 😛
Blair Lamb says
Hi new friend!! Thank you for your comment. Our lifestyle is SO rare in today’s day and age, but it works for us and we absolutely love it! God has blessed us greatly and allowed my blog (and surrounding activities) to grow into a steady second income, which enables us to continue with just Riley working outside of the home. I love “meeting” people like you who “get it!” So much love to you! Your blog is adorable, by the way. I think your heart as a stepmother and openness to share about your relationship with your stepdaughter is so beautiful and inspiring, and no doubt heals and uplifts many. God bless! 🙂
I too am a young wife at 19. I don’t aspire to have children, but again, I’m only 19 and may change my mind in the future. I’m a full-time student at a local university. Your post has touched me deeply. I had to quit my job last November because it was causing me so much stress and I was falling back into a deep depression. My husband and I agreed that it would be best for me to be a stay at home wife, and I LOVE it. It’s the best decision I have ever made for myself. I’m the best version of myself that I’ve ever been. Thank you for this post. I’ve had to deal with people pressuring me to get a job and asking questions and so I’ve wondered, is there something wrong with what I’m doing?? There isn’t, and so I’ve been searching for others who are like me to give me some peace of mind. So, thank you. Good luck with all of your aspirations in life. 🙂
Blair Lamb says
Hi Alli! I’m so glad that you’ve found peace and joy in your life–it takes courage to recognize when you’re not in a healthy mental place, and bravery to make the necessary changes to get to a solid place again. I’m so happy you’ve found your passion and contentment! That’s so important. Thanks for reading!
I really enjoyed reading this. Ever since I was a kid, I always “knew” that at some point in my life, I’d be a wife, mother, and writer. I am currently (FINALLY!) using my degree in music by teaching piano at a beautiful music studio run by believers. Great money for only part-time work! My husband and I bought a big (hopefully permanent) home 1.5 yrs ago and have been working on it this whole time. Thanks to my job, our savings has stayed the same despite making Home Depot our second home. 🙂 And yet…..I have always been a distracted wife. I feel torn between wanting to do more at work, needing to pour into my marriage more, and needing to take charge of the house project list so things get done while we are child-less. I struggle with meals as my work requires me to teach after school hours. Most times I feel the answer is better time management as it’s easy for me to get distracted without a pre-made plan for the day. I would feel embarrassed telling people I was a stay at home wife…..and yet, part of me knows it would probably end up being better for my marriage.
Anyways, I found this today, as this issue has been on my heart this week.
Thanks for letting me write it out. Keep doing what you’re doing. The ability to blog from home is such a gift in this day and age.
I’ve followed your blog for years, and it is so cool to see how you’ve changed and grown. I’m so glad you are able to fulfill your dreams!
On a related note: are you an introvert or extrovert? Its always been a pipe dream of mine to be a writer but since I get my energy from being around people I’ve always worried about how the work-from-home aspect would affect me. What has your experience been like in regard to that?
Blair Lamb says
Hi Taylor! Thank you so much for following along all these years, I appreciate your support so much.
I am an introvert. A very friendly and sociable introvert, but squarely an introvert. Being around people drains me, being alone recharges me. Because of this, being home alone during the day (with intermittent grocery store runs, chiropractor/dermatologist/etc. visits, coffee meet-ups, etc.) doesn’t bother me. It takes a lot for me to feel lonely or isolated, which honestly lends itself well to blogging/podcasting/etc. I typically have three or four social “activities” each week (Bible studies, coffee with a friend, family dinners, double dates, etc.), and that feels good and manageable to me. I’m able to truly enjoy my time socializing because my energy isn’t sucked dry.
That said, I am sure there are lots of opportunities for extroverted writers/work-from-homers! There are meet-ups, conferences, and other ways to network and be around people more often. I don’t seek those things out because they usually don’t appeal to me, but there is a lot of value in being around others if you’re extroverted! (If you work from home, you can also join other local clubs/organizations/Bible studies/etc. to attend throughout the day/week.) My mom is HIGHLY extroverted (like off-the-charts extroverted!), and she works from home most of the time. She schedules things like lunch dates and personal training sessions in the middle of her day to help motivate and energize her, so that’s an idea as well.
