What is a Stay at Home Girlfriend (SAHG) anyway? It’s a lot like being a stay at home mom or a stay at home wife, only without the wedding ring or the children. Quiana Stokes from the Brokelyn Blog described her experience as a SAHG http://www.brokelyn.com/how-to-survive-as-a-sahg-stay-at-home-girlfriend/, and the results was quite the furor. Maybe people got mad because they felt she was single-handedly killing the feminist movement. Maybe people got concerned because it appears as if she is trying too hard to please. Maybe people are bothered because she is taking on a wife’s roll without being married.
Regardless of anyone’s reasons for being bothered by the Stay at Home Girlfriend, each person’s anger is probably more of a result on how their own life has played out than what is actually going on with her. We tend to view other people’s issues from our own viewpoint and make judgments based on our point of view. With that said, I think she’s a little nuts. I think she’s nuts because she is bending over backwards to be the happy un-housewife, and if it goes on for too long her boyfriend may dump her someone in the workplace (if that is his type). On the other hand, if they are both happy, he could marry her with hopes of keeping her at home and caring for him so well. But unless they sit down and have a frank discussion of roles and expectations, she may be spinning her wheels trying to please him and possibly making him crazy. On the other hand, she writes about her predicament so positively that at least SHE is contented, and isn’t that what life is about.. to make the most of it, and to enjoy each day for what it is?
Whether being a stay at home girlfriend is a good idea would depend solely on the intentions of both people in the relationship and no-one else. I know some women who are wired for the workplace and they would wither and die in such a situation. I know other women who are truly wired to be care-takers and they would be terribly unhappy if they couldn’t take care of the home and have someone else worry about making the money. The problem comes in that in both cases, there is the chance of the relationship ending, and without an actual marriage, the person who has opted to stay home is often left penniless. If there is any problem with being a stay at home girlfriend, it is the girlfriend part. The part that she is doing all of the work of a wife without the commitment of one. I don’t find the position she is in upsetting, but I do find it disconcerting.
The bigger problem are the roles that society places on women. We, as a society like to tell women what they should be doing without stopping to find out if it is a good fit for them. As a young wife, who wanted to be at home, I was bombarded with disapproving comments just for the short amount of time I was at home without a job. As a young working mother with kids, I got the same treatment for the opposite reason. Over time, I came to realize that I would be most happy as a Work at Home Mom, so I could get the best of both worlds, being at home with my kids and running my own business on the side.
At the end of the day, the issue is not about how a woman conducts her life. It is about when a woman conducts her life is a way that is contrary to who she is.