General Question

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Is it okay if I choose a path that some may not agree with?

Asked by ItalianPrincess1217 (11979points) December 29th, 2009 from iPhone

So here’s the story…I was in a car crash a few months ago and because my vehicle was ruined beyond repair (and insurance wouldn’t cover it) I had to quit my job. I was okay with that because my job was horrible. I was miserable there.

I’m engaged to be married in July. My fiancé makes plenty enough to support us both and the money I was bringing in was just extra “rainy day” money. It’s going on 6 months now and we’re still doing fine money wise. We bought our first house a couple months ago, own a decent car, have little debt, etc.

Right now I use my spare time to plan our wedding, clean the house, do laundry, feed and walk the dogs, etc. Once we get married we do plan on having kids. My fiancé and I both agree that we want me to stay home with the kids instead of sending them off to a daycare. I’m at peace with the fact that I currently have no job. So is my fiancé. But from time to time I get the occasional comment from some family members in reference to my lack of employment. A lot of times I take these comments to heart. I get offended. When people say things like “Are you even looking for a job?” it makes me feel like I’m some kind of gold digging mooch who lives off their man’s money. And that’s not the case at all. I don’t want to feel as if I’m not living up to everyone’s standards. I just see no point in trying to find a serious career for myself when our future doesn’t include me having a full time career. My focus is on having a family. It always has been. Is this wrong of me to think this way? What are your thoughts? Is being a stay at home mom too old fashioned? Are modern day women expected to pull their own weight these days?

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44 Answers

anguilla's avatar

It is absolutely fine and normal to have the life plan you have. Your not working is not affecting your family’s quality of life. Many people are in your situation. One of my male friends is the spouse who stays with the kids, and that’s working out fine. You should go ahead and live your life the way that is satisfying to you and try not to let other people annoy you with their criticisms. Dear Abby used to suggest answering personal questions that are none of the questioner’s business, like “Are you looking for a job?” by saying “Why would you feel the need to ask me that?” If you feel you need to explain, you can say “My husband and I are quite happy with the lifestyles we have chosen for ourselves.” I’m not being as articulate as I want to be, but you get the idea. And, by the way, I’m a man and I support your plan. My wife used to work, but doesn’t now. My best friend’s wife doesn’t work. And it’s all working out great. Good luck and try not to worry.

rooeytoo's avatar

I admire your decision to be a stay at home mom, that is a full time career and one that is valuable to society. Unless it is an economic necessity I can’t understand why people have children then give them to someone else to raise.

Ignore people who snide remarks, they aren’t worth listening to most of the time.

gemiwing's avatar

It’s completely fine. It’s called being a housewife. If you prefer you can tell them that you clean, supply and organize a house for a living.

It does hurt sometimes when people tell me such glittering quips like ‘oh it’s just for bonbon eating housewives, haha!’. Then I remind them that I am a housewife and they recant.

Plus, by me staying home we save money. We don’t have to eat out, we don’t have to hire a cleaning service and I’m always here to deal with delivery/repair people.

LKidKyle1985's avatar

I don’t know. You are not wrong, but I have always tried to avoid being idol. You should always seek something to do, even if its volunteering at a hospital or something. I mean im sure you do a lot of work around the house but honestly that probably doesn’t take all of your time. Find something to do until you do get married and do have kids, You can even drop in on some classes at a local university or something. It doesn’t have to be a job, but I think you should find something to do until you have a kid running around.

Rude_Bear's avatar

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference

…Robert Frost

Medlang's avatar

fuck the bitch ass relatives that think your a gold digger. do what makes you and your husband happy.

Buttonstc's avatar

You should feel perfectly free to do whatever works for you and your husband and future children.

It’s no one else’s place to tell you if that’s right or wrong.

I think it’s terrific that you want to be the one raising your kids. Do what’s right for you and your family. You don’t have to aplologize to anyone for your choices.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@LKidKyle1985 You might be surprised how busy most of my days are. When I’m not home doing chores, I’m out running errands or doing something with my girl friend or mother. I rarely find myself just sitting around, relaxing. But I agree I should find something to do with any extra time I have. Possibly volunteering. That’s something I’ve always wanted to try out.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@all I’m so surprised by these responses but very relieved! I’ve been so concerned with pleasing other people and living up to their expectations when all I’ve ever wanted was to raise a family. I know that’s what would make me happy and feel complete. I just always felt a bit embarassed when someone would ask “Well what do you plan on doing with your life?” and I’d respond “I’d like to start a family and be a wonderful mom to my kids and loving wife to my husband”. Now I’m starting to see that it’s okay.

faye's avatar

I stayed home with my kids and we really could have used extra money. But it was well worth it though I had to do a refresher course to go back to nursing. You can’t really tell everyone to F-off but is only your business. They’re probably jealous. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to work fuultime and raise children.

