New Catholic Wife

I love browsing the threads, but I have yet to find discussion on the following topic:

I am newly married for a few months and am still a real “keener” on being the “good Catholic wife”. As I’m sure most people do, I feel like I am juggling so many roles: Christian, wife, student (in my case)…maybe some also add mother or homemaker or professional (or ?) to that list. Housekeeping, menu, to-do lists on the internet have been my saving grace to staying organized, but I want to hear what you think or resources you have, whether it be about pleasing God and your husband, running a home, or the like. There is so much engagement preparation out there, but you’re kind of let loose after you’re married.

I take a lot of my direction from how my mom’s role while I grew up, but I’m also interested to see what everyone else does or has done. And I understand that everyone is very different in their approaches…for example, I will be a working professional in a year, but I still love the idea of having the traditional roles of wife and husband in the home. I hope the responses stay fair in respecting that women see their vocation lived out in so many different ways…

Our role as Catholic Christians is to make our husbands saints. So whatever we do in that regard will be serving God. Kimberly Hahn has written two wonderful books for Catholic (actually all Christian) wives. Chosen and Cherished and Gifted and Graced.

the only think I have to offer after 40 years of marriage, raising children, working, going to school and so forth, is that God comes first in setting priorities, in scheduling your time, and in stewardship of financial and material resources, energy, time and everything else. If you give God that time every day for prayer, and regular time for service, and tithe your material income, you will never be out of sorts in the rest of your time, money and resources.

I would say just this, been a wife is a full time job, your not going to be all you can be in that role only doing it part time nor are you ever going to be as good as those who are working at it full time.

That is the reality.

So to avoid disappointment you need to do one of two things, either carry out the duties of a wife full time or accept that you will have to compromise and accept that you can’t compete with those doing it 24/7.

You should also figure out if it really is in your economic interests to work especially once you have your first child which God willing He will bless you with soon. After the costs of child care, an extra car and all the costs that go with it etc etc it is often not for a lot of couples.

well, i will say that one thing that is critical. is communication.

as it happens my husband is a pretty good cook. what is more important is that he grew up in a family where his mom could burn water and his dad cooked… so he wanted to be the cook in the family.
i grew up expecting to be the cook in the family, from my house/background

can you say “ouch”
so he cooks most of the time, and i cook sometimes.

we both hate laundry, but i am home more so i do it more.

the big issue is we are both pack rats and not so good at organizing, so for a while our house was pretty bad… i am “reclaiming” it from the kibble, one step at a time. i found FlyLady to be helpful in that. she helps all of us with our “perfection or nothing!” problems…
( i think, but try .org. )

scheduling is very important… its easy to let time slip away “a little sleep, a little sloth…”
so make sure you schedule time to collect yourself and pray, and read your Bible and all… otherwise the chores and school and etc will nibble it away.

incidentally. i am married, work, going back to school… sadly no kids except the fuzzy kind, and i can assure you that even without kids… wow… time just hides on you.

but you still need to find out if your husband , maybe, would LIKE to do some thing around the house that you are doing… and vice versa.

I think that working and running a home can work out great until kids come along. After that, you’ll start feeling pulled in all directions. My advice would be to plan to be at home for at least a year (optimally 3-4 years) when you have a child (and that’s only speaking from MY personal experience). Good luck!

you can’t compete with those doing it 24/7.

i don’t wish to be disagreeable, but OP doesn’t have to compete with anyone. her husband, when marrying her, vowed to foresake all others." she simply has to be the kind of wife that pleases God and makes her husband happy.

Saint Gianna was that kind of wife and had quite a carreer, didn’t she?

I read that she and her husband wrote very spiritual and intense love letters to each other. Some of them were tremendously moving.

As for me, after more than 20 years home, and still with kids at home (3, 6, 9, 12 15 and 17) i had to return to the workforce last year.

prayer helps me.

time with my husband-- even if that means a little less sleep, though at-home date nights on saturdays (late after the kids have gone to bed) have been wonderful for us. we do stupid stuff like learn the Jai Ho dance and puzzles etc.

my email calendar has saved my life a few times

keeping my short haircut trimmed.

keeping my work clothes simple.

organizing our home-- always a work in progress. but yesterday, a snow day and I didnt have to go in, I worked at home organizing stuff. it makes everyone’s life easier and it motivates most of us to put things in right places etc. a lot of time can be wasted looking for stuff.

mostly, though if i try and love God above all things and my neighbor as myself, the details and logistics can get tangled, but the important stuff is happening.

I didn’t say she had to compete, quite the opposite in fact, I was telling her she wouldn’t be able to so don’t try to compare herself to them as that would be a mistake as they would have the advantage of doing it 24/7.

