Help! They’re Trying To Kill My Husband!

A long time ago (in blog years, anyway), I promised to take a few crazy ideas out to the woodshed and give them a good spanking. Often, people who live a different lifestyle than our family will explain to me (in tones that are usually reserved for children) why it is a bad idea for me to choose the vocation of serving my family. For some reason, people are usually shocked to find out that even if I weren’t homeschooling my children, I’d still spend the bulk of my time doing things for my family–a livelihood otherwise derogatorily known as “not working”.

Since my sweetheart is in bed with another headache (please pray for him) and I’d rather not do anymore housework today, now seems like as good a time as any to grab one of those naughty doubts and haul it out back for a switchin’. Let’s just take the first question on the list: What if your husband dies?

First things first: My husband is not just a paycheck. In fact, his paycheck is the smallest thing he contributes to this family. If he dies, I lose my best friend, my boss (yes, I said boss), my partner, my protector, and my hero. So this question isn’t just about money, is it? It’s about losing the most important person in the whole world. It’s dangerous to let one person mean that much to you, isn’t it? I’ve devoted my entire life, all my work, my youth, my potential (wasted, according to one of my high school friends) to that most devalued of creatures: a husband. That’s a pretty big risk, isn’t it?

That’s all nice and poetical, but I sense that those who pose this question aren’t really asking about my emotional state in the face of that hypothetical tragedy. They’re really asking how I can ever function as an adult after staying home for so many years. Well, let me spell it out. I will continue to function in the same way I do now: as an adult. At home.

The financials are easy, so you don’t have to worry about me on that front. There’s this nifty thing called life insurance. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. We have plenty of coverage for both Jesse and me. (Or we will, as soon as we increase it to cover projected expenses for our expanding family. Hurry, dear. I get the impression that you’re in grave danger of dying because you’re married to a housewife.). Furthermore, I’m a good manager, so I could make that amount of money work for me quite well. We’d be OK, money-wise. We wouldn’t be wealthy, of course, but we’d be provided for.

Not only that, but the children and I would be able to mourn and recover from our loss without changing our lifestyle too drastically. My already being at home would be an asset in that way, wouldn’t it? My work-load would increase, since my husband does a great deal around here. We’d be less protected, since a woman without a man in the house is a target for crime. I’d be a little more worried on that front, I suppose. To quote some movie I saw once, “I can shoot straight, if I don’t have to shoot too far”, but I’d still have an increased likelihood of needing to defend myself. So you’re right. If my husband dies, I’m losing an awful lot. But am I losing more than a working woman would be?

I assume men with working wives still die sometimes, so let me ask you this (not that I enjoy thinking out such things): What if your husband dies? You’re not really saying that you need your husband less than I need mine, are you? I hope not!

There goes more or less half of your income, so you now have less money than you had gotten used to having.  If you have life insurance, you can skip the money question. Just like me, you’re now a widow with children to raise on your own. You have to juggle work and family all by yourself. How much time off work do you get after your husband dies? Is it paid? Will your kids need you to be available to them for longer than that? Hey, look! You’re having a pretty bad time of it, too! Maybe you’re not worse off than I am, but you’re not better off, either.

How on earth will you manage, working mom? I can’t imagine putting myself in such a vulnerable position! What’s that you say? You’re smart enough and tough enough to figure out how to run your own life in the face of a loss? Well, me too! “Working” women are not one whit more grown up than stay at home moms just because they earn a paycheck.

So, as I said before, would you folks kindly stop trying to kill my husband?

Responses:

  1. It is so easy for people to judge what they do not understand….it is easy for them to do so because we all have that inner voice telling us that someone else is doing it better and we need to let them know our way is the best way. Many of us have been working Moms (meaning, working outside the home, earning a pay check) and many of us have decided that the pay check is not what’s best for our family. It’s easy….to believe the world and take their side…and say.. YES, we should all work and leave our children with others to raise them.
    Me, I’ve done both. I’ve had the pay check, a bank account with money…and now, I don’t have the pay check, I have a bank account that generally has enough to pay the bills….but, my life is richer with less money, I am more responsible and it is what I am called to do! blessings to you…..I do love reading your blog!

