How My Stay-at-Home Wife Simplifies My Life

posted by Andrea | 12/12/2014
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dekker family

Guess what friends? Today, you get to read a guest post from one of my all-time favorite people… Dave!

This post has been a topic Dave and I have talked about for some time now, but I finally convinced him to put his thoughts into writing last week. I think what he has to say will be encouraging to SOOOOO many of you stay-at-home and work-at-home parents who sometimes feel like you have little to nothing to show for yourself at the end of the day — besides stained clothing and a pile of dirty dishes in the sink.

Believe me, I get it! 

Raising little people at home is so much harder than I ever thought it would be — especially while running a business, tackling house projects, and doing the bazillion other things that need to happen every day (you know what I’m talking about!)

At times, I feel like the busyness of our lives isn’t worth the hassle as life would be so much simpler if one of us quit our job… but then I realize that Dave and I BOTH love what we do, and I shouldn’t take that for granted. I’m blessed to be able to do what I love while caring for the people I love… and SO grateful that Dave not only supports and values what I do, but also encourages me along the way.

With that said, here’s what Dave has to say…


Early in our marriage, I never would have guessed that Andrea would enjoy working from home and taking care of our kids full time. She is definitely a homebody in some ways, but it always seemed like she thrived in situations where she was out among other people, able to share her ideas and work on projects, and have funny stories to tell when she came home at night. Yet just a few years later, she is successfully running her own business from home while taking care of our two kids full time.

I’m honestly not sure how she does it!

During the week, I love coming home and playing with the kids for a few hours before they go to bed. I look forward to the weekends when I don’t have my normal school schedule, can see the kids as they wake up, and play in the mornings when they’re both wide awake and in really good moods. But there usually comes a time (especially on the weekends) where I just can’t believe how they need my constant attention. I find it impossible to escape to work on a project with no interruptions. These are the times where I really appreciate how much effort Andrea’s role in our family requires of her, and how it impacts her own job.

Andrea and I have talked about sending our kids to daycare, but Andrea really loves what she currently does and daycare wouldn’t go over well with Nora. If Andrea’s blog continues to grow, there may come a time where daycare isn’t just an option, it’s a necessity. But for now, our system works for us, and I’ve come to realize that having Andrea home all day really simplifies MY life. 

Here’s why:

1. Having Andrea at home is easier on our kids.

I feel there are benefits of seeing your parents everyday and learning how to do things directly from them. Andrea and I both experienced this in our own childhoods, and it is something we both wanted for our kids, even though when we were first married I’m not sure if either one of us wanted to be in that role. Also, Nora especially needs the reassurance that someone familiar is around.

Andrea does a great job of going on play dates, attending music classes and free community events, getting together with neighbor kids, etc. These opportunities are important for the growth of our kids, and I like that they can do them with their mom.

2. Our home is more organized and operates so much smoother.

During the day, Andrea often finds that the projects she’s able to accomplish with kids around involve normal house stuff — doing laundry, vacuuming, baking, preparing dinner, getting groceries, picking up project supplies, etc.

Her blog work might wait until I get home and can take over the kids. But knowing that so much of the house stuff will be taken care of by the time I get home makes it easier for me to drop everything and play with the kids for a while.

3. I can focus more on my job when I’m at work.

I never need to worry about getting called home for a sick kid or juggling who will bring/pick up kids from daycare. For the most part, I don’t even keep my phone on at school (it’s not allowed for students) because Andrea knows that if she needs anything, she can just send me a quick email.

The fact that I can focus 100% on my students and my teaching while I’m at work is a huge perk to having Andrea home. It also helps me to work as efficiently as I can before school and during my prep periods so I can get home as soon as possible after school to give Andrea a break.

4. School breaks are amazing!

When Andrea used to work outside the home, she usually had to work during my school breaks or pick and choose what vacation days she would take. But now that she works from home and can essentially set her own schedule, we have lots of extra family time — no vacation days required.

This is such great family time, and even though we rarely go anywhere during these breaks, it’s nice just to be together and have fun as a family without working around either of our work schedules.

