Money Mic: I’m Married Without Kids—and I Choose Not to Work

Ikarenn our Money Mic series, we hand over the podium to people with controversial views about money. These are their views, not ours, but we welcome your responses.

Today, one woman tells us why she gave up her career in hotel administration to be a stay-at-home wife, what she’s doing instead of a 9-to-5, and how, even though she’s not bringing home the bacon, she’s in charge of the finances in her one-income household.

I’m 37 years old and married without kids—and I haven’t worked in four years. That feels like a confession. I didn’t expect to be living like this in my 30s, but not working has worked out for me.

I started my career in hotel administration about 14 years ago. I met my husband, Joel, 44, on the job in 1998. At the time, we were both in hotel administration at a big hotel chain in San Francisco. It was my first job out of college and I thought it was going to be my career for life, but I quickly learned that hotel management is incredibly demanding. You’re putting in long hours on holidays and weekends, and it’s an especially tough industry to get ahead in if both partners are trying to progress their hotel careers at the same time. Overtime and work transfers to different cities are par for the course, so with all those variables at play, it makes it tough to sustain a relationship.

Switching Gears, Changing Locations

But Joel and I did make it work. In March 1999, two weeks after our first date, we moved in together. Then, just two months later, he got his first transfer from San Francisco to Carmel, Calif. There weren’t any vacancies for my position at the new location, so I found a job at another hotel in Monterey. We stayed in Carmel until 2001, when Joel was transferred to Indianapolis, where it wasn’t as easy for me to get work within my field. We needed the extra income, so I ended up being a nanny, and then a waitress.

RELATED: Overstaying a (Job) Welcome: Tales in Lost Earning Potential 

  • Barbara | Creative Culinary

    My husband makes a six figure income and I don’t have to work. Good for you. What is our take away from this? Seems more like bragging than anything else!

    • Tatyana

      I dont think she is bragging. This is a story of a woman who sacrified her career for her husband’s career and the relationship.

    • Steph B

      Yeah, let’s put down other women and their choices. We’re good at that.

    • horsegirl

      Barbara – jealousy is an ugly thing. You chose your path – go live it happily!

      • janie

        Barbara is probably joking and you are so quick to judge.

    • k.p.

      I think the takeaway is that there are ways to contribute financially without bringing in income. Saving money on things like food (cooking at home vs. having to eat out because you’re both too busy to shop and cook), vehicles and projects around the home can be just as valuable as contributing a paycheck if you do it right.

      • karah @ thespacebetweenblog

        Hi Barbara! I just shared my story because LearnVest was looking for one about a woman choosing not to work and I fit the bill. I wouldn’t say I’m bragging, but I also have no shame in how we choose to make life work for us. It’s definitely a topic I can get easily excited about because I’m excited about our life. Thank you for taking the time to read the article. :)

  • Elaine

    Hmmm, I think it’s really interesting that, in today’s uncertain financial environment (of course, when is it ever ‘certain’?!) that a couple could consciously choose to go to a one income household. Not having children helps a great deal, and it sounds like your vacations are really disguised as transfers, in a way. My hat is off to you for making that choice; regardless of your husband’s income, it’s not an easy one to make. I personally would not be comfortable not working, so it’s a brave choice to me.

    • karah @ thespacebetweenblog

      hahaha, our family always says they put up with our constant moving because it gives them new vacation spots. :)

      • http://www.polishgalore.com/ Krystal Emery

        Yep! We were so happy Deanna got to go see you in Curaçao!

  • Nicole Wilkins

    I am not sure why this ended up in my email box and something “important to read.” For all of the women who work their arses off in the workplace, you constantly feel the sting of judgement by men who look at women as “working only when they need to” and not as part of a greater life’s passion. So, putting the discrimination aside for a minute and the fact that someone else’s path is more important than yours, I’m amazed that thoughts of a tumultuous financial climate or god forbid a possible divorce don’t loom large in one’s mind. Maybe they should. Women, whether you’re a mother or not, owe it to yourself to leverage the huge investment you and your parents made in your education to be a durable member of society. Durability comes from self-sufficiency.

