One of my favorite twitter feeds is GSElevator. It’s stuff people overhear in the Goldman Sachs elevator, and most of it features bad behavior that confirms it was better for me to marry a farmer than the bankers I dated before him. But sometimes there is a gem like this one:  “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence because it’s fertilized with bullshit.”

That is how I feel about women watching other women run their lives.

I am constantly wondering about other peoples’ lives. I’m fascinated by how we don’t tell each other what sucks about our life. We don’t tell our partners why we hate ourselves. We don’t tell our friends why our marriage or our job sucks.

Mostly, I have to get this information from the National Enquirer, which is one of the only places that people are honest about their lives. Not out of choice, of course. But because the honesty is worth so much money. It’s not worth money to anyone if you tell the truth. It’s worth a lot to you, of course—it’s very freeing to be honest about everything. Believe me, the criticism I got for staying with my husband after he bruised me in a fight was a small price to pay for coming clean about our problems at the time.

So here are some things I know: Giselle says she earns millions of dollars a year (posing for photos like the one up top to promote breastfeeding) but she doesn’t spend any of her earnings on her household. Instead, her husband,Tom Brady, pays for everything because Giselle wants to feel taken care of.

I get it. And I like that she admits that. Most women want to be taken care of. It’s just not possible. I want to be taken care of. Sure, I’d still do this blog and I’d still do interesting things. But I’d like having money pouring in from a source that is not me. It’s the ultimate career luxury, right?

Here’s another thing I read in the Enquirer: Jennifer Lawrence said she is getting ready to stop doing movies so she can have kids. She said she’s much more interested in having a family than a career. This is, of course, a luxury she can have because she had a career early. She’s 23 years old and she already won an Oscar.

And she’s not an aberration in Hollywood. Mila Kunis said she’d rather have a great marriage and a couple of kids than make a movie. I love how she poses it as a dichotomy. Because she’s just being honest: You can’t have a great marriage and be a great parent and have a huge career.

You know that. It’s just very few people will come out and say that to you.

Some people will tell you that such an admission is a throwback to the 1950s and it’s discouraging. That’s true.

Except for one thing: divorce law protects women today. In the 1950s, if you allowed a guy to take care of you, if you put your career aside for kids, then there was no protection for you. So women went nuts – fighting for rights, fighting for jobs, fighting for an equal right to a piece of the pie. But now women are guaranteed money to raise the kids, whether the guy stays or not.

So now that we have laws that protect kids, why do we need to choose a job over family? We can get a divorce settlement that ensures we have money. Okay, so it’s not a ton of money, but if you didn’t want to work when you were married, you probably don’t want to work when you’re single with kids, and divorce law ensures that you can pay for your kids while you’re single. (And now, for the best link ever on this topic:  YungSnuggie’s comment about women being assured money for raising the kids. Scroll down the page – his comment is yellow.)

I know, there are exceptions. But most women want to cut back work to be home with kids. And most women want to put family before career. But very few women are brave enough to say that out loud.

Maybe the biggest problem in this scenario is that while cutting back work to spend time with kids presupposes you have a career you like. Which is pretty hard to pull together by your late 20s, when it’s time to start having kids. The pressure on women to have a big career before kids is extreme and something men do not experience. Most women want to have kids when they are 30, most women want to have a career when they are 30, and if they don’t have a career, they don’t have one to cut back on.

Which means there are a lot of women who simply don’t want to work. They have either proven themselves at work, or they didn’t find work they love. In either case, work is not important enough pull to them to leave the kids in daycare.

Let’s stop taking pot shots at women who don’t want to work. Let’s start respecting people who get an advanced degree and then don’t use it.

Do we ask people to commit to staying home eight hours a day with kids to justify having a family? Then why do we want people to work eight hours outside the home in order to justify getting a good education?

What I would like is for all the women to come out of the woodwork and start speaking like they are in the National Enquirer. I want the women who are breadwinners to confess if they wish they weren’t. Because every anonymous study in the world shows the vast majority  don’t want to be breadwinners.

And I want the women who love being breadwinners to tell everyone some statistics:

Number of nannies.

Total cost per year for childcare.

Number of dinners per week with the kids.

