Is your main job taking care of your home and husband?
Whether you have kids or not, being a stay-at-home wife can be a full-time job.
It all depends on how you approach the position.
So today, we’re looking at how to be a good homemaker — with an eye toward maintaining good mental health and nurturing your own interests.
So pull up a screen, and let’s dive in.
When Is It a Good Idea To Be a Stay-at-Home Wife?
Being a stay-at-home wife isn’t for everyone — but it works beautifully for some couples. Is it for you? Consider the following questions:
Do you enjoy cooking, cleaning, and being a domestic goddess? Do you gain satisfaction from a sparkling house and creating tasty meals that your family enjoys?
Are you good with money? After all, two incomes are more than one. Would you be happy living on less money than you would if you and your spouse were both working?
Would the cost of childcare be equal or more than you would make working outside the home?
If you answered yes to these questions, being a stay-at-home wife may be a fulfilling path for you.
Ideas for A Stay-at-Home Wife Schedule with Kids
We’ve put together a broad-stroke schedule for stay-at-home wives with kids. Your family’s particulars will determine the exact hours, but this outline provides a framework and a few helpful tips.
Rise the Earliest
SAHMs across the globe swear by getting up earlier than everyone else in the home. Why? Because your job is consuming, early morning may be the only time you have to yourself all day.
However, avoid using this period to work on a project. This should be leisure time that allows your brain to slowly open and welcome the day calmly. Cramming “side work” into the early hours will inevitably lead to burnout.
Discipline-Teaching Morning Routine
The studies are in, and they’re all in agreement: Humans thrive on routines.
As such, turning your family’s morning schedule into a well-oiled machine will not only cut down on the chaos but also help your kids internalize a valuable “life hack.”
School and Errand Run
It’s time to get everyone off to work and school. Try to do any outside errands for the day immediately after the school run.
That way, you cut down on the number of times you need to leave the house, which could shave some dollars off monthly gas costs.
You Time Lunch
Once you get home, carve out time for a lunch break.
We hate to sound like a nagging doctor, but try to eat healthily. The more nutritious your food, the better you’ll feel, mentally and physically.
That’s not just mindless, apocryphal babble; studies show that people who eat more plants, veggies, and healthy meats are happier, healthier, and smarter.
Also, use this time to work on your projects. If you like to craft, break out the supplies. If you’re starting a small business, whip out the work.
Domestic Management and Pick-Up Time
A significant part of domestic work is household management: paying the bills (preferably on time), cleaning, landscaping, et cetera.
Doing these tasks after you’ve fueled your body makes the most sense.
When you’re done, it’s usually time to pick the kiddos up from school.
Family Dinners and Evening Activity
Once snacks and homework are done or at least underway, dinner prep and family time are next.
If your goal is to raise bright, considerate, fulfilled children, it may be wise to monitor the amount of screen time you and your family consume. While it’s tempting to plop in front of the television, studies show that it can be detrimental to cognitive development — at all life stages.
We’re not suggesting you never watch shows or movies. Doing so can be both an educational and a bonding experience. But try not to rely on it.
Break out a board game, puzzle, or deck of cards instead. Some families also have reading time.
Discipline-Teaching Bedtime Routine
Before you know it, bedtime arrives. For some families, this can be one of the most stressful parts of the day, with kids testing their boundaries and begging to stay up “just a little longer.”
As such, try to make it a pleasant time. Every night, read a book to them in bed as they drift off. Or, make up fairytales to share, and cast your kids as the stars!
Once the kids are off in Slumberville, it’s time to shower your husband with attention and affection. Share a cocktail and talk about the day. Engage in a little “Netflix and chill.”
The point is to relax and feel ensconced in a bubble of safety, love, and support.
Ideas for a Stay-at-Home Wife Schedule Without Kids
Are you a stay-at-home wife without kids — or an aspiring one? What does that look like on a day-to-day basis? Check out the schedule below.