    • SO3

      How do you know what her parents invested in her education? The more I read article comments, the more I’m realizing that everyone thinks each individual person needs to represent the whole. That’s not true. You get one life, and if this is how she chooses to live hers, what’s wrong with it? Further, what’s wrong with her sharing it?

    • horsegirl

      “Durability” comes from the knowledge that you are ABLE to be self sufficient. She chooses to put her relationship first, and live frugally and in a financially savvy way. There’s more than one way to live, hers isn’t less valid than the one you chose.

    • karah @ thespacebetweenblog

      Hi Nicole! I would describe what I’m doing as exactly that “working at a greater life’s passion”, that passion for me just happens to encompass our life as a whole and not revolve around one specific job. But I applaud everyone working their arses off, I know I feel very rewarded after a hard days work, and to have my hobby blog turn into a now income producer just supports the philosophy to work at what you love. Thanks for reading the article. :)

    • tammigirl

      This: I’m amazed that thoughts of a tumultuous financial climate or god forbid a possible divorce don’t loom large in one’s mind. Maybe they should.

      Made me so sad. I wish nobody had to live and make their decisions based on fear.

  • Amanda

    “I’m a smart, educated woman. I have no doubt that I would be able to get a job if I needed to work again.”

    No offense, but you aren’t getting any younger, and you’ve been out of the work force for years. Do you honestly think it’s that easy?

    • Tatyana

      OMG – why so negative? Maybe she will use her time to recharge, her blog will become very popular and she will be more successful than her husband.

      • Mere

        Probably because it is not just that easy to get a job after not working for many years. That is not negativity; that is being realistic.

      • Niki Wilkins

        I don’t see this as “negative” but when you’re a minority (professional woman is a minority in the workplace), your actions affect others. Sorry, just how it is. Not judging just reacting to an article that reminds us that feminism gave us a choice… and most women just end up doing what women in the 50′s did.

        • Debbie

          Not most women…..and choice is choice! Maybe the 50s model was not so bad….and if that is the choice that is made, it is a CHOICE and should be supported since it does not hurt anyone….let someone who wants the job have the one she does not take…

    • horsegirl

      She sounds like a potential entrepreneur – where age is irrelevant. Working doesn’t always mean working for someone else. Sheesh people, think outside the box a little. Looks like she does!

    • Niki Wilkins

      It is likely she will NOT be able to flow easily back into the workforce.

    • karah @ thespacebetweenblog

      I’m not getting any younger indeed. :) I’m still at a point where I can envision myself starting my career over when my husband is ready to reel his back … could be a fun change of pace for us both.

      • Amanda

        Karah,

        Thank you for your reply. Even though I said, “no offense,” my comment was rude and I apologize. I’ve read through your responses to these comments, and you have been nothing but gracious. I think my comment came from my experience. I’ve been an attorney for 6 years and I relocated for my partner’s job almost a year ago. It took me 4 months just to get an interview, despite my solid academics and work history. The legal market is saturated with unemployed attorneys. Sometimes it’s hard for me to remember that not everyone chose a rigid career like mine (which I do love by the way!). Thanks for sharing your story.

        • Paula

          Amanda, both you and Karah are heroes in my book. Karah has been honest about her decisions and, you are right, she has been gracious in her responses. My personal opinion is that people these days can be so insensitive to each other but Karah always seems to have a positive spin on things for her detractors. You are my hero too because you reviewed your comment, realized it came from your experience and actually came back to apologize. Amazing! I don’t know you but I am proud of you! :)

          • karah @ thespacebetweenblog

            What an uplifting comment, Paula. All we can hope for is the ability to be sensitive to situations that we have never been in. I, too, was very inspired to receive a follow up comment from you, Amanda. I didn’t feel like you meant anything bad, and knowing more about your situation I think your original comment makes a lot of sense.

  • elle

    Wow — I enjoyed the article didn’t find it “bragging” at all. My husband as well makes six figures but I did also until we accepted a big job transfer for his job. I now work from home doing the same thing in a different state, and it was a hard transition to having the now less “important” job. I enjoyed your article and while our lives are different (we have kids) i took away that sometimes taking care of all the other things in all our lives (the small stuff that turns into earth shattering things when neglected) is way more important and really adds more to the relationship! Good luck to you and your husband and thanks for sharing!