I was warning her to guard against setting herself an unachievable task as the playing field would not be equal if she had to split her time between working for some other employer and working to make a home.

A person who can only spare a tired last hour of the day on home-making is not going to achieve the same standard as someone who spends all day everyday on the same task it is that simple.

And I warned her of this because many women do fall into such a trap and make themselves miserable over it suffering from feelings of guilt etc as is now well documented I believe.

As a Catholic husband I feel my wifes place is at home. Thankfully my job allows her to stay at home. She homeschools our son, is pregnant with our second son, and still maintains the home and cooks.
I think society is crumbling because mothers have left the household and ventured into the workplace. Let the men work and the women work the home.

We know a good Catholic family where the wife is a doctor and the husband homeschools their five lovely kids. :slight_smile: Every family is different, and, as long as their love and faith is strong, this is good.

Because currently my earning potential is three times that of my husband, I plan to work at the office while he works from home with the baby for some time. We may transition after a while when we’ve built up some savings, but this is the arrangement that works out best for us because it will allow us to maximize time together as a family. (My husband never saw his dad growing up because he worked so much, and, as a result is thrilled about this plan). As for household duties, my husband and I cook together most nights because it’s something we like to do. After dinner and dishes, we’re off to take a walk. I handle doctors appointments and schedules, and he handles finances (we use a software program that shows what we’re spending where). We have a whiteboard on the wall for the week’s activities and duties, and we do laundry as a couple once a week.

As another poster mentioned earlier, my job is to get him to heaven, so that’s what I try to do. He leads us in morning and night prayer and is generally the spiritual leader of the house. We goof around a lot, and our house is not always clean, but really, I try not to worry about it.

Hope this glimpse helps you just a bit. God bless!

Oh – and the crock pot is wonderful for busy days! Cut the veggies and meat up the night before, throw it in with the spices, etc. the next morning. Put it on low heat, and dinner is already done when you get home! You can find lots of recipes online. :slight_smile: And always make rice to go with the chili, soup, etc. to stretch it out for another meal or so. It’s a real money and time saver (and it can also be really healthy).

Life can sometimes throw you a curveball… are you ready? :o

I got married when I was still in school… then started working… then got pregnant with our first and wanted to stay home with the baby. That was 7 years ago, and I’m still working full time and we now have 3 kids. :o I would love to be home with my kids, I’ve prayed for this for YEARS, but it never works out. My biggest opponent is DH - who is an extremely prayerful and holy man, and with him as the “head of our household”, I don’t dictate my desires to just quit my job into action without his approval.
Some husbands will say “traditional roles are the only right way”, others will say “Honey, we need you to work”… neither one is “right” or “wrong”, you just have to make holiness work in whatever situation your family falls into. Remember that “Catholic” means “universal”… we are universal in our small-traditions… our local cultures and customs are as varied as the spectrum comes… but what matters is our big-Traditions… the Faith, the Mass, the Eucharist. Pray together often - that’s the key.
God bless you! :slight_smile:

i think the above poster who mentioned the crock pot is a saint…

may i suggest that you invest in a copy of “not your mothers slow cooker” (i think i got the title right…)
i have “roasted” chicken in a crock pot
(actually its poaching… but the main difference is you dont get a crispy skin. if you want a crispy skin? crisp the skin either before or after it cooks in teh crock pot)

made stew…
a CHEAP tough cut of beef turns to shreddy soft goodness if cooked overnight and part of a day in a stew…

there are even vegetarian cookbooks now for crock pots and slow cookers (for the record “Crock -Pot” is a registered trademark of the rival corporation. “slow cooker” is the generic)

stuffed artichokes, or stuffed almost anything, comes out great in a crock pot.
so does overnight oatmeal. put on steel cut oats before bed, wake up to hot oatmeal! a life saver for mornings when you dont have a lot of time.

This is excellent advise. I am a student, wife and mother. Because of the economy DH is severely underemployed, and when I graduate I will have at least 3 times the earning potential. I will have to work to pay off the student loans. Right now, when I am at class DH watches that baby, and when DH is at work I watch the baby. Because I have homework, DH does a lot of the cooking and laundry, because he would rather do that than watch the baby. :p, If it works out in the future, and he still wants to, Dh wants to be a stay at home dad and maybe homeschool the children. It really depends on the strengths and weaknesses of the individuals in the marriage.

Stuffed artichokes in a crock pot…mmmmm :hmmm:

Oh, yeah, I really should have mentioned that the DADS can stay at home-- love those guys who do that! And some people have great relatives who can make it easier to work… I just personally had NOBODY to help when my kids were born.

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