I am not the only one having this idea. A lot of people think this way, which is why so many “independent” women disdain being a SAHM. The typical reason against quitting their jobs and staying at home is that they don’t want to live on “handouts” from their husbands.
In the past, I used to think that this is a poor way of looking at things. I still think so. In my opinion, as a couple, it is all teamwork. The man goes out to earn a living so that the family is provided for. The woman stays home to take care of the household and children. There are this much to be done for the family and we each just have to take up one portion and do our part. It can be the other way round. After all, it is a matter of who is better at what, and which arrangement best suits the family. The one who stays home (henceforth assumed to be the woman for expediency) should not feel that she is taking ‘handouts’ from her husband. It is not as if she is lazing at home and not doing anything. She is an active, contributing member of the family. It is just that her contribution is not counted in monetary terms.
Nevertheless, many SAHMs feel that they are lesser beings at home because they don’t contribute to the family’s finances. It does not help that society at large sends the not-so-subtle signal that implies that SAHMs are a waste of resources. Having been a SAHM for all these years, I, unfortunately, cannot escape from this warped view of SAHM society has even though I know it is not right. There are times I feel ‘ashamed’ about asking for money or spending on myself. There are times I feel frustrated because I want to have better things in life and my husband is just not interested in incurring that kind of expenses. And since he is the one who earns the money, he has the veto power. It all boils down to feeling ‘I don’t have any rights’ because I am not the one earning the money.
It is pointless to quarrel about these things with my husband because firstly, I don’t feel right adding that kind of burden on him. It is unfair to him for me to demand for what the Jones have. And to be fair to him, my husband has never denied me of anything that I wish to have (within reasons of course!). Secondly, he is just going to feel more stressed and frustrated because of my expectations. So I decided to turn to God and complained to Him.
It took quite a long time to sort this out but to cut the long story short, eventually, the Lord showed me where I went wrong and it was a Eureka! moment for me. He showed me that the reason why I felt so frustrated was not because of all the things that didn’t go right, or the fact that I was ‘taking handouts’ and didn’t feel I have any rights because I didn’t bring home the dough. The reason why I was so frustrated was because I was looking to my husband to fulfill my needs and dreams. This is wrong! I should be looking to my Father in Heaven for all that!!!! He alone is the Provider.
When I look to my husband to fulfill my needs and dreams, I will get frustrated because he is after all, a human being with limited strength and resources. He cannot possibly be omnipresent, omniscience and omnipotent to meet all my expectations. Granted he is the sole breadwinner of the family, it is ultimately the Lord who provides for our family. Even for me, a SAHM who does not have an income of my own, I should look to Him to fulfill my own needs. He could provide through my husband – as He does daily by providing my husband with the job and the money. He could also provide for me through other means. He is not limited in resources and channels. If I place my hope and expectation on God, then I would take it off my husband, which means I have a better hope – a confident expectation of good things to come – because I know the Lord can surely provide. Then I will not be so frustrated with my husband and he won’t feel the burden of expectations from me.
This really changed my perspective and made me a happier person. I feel that by leaning on God, I am also better able to minister to my family instead of feeling that they are my source of frustration.
I hope this sharing will minister to other fellow SAHMs who are struggling with the same issues that I struggled with. In God’s eye, you are not a lesser being just because you stay at home and don’t earn an income or contribute to the economy. In fact, God’s Word says this :
The Lord gave the word;
Great was the company of those who proclaimed it:*
“Kings of armies flee, they flee,
And she who remains at home
divides the spoil.
Though you lie down among the sheepfolds
You will be like the wings of a dove covered with silver,
And her feathers with yellow gold.”
Psalms 68:11-13 NKJV (emphasis is mine)
*According to Young’s Literal Translation, the proclaimers of the word the Lord gave are female. “The female proclaimers are a numerous host.” So, fellow SAHMs, proclaim God’s Word and divide the spoils!