Hot topic or no? Most women I know are in the workplace, somehow. Either they work part time, full time, or telecommute (like me.) If they're not in the work force, they're in training/college to enter it. Very few women I know, even in the church that I attend, are stay at home wives/mothers. Or, they earn extra money by babysitting or having a home daycare, or sales of some sort; either Mary Kay, Avon, Pampered Chef. I've been in the workforce myself, off and on, since I was about 16 years old. My first job was as a cashier at Hardees in Winter Park, Florida, on the corner of 17-92 and Lee Road. It's not there anymore. I think it's a steakhouse now?
My dream job, to be perfectly honest, with you, is to not "work" at all. I wish I could be a stay at home mother, cleaning, cooking, sewing, and growing a garden. Some way, some how, that ended up not happening. Now, I'm on the precipice of graduating from college in less than a month, with fresh student loans ahead of me.
Am I glad I'm about to graduate? Yes, of course. I started college way back in 1993 as an immature 18 year old girl. It took me and additional 18 years just to get my associates degree. Being a wife and mother dominates my life just as much now as it did back then.
So why did I go back to school, when it actually goes against what I wanted for my future?
1) To say I finished. Silly? Maybe. Probably!
2) As insurance. I am the one who carries the medical insurance on this family. I have high blood pressure and diabetes. If I lost my job, I'd be uninsurable.
3) As insurance, part 2. I'm the product of a failed relationship. So is my husband. I love him dearly, and I know he'd never leave me. BUT...it is always in the back of my mind that if SOMETHING were to ever happen, either divorce or death, that I still have three children who need money. Many people would say, "Well, there is always child support." Neither my father or my sister's father paid any. Neither did my husband's father. That's why we grew up in abject poverty. We both know what it's like to go without basic things like warm coats in the winter, shoes that fit, and dinner.
4) Knowing that the field I chose has a good chance of me working from home. There's a reason I didn't choose nursing school. Even though that is also a 2 year program, and pays far better than a coder, I have no desire to work nights, weekends and holidays. I'm also not scared of blood, poo, urine or vomit...also spit/sputum skeeves me out. So nursing could have been a good choice for me, but I chose something a bit more predictable.
5) A good chance of entrepreneurship. Many coders have their own side businesses doing billing for offices who don't want to pay for an onsite biller. Once I get a year or two of coding under my belt, I may consider that.
My daughter is almost 16, and is a sophomore in high school. She is getting college material in the mail. She doesn't seem to be interested in looking at it yet. I'm almost relieved. I worry about her getting into debt and falling into a career before she's really ready to make a solid decision. I was a pyschology major back in 1993, and I'm not at all interested in that now. But those student loans persist, don't they?
So what say you? I believe that once women have children, they should be at home with their children. I don't feel that way about women who are married without children, or women who have grown children. But life sure is messy, and it can get in the way of our good intentions. I never thought I'd end up with a child with autism, and that it would be my job that got him the insurance needed for his therapy. I never thought my husband would become a truck driver halfway through our marriage, and leave for weeks at a time. I never imagined that I could be responsible for an entire household myself, and possibly support Mr. R's mom too (more news on THAT later.) How do you plan for the unexpected?
Failure to plan, is planning to fail!
It makes me glad, that during these stressful times, that I *do* have a career that I can depend on, which feeds my family, pays my mortgage, puts gas in my car, and even allows fun stuff like a trip to the movies and getting my hair done.
Please, what say you?