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So, You Want to Be a Traditional Wife? Here’s How.

So, You Want to Be a Traditional Wife? Here’s How.

More and more women are fearlessly declaring their desire to live more traditionally—to get married, have children, and create a family. Women all over the globe are waking up to the lie that we can “have it all.”

Of course, it takes work, planning, and cooperation to build a healthy marriage and a happy family. Many women might be deep into modern life before they realize it is not as fulfilling as advertised. But we can all change our path and learn to live out our values, no matter when we decide to change. Let’s discuss real, practical strategies for women who are looking to embrace traditional marriage and build a healthy family.

Single and Searching

Single women typically have the fewest obstacles to building a traditional lifestyle. I say this not because it is easy being single but simply because singles usually have far fewer people depending on them.

Of course, the elephant in the room is . . . how do we find a man who shares those same values? Famed investor Warren Buffet has pointed out that whom we marry is one of the most important decisions in life, and the research backs him up. Single women can take this to heart and apply it in two ways: First, we need to truly know our values and live them out. Second, we need to be able to recognize these same values in men and not get caught up in modern dating games. (Read this for my top ten dating tips!)

That said, single women need to be careful not to make finding a good husband their only mission in life. Not every woman will get married young, or even at all, and life has a host of other opportunities waiting along the way. Pursuing a valuable and flexible job is a great option for single women who don’t want to be in the workforce forever but still need to support themselves. The popular Mrs. Midwest blog has a terrific article about careers for aspiring homemakers—read it here.

Single women should also consider doing the following:

  1. Gaining qualifications, education, and experience in a valuable field of work.
  2. Dating with an eye toward finding a spouse with shared values.
  3. Spending regular time studying and caring for children and infants.
  4. Saving a nest egg for a future marriage.
  5. Learning how to deal with basic adult paperwork: finances, healthcare, taxes, bills, etc.

Newly Wed and Starting Out

Newlyweds always have lifestyle expectations to manage. The key to setting up a traditional marriage at this point is to be on the same page as our spouses. The biggest difficulty spouses often face is communicating their expectations of a life together. Few married couples start off able to live on one income, buy a house, and have children. Instead, couples should take some time to build up to their goals.

Remember, traditionalism is a set of values and a way of life, not just a cottage core aesthetic. Maybe we could start with small things like cooking at home and work up to bigger things such as cutting down our working hours. The important thing is to take time to try different traditional aspects in married life.

One pitfall new wives may fall into is inadvertently pressuring a reluctant husband to get on board with her dreams. The marriage itself comes first, and marriage is often about compromise. Making small changes on our own and living by example are far more powerful than simply demanding that our spouses change.

New wives should consider the following:

  1. Practicing traditional skills such as cooking, cleaning, or gardening.
  2. Learning proper financial habits to optimize a potential one-breadwinner lifestyle.
  3. Spending free time mostly at home, hosting rather than going out with friends.
  4. Getting involved with a community who share your values and lifestyle.
  5. Experimenting with finding a work-life balance that’s right for your marriage.

Married and Parenting

This is where things can get dicey. Many women don’t realize they want to live a more traditional life until they become mothers. This can be the most complicated time to make a big lifestyle change, and at the same time, it can be the best time to change!

In married motherhood, women face some compounded obstacles. We might be already dependent on a dual-income lifestyle, trapped in a large mortgage, climbing a corporate ladder, paying off student debt, and possibly providing the larger income in the home. Whew!

Mothers usually need to reframe their focus toward long-term goals and lower their expectations of immediately becoming a homemaker. Parents should consider long-term lifestyle changes to pursue a traditional life, without digging themselves into a financial grave. Often, the first thing to consider is cutting back and downsizing.

For instance, in my marriage, we don’t go on vacation, use credit cards, travel, eat out, or splurge. What do we have? We have a small house, used cars, and no debt. We have children who spend their entire day with Mommy, we have home-cooked meals, we have abundant family time, and we have an inner peace knowing we are truly living our values.

Married women with children should consider:

  1. Addressing financial capability (e.g., going to one income, getting out of debt, etc.).
  2. Downsizing home and vehicle ownership.
  3. Prioritizing the children’s education.
  4. Adjusting job hours as much as possible, or looking for a more flexible job.
  5. Changing schedules to focus on family time.
  6. Finding a support group! Get in contact with people who have made this change already.

Empty Nester

Even though this phase of life doesn’t revolve around homemaking, many senior citizens return to living a life based on traditional values. When children have grown up and moved out, empty nesters are often also faced with retiring from the workforce. This combination creates a sudden change, and many are forced to consider how they truly want to spend their golden years.

This is a wonderful time to refocus on living traditional values. The great resource empty nesters often have is an abundance of time, which can be a huge boon to families. We can refocus on our marriages. We can regularly spend time with our children and grandchildren. We can renew and deepen relationships with siblings, friends, and religious communities.

Empty nesters should ask, how can we focus on the important people in our lives rather than just our own pursuits? Intergenerational traditionalism is a powerful force; don’t underestimate the example experience can offer.

One difficulty in this phase of life is accepting that our grown children are no longer under our control. We may have spent decades living a modern lifestyle, pursuing dual careers, and carting our children off to day care and public school. If so, we must not expect our children to right away support or agree with our late reversion to traditional living. The better option is to now live by example and be assured that even grown children will silently notice.

Empty nesters should consider:

  1. Being regularly involved with family members.
  2. Practicing hospitality by hosting.
  3. Building loving relationships with grandchildren.
  4. Waiting to be asked before offering advice.
  5. Planning for old age in order to offer future caregivers a blueprint and financial resource.

It’s never too late or too early to live out traditional values. It’s always worth pursuing the life you want with the people you love. It may take time, and it may not go exactly as planned. But in the end, a healthy marriage, happy children, and true peace is worth it.

Image credit: Pexels


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  • Avatar
    January 31, 2024, 3:57 pm

    My wife to be and I discussed before we agreed. to get married aged 25. She was a schoolteacher but she made it clear that she wanted as many babies as possible before we were 35 years old.

    We lived all over the world before returning to. the UK for our retirement

    We were blessed with two girls and a son who now have their own children (7 grandkids for us) and own their own homes.

    Instead of striving to equalize our earnings we both enjoy our equal riches in contentment

    • Avatar
      Cadence McManimon @Waggle
      January 31, 2024, 8:53 pm

      Your story shows the importance of discussing these life expectations prior to getting married! Thank you for sharing and reading, congratulations on all the lovely grandchildren 🙂


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