5. It forces us to have great communication.

Since Andrea is home most of the day, she schedules her meetings and conference calls in the afternoons and nights. While my school schedule normally allows for me to get home early, I often have school functions that force me to stay later or go back at nights. In order to make things work, we need to constantly communicate to avoid over commitments.

Our current system has us sit down over the weekend to go over our schedules and jot down any reminders in our planners. This is a nice time for us to connect and spend time together and share about our week. It’s also forces us to stay organized and let the other person know about schedule changes ASAP.

I love having Andrea work from home and able to spend so much time with our kids. Over the last 3 years, I’ve finally started to realize how much work it is for her (and so many of you) to be home with kids all day.

As I mentioned earlier, Saturdays are a good reminder to me how much effort is required to care for our two small children. I spend my days teaching and caring for 100+ teenagers in my classroom, and sometimes Saturdays can seem more exhausting than school days! I definitely didn’t give stay-at-home parents enough credit!

Just to clarify, if you are currently sending your kids to daycare, that’s perfectly OK. Andrea and have definitely considered this option and I know/work with plenty of people who use daycare and have fantastic children.

The point of this post is not to make working parents feel bad. It’s to give much-needed credit to those parents who are home, caring for kids 24/7 on top of everything else they need to do.

Well there you have it my friends — not too bad for his first guest post!

If you are a stay-at-home or work-from-home parent, I hope you are encouraged by this post. Even though it often feels like we are trudging through the day accomplishing next to nothing, our “job” is so important.

We’re raising our children, taking care of our homes, and running the lives of our families — if you think about it, no one else is nearly as qualified for our jobs as we are!

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36 comments

  1. Jennifer

    12/28/2014

    Great idea to get a hubby’s perspective for us to read. I wonder what mine would say. He doesn’t make any comments to me one way or the other and I don’t think he understands the magnitude of how busy and draining it can be to be home all day with kids. He seems jealous. Some times I think he just thinks of me being at home all day and forgets the “with kids” part.

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  2. Brandi Clevinger

    12/19/2014

    Great first post, Dave!

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  3. Erin

    12/16/2014

    What a nice post. It’s cool to see Dave’s perspective. I work outside of the home (and took no offense to this post;-) ). I’m getting a new job in 2015 that will allow me to work from home 3 days a week. At the beginning, my kids will stay in daycare, but soon, I’d like to have them home with me a little bit, if possible.

    Great job working with what your family needs to be happy. 🙂

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  4. Tai

    12/15/2014

    I love this post! I came home to be with the children about 3 years ago. Everything works a lot smoother with me at home. My husband constantly praises me for my hard work. Thanks for sharing!

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  5. Jillian @ Baby Doodah!

    12/13/2014

    Such a great post!

    I’m working on building up my blog and my VA business. I would love to stay home w/ my son and any future children, but I have to contribute to our income. However, after reading this, me staying home has more benefits than I think my husband and I realized.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Heather @ My Overflowing Cup

    12/12/2014

    Thanks so much for sharing this post, Dave and Andrea. I have always seen my role as stay-at-home mom as not just raising the kids, but helping my husband to do his job better. By eliminating some of the things he would be concerned about if I weren’t home, like Dave said, allows him to just focus on the quality of his work. That is very valuable, as well as many of the other perks. Thanks for taking the time to send a little encouragement our way, Dave. I really appreciate it.

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  7. Heart and Haven

    12/12/2014

    I found it interesting to read that at the beginning of your marriage Dave wouldn’t have thought you would want to work from home and take care of the kids full time. Was this not discussed prior to marriage, or did your goals or situation change?

    I’ve been in every situation:
    – I was a working single mom for 9 years with my first child
    – Working mom once I got married, although I worked early hours 6:30am-3:30 so I was home when my son was out of school.
    – SAHM the past 6 years (in addition to property management for our rental properties)

    I can say, for me, being a sahm has been the hardest job, but also the most fulfilling.

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  8. Jo @Countrylifeexperiment

    12/12/2014

    My husband is the at home parent – he helps around the farm in among the kid wrangling etc. Having someone at home definitely keeps the whole of our lives running smoothly. I appreciate the work he does so much. If he wanted to go back to work, I would happily stay at home, but he enjoys it too much!

