21 Feb 2010

A Week of Having a "Stay-at-home" Wife

Submitted by Paul Brown

Holly quit her job effective a week ago, so she has been a "stay-at-home" wife since the beginning of last week. I put "stay-at-home" in quotes because she really does not just stay at home. Every day, Holly has had a list of chores or errands that she wants to take care of, so she has kept very busy. She posted some of her initial initial thoughts over on her blog, but I thought it might be nice for me to share some of my thoughts as well.

Having Holly able to take care of a lot of housekeeping and errands while I am at work during the day has been very good for us so far. With our impending move, there are even more things to take care of and plan for than usual, so this has been an especially helpful time for her to have more time to dedicate to managing our domestic affairs. The primary effect that I have noticed this week is that we both seem to have more energy than we did before. Holly gets so much done during the day that when I get home from work, we are pretty much able to put dinner on the table and eat and then have the evening to relax and enjoy one another's company. On the evenings where we had outside engagements, such as our Regen community group or visiting Holly's Mom and Dad, it felt less rushed than when we were both getting home at 5:00 or later and then trying to get ready to go.

Aside from Holly and I having more time to relax and have fun together, I think that Holly is also happier in this arrangement. Admittedly, it is still early and no doubt frustrations may appear as we stick with this for the long haul, but it feels like Holly is energized rather than enervated as she has been taking care of the business of the home. Her joy in turn tends to put me in a better mood, I think, and in some ways it feels like we are back in the dating or early newlywed stage again.

One attendant benefit that I had not expected has appeared: We have been able to go to bed earlier and with more energy, so I am catching up on my Bible reading plan. Although it is well into February, I am still back in mid-December in the reading plan. There are more factors in plan than just when I go to bed and how much energy I have when I do, I'm sure, but it has been very good for my soul to be getting back into reading my Bible regularly and having more mental energy to engage with the text as I read it. I still have a lot of growth to do in this area, but I have seen some good steps in the right direction this week.

I think that the main reason that this arrangement is working out so well so far is that Holly is a woman of character who desires to honor God by caring for our home. Like the idealized wife of Proverbs 31, "she sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks." I look forward to seeing how the Lord will bless her for her faithfulness as my wife.