I think when you manage your time and practice self-care, there’s usually a way to be healthy, stable, and fulfilled. I hope you pursue your dreams and care for your sweet extroverted self as you do! 🙂
I love reading your posts that are updates to your other posts. I was wondering if you’d consider doing an update to your posts about your daily schedule (morning, afternoon, evening) and your daily compass post?
I was also wondering if you’d consider doing a blog post on the stay at home/work at home wife with no kids transition from traditional working gal. For example, how did you tell your loved ones you were planning to do that (especially if you anticipated they wouldn’t be wildly enthusiastic about your life change)? What specific questions/comments might those of us who are about to head into this transition expect from loved ones, both those who are supportive and those who may need some time to come around to the idea? And any tips you have one year later for handling the comments/questions/concerns of loved ones and let’s be real, non-loved ones.
Great post, as always.
Blair Lamb says
Thank you for your feedback. It’s sometimes hard to know if updates are interesting or not, so I appreciate your input. Thanks!
I can certainly brainstorm writing updates to my daily schedule posts and daily compass, as both have changed throughout the past year. I’ll put that on my “think it through” list as well a post on the staying/working at home transition. Thanks again for your feedback/suggestions! I love it. Thanks for reading and commenting!
Candice Hohenwald says
This sounds exactly like the type of lifestyle I want to lead. I’ve only been blogging a few months and have zero income from it at this point though. It’s so stressful trying to work fulltime, blog on the side, do other freelance writing as I can, and keep house. Mostly what fails is my writing and the housework, and we have no social life at all. I want to be able to create a welcoming home that my husband and I enjoy but the time just isn’t available at this point to keep up with everything. It’s so exhausting. I enjoyed reading your post!
Blair Lamb says
Hi Candice! Thank you for reading and commenting. I love your cute blog, especially the name! I’m so glad you stopped by. I can completely empathize with the difficulty of finding time to write while trying to manage a full-time job and home. I did that for three years before I started blogging full-time, but I wasn’t married then. I can imagine it’s even more difficult when you’re building into a marriage relationship, so I really admire you for all of your hard work! The blog posts you’ve written so far are so encouraging–so be encouraged! 🙂 Thanks again for reading!
Candice Hohenwald says
Thank you for your kind words. 🙂
You’re right about the lack of acceptance, Blair. My husband and I have been following the exact same arrangement for the past 5 years (I blogged for 3 years of it), and the biggest challenge has actually been the lack of understanding from family and jealous comments made by friends of my situation. During this period I actually went back into a corporate job for a year and it was a bad fit and sucked up entire days and weekends and I was just stressed and miserable on a daily basis. It took a lot of courage for me to quit, but I have absolutely no regrets. I am now retraining in something non-related to my degree (basically sitting at a computer taking online lessons) to see where that will take me (like yourself, I plan on raising a family), and taking care of the house. I am very fortunate in that my husband has long been in a good, steady job and is able to provide for us while I work towards finding the right work-life balance at home, on my terms, and that lends itself well to raising a family in future. Like you, I am quite introverted and being at home really suits me. But what I struggle with every day is judgemental behaviour from people closest to me, because our situation is considered “counter-culture”. Relatives seem to think that I need to be surrounded by people, in a formal environment (they seem to project their own insecurities on me) which is not the case. They are well-meaning, but what saddens me is that they will never accept our decision, due to their more traditional way of thinking. I hate being judged by those closest to me, whose opinions still matter to me. When you feel so alone in the life choice that you made, it is comforting knowing there is someone else out there who has chosen a similar path, and it is clearly working just as well for you both.
Jennie Thomas says
Wow! I loved this post! I’ve been married for 9 1/2 years and been a SAHW for 8 months. While I’m struggling with it, part of that struggle has been that our decision brings up a lot of confused looks and judgement. Happy to have found you and looking forward to reading more!!!!!
