Stand by your man: Quit working
People have different opinions about stay-home moms. I remember a couple of years ago; there was an essay in the New York Times by Terry Martin Hekker, a self-appointed spokesperson for stay-at-home moms. “I spoke to rapt audiences about the importance of being there for your children as they grew up, of the satisfactions of ‘making a home,’ preparing family meals and supporting your hard-working husband. So I was predictably stunned and devastated when, on our 40th wedding anniversary, my husband presented me with a divorce,” she recalled.
Hekker does not regret ever marrying her husband and bearing five children. What she regrets is giving her economic independence by staying home and sacrificing her ability to support herself adequately.
Some women on the other hand see their decision to give up paid work to support their husbands and take care of their families as a positive choice that reflects their values and should therefore be respected. Author of “Beside Every Successful Man” Megan Basham, argues that women who quit their jobs are in a better position of supporting their husbands’ careers, hence increasing their family income.
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The idea of a woman taking time off work to learn how to help her husband achieve his best in his career is somehow controversial. In the 21st century, choosing economic dependency as a lifestyle is seen as the age old feminine mistake of the century. And No matter the reasons, it’s quite risky to count on a man to take care of you over the long haul.
Most working women wish that they could cut back on working hours so they can spend more time with their families but then again in order to sustain their lifestyles, their families usually require two full-time incomes. They hate that they have to work, envying their stay-at-home counterparts.
Much as they really want to take a time-out from their careers, most women are not able to. Some like Hekker above, are scared of the risks of being economically dependent on their husbands. They are worried of what will happen when the husband isn’t there (death or divorce).
I prefer being in a relationship where a husband and wife share responsibilities, both domestic and economic. I don't think I would want my wife home so she can support my career. What if I get fired? I really don't get Basham's argument. I guess I will have to get me the book. I am not criticizing stay-at-home moms for placing the needs of their children ahead of other considerations, or Basham for encouraging women to stay home and support their husband’s careers. It’s just that it has cost women far too much over the last century.
Even with this, The Bureau of Labor Statistics have found that 1.2 million more mothers are staying home now than did ten years ago, and that millions more have downshifted to part-time work. To add to the stats most of them are affluent, well-educated women in their thirties.
Is staying at home an ideal way to help husbands’ careers or are stay-home moms risking everything?
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