My Husband Won't Let Me Go Back to Work

My Husband Won't Let Me Go Back to Work

Our argument, which we were able to work out (seems neither of us were half as passionate about it this morning), seems to have brought up a larger question. If two skydivers meet and fall in love, does one of the skydivers change his or her career once a child is born? If two cops meet in Police Academy, and they have children, does one take a desk job? If a couple meet in the military, does only one reenlist?

What’s truly best for a family, anyway? My husband seems to think there must exist one "anchor," someone who doesn’t work rotating shifts, in the middle of the night, with individuals of ill-repute. There must exist a person available to wipe the noses and kiss the boo-boos. There must exist a constant parental presence. There must exist an individual who stocks the fridge. And, right now, that person is me.

Does it matter who makes more money or who has more passion? Is it better to have a constant presence or someone to model responsible citizenship and demonstrate the true capabilities of a woman? Is it possible to do both?

Part of me knows that I’m right, and the rest of me knows that he is, too. Would our children do better or worse if we were both frazzled in high-stress, potentially dangerous careers? Would we do better or worse as a family with three kids in day care or preschool? Is my restless nature and unquenchable thirst to create positive change in this world an asset or a hindrance to our family?

Maybe it’s both. Maybe my children’s needs are greater than my own. Maybe now’s not the time to take action. The issue will, for sure, require further examination.

But the question remains: Is it ever a wise choice to leave one’s career in favor of family due to the nature of the job? And does it matter who leaves?


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