I was thinking of ideas for items that I could offer during the times when photography sessions have slowed down. As I was listing ideas and reserving library books on the topic, I suddenly felt excited at the idea of working for myself full-time as a graphic designer and photographer. Then I thought, wouldn’t it be nice to be a working stay at home wife (SAHW)? I’m not planning on doing this in preparation to become a stay at home mom. While stay at home mothers have my respect, my husband and I have so much going on in our lives and taking care of our dog Justice is enough responsibility.
I’m talking about working as an artist on my own terms. Of course, I can’t just up and quit my job, we have debts to pay off; I don’t want to put that kind of pressure and stress on our marriage. We’ve already started coming up with a plan to make this transition happen in the next four years. In the meantime, I’ve started making a list of benefits that could come from making this transition.
1) More time to dedicate to writing and learning new design techniques.
When you work full-time on a day job, it’s hard (if possible at times) to improve your craft because you still have to make dinner, edit 200 images, workout, clean up, and hopefully spend some time with your spouse. Being able to do this during the day will free up my nights for fun and relaxation. When Brandon and I get off from work, I want us to be able to enjoy our time together without cutting that time short because I have to get back on my iMac for three hours.
2) No more weekend errands.
We have to turn down a lot of invites on weekends because we usually have to use that time to catch up on tasks we couldn’t do during the week because of schedule conflicts. I’m looking forward to is being able to handle errands like grocery shopping, taking Justice to the vet, and laundry during the week. With these things out of the way, when the weekend hits, we will have more time to do things we actually enjoy like reading, shopping, and spending time together with friends. We could take more romantic weekend day trips!
3) Enhanced quality time with my family and husband.
I look forward to being able to spend our evenings doing something fun or relaxing together without house work or Photoshop competing for our attention. Justice (woof) spends most of the day by himself in our apartment. While he is safe there, that’s a long time to have to hold your bowels without relief. Working at home means he’d have less accidents indoors and get more exercise and socialization. When our family comes to visit, I want to be able to spend time with them, not leave them to entertain themselves while both Brandon and I are at work for 8 or 9 hours. I’d love to be able to show them around town, arrange a fun activity, or just catch up on how everyone is doing. This may sound ‘domestic’ coming from me, but the idea of making my visiting family members breakfast makes me smile.
4) Open availability to travel.
I can’t tell you how many graduations, reunions and family milestones we have missed because of me not being able to take off from work. We have yet to meet two of our nieces in person since they were born. It’s a lot easier to coordinate time off for Brandon’s job because he has a large number of paid time off days at his disposal. I have 5 days, one of them being reserved for moving into our new apartment next month. There’s no way we can go home for Christmas and Thanksgiving without making them stressful turnaround trips. You know the type. You drive 12 hours to get there, spend one day in town and then drive 12 hours back. At this rate, we can just forget about taking a vacation.
As you can see, both of us will be working to support our household financially. But we’d rather do that while having more energy and time to enjoy our lives and marriage at the same time.