Sarcasm's avatar

If you acknowledge that there are responsibilities to pick up (e.g. childcare, house cleaning), and if both you and your fiance are okay with this situation, then I’d say ignore what your family members say. There’s nothing shady about being a stay-at-home wife/mom.

Now maybe if you’re the kind of woman who would lay out by the pool sunning all day while you have a maid and babysitters working at the house and your husband is out slaving away, maybe that would be a situation that needs to be reconsidered.

Sure wish I could lay out by the pool sunning all day and have a totally gorgeous wife to bring home the bacon, literally and metaphorically. Ah, that’s the life. Oh, is this thing still on? whoops.

knitfroggy's avatar

Its your life and your plan. Its no one’s business but yours and your fiancee’s. There is nothing wrong with having children and taking care of them yourself instead of paying daycare! I would love to be able to work part time and be home when my kids get home from school. You should feel lucky that you have that option. Do what you want and tell people that don’t like it to mind their business!

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Sarcasm Lurve. I wish I had the luxury of laying out by the pool all day. My life isn’t quite so glamorous ;)

Jeruba's avatar

Are any of those folks awaiting your approval so they can get on with their lives?

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Jeruba Highly unlikely. I see your point.

Theby's avatar

It’s your life! Bugger everyone else.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Do you think it’s possible for someone’s purpose in life to be raising a family? Some people
are born to be an artist. Some are born to become a doctor. Is it ok if my passion in life is to become a mom? Or do I need to have a passion for a career also?

PandoraBoxx's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217, based upon some of your past questions about your relationship, I wonder if you’re putting out mixed vibes about the stability of your relationship, and your relatives are picking up on it? If so, it would seem that their concerns about you being financially dependent on your fiance would be logical.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@PandoraBoxx I wouldn’t look too far into any relationship based questions I’ve posted in the past. I tend to be dramatic and think the world is ending. Most of my issues have been resolved within 24 hours of posting it to Fluther. And the family members who have made the job comments aren’t involved enough in my life to know of any issues I’ve ever had in my relationship.

Facade's avatar

@PandoraBoxx I was thinking the same thing.
@ItalianPrincess1217 It seems as though you put up with all of his shit because of his money, y’all just bought a house, etc. You should make sure you can live with him and live as a housewife (with all that that entails) every day for the rest of your life.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Facade I put up with his shit because of his money? Huh? He’s not wealthy. If we had that many problems, his money would not stop me from leaving him. And as far as making sure I can live with him as a housewife…yes, we just bought a house together. But we have lived together over 4 years (in an apartment) prior to buying the house. We’re well past the honeymoon stage. I know exactly what it’s like to live with him. I know he likes to leave his socks on the living room floor. I know he leaves wet towels on the bed sometimes. And how he is always forgetting to turn off the lights when he leaves a room. But I’ve learned to accept the flaws. The good outweighs the bad.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Perhaps it’s your sense of drama, then, that they are picking up on. Income of your own is a grounding thing. These days, it takes two incomes to make things run, in most cases. If one works for you, then have at it. Raising a family and working is like having two full time jobs. I had brief stints where I was at home full time, and I found it to be very isolating, because in my neighborhood, there were no stay at home moms.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@PandoraBoxx Probably. I’m sometimes overly sensitive when people judge me. It’s one of my flaws and it stems from some childhood experiences I had.

Facade's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 I’m just telling you how everything looks from the outside. If you’re happy with it, great.

Judi's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 ; You are blessed to be able to do this. Don’t let them rain on your parade. These are good times ahead and you have chosen a path that works for you. Congratulations!!

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Facade Thats why I explained in further detail my situation. I know how things can look from the outside when you only hear about the bad things. Like I said, I tend to overreact when I’m stressed and get post happy on fluther. I don’t want people thinking my relationship is shit. It’s really not.

