I am not one to keep things to myself when I don’t have to. Now I am discrete and do not repeat others secrets but I definitely like to share. Once we decided to take the leap and go to India I didn’t hesitate in telling everyone. I would normally start by saying, we are moving to India this summer. After the initial shock, almost every single person (excluding family and co-workers) would ask “is this for your husband’s job?” This infuriated me internally. Why would people assume we are moving because of my husband’s job, I work too! Generally people default into assuming a wife’s job is just a second income and not really a career. In our family, we are equal partners and strategically made a decision for the family that India a GREAT opportunity for everyone. After I while I just said my husband is retiring because this avoided the second question was of what will he do?
Thinking about how people respond – neighbors, teachers, store clerks, doctors etc…- has prompted me to think about how we let others responses shape our view of ourselves. If someone cannot imagine how Doug could give up his career for this adventure; that is really their inability to envision themselves in this situation verses something wrong with Doug’s decision. And likewise as a working mother, I have always heard “I could never work and have someone else raise my children.” Well maybe for me, they received better care from someone else. And I am OK with saying that because I think the kids have turned out great. I think it took me 10 years to get over that dilemma of working or staying home and now, I am pretty glad I kept working and earned this chance to work in India.
Just remember, a happy mom means a happy family. Whatever formula it takes you to get there.