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  9. Debby

    12/12/2014

    Yay Dave. Nice job!!! I was a SAHM for 17 years. Only working jobs in the evening or overnight shifts and sleeping while my kids were at school. (I am a healthcare provider). Now that my girls are 17 and 19, I went back to work to ease the college tuition bills. I wouldn’t trade anything for those years at home. My husband felt the same way you do. To every thing there is a season and a time purpose under the heaven. I have been married over 25 years and now with my employment change we are forced to communicate about other things. Thus keeping everything from coming to stalemate. Enjoy your babies. Everybody says it but it is true. Someday you will laugh at how much time you spent in Nora’s room at night. When you are living it, it’s an eternity. And you will shake your head and wonder how you ever made it through. But you do. Good luck to all of you and a very blessed Christmas.

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  10. Laura

    12/12/2014

    Thank you thank you for this post! My husband’s job has been stressful lately and we’re in the process of buying a house. I’ve been feeling a bit ‘useless’ lately to help with either of those things and this post was SO encouraging to hear. I do work from home as a freelance graphic designer but this time of year is always a bit slow. It was great to read this and remember that my job of raising our daughter is so incredibly important, as important as my husband’s job, even more so in some regards! Thanks for your hard work on your blog. I’m looking forward to applying many of your organizing/purging tips to our move and getting settled in our new house next month!! Happy Holidays to you guys. Keep up the great work.

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    Andrea Reply:

    Wow — we moved right before Christmas too. I felt like it was really stressful (and that was BEFORE we had kids!) I can’t even imagine moving and packing with little people running around. Sounds like you’re doing a good job of managing everything on your plate.

    Enjoy the new house and getting settled in (unpacking is ALWAYS my favorite part!)

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  11. Cathy

    12/12/2014

    Thanx Dave!! I am a second generation stay at home mom. That means i stayed home with my 5 and now I am a stay at home grandma of 7. I love it and wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. It is challenging at times but I love all the cousins being raised together. I do believe in schedules and routines. Naptime at my house is sacred and I can get the younger ones (4- ages 2 1/2, 2 1/2, 2, and 4) all down at the same time and then I get some much needed business done around the house, or on occasion join them LOL> Once again good job!!

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  12. Erin

    12/12/2014

    I became a stay-at-home mom in August, and I feel busier now staying home with two kids than I ever did working full-time while my daughter was at a babysitter’s house. It can be difficult finding time to get major tasks or my freelance work done during the day, so I take advantage of naps, evenings, and weekends (when my husband is home and can watch the kids while I work). I certainly don’t miss the morning rush of packing bags, making lunches, etc. Now our mornings start off at a much more relaxed pace, and I love it.

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  13. Maria

    12/12/2014

    Thank you Dave!! I have only 13 more working days until I join the “stay at home” crowd. Thank you both for all of the encouragement! I don’t think I would have “made the leap” if not for your blog Andrea. 😀

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    Andrea Reply:

    Wow Maria — congrats! So glad something I did/said was helpful for your decision-making process 🙂

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  14. Elnora

    12/12/2014

    Now I want my husband to read this and tell me his thoughts. I never thought about the fact that having me at home simplifies his life. I tend to think of the children as solely my responsibility. I forget that they’re his children, too, and he cares about how they’re looked after all day. I know he would hate to have them away from home all day instead of with me. I feel honored that such a wonderful man would choose me to be the mother of his children.

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    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, definitely share with your hubby! I think he would probably agree — whether he realizes it right now or not.

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  15. Rose

    12/12/2014

    YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just got a huge smile on my face!!! I’m at work…took a peek, and seen that hubby wrote this post!!!!!!!

    I will read on my break!!!!

    Have a good weekend guys!

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  16. Siobhan

    12/12/2014

    Great post! Very sweet of Dave…I wish I could write more of my thoughts but I have three cranky kids hanging on me right now 🙂

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  17. Raquel

    12/12/2014

    Great Post! My husband and I were just talking about this last night. We do not have children yet, but I would like to stay home with them when we do. This post is great to see all the reasons the sacrifice would be worth it!

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  18. Nena

    12/12/2014

    Great! thanks for the words of wisdom and I have been on both sides working and staying home at different ages of my children

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  19. Kristine Stark

    12/12/2014

    Wow! That is just what I needed to hear this morning! Had a rough morning with my kids. Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement. Just what I needed.