Judi's avatar

I have a friend who is a CPA and wrote a book called “All Mothers Work.” I’m not sure if it is still in print. She did the math, and after all the expenses, vehicle, gas, wardrobe, childcare, meals out, dry cleaning….... She determined that it was more cost effective for her to stay home and she was a career CPA.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Judi I agree. I’ve done all the math and it would absolutely save us money by staying home. We live out in the middle of nowhere. The commute to my work would be costly in gas alone. Then there is child care costs, which is very expensive (I worked in a daycare for a couple years and I don’t know how these people afforded it). At the end of the day, it would cost us more for me to work. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?

citizenearth's avatar

Why not ok? It is your life. Why do you care about other people’s views? It is you who will ultimately decide how you live your life.

borderline_blonde's avatar

Oh, how the tables have turned since the 1950s… :)

The difference nowadays, though, is that you’ve got an actual choice in how you want to live your life. If you’ll find personal meaning and satisfaction in doing so, then that’s fine. Everyone’s entitled to an opinion, but it isn’t worth sacrificing your own personal happiness in order to live up to the expectations of others.

dalepetrie's avatar

Not that long ago, the standard was for one person in the household working. Our economy has changed to the point where that’s a luxury…hell, a lot of people barely scrape by with 2 people each working 80 hour weeks. If you can afford to live the life you want, that’s your business. But you can’t stop people from passing judgment. You just have to take it in stride, and realize that it’s 80% well meaning and 20% jealousy.

My wife worked until she was a few months pregnant, then went to grad school, taking one class per semester for five years. It took her a year and a half to find a half time job. Now our son is 8, and that works for us, and it’s actually a good thing that she’s working because I have been out of work since February. But even though my wife was basically spending 24 hours a day with our son trying to involve him in various learning and play opportunities where possible, doing dishes, laundry, grocery shopping, changing cat boxes, and all manner of other household chores that I didn’t have time to do myself, all while either going to school or looking for work (or even now working half time), she still had to face others’ judgmental attitudes. I think of my mother in particular, well, she pretty much worked outside the home all but a couple years of my childhood, and I’ve been caught up in a few layoff situations, and she realizes that being a stay at home mom is a luxury, and one that at times we had a hard time being able to afford, but we had planned out our life how we wanted it to be, and we simply had to deal with adversity as it came. I know she meant well, but also that she had a bit of “my, wouldn’t THAT be nice” mentality going on.

Bottom line….is it my mom’s life to lead, or is it mine and my wife’s? That’s the only question you need to ask.

shilolo's avatar

Please don’t take this the wrong way, but is it possible that your fiance likes this arrangement and doesn’t want it to change? What confuses me is that you say that you can afford to live off one salary (his), but yet, you can’t afford to buy or lease a cheap car so you can continue to work? Maybe you are using this as an excuse since you hated your work anyway?
My wife and I both work. I think she loves her work and would hate to give it up, even though we have 2 small kids. You might consider that continuing to work productively will help you personally as well as your kids in the long run.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@shilolo We did purchase a new car for me. It’s sitting in my driveway right now. So a car isn’t the issue anymore. The car accident/losing my old car was the initial reason I quit my job. Now that I’ve been out of work for a few months, I realized how much I hated that job. I suppose if a job opprotunity popped up that I thought I’d enjoy I would take it. But as of right now I’m comfortable with how things have been. I feel like if I go back to a full time job, the house chores would never get done. Dinner wouldn’t be cooked. Errands wouldn’t get done. Laundry wouldn’t be done. The list is endless. When I worked 40 + hrs a week, we were both miserable and our lives were hectic. I wouldn’t want to be in that same situation again, unless of course we were financially struggling.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 There is nothing wrong with your plan to prepare for the honourable career as a wife, homemaker and full time, stay at home mother.

There are a few things you should do to protect yourself and family from unforeseen changes.

My 32 year-old (step)-daughter was suddenly widowed a 7 weeks ago. She is now a single parent to two young girls. She has a career and was working on advancing it when her husband died. She could go back to work as soon as she is ready (if she needed to) and support her family. Fortunately for her, she may never have to do that because she and her husband planned ahead.

Will your husband be fully insured so that should he die prematurely, you and your children will still have his full income and health benefits? Your insurance didn’t even replace your car when it was wrecked!