Number of children’s books you have memorized from reading aloud to kids so often.

So I will lead the way. When I had a startup and two young kids in 2009 I had two full-time nannies that cost a total of $110K a year. Anyone needs that if they have a job where they travel and they have a spouse who does not want to be at their beck and call.

I ate four times a week with my kids.

I memorized about 50 children’s books. Which you might think shows that I was snuggled on the sofa reading with my kids all the time, but it really shows how easy it is to give misleading statistics.

240 replies
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  1. Maureen
    Maureen says:

    I don’t feel like respecting people that hasn’t done anything with their life but make excuses; especially having their kids an excuse to not work and then complaining later when their hubby (or wifey) cheats on them, that they had to sacrifice everything to raise a family, including their careers. To me, that is bull. You can be successful working mother or father, I have seen it, the only excuse is that you don’t want to lose any sleep.
    Having actresses as an example for this particular article is just thoughtless, because they’ve already had careers and made a fortune out of it; this article is for women who doesn’t want to work, period; and then using their kids as an excuse. It’s no different with men too. The reason why they don’t want their wives working is because why should they have to cook and clean or take care of the kids when someone else can do that for them? Men who doesn’t want their wives to work are just as lazy, maybe even more.

  2. Natalie Larmour
    Natalie Larmour says:

    This is a very interesting article – I think a lot of people are quick to judge celebrities who quit their careers to have children but also hire professional help. It’s definitely a difficult decision to choose between a career and a family, or indeed attempt to manage both simultaneously, but in the end it all boils down to the needs and abilities of the individual. Hiring a nanny whilst continuing your individual career goals certainly appeals to a lot of women because it often keeps more options open for the future than alternative family vs. job situations.

  3. Em
    Em says:

    I am a “stay at home” wife (no kids yet). What do I do all day? I enable my husband to make more money than we ever would combined by managing all the things he can’t make time for. I am his assistant, but I don’t fill out a W-2 and I don’t get a proper pay stub. He will be an extremely high earner because of my effort to help him get there. It’s funny how black and white people can be with work… like if you don’t clock in from 9-5 each day you must be doing absolutely nothing.

  4. Scotie
    Scotie says:

    I can confirm most women do not want to stay home and take care of children. If you do that’s fine but don’t spread rumors that all women care about is domestic life.

  5. Melissa
    Melissa says:

    I’m a single 30 yo who WORKS at a school, between the hours of 9-3.

    I was getting a bit bored and thinking of a change. I’m thinking now to just hang onto a little longer until I find Mr Right- my work hours are awesome if I want to have ids and then go back to work.

    Thanks for the insight !

  6. Tushita
    Tushita says:

    When I got married, I didn’t really want to work.. it sounded so much nicer to be home, do up the house, shop…live a good life. I got bored soon enough and took up a job. Working gave me freedom, exposure, money and a lot more. And I am sure I love my kids more and vice versa because I am not with them 24 x 7. I am now the primary breadwinner at home – without a choice- my husband was an abusive jerk and we got divorced.

    But, if you ask me- would I prefer not to work? Of course I would – not to spend more time with the kids- but to spend more time with myself. As I rush from office to home to be with them and home to work to be able to afford all I want for them…..I miss living a little bit -for myself!!!

  7. Ryan
    Ryan says:

    Interesting post, however I feel that the pressure to have a career by 30, is being instilled by feminist equality activists. Yes, women do have the right to work, yes, they can perform just as well as men, yet, when you have two managers and no employees, someone still has to clean the toilets. Men can humble themselves and do it, women can meet stereotypical placement in the family and do it, the perception of who does it changes why we do it, women don’t want that stereotype over their head, and men don’t want to set aside their pride, yet regardless, the toilet still needs to be scrubbed. Women do fear putting careers on the back burner, which they should, our society has come to place responsibility on others, rather than take action ourselves. Someone should run for office and make a change, someone should tell that father to raise his kids, someone should tell that man to be responsible. Maybe, just maybe, we should be telling ourselves these things, and then listen to ourselves. We aren’t dumb, we just care about society looking in at us so much and judging based off unrealistic standards. I would marry a farmer too, he could care less what society thinks, and he knows how to give a crap, he has plenty around for fertilizer :P

  8. Brett
    Brett says:

    I think you people are pathetic and lazy. I’m a single father with a high demand job and I still have time to come home, make dinner and teach my son technology that you or your children will never understand. None of my lifestyle requires a silver spoon either, it just requires something that many of you don’t have: drive, passion and motivation.

