Lately, I've noticed a lot of posts from women who work full time and do all of the household chores, usually as a prior agreement with their partners. These posts always read the same: the woman is elated by this arrangement, except for when she's exhausted, frustrated, short-tempered, and has no time for herself, let alone her husband, and it causes tension in her marriage... and that's most of the time. Rarely does the narrative include a compelling reason for such circumstances, such as the partner having a really taxing career that doesn't pay enough to hire help, like law enforcement officer or EMT. It seems to always be the result of some ideal that tries to pull from both the traditional view of a housewife and the modern view of a career woman. Well, I'd like to summarize what most of the responses to these posts say: the cost of having a stay-at-home-mom or a stay-at-home-wife is the man being the primary breadwinner.
Now, I know there's someone out there who makes this work (perhaps with a secret identical twin who lives in the walls), so I'll give my disclaimer that these statements are not all-inclusive. As a general rule, however, it is not a sustainable, long-term plan for someone to work 40 hours a week, perhaps more, while also maintaining a household alone, especially once they have children. If your goal is a marriage where the woman does all of the housework, including cooking and childcare, the only real way to cultivate a healthy and happy home life is for the man to be the main breadwinner so she can stay home and do that. That's not to say it's all or none. Part-time, seasonal, or occasional work like substitute teaching or babysitting is absolutely doable. Full time work, particularly something physically or mentally exhausting, likely is not.
The average dual income parents get up every morning and feed and dress their children, before feeding and dressing themselves for the day. They then drop their kids off at daycare/school, before going to work, where they participate in budget and client meetings, implement projects/presentations/programs/::insert specific corporate term/responsibility here:: with an appropriate level of enthusiasm. They often take breaks with coworkers, which means they have to engage in small talk or discuss work, instead of truly decompressing. If they're lucky, they get off at a set time, pick up their children, and head home. At this point, the children need to receive love and affection, dinner needs to be cooked, the laundry needs to be folded, the Christmas presents need to be wrapped, the Amazon packages need to be returned, the house needs to be tidied, the kids need to be bathed and put to bed... the list goes on and varies seasonally. There's literally endless amounts of work to be done and about four hours in which to do it, depending on commute, every night. On top of this, both adults need time to decompress, perhaps take a moment for themselves, and connect with each other to keep their marriage strong.
Four hours is not enough time for one person to do all of these things, always.
Life requires balance. If you want a true dual income, you'll have more money and less time, which means you have to have dual household responsibilities, however that might look. Maybe he does more traditionally masculine chores, such as chopping wood for the fire, taking out the trash, caring for the lawn, putting up Christmas lights, and cleaning the gutters, while she cooks, cleans the kitchen and bathrooms, and keeps the kids entertained. Maybe the opposite is true or maybe they trade off. Perhaps they hire help. There's no right or wrong way to split the chores, but in the short time that you both have away from work, you have to split or outsource them or they won't get done... or some of them will and there will be resentment and tears and frustration and missed time with the kids or each other. If both partners would prefer a stay-at-home-parent to take the bulk of these responsibilities, they're going to have to make sacrifices, including career momentum and financial standing. You'll have more time, but you might have an older car and off-brand clothing and fewer vacations. You cannot have the best of both worlds.
No one can have it all, all the time, and that's worth remembering when you sit down with your new fiancé and discuss the breakdown of household chores, which you should absolutely do, no matter which direction you lean. If you plan to work full time, don't agree to also be a full time SAHW/SAHM, because in most cases, it can't be done and you'll find yourself venting on Reddit.