Once upon a time, and then for many generations, and not so long ago, it was sort of a given that once a couple got married and conceived, the woman would “give up” her “career” to stay home and rear the children. (*I use career loosely there because for so long, women were directed toward fields wherein it would be easy to walk away and commence said rearing).
Today, this isn’t so automatic anymore. Rather, oftentimes a woman will continue her career after a brief few week hiatus, almost like nothing had happened. (She birthed a live human being, for goodness sake!)
30-some years ago, my mother and father battled on this same topic. She wanted to stay home to raise me; he wanted her to continue working. She sold her business on the spot. (Mom – 1, Dad – 0).
And apparently I am my mother’s daughter. In the midst of job searching and interviewing, I found myself having to explain to an international CEO that my 5-year and 10-year plan did not include climbing the corporate ladder to the Chief Legal Officer or General Counsel’s office… basically I said I would be happy as the legal version of middle management. (In the back of my head, I can still have a life & family from this position).
And just this week, I found myself lost in miscommunication with Statesman over my careerpathing and goals. At this juncture, he is very goal-oriented for his career and has the 1-, 5-, 10-, and 25-year plans laid out. I, on the other hand, posed something very unconscionable to him: that I am not actively trying to elevate my career to extraordinary heights. Instead, I will make a career move that will challenge and engage me, but I am not fiercely pursing something that will put me in the Forbes Most Powerful Women list. Instead, I sort of view my “career” as something that I can do to support myself and keep me occupied until I have children.
Yes. I said it. I want to be a stay-at-home mom!
For the last several days, I’ve been rolling this around in my mind. The highly-educated 30-something woman living in 2012 is gravely concerned she just committed a massive societal faux pas. It almost feels wrong to want to consider being a stay-at-home mom, if the luxury presents itself.
And what feels even weirder is that I pretty much stated to my relatively new beau, plain as day, that this is something I want. (Well, at least we still have plans for Valentine’s day).
But in today’s world, is it so wrong as to want to, even look forward to, giving up a career in order to raise a family? I don’t necessarily think so. I very much believe that much good can come from this family decision. (So long as we’re not talking an entire baseball team’s worth of kids).
As Ms. Nikks pointed out recently, there’s a lot of things to consider when one begins to bring kids into this world. And so much of it has to do with society’s accepted view on things.