  2. Way to go girl!
    If some people could wake up and see the great family you have, the way your kids love & respect you, maybe they would be more supportive, but I doubt it! A mother & wife’s job is the greatest in this world.God has blessed you with a husband, family and the means to be a housewife, teacher & stay at home mom, your job, is 24/7, no breaks, no vacations, but your reward will be greater than any thing this world has to offer. So keep up the good work.

  3. She gives me too much credit, folks.

    Our lifestyle is based primarily on the raw determination to do the best by our kids that we can that comes from her. I help when and where I can, and yes, I am a paycheck, but she is the motive force behind our family.

    The naysayers ask the wrong question. It’s not so much what would she do if I were to die, but what would I do if she were to die, and don’t think I’m not afraid of the answers.

    That said, I would like to renew my original comment on Cindy’s previous statement on this subject; it bears repeating.

    Dear Ladies In Question,

    I’m the dying, soon to be unemployed, roving-eyed husband being discussed.

    Despite my wife’s brave words, I fully intend some day to leave her and my children, to stop providing for her, and to die. Interestingly, my plans are to perform all three actions on the same day.

    Being a procrastinating degenerate, though, I’m sad to say that I must disappoint you in that I cannot be trusted to fulfill these plans soon enough to validate your points, assuming the good Lord is kind enough to continue to allow me this moral failing. Please accept my apologies.

    I do hope that my acknowledging that your fears are valid offers you some satisfaction, though.

    Kind Regards,

    Yet Another Untrustworthy Husband

  4. Rebecca, thank you! I’m glad you’re reading! A blog without readers is a sad, sad thing. I’m also glad you’re home with the kids. Whatever might happen in the future, we have to do what we think is best *today*. Can’t spend our whole lives worrying about hypotheticals, can we?

  5. I can’t think of my life without my husband without tearing up… and that has nothing to do with the financial implications. I’ve thought through this issue as well and reached the same conclusions. It’s unfathomable that folks would use this “what if” as a reason to work!

  6. Not sure what I like better– your blog post, or your husband’s response!!! (LOL)

    I married a man 27 years my senior and, believe me, I have heard that argument hundreds of times! What I like to tell people is that God is my provider. Right now, He is choosing to provide for me through my husband. But, IF the Lord takes him home, then God will use another means to provide all my needs, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

    But I love how you shoot down this argument by focusing on working women and what they would also lose. It is a flimsy excuse to abandon your post for a scenario that may never occur.

  7. Hey, thanks Mary Jo.

    It is a flimsy argument, isn’t it? The problem is, this isn’t the real argument. Nope, it’s just the table talk while the real elephant in the living room keeps eating all the peanuts.

    “I can’t stay home with my children, my husband might die, and then where would I be?”

    Unless the workplace offers some preventative force I’m unaware of, you run the same risk.

    “Oh, but as long as I’m in the workforce, I provide for myself a better position to survive him!”

    The death rates aren’t really all that high, statistically. Let’s google ‘actuarial tables’..

    “It’s not just death; he could leave..”

    Ah, and there you have it. This isn’t about widows and orphans. This isn’t about providing for your children, either ladies, although that’s tangential.

    Could it possibly be that some women don’t trust their husbands enough to relinquish control of their lives and submit?

    Let’s face it; giving up a career and becoming a homemaker is just about as submissive a role as it gets in some senses (although it’s also an extremely powerful role when done correctly as well, as any skilled homemaker knows quite well), and it scares the jeebers out of any modern woman raised on The Cosby Show and Laverne and Shirley.

    I could go on on this for hours, but I really hold the death of the American Father at the hands of the media responsible (Heathcliff Huxtible took us to Homer Simpson took us to Peter Griffin, to name a quick few). Of course, I could be mixing cause and effect.

    At any rate, it’s all about trust. It’s not just a lack of trust in the husband, but, as Claudius said, ” it shows a will most incorrect toward Heaven” (totally out of context, granted) in that it is a failure not only to trust the husband, but a failure to trust He who presides over the marriage itself.

    Yeah, that’s harsh. Yeah, it’s not always the case. But I’d ask you to examine your motives a little more closely as you swear at me, if you’ve read this far, lady reader. Do you trust He who made you, to have provided you with a man who can provide for you and your children? Wasn’t that something you considered when you made such an incredibly serious commitment? If He can have been trusted so far as to have provided you with all those fingers and toes, eyes and coos and smiles and hugs, I think that a little grocery money should be a cake walk.

