It's not easy to be a stay-at-home wife/mother in our culture even if your family can easily afford it, because it's simply the norm for a woman these days to be "out there doing something", if she wants to be considered an accomplished adult.
Things become even more complicated when your family is going through financial difficulties. Most people who know you will suggest the "obvious" solution of you getting a job outside the home. Once you point out that after daycare and travel costs, and other work-related expenses you will be left with next to nothing at the end of each month, they may suggest finding a way to earn money from home, which is good for some situations but not when the wife and mother is already struggling with her domestic duties. The life of a mother of several children who are old enough to help out is not like the life of a mother who has three little ones underfoot.
As for me, I know that whatever employer that could be unfortunate enough to hire me, would soon realize that they made a grave mistake. I doubt I could be a good worker at any job outside the home, because my heart is so wholly and completely at home. I often feel that the complaints about women who are incompetent workers are nothing more than an observation of women who should really be at home taking care of their families.
It is often claimed that the homemaker's work has no lasting value, and only the work that is done outside the home counts. That is an evil twisting of the truth, for indeed, the wife and mother at home invests in nothing less than souls of her dearest ones – the images she imprints upon her children, and the atmosphere she creates in her home, is basically an investment in eternity.
The home is a woman's delight; a woman's pride and joy, and also the mirror that reflects her character. When you are told that someone's home is peaceful and quiet, and that whoever comes is always welcome there, doesn't it make you draw a mental picture of a sweet-spirited, content wife?
Here is how I picture my home: cozy and warm, generally clean but not too tidy as to make people uncomfortable to stretch out and relax, with a large variety of books, toys and craft supplies easily available. With herbs growing in the garden, and perhaps a pair of knitting needles and a half-finished scarf on them lying on the sofa. With something delicious baking in the oven, and a pot bubbling on the stove. With beautiful, though not necessarily matching mugs and plates laid out on the table for dinner. I think that'd reflect my personality as an introvert who loves her cozy corner.
I have been at home since I got married a year and a half ago, and I'm thankful for every moment. Time flies by so fast – I'm especially aware of it since Shira was born. Every day I look at her and marvel – her precious babyhood is passing by too soon. But at least, I will be able to tell myself later, I was here to enjoy every cherished moment.