I was driving the blond twin and Erin home from track camp when Erin started talking about her Mom's career change. She explained that her Mom was studying math for hours on end. She paused before saying that her Mom wished that she hadn't quit working when Erin and her sister were born. Or at least she wished that she had gone back to work sooner.
We were talking about how hard it is to have just one income these days. Whether or not one person has a good income, jobs are not as stable as they once were. People end up changing jobs for reasons that have nothing to do with their job performance.
We talked about how important it was for the girls to think about what they wanted to do since they needed to plan to work for their whole lives. I said that they might take time off when they have a baby, but they should plan to go back to work.
The blond twin said, "Why can't the men stay home?"
I smiled and said, "You are right. The men can stay home too. There's no rule that says the woman has to stay home." We then talked about a friend whose Father stays home with her while her Mom worked. Both her parents worked when she was little and then her Father was downsized out of his job. They made a family decision that he would stay home for a while. Now that their friend is a little older, Dad has gone back to work. He was talking about going back to school to change his career.
The girls talked about all the things they wanted to do with their careers. They talked about how they would stay home with their babies for a while and their husbands could stay home for a while. It was so enlightening to realize that they live in a world where their futures are limited only by their imaginations. I'm not naive about anything. I know it's not as easy as just deciding and making it happen. There will always be obstacles in any plan. The first step, though, is to believe it can happen.