Nora Porter says
I think you’re so right about how being a SAHW/SAHM comes with its own set of challenges. I’m in law school and plan to work until my fiance and I have children, but there is so much internal role conflict I experience when I think about working outside the home vs. staying at home. I really value my independence, intelligence, and successes in the legal field (thus far), but I also know the truest desire of my heart is to be a mother. It’s definitely a hard decision and not made easier by societal pressures, no matter what choice a woman makes. Thank you for being open and honest about it!
This article has uplifted me and changed my attitude (at least for the day)…taking one day at a time.
About 3 months ago I was laid off at work and after some discussion with my husband we prayed about it and felt right that I should be a stay at home wife.
For doing the right thing that God asked us to do I have felt so lost! Not in a bad way…mostly like I was headed 100 miles an hour down one path and now I’m on the right path but I have no practice at it.
We have 2 babies with 4 legs each and taking care of them instead of kenneling them for 8 hours a day has been wonderful!
But I feel such a loss of self-worth. I mean…I don’t even have kids, how can I justify this lifestyle? My whole neighborhood is stay at home moms and my church teaches to have children(but we don’t have any yet because of major childhood abuse from childhood) so I feel like I don’t fit in anywhere.
My husband is ecstatic that I stay home and even though money is tight he says that having me home has brought more happiness and joy into our lives than the last 10 years of me working.
It is so hard sometimes to find myself. My worth was all tied up in being in the top echelons of a billion dollar company that now I have to find my worth as a daughter of God and that is SO challenging!
My church work helps tremendously and i know what they teach is true… but it kind of is scary find myself again.
I know that was so long, but thank you for this article!
Blair Lamb says
Hi Bethany! Thanks for reading. I know what you’re going through–I’ve experienced some of the same feelings. When you fear God more than man, you’re set free. I pray that for you! Hugs, friend! XO
I’ve come back to this post time and again as I’ve made my own journey into stay at home wife-hood (no kids). I have read the original many time and appreciated the update. I was wondering if you’d have thought about writing ANOTHER update or blog post on this subject, especially given that 2016 was such a hard year for you. I ask because I often feel that you and I are on much the same path. It can feel really isolating without the working world community I had while I worked, and you are having small town isolation (with none of the community you automatically get in the working world either). Anyway, I’d love to hear your updated thoughts on the things you shared in the original post and any unexpected things that came from your decision to stay home as your marriage and new life are becoming more established.
Dolores Nelson says
I absolutely love that I found your blog!! I too am a “stay at home wife” with the intentions of one day being a stay at home mom. Our circumstances are a little different being I have no choice since my husband’s job requires him to be away for long periods of time, moving to a new state (moved from Texas to Oklahoma), and having only one car. Although it’s something I’ve always wanted to do,I often feel “judged” for not having a real job. I’ve recently have looked into starting my own blog and feel much better after this post! Thank you and sorry for the rant!!
Jessica Squires says
Hi love! I adore your blog and this really reached out to me. I’ve been talking to my husband about being a stay at home wife, no kids now and he fully supports the idea. He is a band teacher for a local Christian Middle School and High School and I am a sales manager at a hotel. I was recently promoted last year because I had been with the company 5 years and only had 3 wage increases. I loved the opportunity to become a sales manager and optimize my personality. But noone has taken the time to teach me, its been a year and I am all self taught and still lacking. And they have failed to give me 2 raises that were promised to me. I am not angry with the company, I love my coworkers. But I full heartedly believe I am meant to be a housewife and to take care of my husband and one day children. But I don’t know how to break the news to the team here that I am leaving. I know I need to. The stress of the job and not even knowing how to do it fully still after all this time because after asking for months how to do things and then weeks later getting in trouble for not doing the very things I was asking for guidance on is very disheartening and has been effecting not only my happiness but my relationships as well. There is alot to be done at home, esp since we are both so tired we just kinda drop things where they land and go get fast food. We also live with his grandmother who cannot live alone but we are not home 90% of the day but shes ok until we get home. I’m not sure where I was going with this but I just wanted to know if you had any advice on someone leaving a full time office job that is actually very important to the business to be a stay at home wife? I hope this makes since. My heart is heavy and excited at the same time. But most people I have read about have not left at the peak of their career or what should be. Thank you so so much for any response. I hope you are well and having a great day.
