Post # 1
I went to a year and a half of college. I was in a sorority, had a lot of fun but didn’t really have a focused major. I changed majors quite a bit. A lot of things interest me but there isn’t anything I really would want to make a career out of. I have done medical receptionist work and CNA work and I enjoyed it but after working with doctors for a bit now, I’m not sure if that’s something I want to do for the rest of my life (if anyone works for a doctor, they probably know what i’m talking about. they aren’t the easiest to work with).
Now I am getting married to the love of my life in August. He and I are so excited to be parents. I have always wanted to be a mother and we both agree that we would rather be younger than older parents. I’m 21 (will be 22 when we get married) and he’s turning 28 soon. FI is gainfully employed at a great job and we live in the town we hope to grow old in. We would probably start TTC between September 2012 and Feb 2013.
My FMIL (a wonderful woman who has always been sweet and supportive) said to me on the phone the other day, “well you’re too smart not to finish college, you want to have something you can do if something happens.” I know she meant that in the best way but I couldn’t help that it made me feel a bit uncomfortable. I am not opposed to going back to school. My heart is just in being a mother more. And I definitely do not want to try to go to school while I’m raising children and keeping the house. The only other option would be to wait until i finish school to have kids. I would have to wait four years to have kids!! I understand wanting to have my own income capabilities should the unthinkable happen.
I feel that in our society of “the empowered woman” and “men and women totally equal in every way”, the honorable and beautiful career of housewife is being tarnished. I feel like I should be ashamed for not wanting to have a career. Anyone else feeling like this? How have you handled it?
Post # 3
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being a SAHM. What I think your MIL was trying to say is that you should make sure that you have some way to support yourself if anything happens. While no one wants bad things to happen, it’s smart to think ahead and have a plan in case they do. Have you considered going to school part time through online or evening classes? Many SAHMs complain about lack of adult interaction, so you might actually enjoy the chance to go to class.
Post # 4
Honestly I don’t see this as “tarnishing” the career of housewife. She obviously cares very much for you and wants to make sure that should the unthinkable happen and her son can no longer take care of you, that you have some way of supporting the family. She’s not telling you that you shouldn’t aspire to be a housewife, just that you should have a skill set to fall back on just in case. Whether you choose to do that or not is your choice. I didn’t finish college when I was your age, and now 15 years later, I’m finally going back to finish it, because I want to.
I’m not trying to be mean, just to give you another perspective on how to view the comment.
Post # 5
Nothing wrong with it! I agree with PP that a backup would be a nice thing to have. You never know what could happen. If I could afford (in the future) to be a SAHM I totally would.
Post # 6
I want to be a SAHM for a while (when I have kids) if we can afford it, but I still wanted to make sure I finished my education for ME, not just in case “something happened.” However, my mom was a stay at home mom (very greatful!), but she went back to school at 50 because she wanted a purpose/gainful employment post-kids, but it’s been hard because she has little “job” experience. Do what is best for you.. it sounds like you have a great MIL.
Post # 7
I think it’s good advice. I’d be a SAHM in a heartbeat if we could. But I would still be glad knowing I finished my education 1st. Because she’s right, anything could happen. God forbid you lose your partner and now you are the breadwinner but it’s hard to find a job to support your family because you never finished your degree. At this point you aren’t getting it to further your career, you’d be doing it as an example for your future children, as security in the event of tragic life changes, and you’d be doing it for you. You never know, up the road you might think, why didn’t I just finish it when I had the chance.
I don’t think the SAHM is tarnished, I just think it’s financially impossible for a lot of families. But if you choose not to go to school there is nothing wrong with that either. You don’t need to justify yourself or feel bad.
Post # 8
I think it’s fine to be a SAHM, but it’s nice to have something to not only fall back on, but something to do while they’re at school 6 hrs per day and after they move out.
Post # 9
I agree – you need to finish school. It’s one thing to have a degree to fall back on and to still be a stay at home mom. It’s another to not have a degree and have it be nearly impossible to support your family if something happened to your husband.
You owe it to yourself and your future family to get more than a “MRS” degree.
Post # 10
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
The prudent thing to do is really to finish your degree first and wait to have kids. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with being a SAHM, but how would you support those children if heaven-forbid something should happen to your SO?
Post # 11
I totally get where you’re coming from. I went through college got a good degree, but never focused or even put any effort into my career, because to me all I wanted to be was a mom– a full time stay at home mom. My mom doesn’t get this, she was a stay at home mom and I think she wished she had a career. Although I don’t have any desire to persue a full career, if anything were to happen to DH I do have a solid degree and background in my field that I could find a job without a problem. I think that is all your MIL is trying to say. Even though I felt my degree was “useless” I would never have considered not getting my college degree.