Get Up Together
Most child-free stay-at-home wives either get up at the same time as their spouses or a bit earlier. Staying in bed allows for a little morning loving if that’s your thing.
But getting up earlier means you can prepare a nutritious hot breakfast for both of you.
Movement and Personal Development
Since you don’t have to worry about shuttling the kids to school and your partner is off to work, you can spend this time exercising or doing personal-development work.
Have you been threatening to try journaling? Yoga? Meditation? This is the time to do it!
You may not have little rugrats running around, but there’s still a home to which you must tend.
Floors need vacuuming, laundry needs washing and folding, and yes, unfortunately, those bathrooms need scrubbing. As a stay-at-home wife, this all falls under your purview.
Run Your Errands
Don’t forget about your errands! It’s usually best to do these in the middle of the day when everyone else is at work. Traffic will be lighter and the lines shorter.
Things typically get busier around 3 o’clock when many teachers, bankers, and law enforcement agents start getting off and hitting the stores before heading home.
Hobbies or Business Time
Once everything is spick and span, then it’s time to dive into whatever fuels your mind and soul. Are you an avid reader? Then pick up the book you’re currently devouring.
Or maybe your dream is to write the next great national novel. Are you starting a business? Or perhaps you’re teaching yourself how to knit.
Whatever the case, now’s the time to get your daily hours in.
Partner Pleasing and Pleasure
Evening is descending, which means it’s time to start prepping dinner. Many stay-at-home wives become highly competent at-home chefs, and their meals are a high point of their spouse’s day.
If you’re not a naturally gifted cook, don’t give up. You will eventually get the hang of it with practice.
You may even want to spruce yourself up before your partner gets home. It’s a nice gesture and signals that you look forward to their daily homecoming.
13 Empowering Tips For the Modern Stay-at-Home Wife
Looking for a few more tips on how a modern woman can make the most of her stay-at-home wife lifestyle? We’ve got a baker’s dozen.
This isn’t so much a wife duties list but points on how to thrive in your position.
1. Read Things You Love
Just because you’re a stay-at-home wife doesn’t mean you’re not fiercely intelligent, curious, and interesting. The best way to keep your brain sharp is to develop a daily reading habit.
It’s exercise for the brain, and you’re lucky enough to have the time to read things you love instead of what’s required for an outside job.
So take advantage of your good fortune and dive into excellent reading material.
2. Nurture Your Interests
Do you love pottery? Gardening? Jiu Jitsu? Whatever floats your boat is what you should explore. Instead of only focusing on your spouse’s needs and wants, foster your own as well. After all, you work too.
Taking care of a whole other human being and a household is challenging. You deserve downtime and perks, too!
3. Take Care of Yourself
One of the best parts of being a stay-at-home wife is having more time to care for yourself. We’re not just talking about mani-pedis and massages — (although those are all great, too).
Exercising and staying on top of your mental health should be top priorities for both practical and superficial reasons.
Practical because people who get their heart pumping at least five days a week and manage their emotions are healthier, happier, and smarter; superficial because it’s nice to “look good” for your partner.
Sure, maybe the notion is a tad old-fashioned, but thoughtful nonetheless. (It only becomes problematic when one party insists the other look a certain way.)
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4. Transform Your Home Into a Sanctuary
Due to the nature of their responsibilities and lifestyle, most stay-at-home wives spend a lot of time in their homes — which can be stressful if said home isn’t pleasant.
To ensure your time “at work” is productive and peaceful, turn your home into your sanctuary. And by that, we mean: don’t display art you don’t like, light scented candles that you love, choose soothing and motivating paint colors, et cetera. Essentially, make sure you love your place!
It needn’t be huge or filled with expensive things. Instead, just make sure you love it.
5. Get Dressed at Least 5 Days Week
Do yourself a favor and get dressed at least five mornings a week. Act as if you’re leaving the house for the day, even if you’re not.