    • karah @ thespacebetweenblog

      Hi Elle!! Thank you for such a nice comment. I agree, that transition to the less “important” work was hard at first. But, you’re right, those things become very important if they’re not handled well. I’d like to think I’ve accepted the challenge to pick up that slack and excel in other areas. :) Thank you so much for reading the article.

  • Kristen

    I try not to judge … so let me just say this … I usually am inspired by LearnVest articles … this article on the other hand … inspired nothing, except perhaps, mild disgust.

    • horsegirl

      The same feeling your comment inspires in me. Oh wait, I don’t have time for that feeling…have a wonderful day Kristen! As I’m sure you will. ;)

    • Red

      Agreed.

    • karah @ thespacebetweenblog

      If you have any specific questions I’ll be happy to elaborate. Of if it’s just my situation in life that makes you uncomfortable, I guess there’s nothing I can do about that. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

    • tammigirl

      I’m trying to understand why people are upset, but disgusted? I really don’t find what there is to be disgusted about? Is it just that Karah stopped having a job? Would it be less upsetting if she had taken the job at the hotel?

  • Tatyana

    Both husband and I used to have very demanding careers (Sometimes I worked 70 hours a week in the office). I quit my job as we are trying to balance our lives and have a baby. Now I picked up more responsibilities at home and trying to help my husband with his career. We are much less stressed and happier.
    This didnt come without sacrifies: We had to cut on our spending: going out to eat, shopping and traveling. At the same time, I have time to cook at home, I dont need to buy expensive work clothes and we both feel more relaxed.
    It was a hard decision since now I totally depend on my husband.

    Dont listen to anyone. You have to do what makes YOU happy and what works for YOU. Way to go and good job on trying to make your relationship work and be happy together.

    • karah @ thespacebetweenblog

      Hi Tatyana!! I guess it’s just all about picking our priorities and when we’re working towards what is most important to us, you are right, the stress level reduces and the happiness factor grows exponentially. Have a great day!

    • Les

      I agree. Work does not define a person. Money does not define a person. We need to look inside and see what we can enjoy of life. Working night and day away from those you love is not for everyone. It is good to see money does not hold all people. Love, self esteem and pride come from other source than work.

    • tammigirl

      But isn’t it beautiful to get to depend on each other? Isn’t it great to trust someone to take care of you and to get to love them and take care of them? Congratulations for choosing your own priorities as life presents new days. When your great grandchildren hear about you, nobody will care how much you got to shop or what handbags you carried. They will know all about your legacy of love.

  • horsegirl

    These comments demonstrate exactly what’s wrong with most women – quit the judging for heaven’s sake. When are women going to stop being their sex’s own worst enemies? I think her life sounds wonderful! But then again, I’m a naturally happy person and find it extremely easy to be happy for other happy people! Try it sometime girls!

    • karah @ thespacebetweenblog

      I’m a naturally happy person, too!! :)

    • Debbie

      We all have choices… I am the one working and making the 6 figure salary at a job I love. My husband is a stay at home caregiver for our grandchildren…so our daughter can work at a career she loves while her husband builds a self-employed career. We have worked to make the best choices for our family based on our values and priorities….everyone has the right to do the same

  • SamFarrah

    I can be happy for other women and their choices, but I do agree with the people here who are concerned that should she need to get a job for whatever reason, it might not be as easy as she thinks.

    • horsegirl

      One can always work for themselves – if they have the determination. She’s making a little off a new blog already. I have no doubt she’ll be okay – she sounds like entrepreneur material to me. If that’s the case, she’ll always have a job! Outside-the-box thinking works SamFarrah!

      • SamFarrah

        I wasn’t making a negative or disparaging remark. I am not trying to start anything here. I was only saying that if she thinks it is easy to get back into the workforce-the traditional workforce-it may not be as easy as she thinks.

    • ranavain

      In addition to everything horsegirl says, it’s also worth noting that they have substantial savings and plump retirement accounts. This woman will not be homeless on the streets anytime soon.

      What level of preparedness would be “enough” for you? A secret bank account that only she has access to with $1 million in it? I think she’s got the necessary contingencies covered.

