Monday, June 19, 2017

When Others Turn Their Back On You For Being a Housewife



I have had the pleasure of communicating with countless ladies who have decided to become housewives or are in the process of trying to become one. One of the biggest problems they've faced is having to listen to others scrutinize their choice. A lady, Kayla, who was an attorney and became a housewife told me that, coming from a family of doctors and lawyers in Manhattan, no one supported her choice. This seemed especially harsh to her since she was partially raised by the customary upper-middle-class nanny ...
"My mother never had enough time to spend with me as I grew up, and I didn't want to be that kind of mom, even though I know she greatly sacrificed for us in other ways." When her physician mother found out that her daughter was quitting life as a stressed out attorney to be a housewife and now stay-at-home-mom, her mother took to speaking to the rest of the family to get her to change her mind. Her mother got Kayla's father to talk to her about how much tuition money they spent on her, from private kindergarten all the way up to law school. Her competitive sisters insulted her by telling her she would basically be a dish washer and diaper changer the rest of her life.

"But that sounded good to me."

"It never dawned on my family that seeing their harried and stressful although successful lives would want to make me change the course of my life."

Kayla simply had enough. Even before she met her husband she began to question why she became an attorney. "People only see the nice dress suits. They don't see the yelling at the office and adversarial nature of the legal field." Kayla was worn out and couldn't bear the idea of spending her remaining working years in the same field. Even then she wanted to be a housewife, with or without kids.

"To this day I am sort of the black sheep of my family, which is ridiculous considering I made a very natural choice to be a stay at home wife and mother. They can pay their nannies and housekeepers. I want to do it myself."

Kayla also noted she lost some female friends when she became domestic. "I think there is this modern belief that women are only supposed to strive for career success while sacrificing home life, and people seem to just go along with that trend. Old colleagues want to talk about their latest Fortune 500 client and I just want to find new variations for my beef stew."

"Sometimes you have to say goodbye to people, realize that you get a more chilly reception from them, or understand you're out of their 'club'. But their opinions don't matter to me anymore because they don't care about my happiness."

Being a housewife proves to be too basic for some people. But us housewives cling to the basics, as they are foundations for a fulfilling life.

What about you? Have you gotten a chilly reception for choosing domestic life?

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

I only had a job (not professional) before I quit work to be a housewife and mom so I did not have to deal with anyone telling me that I was giving up my education. The only person that did not support my housewife/mom transition was my mother in law. She had worked hard at a job most of her married life and thought I should too. She had a hard time thinking about her baby boy (in a way) being taken advantage of, working 2 jobs while I had none.--Melissa M.

The Quaint Housewife said...

Anon,

Mothers in law are perhaps one of the most difficult people to satisfy. I'm glad you did what was right for your family despite her dislike of this decision. Thank you for the comment.

QH

Lauren B said...

Yes! It seems like I get a chilly reception at every turn. I began to fear people asking me what I do for a living or extended family members asking me about the job that I no longer have. It got so bad that I would make excuses for family events. Having been home for a few years now I am slowly starting to get less anxious about these questions and accompanying judgements. I am ridiculously happy being a housewife and my husband loves that I am home just as much. That's all that matters. I am learning now that my everyday happiness totally outweighs people's negative opinions of what I do. I am also realizing that when people care that much about how you live your life the issue is much more their own than it is yours. Choose you and your husband's happiness over pleasing others every time! I loved this post!

Anonymous said...

Hello,

My father was against it and still is. And I'm 47! I've been a housewife without children for 8 years now. He tells me quite often that he would really want me to feel useful to society. It's quite sad to be honest. He was and still is very successful in his career as an architect. All the fame (he was on television, on radio etc.) but he's not happy inside. Always restless and on the run. My mom on the other hand is truly happy for me. She retired now but worked as a biologist for decades and was not really present in my life, sadly. I was raised more by my maternal grandmother back in Europe and she was a very happy woman (housewife during all her long and lovely life!). I guess I always wanted to be like her subconsciously and I'm happy to say that I finally succeeded.

All the best!

Mia

becky said...

Welcome back! Missed your You Tubes also. I get funny looks because I am 57 with 8
grandchildren.-"Why am I not working?" they say!!
Please..... I am tired but I also am enjoying my Hubby and my big garden and my 8 babies:)
Becky

The Quaint Housewife said...

Lauren B,

I am sorry you've had to face this time and time again, and glad that you've found happiness with your hubby. For the reasons you speak of I got rid of my personal social media accounts so that no one would know what I was up to when I quit my old job. Only a few people were allowed into my new life. But I am a loner and that's not for everyone!

Your wedding photo is gorgeous and you're a beautiful couple BTW!

The Quaint Housewife said...

Anon,

Bless your parents and their hard work. It seems successful parents don't always get to be there as much as is ideal. You made a great choice though. Someone in the household is paying taxes I'm sure, so that is useful to society already! My parents didn't approve when I left my old job either. I was 37 when I got married too. Enjoy the ride :)

QH

The Quaint Housewife said...

Becky!

Happy to see you :D I can't believe people ask you at 57 why you aren't working. Maybe at 60 years old they will leave you alone since that is an "acceptable" retirement age.

You don't really have time to work, what with such a big family and a garden. If you went to work somewhere, that stuff could fall apart! I am 41 and I am tired of the real world. I can't wait to get back into my house when I interact with humanity out there. So much stress and hostility. My 56 year old husband is my excuse as he is homebody too.

I am trying to grow Brussels sprouts, but I am not sure I have enough room for them to all grow.

QH

Anonymous said...

People are so nasty. There have been studies done that women are happiest when they are housewives. Other studies have shown that most women who work would rather be at home but feel pressured by other women to be "independent." The sad thing is that most of us are happy as housewives but as a result, we cannot be friends with most other women because of their jealous hostility.

