I’m 26 years old, I have a college degree, no children and I am a stay at home wife. I am a millennial housewife.
It took me a long time to be comfortable with that title. Saying “housewife” or “home maker” or “stay at home wife” out loud made me cringe and I tried to avoid conversations that would lead to what “I did" at all costs. A few decades ago, this concept would be perfectly normal, acceptable and more often then not, expected. Today… not so much.
I went to college right out of high school, finished my bachelors in 3 years and landed my first big girl job about a week after graduation. Most of my friends, really most of my generation, seemed to be doing the same thing and I felt like I was really killin it in that season of my life. I worked my corporate job just short of 3 years when I married my husband Zack. I was 25 that winter and he was 30. Before we said our I DOs we talked a lot about what we wanted our marriage look and feel like. Zack had (and still has) his own growing business. Going into marriage we planned for him to continue working and growing his company and I would quit my job (that really wasn't making me happy anyway) to help him with his business and stay home to do the wife thing. He’d make our income and I’d make our home and that was the plan we agreed to. For the first few months as Mrs. Zachary Love I kept busy organizing our home. I set a grocery schedule, a cleaning list, took responsibility of keeping track of the bills and enjoyed cooking for us. The plan was working, God blessed us with financial stability every month and every month I felt so blessed. It wasn't until people would ask me what "I did" that I would feel uneasy and a little embarrassed with our arrangement. And even though I knew it was OUR money and OUR things, none of it really felt like mine. It was like this constant internal battle of feeling comfortable with being home and feeling pressured to get back to a 9 to 5. I knew plenty of stay at home moms, but no stay at home wives.
For so much of my life the goal was always to get my degree and find a job in the field. I dreamt of working in a sleek design firm surrounded by trendy creatives and tall glass windows. I saw myself at my 10 year high school reunion sparkling with so much stinking work experience I would be unrecognizable, then Zack and I got engaged and that all changed. Now that I think about it I’m not sure if that was a dream I dreamt up for myself, something I saw other people doing with their lives and thought that's what I wanted too, if it was something my college teachers indirectly planted in me or maybe a combination of all three. I think since that was the goal for so long, a good goal that everyone approved of, somewhere along the way I went on auto pilot and regularly fought myself as to where I was supposed to be in life or what I should be doing at 26 instead of enjoying and being grateful for where God had put me. I was almost ashamed that I had seemingly wasted my college degree and gave up my career (which isn't true, stay tuned for that blog ;)) and somewhere along the way I forgot what I actually wanted out of life!
I want hobbies, I want time to get to know people, I want to travel and see the world we learn about in text books. I want quiet time, time to serve others and time to put into my marriage. I couldn't do that with my old dream of sitting behind a desk with tall glass windows. It’s really amazing to be part of a generation that stands and pushes for equality. Women have and will continue to exceed at any job a man exceeds at and that should include marriage roles. As a 20 something female, I grew up knowing I could do and be anything I wanted so why do we, why did I, expect a one size fits all dream? This set up is what works for Zack and I. Working in the home is just as impressive as working on Wall street (thats a little over dramatic but you get where I'm going). Lets do what works for us without doubt or shame. I know that being a stay at home wife benefits my family and friends just as much as it benefits my husband and I because the best thing you can give someone is your time. Now I know that dreams change, plans change and there is nothing wrong with that.
I’m 26 years old, I have a college degree, no children and I am a millennial housewife.
all photos by Angela Cianciolo Photography