      • SamFarrah

        I am not getting in a fight about this. I made one comment about the ease of getting back into the traditional workforce. That is all. I am not commenting on her finances or anything else. Please go pick a fight with someone else.

        • horsegirl

          No one is picking a fight, they are just stating that there is another viewpoint that isn’t the typical one.

          • SamFarrah

            But I never said there wasn’t. People come on these messages boards looking to pick a fight. I simply voiced my opinion, which I am allowed to do. Please leave me alone!

    • karah @ thespacebetweenblog

      Yeah, I think that statement came off a little wrong. I wouldn’t ever claim it would be simple, but I can’t go thru life worrying about what “might” happen one day. That is a bridge I will cross with gusto if we get to it. Thank you for reading the article.

  • Natalie Regier

    I love it. I’m single and I love my career and work long hours and it’s perfect for this time in my life. I’m sad for the posts that ask you what your plan is if you would get divorced. Why plan for a divorce? If you plan for it, I think it just makes it easy to focus on how you can leave, not how you can focus on making sure you’re in sync with each other and happily married.
    Sounds like a great partnership in a crazy, busy world that puts relationships on the back burner. Congrats to you for making decisions that make you happy :)
    The career world is tough and for the men that think down on women that choose to stay at home, shame on them.
    That’s their problem, not ours. Any respectable man would listen to the reasons why any man or woman stayed at home to take care of other matters. I’m not a fan of free hand outs, but that’s not what she was talking about here.
    That said, best wishes to you both!

    • karah @ thespacebetweenblog

      Hahaha, I agree, I don’t ever plan for divorce. What will be will be. Thank you for so much positivism (I totally wanted to put “positivity’ but apparently that is not a word) :)

    • mostlywentzel

      I agree about your divorce comment. Whenever I hear someone say, “You never know what could happen,” I always think that they are already looking for a way out. There is nothing wrong with planning for the unexpected – unemployment, serious illness, etc, but to consciously plan for the possibility of divorce seems to me to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. I think it’s great that the writer has found a way to make this life work. When I first saw the title of the article, I expected some self-centered-lady-who-lunches. Obviously not the case. She made a sacrifice for her relationship and for her husband’s career. As long as he continues to appreciate that and she finds satisfaction, then more power to her.

      • karah @ thespacebetweenblog

        “self-fulfilling prophecy” … I have been trying to think of that exact term for this situation because I agree 100%. When we moved to Curacao I joked with Joel that I was either going to eat bon bons all day and gain 100 pounds or hopefully find a passion … lucky for both of us it was the latter that ended up happening. :)

        • mostlywentzel

          Good for you! And I have to admit to a certain amount of envy!

  • Lisa

    This article really demonstrates the payoff of a thrify/frugal lifestyle, living well below one’s means, and disciplined and consistent saving and investing. The whole point of financial independence, as sites like LearnVest are attempting to show, is exactly this kind of
    freedom of choice. Ms. Bunde notes in the article that they have plenty of savings and have always maxed out their retirement accounts. They have made smart and practical choices which are paying off in a way that
    works for them as a couple (including the decision to not have children, a very personal choice that undeniably affects the bottom line). I do agree that it’s naive of Ms. Bunde to assume that her education and intelligence would give her automatic re-entry to the job market in the current economic climate (at least not necessarily in her field and at a salary she might expect given her age and years of experience), but bravo to her and her husband for living their financial lives in a way that allows her the ability to make this choice!

    • horsegirl

      Well said!!!

      • Tatyana

        agree

    • karah @ thespacebetweenblog

      Hi Lisa!! We would never have been able to take this path if we hadn’t lived below our means from the beginning so I couldn’t agree more!! As for the re-entry into the work force, I agree, I think that statement came off wrong. I can envision starting from the bottom tho, when my husband’s ready to reel his career back a bit, it could be a fun change of pace for us both.

  • The Domestic Administrator

    Nice article. I don’t see it as bragging. I see it as someone who sees the reality and sometimes hardship of dual career couples and also the fact it does take time and energy to manage any size household effectively, efficiently and with financial stewardship. When two spouses or SOs work, especially long hours, things can get missed that cost a household money. I have been single, married twice, both times working as hard or harder than my spouse. I have friends who are male non-working spouses who have chosen to be the domestic administrator and accepting primary responsible for the household. Households are really mini businesses and should be approached like a business – managing income, investments, efficiencies, waste, etc. Your financial security is your “product”.