It’s all about mindset. People who get up, get dressed, and get going are less likely to fall into a slovenly pattern or get depressed. We’re not saying you need to wear a suit every day.
Heck, plenty of stay-at-home wives have extensive (and elegant) sweatsuit wardrobes that are comfortable and cute. Just don’t stay in your pajamas all day.
6. Make Lists
Lists are a stay-at-home wife’s best friend. Not only do they help keep you organized, but crossing off items provides a sense of accomplishment.
Some folks use notes apps or programs like Excel or Google Sheets. But we recommend going the old-fashion route by using a to-do pad or notebook — for no other reason than the satisfaction of flamboyantly crossing something off when you’re done.
7. Pamper Your Partner
Being a stay-at-home wife usually means consenting to a more traditional partnership framework, and part of that is “taking care” of your spouse.
If they’re bringing home the proverbial bacon, then it’s only fair that you uphold your end of the bargain, which means making a supportive, relaxing, and encouraging atmosphere at home.
What does that look like? Every couple has their likes and dislikes. But cooking, cleaning, and doing things your partner likes are all part of the job description.
If there’s genuine love in the relationship, this won’t be a problem. But to ensure smooth sailing, treat him to things you also enjoy. Doing so will prevent resentment from taking over.
8. Brush Up on Your Culinary Skills
Sure, some stay-at-home wives order out five nights a week, but most do a lot more cooking than their counterparts with jobs outside the home.
For starters, it makes financial sense. Since you’re living on one income instead of two, cutting back on eating out is easier on the wallet. Furthermore, you have more time to make fresh, nutritious dishes that may blow your neighborhood restaurants out of the water.
9. Develop a Healthy Self-Esteem
We’ve mentioned it a couple of times because it’s true: Strangers, friends, and family alike will have strong opinions about your decision not to work outside the home — and many of them will be negative.
Without solid self-esteem, these criticisms can eat away at you. The best defense is developing an unshakable sense of self-worth. When you’re secure in what you want and why you want it, other people’s judgments don’t cut as deep (if at all).
10. Get Involved / Volunteer
When you’ve gotten your domestic routine down to a science, you’ll have more time on your hands. Consider using it to volunteer somewhere in your community.
Not only will you be lending a hand to make others’ lives better — whether humans or animals — but it also allows you to meet people and get out of the house.
11. Unplug for Sanity
One good thing about working outside the house is that you don’t have the distractions of home tempting you 24/7.
Both stay-at-home wives and people who work from home must be vigilant when it comes to self-monitoring their screen time. Getting lost in social media or streaming services day after day will, eventually, wreak havoc on your mental health.
Do yourself a favor and limit the time you spend staring at screens during the day.
12. Maintain Close Friendships
Do everything in your power to maintain close relationships outside your marriage. Too often, stay-at-home spouses lose track of their lives and become subsumed by their partners.
Making sure this doesn’t happen should be a top priority. Because without a network — small or large — life is a bit more lonely, which can erode contentment.
13. Become a Money Management Guru
One of the most important aspects of being a stay-at-home wife is managing the household finances. Instead of sticking to the basics, why not stretch your wings and become a money management guru?
Who knows, you may be able to turn a molehill into a mountain — of cash!
How to Describe Yourself As a Modern Stay-at-Home Wife
Will people have strong opinions about your status as a stay-at-home wife? You better believe they will. And that’s okay. Everyone is entitled to their views.
Your job is to stand confidently in your choices and live a life that gives you satisfaction. If someone doesn’t like that you don’t work outside the home, that’s their hangup, not yours.
If you want to convey the complexity and importance of your position in a cheeky, modern way, call yourself a household manager, family executive, or CDO (chief domestic officer).
Being a stay-at-home wife — with kids or without — is a lifestyle choice. So if it works for you, forget about other peoples’ opinions and do the best job possible — because living a fulfilling life is what it’s all about, and you decide what fills your satisfaction tank.