My Story: Home Without Children

by M.A.

Boy do I get the heat for staying at home, when we don't even have any kids to "justify" the decision! My husband and I would desperately love to have a child, but until it comes about, even groups of people who ordinarily support the idea of one-income families look at me strangely. The big unasked question is, "If she doesn't have a child to care for or one on the way, why on earth is she staying home, and what does she do with her time?" I even got a snide remark from the cable guy, who remarked to another person in public, "Yeah, she takes care of two cats!" I blushed, mortified.

My husband currently makes a very competitive salary, which means that even on one income, we could enjoy a somewhat expensive lifestyle. However, we both have bad credit and lots of debt which we are trying to pay off, so instead of living the high life, we decided to pay off debts and put money in the bank, and live frugally in a harmonious home.

To that end, I wish I could tell all those people who give me weird looks when I tell them I'm a homemaker without kids, that I do quite a lot in our lives. Whenever I struggle for self-worth in a society that labels me as useless, I think of these things:

  • organic vegetable gardening
  • homemade bread
  • healthy meals from scratch
  • a home environment that is a sanctuary of cleanliness and beauty
  • a thriving, richly rewarding marriage
  • credit and financial messes being cleaned up by careful management
  • opportunities for community involvement, volunteering, and expanding my personal talents and abilities

And I realize that these are wonderful things to have in our life, and they are just as good for the growth and happiness of a family of 2, as they would be for any children we might have. If it's good enough for a child's happiness and health, why isn't it considered good enough to do for adults?

My Story is a regular part of The Dollar Stretcher. If you have a story that could benefit others please email it to with "My Story" as the subject.

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