Oh and if if makes a difference I am 27 and my husband is 32.
Blair Lamb says
Hey Jessica! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂 I’m so sorry to hear that you’re in a job where you feel completely unsupported–that must be frustrating and exhausting. Sometimes, however, situations like the one you’re in are helpful in propelling us forward in life because they’re so unsavory. Leaving awesome situations is challenging; leaving difficult situations is encouraging.
As far as walking away from your job, I know it’s tough and feels like you’re abandoning your responsibilities. I felt the same way when I left my position as a Preschool Director in Austin. However, when you really assess the situation and humble yourself (not, not easy), you’ll likely see that, in fact, the company can carry on without you. It’s the beautiful/hard truth–none of us are actually that important. I don’t mean to be harsh at all (I bet you bring a lot to your company!), but I just want to offer a different perspective as it may free you to take steps forward.
I know firsthand how much is to be done at home. There hasn’t been a day where I’ve sat on the couch eating Bon-Bons yet! 😉 I’m certain that if you choose to stay home, you’ll find your days full of tasks, chores, and responsibilities. Being a SAHW is clearly not the cultural norm, but it makes for a very happy marriage and relaxed home life if it’s what you want to pursue.
Sending you loads of love and support! Major life changes are never easy, but they’re usually the moments that propel us forward! If you want to chat further, feel free to email me. XO
Jessica Squires says
Oh my goodness I want to cry just reading that. Most of my friends I have are here at the workplace because I most of the time spend more time here than at home over the past years and I don’t have anyone to really discuss it with. The two people I do are actually stay at home. One is a stay at home wife who gets money monthly because her grandparents past away and left a large trust in her name so she wont have to work and the other is a stay at home mom. Both of which are not the most organized people and neither have actually never had a real job so they don’t understand where I am at right now. But your comment just gives me so much hope. I’m ready for this new life and beginning with my husband and I know it will be tough because he doesn’t make a ton of money, he actually makes a little more than I do and people always talk about how little teachers are paid. But I’m trying to put aside some money so I can still pay my truck bill for a few months until I find where I want to go in life. I have a cricut and was thinking of doing little things on the side but focusing everything else on my marriage and home so hopefully in a year we can add to the family. You blog has been so inspirational. I used to blog about makeup and such but fell off and have been craving to blog again but I didn’t know what about just that I wanted to reach people and it just hit me. I can write about this. My transition into a housewife and maybe one day. My story can help someone like yours did me.
The only thing I will truly miss from being at my job will honestly be the guests I have grown bonds with over the years and the new people I get to meet from all over the world. But I am so ready to lead a life I feel is what I was meant to do. I even made a little chore checklist to show my husband so he would have an idea of what my goals are because there is so much to do to the house and he is excited but worried about the finances as well. I look forward to reading the rest of your blog. You are amazing. And your blog and comment have uplifted me when I needed it most. Thank you so much. I don’t know how to email you on here but mine is [email protected]
Thanks love! I hope you have an amazing day!
