*Sylvia, from San Francisco, graduated a few months ago from Stanford. Recently, she quit her job and has been staying home with her 16 month old daughter. She and her husband decided that she would stay home until the little girl turns three. Since staying home with her baby, the thought of having to leave her baby is making her “incredibly sad.” Now that her daughter is almost two years old, she was thinking of possibly having another child. They would be back to back, so she would be able to spend the most amount of time with her children. However, her husband is nervous because by having another child, she would be delayed from going back to the work force. She feels in her heart that she wants to raise her babies. If they scale down their lives, they would not have a need for more money; but every time she brings it up in a most loving way, her husband’s argument is always money. “Why did you go to school to get a degree if you’re not going to use it?” She said she’s feeling a lot of physical anxiety over this. She wants to know if wanting to stay home and raise her babies is being “unreasonable,” as her husband says.
I need to take a deep breath here and measure my words, when in reality I want to SHOUT, “Why do women marry guys like this?” I don’t understand that. The question I have is, why would a woman be with the kind of guy who is just counting the moments until his woman brings in more money; leaving the kids somewhat neglected?” What kind of a man does that, and what kind of a woman would crumble under that? *biting my tongue*
Sylvia, my way of looking at this is that you need to remind him that he’s not only a man but he is THE MAN; and he’s your man and your expectation is that he’s going to slay dragons to take care of his family. He’s not going to sit there and count the seconds until you can bring in more money so he can have more vacations or what have you. You have to have the strength to turn that boy into a man. Their fathers do the first part of taking boys and turning them into men. Then it’s the wife’s turn to do the second part by holding high expectations.
Why did you get your education? To be educated; to be able to vote properly; to be able to have conversations; to teach children … The critical thinking and reasoning skills (just to name a few) you learn in college will stay with you for a lifetime. There are a lot of reasons a person gets educated, it isn’t just to bring in money. If a woman is educated and she CHOOSES to go to work instead of being a mother full time, it’s her choice; but if she chooses to stay home and raise her babies, she should be able to, especially when she knows she can work around the money issue.
I have no idea what kind of woman raised him, but I do understand the kind of environment he’s around in San Francisco, and it’s not pretty. Many men in this town are used to getting a free ride from the women they go out with on their first date and even while the courtship is going on, they expect the woman to pay her half. Then when they see a woman with great potential to earn, their eyes grow bigger. I know. I have seen it with my own eyes. You need to INFORM him LOVINGLY that you will not be returning to work; that you will raise your own babies; that you will want to have influence over your babies. Do not crumble when he starts whining.
Understand that he has no sense of his own worth and value as a provider. You have to help him regain what men used to have; PRIDE in being the provider and the protector.