    • karah @ thespacebetweenblog

      Hi The Domestic Administrator! I LOVE the way you think. I’ve never put it in such terms but I feel there is no more important work than to manage our household in a manner that provides us the most opportunity and happiness. I am going to consider my financial security my product from now on. :)

      • http://www.thedomesticadministrator.com/ The Domestic Administrator

        Hi Karah. The “traditional”
        workforce is changing. You may not go back into the industry or job family you
        were in, but goodness, look at all of these wonderful skills you are picking up
        with SM and writing! Transitioning back is especially hard for those who have
        not maintained skills in some manner and stayed abreast of changes in
        industries and changes in generally. A futurist told me lately over 6 billion
        jobs, yes billion jobs will be lost globally in the next 20 years. That’s not
        net so other types of jobs will replace them. Be smart. Be flexible. Be
        futurist.

  • krysh

    Who hasn’t daydreamed about quitting their jobs or cutting back
    to part-time? And to have a supportive husband who would be happy
    whether you want to work full time, part time, or not at all is a dream. I really enjoyed this article, as it left me feeling uplifted and hopeful about my own future. Maybe it’s because I am childless and live in Florida, but this plan actually sounds feasible to me. Many LearnVest articles leave me feeling bitter towards the writers who whine about having to make sacrifices because they NEED an expensive city apartment so they can be close to their jobs or they NEED nice clothes for their important clients, but then their finances got off track, etc. etc. I greatly appreciate any article that appeals to a different audience besides young NYC professionals.

    • karah @ thespacebetweenblog

      Hi Krysh! I’m glad this left you feeling uplifted!! I like to think that even if a path isn’t necessarily comfortable for the masses doesn’t mean it isn’t right for me. :)

  • horsegirl

    Tell you what else: this woman doesn’t have children (kudos to her for not giving into pressure to conform in that area if it’s not what she and her spouse want), so this doesn’t really apply to her. But reading these replies has gotten me thinking about my choices. I have had a successful management career and have managed to raise two amazing young women (and my advice to them is always make sure you are able to be self sufficient, and then do what makes you happy!) — my girls have wonderful grandparents who were always willing to help and be involved which is why I think they turned out how they did, that and luck.
    Having lived this, I can say for sure that a working mom/dad CAN’T give children as much attention as a stay-at-home mom/dad. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. (Could that be what’s up with all the crazy bullying and violence going on with kids today? Who is watching these adolescents when they are getting into all this trouble? No one apparently.)

    I could have stayed home (or my husband could have, which would have been fine too) if we had made different choices and lived more frugally. I think of all the crap we wasted money on (big houses, extravagant cars etc. etc.) that we thought we had to have because that’s just what other people our age were doing. We were such sheep!!! I got very little, if any, happiness from the “things” and actually am finding that as far as possessions, less is definitely more. What really matters in the end? Our girls. They are really the only lasting work we’ll leave behind. Knowing all that, I think I might just go back and do things a lot differently if given the chance. Bottom line, money is NOT the be all, end all. Having ENOUGH is enough. And if you take time to think about enough you’ll find that you can get along with a lot less and maybe even find yourself happier.

    My advice to you younger women: you need to realize that you don’t HAVE to buy into what society tells you that you should be doing. (The people pushing their views on you are getting something out of it, and you can bet they don’t have your best interests at heart.) You CAN make your own way, but you have to be able to think and act independently. And that can be scary. In the end, you need to stop buying the idiotic bill of goods society is pushing on us women (looking perfect, perfect body, perfect clothes, high level job, having the biggest house and the nicest car) and do what makes YOU happy and tell everyone else to take a flying leap with their opinions. You get one trip… do it right!!!

    • karah @ thespacebetweenblog

      I agree! Grab this life with both hands and get ready for the ride of your life!!

  • ranavain

    This is fabulous. The whole point of financial success is to enable you to live the kind of life you WANT to live. Have fun in Key West, and may your next transfer take you two to Paris!