Blair Lamb says
I’m so glad you feel encouraged. There are pros and cons to every life change, and it sounds like you’re working through those now. I hope you find peace and joy no matter what road you choose! My email is [email protected]! 🙂 XO
Thanks so much for this article! I’m heading into a similar stage in my life and really enjoyed reading your thoughts 🙂
Michelle gomez says
Love this! I recently moved to florida with my husband and since I couldn’t find work out here I’ve been staying at home and we decided that I can be a stay at home wife. I’ve had conflicting ideas in my head about whether I should have a career or stay at home (since most women find it weird to not chase a career) and been writing a lot. Yes I was that girl who had the grades and received her degree but I always hated working! I’m glad I read this post as it had made me feel better about myself and I’m not the only person feeling this way! I love having dinner made when my husband comes home and the house is clean plus my schedule is open! I would consider myself being very blessed for this opportunity and god to allow me to have such a great husband who is supportive. Thank you again for this refreshing post and what it can do for others 🙂
Oh how I needed this today! I moved from Colorado to Alabama last October. I married the most wonderful man I’ve ever met in November. Prior to moving I searched for jobs but to no avail. I worked for an aerospace company engineering company for 11 years. If I’m honest, I never liked it. I always felt so out of place. Don’t get me wrong, God was with me. I excelled and did really well there but I was never fulfilled. I have a passion for health and wellness, encouraging women, and I absolutely LOVE God. He’s been sooooooo good to me. I’ve always had dreams of creating my own hours, blogging, doing health and wellness stuff… my fear keeps holding me back. I look around and there are so many people doing what I desire to do. I question myself, “Do I have anything to add?” Your blog reminds me of the prayers I’ve journaled. I had an aha moment. I prayed for this! Now that I’m here, I feel as if I’m wasting time. What advice would you give someone like me who’s interested in blogging and puttting myself out there? How should I get started? Are there things you wish you’d done differently? I greatly appreciate your time! … I’m headed to browse around your blog.
Blair Lamb says
Hey Tiffany! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! 🙂 I loved hearing about your journey; thanks for sharing! Getting started with blogging can be challenging and time-consuming, but totally worth it in the long run if you’re committed. I actually run a Blogger Mentorship Program for women exactly like you who want to launch a blog but don’t know how to start. If you’re interested, here’s more info: https://blairblogs.com/blogger-mentorship-program/ Thanks again for stopping by!
Thanks so much for reading and responding! I sent an email by clicking on the link “email me today”, from the Blogger Mentorship Program. I’m looking forward to working with you! Talk soon!
Lauren Brown says
Oh. My. Goodness. I can’t even say how glad I am to have stumbled on this blog post. I have been a teacher for five years until my husband and I were married this February and I moved across the state to join him. The thought of other people’s judgement of our decision for me to stay at home was almost crippling (and still can be so frustrating to talk through). I’m so thankful for my husband’s support of me staying home to maintain our sweet house and the work I do with our church. So glad to read about another who is successfully doing this!
As many readers have said, I am SO BLESSED to have stumbled upon your blog this afternoon. So far, this is the only post I have read but I look forward to exploring your others along with your future posts.
I am currently going through the toughest period of my life. I quit my high powered sales job in NYC last summer (after having a major values crisis and crashing and burning!) and moved back to my hometown of St. Louis to figure out how to truly live the life God wants me to live in order to be more fulfilled. For the past 7 years, I was in 3 different sales roles and while I was “successful” (success without fulfillment = failure), I was never content or felt like I was where I was supposed to be. It got to a point last year where I was so depressed, exhausted and overwhelmed on a daily basis for months on end that I walked into work one day and just quit. Nothing lined up, no idea where I was going to go from there, nothing. All I knew is that I couldn’t live another day going through life that way. Since then, I have been healing, trying to make sense of my life and where I am headed and committed to personal development in many facets.
I am going to be turning 30 this year and as I think about the kind of life I yearn to live, it is very similar to yours – simple, unrestrained, intentional, authentic and most of all, one that aligns with what God has in mind. I can’t quite explain it but from a young age, my dream was to become the best stay at home wife and mother a gal could be. While I am currently single and allowing for God’s timing and will for the right gentleman, I am at odds with where I am to go career wise in my life. I am an INFJ (introverted as well – what are you by the way?) so I too get my energy, focus and oxygen from my alone time, writing and reflecting while at the same time, loving connecting deeply with people and making a contribution to the world.
I’ve had my heart set on moving to Dallas (it’s really the other southern city that has everything that I want from a lifestyle and cost of living standpoint) and plan to do so as soon as I can figure out what I will do next in my career. Residing in the DFW metroplex, do you have any insight you can offer in terms of my move or communities I should look into connecting with down there to help with an easier transition? 😉
Keep writing, connecting, inspiring and living God’s plan for you!