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  20. Marie

    12/12/2014

    Thank you Andrea and Dave for sharing this post! Both my husband and I work full-time outside of the home but I hope to transition to work at home soon. This article provided much needed insight and encouragement on how that arrangement might work. Again, thanks for sharing!

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  21. Emily

    12/12/2014

    Wonderful post! Thank you Dave! As I was reading, this verse came to mind, “An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:10-12 🙂 How wonderful that Dave has this confidence in you!

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  22. shelly

    12/12/2014

    Great job!

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  23. Jen

    12/12/2014

    LOVE this! I was blessed to be home with our kids for 16 years. And, now, even though they are teenagers, I am able to work from home and be “available”. Actually, I think they “need” me home even more now.

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  24. MomofTwoPreciousGirls

    12/12/2014

    I’m curious about if you have put any thought into Nora heading off to school in a couple years? Do you have concerns about how she will handle it when it comes to some of her sensitivities?

    I always wanted to work and watched my girls thrive in the daycare setting. However, when my oldest was in her 2nd half of the Pre-k year her class got slightly larger and her behavior in school changed. Then when she went to kindergarten things got bad at school and the larger class setting seems to be awful for her. Now I feel horrible about working outside the home and wish I could work from home so at least I could cut out some of the time they have to spend away from me!!!

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    Andrea Reply:

    oh yes — I think about it often. Because of where her birthday falls, she won’t be eligible for preschool until the Fall of 2016 — so we still have a couple years and I KNOW she will change and grow a lot in that time. However, I do wonder how it will all go. Only time will tell I suppose 🙂

    That said, I don’t think you should fault yourself for working. Look at me, I’ve been home with Nora 24/7 and she is still highly sensitive and very unsure of new things. Just make the time you ARE together special and memorable (whenever possible).

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    Brenda Reply:

    I wouldn’t worry about it now. If Nora has issues, you can work with her teacher to come up with a solution. All of my kids had behavior problems in 1st grade. We fixed that by having me spend some time in the classroom. The oldest I helped for 1 full day a week (my day off of work). For the next ones, I spent a hour or so there in the mornings a few times a week before I went to work. Just having me in the room was enough to “fix” the problem. Most of the time I just sorted stuff for the teacher or cut stuff out for her.

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Brenda — and don’t worry, I’m not agonizing over it by any means 🙂 I just often think “I wondering if Nora will be willing to ride the bus?” or “I wonder how she’ll do when she’s away from me all day long?”

    But since it’s still a couple years away, I know she’ll grow and mature a lot by then (at least I’m hoping so!)

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  25. Jess

    12/12/2014

    Lovely post, Dave! Turning into the stay at home parent has been the hardest career choice I’ve made, but I honestly can’t imagine our family any other way at the moment. Our twin boys are turning 3 in January and I love the time spent with them daily.

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    Andrea Reply:

    Wow twins! You get extra “gold stars”! 🙂

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  26. Summer

    12/12/2014

    You rock Dave! Way to give a shout out to your wife and to stay at home parents!

    We both work out of our home and it has blessings galore and challenges abundant, but we work at it. Proactively. Which is the key to all things.

    I loved your comment about ‘no vacation days required.’ Most people have to ‘get away’ to experience a relaxing diffusing time, but when you do what you love, with whom you love around you, that’s built right in! We take the breaks when we can get them, and make hay while the sun shines. Adapt, improvise and overcome!

    You guys are amazing! Have a fabulous weekend!

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    Andrea Reply:

    You’re right Summer — we have tons of friends who both work outside the home and easily make it work. It seems so overwhelming to me, but they say the exact same thing about Dave and my situation. It’s all what you’re used to I guess!

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  27. Anna

    12/12/2014

    Thanks so much for this post, Dave! It was good to hear from you,
    and your words are very encouraging. Since I left my job this summer,
    shortly before our second child was born, I know MY life had gotten
    simpler, not just my husband’s. (note I didn’t say easier

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    Andrea Reply:

    haha — yes, Simpler but NOT easier 🙂 I couldn’t have said it better myself — and I know Dave would agree too!

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