Jan 27, 2009  •  In Personal, Relationships

Kept Women, Part 2

A couple of years ago I wrote an entry titled Kept Women which drew much ire from the Xanga community. I received over 200 comments, the large majority of them from angry feminists who condemned me for even having such thoughts.

The Real Housewives of Orange County – true kept women?

Now, since becoming unemployed, I have to wonder if I have become a kept woman. After all, J is the sole bread earner in the household.

I admit that it is a comfortable life. Don’t get me wrong – by no means do I sit in front of the TV all day eating bonbons. My life now is busier than it’s ever been…I have been getting less sleep and have less free time than when I worked full-time. However, I am happy knowing that I can make my own schedule and do all the things I’ve been putting off for years. Heck I even started painting again, and I haven’t done that since I left school!

This life, however, is not a fairy tale. No matter how complacent I may become with this lifestyle, I cannot help but feel an overwhelming sense of guilt.

My mother told me that she is happy I am taking a break. “You never took a break after school,” she pointed out. “Others traveled, went backpacking, or even took some time mooching off parents. But you dove straight into work. You never had a break since you started working.”

And I have always been this way. I have always been independent and self-reliant. I hate asking others for help, let alone asking for financial assistance.

I even feel bad asking J, my own husband, for a mere $5.

Would I still feel this way if J raked in millions from his job? Yes.

I guess this is the reason I am working so hard on my side projects so that even if I never get another full-time job (knock on wood), I will have a source of income which will help contribute to our household.

So to answer my own question, no I do not think I am a kept woman, nor will I ever be comfortable being one. My need to contribute and help will always eclipse my desire to have a comfortable life.

Would you be happy as a kept woman?

7 Responses to “Kept Women, Part 2”

  1. I could never do it. I know my husband will be making easily $300,000 – $400,000 a year as soon as he finishes his residency, and he would love it if I was a stay at home mother (not because he doesn’t want me to work, but he knows I am not happy in the lab and doesn’t think I should have to work doing something I don’t love when we don’t need the money)… but I couldn’t NOT contribute. Even now, the fact that he makes more than I do makes me feel guilty — like I should ask his permission to buy things. And I’m contributing roughly 45% to our total income. I can’t imagine how I would feel if I brought nothing financial to the table!

  2. I am much like you in that I feel like I should be contributing. In fact, when we first started going out, because I fast-tracked through high school and because I am slightly older, I was the "breadwinner" for the first couple of years of our relationship. Boy made money from his job and always covered his share, but I often splurged bringing us out or buying him little presents.
    Now, with our standard of living and with my pisspoor salary, he is the one who is racking in the dough where as I am having to ask for help every so often.
    While I am on the hunt for a new gig to help even the playing field a little, I feel like my inability to save money from my paycheck is holding us back and I hate it. So yeah, definitely not up for the idea of being out of the financial equation altogether.

  3. Even though I plan to be a stay-at-home mom, I don’t think I could be a non-contributing member of the household. Hopefully, my photography will allow me to make such a contribution, while allowing me to still run a household and devote myself to my family. I couldn’t accept an allowance from my husband, no matter how nicely given. If I use his debit card for fast food, I phone to apologize, I feel that guilty!

  4. Funny, I tell Andrew every day that I want to quit my job and be a house mom. I wouldn’t feel guilty about taking "his" money either. I guess i have the philosophy that once two people are married, there is no more "mine" or "yours." Everything is ours. I’d probably feel guilty if I were sitting around doing nothing, but if we had a bunch of kids that kept my hands full, I wouldn’t feel guilty for a second. Perhaps I’m more of a traditionalist? I think we all pull our own weight in different ways. Keeping a house and family together is just as, if not more important, than earning a living wage. Thankfully, the hubs feels the same way I do. :-)

    I do, however, hope to have a home based business where I can contribute a little bit and feel like I’m not wasting skills or passions that God has generously given me. Also, it’s next to impossible to survive on one income nowadays.

  5. No I wouldn’t feel guilty and I have the same feelings as Kelly. Of course I’d keep myself busy (not by sitting around doing nothing) by contributing in small ways financially but I’d take care of our home, our kid/s and make sure we eat healthy, etc. I think if Mike could afford to have me at home, he wouldn’t mind either way.

  6. Never. I couldn’t be a stay at home mother past the newborn/baby stage of about a year.

    I wouldn’t want to be a mother that travels during the week as a consultant and doesn’t see her baby, but it’s for certain I’d have a job. Even a part-time one.

    Fabulously Broke in the City

    "Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver."

  7. Helga:

    Posting years after the fact, but still :) … For a moment, sit back, take adeep breath, and relax … try thinking and feeling like this – imagine there were no constraints placed on you, imagine you didn’t have the burden of expectations on you, imagine you could do – without inhibitions – whatever you felt felt good to you …

    That’s right….

    Doesn’t it really feel good to think that you COULD be a kept woman if you had no inhibitions about it ? Wouldn’t you be happy as a kept woman ?

    And if it does really make you happy and satisfied (after dropping your inhibitions and guilt), and you feel excited about all the things you could do in that scenario, well, what’s wrong with actually being in that state ?

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