MOST QUESTIONS ABOUT ONE’S life revolves around two things: relationship status and employment status. This is especially true for those who are in their mid-20s.
I know, because after being asked about my married life, the question that follows is this: What are you doing now?
Depending on who’s asking, I would answer differently, ranging from: unemployed, slowly getting into the job market, or enjoying life. And they are all true. Actually, the latter is the most accurate description of the three.
I am what you call a stay-at-home wife. I don’t have kids, but I stay at home. Thankfully, my dear husband is (currently) okay with this.
A typical day for me includes being kissed good morning by the husband before he goes to work. I’d wake up at around nine, then proceed to make coffee. I’d wash the dishes, then open my laptop and browse the net. I’d have leftovers for lunch. Then I do a bit of cleaning, laundry, or anything else that needs tending to. In the evening, I bake, or drink tea while reading a book. At around 6, I’d ask when the husband is planning to be home, and cook dinner. We’ll then eat while watching TV.
‘Aren’t you bored?’ a friend asked.
Of course not.
There’s beauty in being home.
First, the husband and I get to eat good home-cooked food.
I used to dislike cooking, but my sister did a great job prepping me to be able to cook before she got married and left me to live alone. We would do groceries together, and on weekday evening she would call/text me on which meat to prep for cooking that night. She would usually cook. I cooked once, but I spilled the pepper when stir-frying the lettuce and we had to eat that awful-tasting veggies for two days.
So I prepped, she cooked.
It was after she left that I discovered the joy of cooking—of doing groceries and planning meals and learning to make good food at home. It was a necessity: I have to eat, and eating out is expensive. But I never know that I would grow to love grocery shopping and meal planning.
In all honesty, I really, really do.
Staying at home allows me to search for recipes, experimenting with what we’ll have for dinner, and most importantly, to take time in prepping and cooking. I’ve come to realise that it’s how I de-stress.
I bake too. The house just smells so great after baking. But I digress.
Point is, husband is happier because he’s eating good food. I’m happier because he’s eating healthier. (No more oily take-outs and weekly instant noodles, thankfully.) And I get to showcase my newfound cooking skills.
Second, the husband and I have more quality time. As newlyweds, I’m really grateful for this.
I’ve been doing the bulk of the chores during the weekdays, so free time equals to our time. He still cleans the bathroom (just because I hate cleaning the bathroom) and takes out the garbage, but we have more time for us.
Do you know how much time you dedicate to housechores? A lot. Doing laundry, ironing, vacuuming, cleaning anything, washing dishes, and so on. These things are usually done in the weekends if we’re both working, thus cutting our time together. Now, apart from dating, we can use those extra time to socialise with our friends over coffee, lunch, or dinner.
That being said, I’ve started to feel guilty. The norm for wives without kids is to help bring home the bacon. Besides, staying at home the whole day means you’re lazy—you’re wasting time, doesn’t it?
Last week I caught up with a friend (whom I regard as my mentor), and told her what I’ve been doing for the past year: apart from publishing a book and getting married, well, nothing. I don’t regret my decision of choosing family over career, but I do get jealous of friends who have climbed up the ladder for years.
And here I am, in my mid-20s, staying at home, starting over.
She smiled. ‘You don’t have to rush to work you know.
‘You’re going to spend the rest of your life working—thirty years of it. Delaying work is not going to wreck the rest of your career.
‘You don’t have to rush to start.’
In that moment, things fell into perspective. I’ll have years and years to work. I might not have the luxury of being home, like I do now.
So this season of my life will not last forever. I’ll probably be changing my status soon—I’ve started applying for jobs. It might be in a couple of weeks or months—somewhere in the near future.
But I’m happy, and proud, to be a stay-at-home wife for the time being. I will keep on reading, cooking, sleeping, and putting more effort to meet up with friends, refuelling myself for the adventure to come.
Photo #1 is used with Creative Commons Zero. Photo (c) #2 of yours truly, taken by Joshua Chan.