Is Retro Marriage Making a Comeback?

Thursday, August 07, 2008
It seems the days of June Cleaver and the 1950s housewife aren't as dead as people thought. CNN recently reported that a number of married women - and a good portion of them childless - are perfectly happy to stay at home while their husband brings home the bacon.

Dr. Scott Haltzman, who wrote "The Secrets of Happily Married Women", researched 650 stay-at-home wives and discovered that at least 10% of them were not parents.

The women who are fans of this lifestyle aren't exactly uneducated - many have college degrees - they just find it less stressful to be tasked with keeping a home clean, cooking edible meals, and having more personal time to themselves in a one-income household. They volunteer, enjoy their favorite hobbies, and believe that their marriages are happier as a result.

I have to admit, even as a modern age woman I don't find the idea as all that cringeworthy. After being single for so long and being employed since I was legally old enough to work (15 and a half) taking a break and taking care of a hubby - as long as he's a tolerable one - doesn't sound all that bad. I'd buy a couple of retro aprons, cook and bake cakes, and post a lot more often on this blog. I'd have a lot more time to try to break into freelance writing. But you'd have to have a secure marriage to do this - not to mention a career choice that won't suffer when one takes a hiatus from it, and enough money saved up "just in case." But where would you get that emergency fund if you're not working? Your weekly "allowance" from your husband's paycheck? And truth be told, I'd be bored and/or feel like I was wasting my talents to not be devoting some of it to the world.

Yeah, I'm not so sure I could go for this arrangement after all. Life today for women...soooo complicated. What do you gals out there think? Would you like to be a stay-at-home wife, or are you already one?


  1. I was a SAHM and wife for many years until my youngest started school then my dh asked me to work part time to help pay the bills. Now I'd love to go back to being a sahm and wife but I'm afraid I'd get too bored.

  2. I became a SAHW and mother when my first child was born...34 years ago. I raised three children and stayed home, until the youngest was in high school. Then I went to work at my husband's business, in a position where we rarely crossed paths. Now, I'm a RSAHW...a Retired Stay At Home Wife (and grandmother). Bored? No way. Sublimely happy! ...Jude

  3. It works for us but in reverse. I am a stay-at-home-dad (after I saved for over 2 decades to do so). My wife has no significant interests except her work (which unfortunately does not pay much), and I am a self-starting retro/technical/maker kinda guy who rides motorcycles, loves estate sales, fixing appliances, and home remodeling. Bored? Sometimes, but I only have to look around to find new projects and there is always something that need tending. And there is never enough time to bond with the kids.

  4. Benita Wheeler

    It is hard choice to stay at home because it is mentally and sometimes physically drainning. That's housewives have the highest death rates. I looked at my family, they leave before they are 60.
    You have learn to balance,have a life, and get a sitter. Let the guilt go. It is a job, clock in and clock out.


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