  8. Wow! I did read your comments and being a wife who in the not too distant past DID NOT trust her husband (or her Lord), I can affirm this is the case!

  9. It is all about trust, isn’t it? And the willingness to relinquish control. But I can testify that the greatest peace, contentment, and fulfillment follows a woman when she has submitted herself to her husband and her Lord.

    Sadly, it is a daily battle and I don’t always win it. =(

  10. Well put and well written. The family as a unit is so undervalued in this day and age. The predominant media illustrate both parents as either unnecessary or buffoons. It is no small wonder we get that kind of idiotic question.
    Stopped by from HHH this morning to say howdy! That is, of course, if I said “howdy”. I am more of a “hi” type person. :)

  11. Putting a woman down for staying home to be with her children is indeed WRONG!! I do believe it takes a very special woman to be a homemaker. I also think it’s wrong to put down a woman that works. Both are judgmental statements no matter how you slice it. Giving our lives over to the Lord, loving our husband, and giving our children what they need is IN FACT the most important. With the Lord’s guidance each person will have to make their decision base on what is best for their families. Let’s leave the judging (on both parts) to our Lord and Savior, shall we?

  12. Pam, I’m sorry, but I can’t find a single put down in this thread, either towards stay at home moms or working women.

    I can find plenty of discussion about the validity of certain points towards the rationale to decide one way or the other, but those aren’t personal attacks.

    The only people in the thread with anything other than the sweetest, most understanding of tones is me; I tried for some levity, and perhaps treaded into the realm of sarcasm, and if that offended, I offer my sincere apologies.

    That said, you offered the saccharine filled, commanding statement “Let’s leave the judging (on both parts) to our Lord and Savior, shall we?”

    Now, you might be thinking of Luke 6:37 – “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged.”

    In this verse, in Greek, “Judge” is “krino”; . to decide mentally or judicially, by implication to try, condemn, punish.

    In other words, it is to decide whether someone has committed a sin.

    As I’ve already stated, I can’t find a single judgement, a single accusation of guilt on anyone’s part in this thread. Except yours.

  13. I see as you misunderstood my name, Pat, not Pam (yes, I know simply a typo error) you completely mistundersood my post. Bravo, on the apology yet I find it not sincere at all……

    “The only people in the thread with anything other than the sweetest, most understanding of tones is me; I tried for some levity, and perhaps treaded into the realm of sarcasm, and if that offended, I offer my sincere apologies.”

    BUT……….

    “As I’ve already stated, I can’t find a single judgement, a single accusation of guilt on anyone’s part in this thread. Except yours.”

    Mothers are very special regardless, it’s a gift from God. So, I offer my sincere apologies (without the extra – your the problem at the end).

    May God Bless,
    Pat

    • Surely you know, Pat, that it’s not really an apology if you’re trying to one up somebody? My husband’s apology for his tone did not contradict his opinion that you were the only one judging anyone. There’s no insincerity in him, either, I can attest. There’s only one person who seems to be incapable of writing an apology without, uh, problems at the end. What a beautiful irony that parenthesis contains!

  14. My apology was just as sincere as the one I received. Let’s focus, I am simply expressing that a woman/mother is of great value regardless. That is something we can surely agree on, correct? To be a homemaker is truly a blessing. To have children is truly a blessing. To be married to a wonderful husband is truly a blessing. Why compare a homemaker to a working woman? It feels like those comparisons are made on this blog, why? An apple is an apple no matter where it is plucked from the tree…….

  15. Pat, while there are comparisons being made, I’m not sure why you’re so defensive about it. I’m sure you read my post, but let me recap in simple form:

    A certain segment of the population believes SAHM’s to be in a precarious position due to their lack of a “job”. I believe myself to be in no more or less a precarious position than a woman who *has* a job. Therefore, I wrote a post explaining *why* I am not in any more precarious position than a working mom. How am I supposed to do that without comparing? And since when is a comparison a judgment?

    If the comparison makes you uncomfortable, then you might ask yourself why. You seem to think that working-motherhood has been attacked, when in fact I’ve done nothing but defend myself!

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  17. This.Was. Just awesome! Thank you! Thank you very much!

    Julie

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