The New York Times wrote a wonderful piece today on women who go back to work after opting out for raising their children.
It reminded me of one of my aunts, who decided to opt out when she was pregnant with her second child.
At the time, my uncle’s business was flourishing. So, he earned enough to cover the lack of salary coming from my aunt.
But her decision to come back to work four years after deciding to stop wasn’t related to a change of economics in her couple.
Around her, she was the only woman who chose to stop working. And so, her friends and her sister-in-law, who were still working, relied a lot on her to take care of their children. Plus, at the time, her mother-in-law became ill. As a nurse, she became more and more solicited to help her.
Once, the phone rang at my house. It was her. I remember my mom trying to calm her down and telling her to come back to work. My mom also told her she would have a good excuse to avoid being used by her family-in-law and her friends who were working.
So, my aunt went back to work. Thankfully for her, she didn’t have too many difficulty getting back to her old job. She even found a better place in her hospital. And since then, she never called back my mother with issues like that.
She also made the right decision years before my uncle’s business was severely wounded by the subprime crisis. His activity, in the housing market, stopped suddenly in 2005 already. So, they relied for a while on my aunt’s salary. Until his activity started back again in 2009.
Also, my aunt gained back her financial autonomy. She went to visit our family several times with my young cousin, without her husband who was busy working. Hadn’t she worked, she wouldn’t have been able to do so.
So, at a very young age, I was taught to be financially independent. Because of her experience.
Today, I see still some women choosing to opt out like that. One of my coworkers’s wife has chosen to stay at home while he provides the financial aid for the whole family. She calls him at least ten times a day during work and he’s sometimes moody because of that. Plus, he’s cumulating several publications to earn more money as they would welcome soon their second child. I wonder how she feels.
And I can’t help thinking relying on your man’s salary is risky, especially if you divorce.
Would you stop working to raise your child?