What a refreshing article. I always wonder if there are other young women like myself longing for the life you write about in this post. Enjoy it, girl. I’d give up this office job and the workforce in general if I had your options.
Hi There! I am around your age and also a stay at home wife. We are hoping to start a family soon. I am also highly educated but really enjoy taking care of my husband (and puppy) and feel so incredibly lucky that my husband earns the money that he does to give us that option. It really does work out better for both of us. He loves having clean clothing, linens and a hot meal waiting for him. To me, inner peace is the most important thing. If us woman can not have happiness within then we can not be our best to our husband or children. We also can have faith that if we ever want or need to go back to work one day, that we have the skills, drive and personality to do so!
Mallory Langham says
This was so sweet to read because I am in a very similar life situation! Being a working from home or stay at home wife with no big commitments other than volunteering which I get to do.. also having moved to dallas after my husband and I got married! Thank you for writing this, it encourages me to keep pursuing God and His heart for my time being home without kids.
Summer J says
So glad to know other stay at home wives that are happy and enjoy their lifestyle! I am 31 years old and married my wonderful husband when I was 19, he was 24 and working for my dad’s development company (still there at 36!) After graduating high school my mom and I traveled with my dad with his business. My folks actually introduced us and we were married a year later. I am one of those rare girls that has “never worked a day in her life”. For the past 12 years I travel everywhere with my husband/family and support him as his wife/best friend and traveling companion. My family has always been 100% supportive of my choosing not to work, but I certainly have my share of friends (mostly our friends’ wives) and relatives that can’t believe I’m 31, never worked and never plan to. The question “So, what do you do?” that is always asked when we meet my husband’s business associates and friends, has never bothered me at all. Instead of trying to make up some lengthy explanation I just smile and say “Oh,I don’t work!” and let folks draw their own conclusions. They will do that anyway. I know that this is God’s plan for me, I respect everyone’s choices regarding the direction they go in life:stay at home, work full time, go to school – I know what’s best for me and I love living life to the fullest! If your plan is to be a stay at home wife or mom, don’t let anyone make you feel bad or guilty about your choices! .
Hi Blair! I came across you via your Disney Cruise YouTube videos and decided to go read your blog. This was the first article I read, and it must have been a nudge from God. I gave birth a month ago to a preemie boy (I’m also a mum to a 2yo girl) and we have been searching and praying about me staying home so he doesn’t get sicker with all the terms found in day care. I really want to document my life now that I have two kids and will be staying home, so I think I was meant to read this. Thank you for reminding me that there is no shame in staying home and caring for my family as my full time job! I’m just outside of Austin, so I understand the things about Austin that can be missed.
Wow, thank you so much for this. I can’t explain how perfect the timing was for me to find this post. I have been unhappy in my job and have desired to be at home for some time now. My husband recently accepted a job that will (financially) make this dream possible, and from a time/practical standpoint, almost make it necessary (12-hour rotating shifts, lots of opportunity for OT, etc). Although all signs seem to point to me staying home, I’ve been struggling so much with the judgement I anticipate receiving from others for this decision. We both agree that this is best for us, and know deep down that it makes sense. I can’t explain how much I love this post!
Shana Dantzler says
You sound so much like my husband and I. We will celebrate 19 years of marriage in May, and we decided before we were engaged that we would live off of his income alone. The desire of my heart was always to care for my future children and home. I can look back now and I’m so thankful that we took the path that we did. It hasn’t always been easy. We haven’t had the “lifestyle” that our friends and family have had. We’ve had so much more. I’ve been able to fulfill my desire to raise our four daughters (the oldest graduates next year!). I’m still striving for a calmer environment, even though we DON’T run from activity to activity. It’s a work in progress. I’m beginning to prepare for my empty nest that will come in the next eight years, and being a young wife and young mother will give my husband and I some wonderful time together. We love Disney and will probably move that direction when he retires from full time church work! We’d love to spend time ministering to young cast members and feel that’s where are hearts are being turned for the future! You have exciting days ahead so enjoy every moment!