    • karah @ thespacebetweenblog

      Ohhhh, Paris!!! Wouldn’t that be fun!!

      • tammigirl

        Karah, I lived in Venezuela with my husband and my dream is to get to go live in Paris with him. He told me the other day he might be able to swing it!

  • Daniella

    Hi Kara,

    I really enjoyed reading your article. Congratulations on being able to live simply, and having time to develop your creativity. I wish you and your husband a long , happy and healthy life.

    • karah @ thespacebetweenblog

      Thank you so much Daniella!

  • lskn

    I’m the bigger wage earner in my household and I wish my husband would stay home and take care of all of the household stuff. We could live on just my income and I would be much less stressed if I didn’t have to worry about cooking, cleaning, errands, etc. It’d be worth it to me to give up his income. Alas, he is not willing because he has to “provide” for us. Every marriage is different and I’m happy for this couple that they’ve found what works for them.

    • karah @ thespacebetweenblog

      This is so interesting for me to hear lskn, because my husband says all of the time that what I am doing is more valuable to him than any amount of money I can bring in. Thank you for the vote of encouragement!!

  • Holly Johnson

    I personally don’t see anything wrong with a man and wife choosing one spouse to stay home. If all parties involved are happy with the decision, what difference does it make?
    I work out of my home and my kids go to daycare. Because of this, I get a lot of judgment as well.
    Every family is different and what makes one family happy may not work for another. What’s important is that you’re able to live comfortably off of one income without being a burden on society.

    • mostlywentzel

      I am a WAHM too. Now that my son is in kidergarten (half days) I can keep him at home. He occupies himself well enough in the mornngs that I can get some work done before I take him to the bus. I have a daycare I take him to one day a week, and they also take him any day I have to travel. Even with that, there are often nights that I am working after everyone else goes to bed so that I can accomplish what I really should have in the morning (he’s 5, not 15, so while he occupies himself some, not the entire 4-5 hours he’s here.). Anyone who doesn’t understand why you have your kids in daycare while working from home obviously doesn’t think you really work. It is impossible to get any real work done with young ones at home. Before he was in kindergarten, I always had my son in at least part-time care and this summer, he will definately be going to a day camp. People need to stop judging others for decisions they have made to give themselves the life they want/need! Good luck to you!

  • RRYragui

    My husband and I are in a similar boat, but he stays home, and we have no kids (yet). Most everything I’ve read says that kids grow up much better in a household with a parent home to interact with them, and I made the choice that one of us would stay home.

    He cooks, cleans, deals with the house, and does the stuff I hate, I work–which given that he has only a high school diploma and have a masters means a huge difference in potential income–but that doesn’t mean that he’s helpless. His family deals in real estate and construction, and he has those connections should we need them.

    Most people give our situation quite a condescending response, to the point that we avoid discussing it entirely or lie and say he has a job or is in school. It’s frustrating, but I also understand that human beings have to judge, I think it’s a part of most people’s nature.

    It works for us, like it works for the author, and other set ups work for the readers/commentators on here. As long as no one is getting hurt/breaking the law, why get so upset about what you read on the internet? For all you know she made the whole thing up and is actually a patient at a mental hospital. I guess that goes for myself, as well, hahaha. Breathe, no one’s forcing you to follow in her footsteps or support her in some way.

    • horsegirl

      I think people judge because they are insecure about the choices they have made and feel threatened by someone else that made a different choice. It’s almost like if they don’t point out that there’s something lacking in the other person’s choice, it somehow demeans their own choice. Weird but seems to be the case. Good for you for choosing your own path!!!

      • karah @ thespacebetweenblog

        I have to say I have experienced this exact theory and think this happens a lot unfortunately

    • karah @ thespacebetweenblog

      hahaha, I guess you’re right, who even knows if I’m telling the truth :) But I agree with you about the social stigma, shortly after I stopped working I made it a point to stop asking new people I met “what do you do?”, it’s such a normal intro question, but it always made me feel inadequate to not have an answer so I decided I wasn’t going to ask it of other people. (Or maybe that’s just what my mental hospital dr’s told me) ;)

    • Paula

      Hi RRYragui, I agree. You have to follow the path that works for you. Many times people don’t understand a situation that is different from what is considered the norm or their own life experiences. Nevertheless it works for you so continue doing what you are doing and don’t look back. Love the way you threw in the humor at the end and tell folks it’s just her story so just “breathe” lol.