The Quaint Housewife said...

Anon,

Yes, people can have such nasty personalities. I lost a friend myself because she heard I was going to be a housewife. My own sister was even nasty to my mom because my mom has always been a housewife.

Good points!

QH

Lindsey Barnes said...

I have worked to put my husband through medical school and a surgical residency. I am so excited to be able to find "us" again. No more working around 2 work schedules. Everyone asks what I am doing when we move. The truth...I am staying home. I am excited about it. We have no kids and no one has said anything rude but the looks say it all.

The Quaint Housewife said...

Lindsey,

That sounds wonderful! You both did a lot of hard work, and now you can enjoy some of the fruits of it. Enjoy the prosperity and your time tending to the home!

QH

Serene said...

I've always worked very part time in the arts. My mom and grandmom were housewives so I had support there. Sometimes I sense envy from certain people, but they're upset with their own lives. I really like what the writer quoted about not giving time to those who don't value your happiness, very simple yet profound!

The Quaint Housewife said...

Serene,

It's wonderful you had such support in the family. My mom is still a housewife. The arts is a great place for women -- one of my older friends has an MFA and I've always admired her skill as well as her deep knowledge of painting art history. What kind of art are you involved in? Thanks for stopping by :D

QH

becky said...

Waiting for another Post!!!! trust you are well.
I am knee deep in tomatoes-canned 14 jars of salsa a bit ago.
Finished the green beans and pickled beets a few weeks ago.
take care
Becky

The Quaint Housewife said...

Becky! I am jealous of your harvest and enjoy hearing of your housewifey duties. Our midget tomatoes are just starting to turn red. Starting to get some female flowers on our cukes, melons, and zucchinis, but no fruits yet. Interestingly I don't see many bees or monarch butterflies this year, which is an incredible shame. Maybe we will have to pollinate by hand. How did you get such a quick harvest? Stocking up the pantry warms the heart.

becky said...

we had perfect weather-rained when it was supposed-stayed warm when it should. Plus my husband really nurtures the soil. Have canned 76 jars as of today!
Looking forward to another post soon!

The Quaint Housewife said...

That is wonderful, Becky! I just hand=pollinated a vining zucchini fruit even though I saw a bee in the vicinity. I also noticed a few cantaloupe fruits must have been pollinated because they are getting bigger. Some cukes are getting larger too. Gardening is so exciting -- seeing the little changes every day.

Anna Boyett said...

I wish more people understood that you can support someone's life decisions while still disagreeing with them- and do so without being a rude or angry person about the fact that they chose differently than you did; I'll never understand why people are so unnecessarily concerned with the lives of others. Honestly, as long as it's not affecting you via stepping on your own right to live your life as you see fit (always within reason and legality), then who's business is it anyways?

MaryO said...

This is one of the sweetest blogs I've come across! So glad I found it! It embodies all the things I've come to value so much: love, home, garden, crafts, books! Thanks!

MaryO1230
(Mary E. Osborne)
San Pedro, CA

The Quaint Housewife said...

Thanks for your readership, Mary. So nice to surround yourself in all the homey things you love :)

The Quaint Housewife said...

Anna, I feel this way too. There is too much nosiness and pettiness out there!

Serene said...

Quaint Housewife, I was in a dance company and, teach dance. I have also worked as a singer. I await your book!

The Quaint Housewife said...

Serene, you must be very gifted to be in a profession with such tough critics and competition. Kudos to you. And thank you about my book.

Anonymous said...

hello I am a newbie here...I googled stay at home wife with no children after feeling like such an outsider in my community. I worked for the last 20+ years and just turned 40 and feel in my heat the rat race of the working world is not for me...
But all my friends are my friends are women that have to work and have children..they
are constantly making jokes about me or saying am I am going home to nap....umm no not at all, I constantly am out doing very productive things but I am also feeling like I am constantly defending my lifestyle
Any advice Quaint Housewife?? my husband feels those women could be jealous

The Quaint Housewife said...

Anonymous,

Hello there. I am 41, so we are very close in age. I am sorry you are getting this kind of feedback from other women. I would indeed say it is jealousy or they are so far out of it that they can't comprehend anyone being fulfilled without an outside job. I cut a lot of people out of my life before I became a housewife because I knew they weren't going to understand. If it would make your life easier you can always reduce or eliminate the time you spend with them. I know it sounds weird but my husband and I are not big on having many friends because people inevitably always come with strings attached, like the stress and flack you are getting. Being a housewife without kids can feel a little isolating at times, but with a happy marriage and a busy home life, hopefully that positivity outdoes the negativity you get from these chicks!

If you have Facebook I would love to have you as a page follower to keep in touch!

Love,

Quaint Housewife

Anonymous said...

Hello - I am 53 and new to being a stay at home wife, my kids are grown and I have worked since I was 16, I am burnt out in the career I have had and now have the opportunity to stay home, which I am only in my 3rd month of doing. My husband and I used to share chores cooking etc and now I do all of them so the only thing he has to worry about is his job, he loves coming home to a clean house and dinner. I can tell you its very lonely at first but I have found that now that I am not working, I enjoy doing the housework and cooking and I am not stressed, I love to garden so that keeps me busy in the summer. I am into crafts so being busy is not a problem. But I do get lonely for some company. I was really happy to stumble upon your site! and will look at book. Thank you for sharing your story.

TinaB

The Quaint Housewife said...

TinaB,

What a wonderful change you made. Becoming a housewife can feel isolating at first to some. Personally I am a bit of a loner but I can get that way too - to have like-minded women around me. I am sorry I am responding so late. It sounds like your time is now full of fulfilling pursuits and quality time with your husband.

Quaint Housewife