Dear Dr. Laura,
When I was 24, an ambitious young woman and aspiring entertainment executive, two things rattled my career-gal world: First, I read Lisa Belkin's article, "The Opt-Out Revolution" about successful women who decided to "opt-out" of their careers and become SAHMs. Second, I started listening to you. Though my own mom stayed at home with me, I had never considered being a SAHM myself before then. I was a valedictorian. I went to a fancy college. I was in a highly competitive industry. I was going to succceeeeeed in life! But once rattled, I looked around and saw not a single woman in my industry whose home life I truly admired. So I began to mentally prepare myself for my eventual departure from the working world, and I started to think of "success" in a very different way.
Now I'm 32, 8 1/2 months pregnant and getting ready to make the move - literally and metaphorically. We can't afford to stay where we are without my salary, so my husband is busily packing up the house and we're moving to my home state which is more affordable and closer to my parents. The plan is for him to find work there. Yes, money will be tight (even if he finds a good job we'll be living on 1/4 of what we're used to), yes it's scary "in this economy," yes I've already given up highlights and traded a new car for an older one, but I am so excited. My staying at home is something we discussed on our second date. It's a deal we made before we married, and we are sticking to it. To those who say they would be SAHMs if they could afford it, I say where there's a will there's a way. Will we have, we just need a little luck and I have faith it will all work out.
I'm sure some of my "successful" friends think I'm nuts for giving up the career I've spent 10 years building, but I see it as the next big adventure! As for my coworkers, they all just assume I'll be coming back. They seem to think the $1800 a month company run day care is a gift from God. I want to tell them - I wouldn't trust a temp to replace me at the office for 2 weeks, let alone take over the most important position I'll ever have! It baffles me.
I am so grateful, Dr. Laura, I picked a husband who is willing to take this leap with me, and to you for being a strong voice in my head these past 8 years. For the record, my own mom - who is not the stereotypical '50s housewife, who taught me to be independent and strong - is THRILLED with my decision.
Thank you again for defending us on a daily basis, and please wish us luck!