  • Terri

    I think it’s wise to choose investing in your relationship with your husband over working in a job you saw sabotaging it. Good for you!

    • karah @ thespacebetweenblog

      Thank you so much, Terri!

  • Red

    I’m fine with this person making a choice to not work in the corporate world, but I do object to the phrasing in this article about “my choice not to work” and “not bringing home any money”. Unless she is sitting home eating bonbons all day, she is *working* and doing an equal amount of unpaid work to build their home and their life together. People need to stop writing off all of this unpaid work as unimportant compared to the money that the partner working outside the home brings in. The husband would *not* be able to do what he did if not for her unpaid labor.

    • karah @ thespacebetweenblog

      This is a really great point, Red!!

  • imdb

    Cool. The story shows a good side of staying at home without sound as if you’re bragging! Thank you.

    • karah @ thespacebetweenblog

      Thank you for reading imdb :)

  • 2deuces

    The important things are that you are both quite happy and content with each other’s role in the marriage. Without much envy, jealousy or resentment in your relationship. You picked the right partners and made the right decisions. It is irrelevant if it would not work for everyone; it works for you.

    The important takeaway is that your marriage is successful because you both are committed and contribute fully to it. Neither of you is a “non-working” spouse.

    • karah @ thespacebetweenblog

      Hi 2dueces!! I think you make a great point. Thank you for taking the time to read the article.

  • IAmAWealthyGirl

    Wow! A traditional marriage! Where do I sign up?

    • karah @ thespacebetweenblog

      hahaha :)

  • Con

    This article was a breath of fresh air! I think the life she is living is the final product of hard decisions, compromises and smart financial planning. She and her husband have a great relationship, she is living a life that makes her happy, and they have their finances in order. Isn’t that why we are all on Learnvest to begin with? To manage our money in a way that allows us to live a life that makes us happy, whether that is with children, or childless, working a traditional job, or staying home?

    I think many of the negative comments stem from jealousy. Which is sad. Us women should be congratulating each other’s successes, rather than saying “Well, I guess you never thought about XYZ…you’re in for a rude awakening!”. Come on, ladies, let’s be happy when other women are happy. Maybe her life isn’t your ideal life, but she is happy, I’m happy for her.

    • Paula

      Well said!

    • karah @ thespacebetweenblog

      Amen, sister! And thank you so much for the positive encouragement!!

  • MrsNYC14

    I love this article – My husband and I are hardworking NYC professionals, both earning 6 figures, and we’re now expecting our first child. I truly enjoy my career but my passion has always been family. Now with a baby on the way, I’ve found myself frequently asked whether I intend to stay home – and when I’ve answered that we haven’t made that decision yet, I’ve found a lot of judgments regarding the fact that I even see this as an option. How could I give up my Career? Salary? Independence?
    For me, being an independent and liberated woman is all about having the CHOICE to do what we want with our lives – the choice that makes the best sense for us and the ones we love. I think that judging women for staying home, or going to work, or being single/married, or the decision to have children does us all a disservice. We should support each other’s happiness and reserve judgment for our personal success in pursuing our own.
    We all do the best we can with what we have been given – and I love that this article highlights one family’s choice and how both the author and her husband found a financially stable way to find fulfillment in their lives and marriage.

    • karah @ thespacebetweenblog

      Congrats on your first baby!! And congrats that you are in a position to make the choices that are right for you. You are right, it is that freedom of choice that will inevitably lead to us to our happiest days!

  • http://thebrokeandbeautifullife.com/ Stefanie @ brokeandbeau

    I think that if one partner can earn enough money and the other partner can stay home taking care of everything else, reducing the need to hire out and reducing the errands of the employed partner, that’s absolutely fantastic. As long as no one becomes resentful.

  • Ajavee

    Great article!