Post # 12
@nataliegrace90: I do believe that your FMIL just thinks if you have something more under your belt like an education because you never know when you might need it! And in todays society you just don’t know what can be said about the job market for your FI or even you. Times change and so does our needs. I know where I was raised (Sweden) it has become really really trendy to downsize and live the “slow” life, and be a SAHM etc nowadays. Damn, my sister has three children and she is a stay at home mom! She loves it!
But finishing school might be a great option, in case you actually get kids and need to raise them on your income, those extra years in school will have a better chance of giving you a better job if you will choose that you want one, or need it. Trust me, I have a kid myself, and if you need that extra income you will need to get it asap to take care of the kids, those savings can eat away pretty fast! It will also be a good example to your kids, to let them know that you went to school, you fought your way through it but you did it out of spite to be secure for what might be ahead. Thinking ahead is key when it comes to children and planning a family.
Personally I do not see any problem being a SAHM, I think it’s great that there are so many options out there for us ladies because this has not always been the deal for women. So seing it that way I don’t really see how todays society and equality can be “tarnishing” to being a SAHMs out there. Women today just have more options, and we can freely chose ourselves: Career woman, stay at home mom.. It’s all up to you, the lifestyle you want and can support. Good luck with what ever you chose!
Post # 13
My mom is a SAHM. She quit school to marry my dad and have kids, because that’s what she felt was her calling. She is an amazing mother. She told all of us kids that we can do or be anything we want. For her, that was being a housewife. For me, that was going into a career field. But my experience with her does give me respect for those that choose to devote their lives in this way.
My mom would tell you to make your choice and own it. There will always be someone out there criticizing your decisions, so try not to take it too personally, and do what you feel called to do.
Post # 14
You know what the backwards thing about all of this advice is? That piece of paper is worthless in the job market if you don’t have the experience to back it up. I would not, in a million years hire a new graduate who had no experience, and I hire people for a living in a large Corporate environment.
While I am not saying that she should not finish school, I am saying that if she finishes school and then does nothing with her degree, the only job she will get in a few years is at McDonald’s.
The only exception I would make to this would be a job path that involved a SKILLED TRADE such as plumber, electrician, etc. New grads are not what employers are looking for unless they have somehow proved to be cream of the crop or you have good management who recognizes good talent when they see it (rare).
In 7 years of HR Management, I have hired exactly 2 new graduates, and one of them was a young woman who interned for us the year before!
I’ve also hired people with only a high school education and NO DEGREE but years of experience over someone who had even multiple degrees. So many varying factors such as personality, fit, flexibility, etc., have an impact on why people get hired. Degrees are no longer at the top of this list.
OP: You need to do what is best for you and your husband, so he is the best person to be talking to about it. I think it would be prudent to find out how he feels about the whole thing.
Post # 15
Playing Devil’s Advocate:
My father used to be an executive for a giant car manufacturer. He encouraged my mother to finish her degree (with four kids at home) which she did via correspondence.
The year my mother was accepted into Teacher’s College, my father became very sick. He had a surgery, subsequently a stroke (as a result of medication he was given) and the company replaced him the week before he was cleared to return to work. He has not worked a day since. My mother was ready to drop out of Teacher’s College but did not, and she ended up supporting us until we were out of the house (2 of us are, 2 of us are still at home).
Because she needed her degree to be a teacher, this ended up being a blessing that she only had to plow through a year of school before she could make her way into the school system.
There are SOME vocations which require a degree (Teacher, Doctor, etc), but this does not apply to the majority.
Post # 16
@ViaMinorViator: You bring up the very point I was thinking about reading this.
My moms #1 rule “Always BE ABLE to support yourself”. Doesnt mean you have to.
And in truth if you have a degree and 10 years of experience and then become a STAHM for 2o years, your experience and degree is pretty worthless. It will let you get a decent entry level position, maybe a step up, but going back in to where you left off is pretty hard. Computers change, technology changes, theories change, tastes chage etc.
In truth, you would best be able to keep your options open for the “what it” if you had some experience and then maybe volunteered once a week in a related area, or even worked part time. Or had a skill that doesnt age- like bartending.
I have STAHM moms who worry about this and do small projects for former employers and take on part time work to keep their skills updated. The last thing they want is to be useless and at home alone when their kids are out of the house.