This story is set in a time when the author was an undergraduate…
You heard it all before – in this economy? Gone are the days of the sole breadwinner. With the rise of living cost (not to mention the mortgage!), it would be crazy to have all the burden on just you alone.
And yet here I am. At the beginning of my career, starting my first job after graduation, and I have asked my wife to stop working. Well, my fiancée, but who’s counting?
You might think, this makes absolutely no financial sense. But must it?
You see, my fiancée had been working day in day out and she was stressed (the unhealthy type of stress). I could see it in her eating habits, to the silver hairs, to the the bags under her eyes. It just wasn’t worth it.
I watched this unfold as I was finishing my finals and sending her to work in the mornings. I volunteered to do the house chores so that at least she would have less things to do when she got home.
After my graduation, I went job seeking and was able to secure a job at a startup. I figured the amount I was paid was enough for us both to live comfortably given our current commitments (no car loans and mortgage), so I told her to quit her job as her health was more important than working a few extra hours for a little more money.
My parents and my elders have told me that this was “bad”, for me to have asked my wife to stop working. That I was ruining her future, that at her age, she ought to be working for others and learn and not care so much about the pay (and at the same time get worried about how much she was getting paid).
Now, this may seem like I’m pampering her. After all, being a homemaker nowadays appear to be a luxury for most people and I would agree.
But I believe it won’t be for nothing. Ever since I have taken over the finances for the household, I have been forcing myself to come up with ways to be more knowledgeable and learn finance, philosophy, strategy – things I would not have bothered to learn have I not taken the driver seat (figuratively and literally).
I have always believed that things can only become burdens if you let it. We are much more capable than we think we are and we are far more flexible than we can imagine.
As for what she is doing now, she is considering freelancing on the side to keep her “working touch” alive and reading on the same books I am reading so that we are both on the same page when it comes to making decisions together. I want her to be the advisor while I make the decisions. (Side note: her intuition is way better than mine.)
So, to all the men out there who have always been thinking about being the sole breadwinner (and your other half have always preferred it too), if you have been waiting and you already have the resources, take the leap.
Every new phase comes with its own set of challenges. But it’s through these growing pains that we learn the most. Not to mention having a happier wife, which translates to a happier life.
Do you agree with me having asked my wife to stop working? Share your thoughts on this article in a comment below.