  • Sabrina

    Karah, this is an uplifting article and I loved reading it. I admire that you embraced your relationship and were willing to give up your career to achieve a better life for you and your husband. Not everyone has the luxury of doing that and even if they did not every woman’s ego would allow her to do that. It’s clear if you ever did have to go back to a regular job again you wouldn’t have any problems finding a place that would value your skills. In this day and age where women are under so much pressure to “have it all,” it’s refreshing to see someone content in their lifestyle that is the true way to “have it all.” Congrats!

    • karah @ thespacebetweenblog

      Thank you so much, Sabrina! And the irony of the whole situation is that I truly feel like I have it all. Thank you for taking the time to read the article!

  • janie

    Good for you! I think you should enjoy life with your husband and never feel guilty about having more than someone else. However, i think the word “choose” is probably overstating it. This was not only your choice, it was because you husband agreed to it. Now, he knows whats good for hi, if he wants to keep you, because his career is taking you all over the place and its very hard for you to work on your own career. I seriously doubt that one day you said, nope i’m not working, nothing you can say about it, because he is supporting you.

    • karah @ thespacebetweenblog

      hahahaha, so true. I credit my husband for his attitude actually allowing this situation to work. I have so many friends who say “my husband would never let me not work”, I am fortunate we both see the benefits in the situation.

  • dhomeatl

    Excellent post and many good comments. Thank you for writing.

  • Kathi Graef Swann

    Karah,

    It is so ironic that I stumbled across this story. My husband is the person that takes care of your home in Cambridge, MD. The internet has made the world very small.

    I was a stay-at-home Mom to three boys and am now a stay-at-home Mom to the grand-daughter I am raising.

    I believe each woman has to make the decision that is best for her and her family. Good for you for for making the choice that was best for your family.
    Kathi

    • karah @ thespacebetweenblog

      Kathi!!! I can’t believe we have never met in person and here we are e-meeting through this article. I adore Mike, he has done so much great work for us! And I agree, we can only make choices for ourselves and do so with the best interest of our family in mind. Say hi to Mike for me!!

  • Catharine

    Two people have figured “it” out and having seen this work for them in person makes me give them a standing ovation.

  • Michele

    Karah: Thanks for sharing your story. It seemed to land in my inbox at just the right time. I am also a former ‘DINK’ and recently resigned from my career after 20 plus years so my husband could accept a new position in a new foreign country. Having always had my own income since I was in my early teens, it has been a MAJOR life change for me, to allow my husband to be the primary wage earner. Each day I wonder if I made the right choice in choosing to not work in my new city, each day when I meet folks they ask me what I do and when I answer that I don’t work, they invariably ask me how many children I have. You should see the look on their faces when I answer that I have only one, my hubby. :-) Like you, I have been good about saving funds for a rainy day and like you, I want to use this opportunity to find my passion, organize our household better (thanks to your domestic administrator commenter!). I never thought of the household as a small business or enterprise, but she is so right. And now I have the chance to organize and improve what my husband and I never had the time or opportunity to do before. Thanks again!

  • Jess

    I enjoyed this story. I am a graduate student living (with much difficulty I admit) on about $20,000/yr. I oscillate between feeling fiercely independent and not wishing to sacrifice much at all for career opportunities, and seeing myself having the kind of life you lead. I would love to have the chance to pursue my many hobbies and maybe even enjoy pride and satisfaction of profiting from them. I love cooking and whenever I’m not working or in school I cook meals for my whole family. I would love the chance to do that every night and to not have to make some of the sacrifices I have to make because I work 12-14 hours per day (for very little money and very little satisfaction usually!) I think I could see myself in either role, but as you point out – having the latter lifestyle requires a special husband. It sounds like you have found one, so hats off to you both for “making it work”! (I also think that women, in general, should learn to be happy for one another and support each other…and not be overcome by jealousy or the unhappiness of our own personal situations).

  • Debbie

    Until we learn to accept the choices of others we will never become what we, as a group of women, can be. It works for her….it hurts no one….the couple sounds strong and happy….way to go and more power to all who make their life and family work!

  • danielatristao

    DqOD Lately I have been so low on cash and debits were killing me from everywhere. That was UNTIL I learned to earn money on the Internet! I went to surveymoneymaker point net, and started filling in surveys for cash, and doing so, i have been great amounts more able to pay my bills! I am happy that I did this! With all the financial stress these years, I really hope all of you will give it a chance. 4p