The New Housewife

The New Housewife

Stay-at-home wives forgo jobs AND kids.

According to CNN, a new breed of housewife is emerging: one who's jobless, childless and home by choice.

The stay-at-home wives interviewed said a reduced amount of stress and an increased amount of quality time with their spouses were both the catalysts and benefits of quitting their careers. And for them, kids are either out of the question or on a distant horizon.

A Johns Hopkins psychotherapist labeled these stay-at-home wives as "status symbols," adding that "especially with the recent economic pressures, a stay-at-home spouse is often an extreme and visible luxury." One that is possibly envied by working mothers who'd rather be home, or scoffed at by those able to "have it all": the trifecta of marriage, kids and career.

Whereas the pearl-and-apron-toting housewife of the 1950s is often characterized as a tragic, repressed woman who hates housework and longs for a career of her own, today's stay-at-home wives are there by choice. They're well-educated women who've chosen to become CEOs of the household rather than companies.

As one SAHW told CNN, "I'd never say that a woman shouldn't work, but I don't see what good it would do to work in a job that I couldn't stand, and if I have the choice not to, why wouldn't I take that opportunity?"

But, being a housewife, especially one without kids, is often met with resentment, confusion or judgment.

One housewife, Kyda, wrote in a forum on the site Retro-Housewife.com: "I often get the same assumption that I get to watch daytime TV. Apart from the fact that I can't stand [soap operas], I just do not have the time. When I do sit down I am thinking that there is ironing to do or I could be doing something else."