In the event of a breakdown in the marriage, what career skills will you have to support yourself and your children. If your fiance is well to do, a prenuptual agreement may guarantee you and your children that your quality of life will not be affected. Without a prenuptual agreement you could be out on your a$$ with little or no support from him and no health insurance or home. You better plan ahead.

Giving up the independence that comes from having your own income makes you pretty vulnerable. If you come from a very wealthy family, will they take care of you and your children if you find yourself without a home, an income and financial protection.

Plan ahead for your happy life and you may never have to worry about anything.

StupidGirl's avatar

U R so lucky. Don’t listen to “some family members”. They’re jaleous.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Dr_Lawerence Very good advice. And I’m sorry to hear about your daughter’s husband. That’s awful. You’re absolutely right about planning ahead. Thankfully my fiancé is really big on planning ahead. So before any kids come along, I’m sure he’ll want to sit down and crunch numbers and calculate out our lives before I can even bring it up. But I should start considering what will happen if a) he loses his job b) he unexpectedly dies or c) we divorce. Lots to think about!

Haleth's avatar

It’s really presumptuous of your relatives to tell you how to live your life, and you should do what makes you happy. But I do understand where they’re coming from. I’m not going to tell you that you’re wrong, but there are valid reasons why your quitting work now would be a concern. Your reason for not working is that you want to be a full-time mother, but right now you aren’t married yet and haven’t had children. It could be several years before you are a mother. So right now, you aren’t living your dream of being a mother or pursuing a career. And a few years after you have children, they will go to school and you won’t be taking care of them full-time anymore.

Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique makes a lot of points about how being a stay at home mother doesn’t work for most women. The one that was most compelling to me was that if you do this, and don’t seriously pursue interests of your own, you are just living through your family, because a stay at home mother is in a supporting role. Everyone has some passion of their own, and it sounds strange to hear that the only thing you want to do is being a stay at home mother, and nothing else. If you’ve expressed these thoughts to your relatives, maybe that’s why they’re giving you these comments. Deciding to be a full-time mother is the best choice for some people, it’s just strange that you’ve slipped into that role before you’re even married, and you don’t have plans outside of it. Both of these taken together make your plan sound passive. Maybe your relatives just want to make sure that you’re in control of your own life, even though they’re not helping you do that by giving you such pointed advice.

Another point in The Feminine Mystique that made a lot of sense to me was that housework doesn’t take that long. When the author and her friends started working, the work still got done- they noticed that they’d been stretching the work to fill the time before.

Anyway, your relatives don’t have a right to tell you what to do, and I have far less right than they do because I’m just a person from the internet. They’re not telling you these things in a constructive way, and it is your choice, but there are plenty of things to weigh in a decision like this.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

You’re an adult, an engaged adult wanting to become a married adult and then a parent – I think it’s time to not ask if anything you choose freely is ‘okay by others’. It will serve you in the future, believe me, because once you become a mother, snide remarks and judgments will increase and you have to deal with ‘em swiftly. And you have to believe in yourself.

Cruiser's avatar

Being a housewife and a stay at home mom is the most noble of life paths a woman can chose if you are lucky enough to be able to make that choice. It’s your life to live not theirs so pay no attention to the ignoramuses who are just simply jealous.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Cruiser what is noble anyway? not choosing this path doesn’t mean any other path isn’t ‘noble’.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Who cares what anyone else thinjks?t’s your life to do with as you please.It’s really that simple.

lonelydragon's avatar

I can understand why you’re upset. It hurts when family members aren’t supportive of us during transitional periods in our lives. You may get tired of hearing this, but I am sure they mean well. If they don’t, then there’s no need to worry about pleasing them, because some people are overly critical and will never be satisfied.

There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with becoming a housewife. And you’re definitely not lazy. Maintaining a clean house takes a lot of work! As you probably know from experience, working outside the home and doing domestic work at the same time can be overwhelming!

With that said, there are some practical matters that you may want to consider. Although your husband has a good job at present, no one knows what the future holds. So, if you want to stay home, you should probably do volunteer work and take a few community college courses (just one or two a year, no need to overdo it) to make yourself more marketable in case you do need to re-enter the workforce.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@lonelydragon I agree – there is always a chance of a divorce or death or something else and each parent (at home or not) should be able to financially care for the kids if that occurs or at the very least have a plan and be marketable in the work place.

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