Monday, February 8, 2010
I received this email from a reader, who subsequently gave me permission to post it here.
What a refreshing blog! I'm a single 25/F. I appreciate many of your strong opinions, even the ones to which most women would likely take offense - regarding the stay-at-home mom/beast-of-burden epidemic. It's discussed all too seldom and maybe it's even a little taboo:
I know a number of women who seem to have little guilt in putting the financial burden solely on their unassuming husbands/boyfriends to establish and maintain comfortable lifestyles. These women want a big wedding, children, and a house for those children all without putting in the time and effort to actually earn it. They leave that to their husbands.
I don't see a problem with a woman devoting her life to being a housewife (although I don't necessarily understand it either) so long as her husband can afford it (and wants to afford it) alone. However, the aspect that you touch on so nicely is what happens when the husband can't afford it and the wife refuses to make it any easier. Most of the 20-something men I know don't earn enough to support all the things that come with maintaining a comfortable lifestyle. For instance, to live comfortably on Long Island, a family should be pulling in close to six figures, and it's not fair to leave it all up to the man.
Before they receive their first post-college paychecks, these women want a house, an SUV, 2.5 kids, and the time to go back to school and pursue a graduate degree. Going back to school, as you said, is just a way for many to avoid getting a real job, although it is often disguised as a means to a better end. What it usually turns into is a bitter end, as college loans pile up on top of costly preschool tuitions.
It is unfortunate that so many women can manipulate this sort of existence from their men. I really feel that, despite what Oprah says, being a stay-at-home mom is not quite the same level of "hard" that's required to keep a decent paying job.
Long Island, NY