I must however say that staying home in the US or being a house wife is something in Sweden would nearly be impossible. One of you have to make A LOT of money every month just afford to live, pay rent and food. Secondly and probably the reason why Swedish women don´t stay home while husbands work is because it is not culturally acceptable to be a stay home wife/mom with your kids who are 2 years or older. However, most do work part time while the kids are small. Thirdly which is a big portion of it too, women who stay home do not get any social security, disability or federal pension worth mentioning.
So staying home, even if I have been busy - very busy, gives me a great break many probably do want during years when the kids are small. My free time I will be focused on my health and my fitness and I do look forward to get started after my cold has cleared. But with my husband in school and his homework/assignments/readings/tests I am turning out to be the family organizer and it is a full time job. Don´t ask me how I pulled it of while working. Being home I can tell you that it is not solely my own time more than maybe a couple hours (hours I never had in Sweden) of the 6 hours the kids are in school. I keep busy from 6 in the morning getting ready packing bags, getting dressed x 3, driving to drop kids off at school and pick them up from school, homework, driving to extra curricular activities, cleaning, washing, breakfast and dinner, grocery shopping, planning vacation, arranging everything with insurance companies, phone companies, banks, the gardner and the pool guy.. etc.... So my days are filled with stuff.
And living in the US you don´t get by with not volunteering. If you mention you are a stay home mom/wife, they cry out for your help at school, day care, Rotary etc. So I signed up for voluntary work at my husbands school to teach English as a second language. The next 6 weeks will be very interesting. And the best part - getting a chance to meet and learn to know people from other places on our globe. So for the upcoming six weeks household cleaning will be put on hold.