  9. Neha
    Neha says:

    I really want to leave my Job and take care of my kids but what if, I lose my husband in some accident. Who will take care of my kids and pay the bills? Life Insurance cant run your family forever and pay for your child’s higher education. It is this constant fear because of which I work. Tell me what should people like me do, who have this insecurity which is very much reasonable.

  10. Suzanne Felton
    Suzanne Felton says:

    What about those of us over 50 with grandkids AND an aging parent? I was laid off from my job 4 years ago, was taking care of my elderly mother and spending lots of time with the grandkids. But I thought I was missing doing something for ME. Now that I got what I thought was a perfect part time job for me, I have become overwhelmed mentally and physically. My Mother’s health is getting worse and I’ve missed a party or two with the grandkids. BUT I have money to get a house keeper!!!! Unhappy and don’t know which way to go!! Btw. Pushed my college degree for many years so it hadn’t been wasted.

  11. Rai
    Rai says:

    I really enjoyed reading this and I respect that you wrote it.

    I’m an independent woman who dreams of a career, and has worked all of her life to grow one. However, to be honest… I hate working. I HATE it.

    I hate that my life must revolve around making someone else money. I hate that I have to risk my life in a car when it’s snowing out, for no ‘logical’ reason than to show up for a job that I could, technically, do at home and stay safe. I hate that most employers expect you to not have a life. That the 40-hour a week job you were hired for, is actually 50-60 hours a week because if you leave at the agreed upon time (lets say 5pm), you are looked down on.

    I love staying at home. I take care of three children (my nieces and nephew, but parents are neglectful and will not watch their children) and I love it. I love being constantly busy, not having time for myself, running to and fro, constantly having the kids demand my attention, etc. etc. Why? …Because it MEANS something.

    After my company closed down a month ago, I’ve been looking for work, while taking care of the kids. To be honest, I am more busy NOW than when I had a ‘job’. And yet I can’t think of anything better to do with my time. Applying for jobs and interviewing for a career fails in comparison.

    If I was able, I would become a full-time wife and mother. However, that would require finding someone to share my life with as a companion. And, unfortunately, I have issues being ‘dependent’ on people. This makes what I truly want to do in life very hard, because I’d never be able to fully feel happy by being dependent on a husband. In fact, I would hate it.

    So, my only choice is to make so much money in the next ten years that I can retire early and start a family, all of my own, by adoption and live my dream!! (I’m pretty sure we all know that’s not going to happen… but it is what it is). :)

  12. Tom leykis fan
    Tom leykis fan says:

    Men have to pick up the slack when their women decide to stop working. This is a no win situation for men. I suggest men don’t get married and if they really want kids to do what the gays do, hire a surrogate. Who wants to end up dealing with a wife with a bunch of stretch marks who won’t work anyways? Forget that!

  13. Thi
    Thi says:

    I just realized– Jennifer Lawrence was only able to have a career early because she skipped college.

  14. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    I have a B.A. and a J.D., and I refuse to work after marriage. I would much rather my “job” be taking care of the home and any children.

    • Linda Ardizzone
      Linda Ardizzone says:

      And what about your husband? Does he have the same opportunity to NOT WORK? Or is it just women who should have that option? Men and women need to be equal partners which means they both work, they both rear the children and they both do domestic chores. Otherwise it is simply not fair. Women today really make me sick. Women of my generation worked so hard so that women today could have the opportunity to be financially independent and women of your generation just want to throw that away and live off of your husbands. How pathetic.

  15. Melody
    Melody says:

    Personally, I didn’t choose to stay home because I wanted to be taken care of. I stay home because I found out, decades ago, that I was a highly competent student but a somewhat incompetent employee; what’s more, I didn’t enjoy the company of even nice people or the discipline of routine. Nor did I feel I was doing anyone, least of all myself, any particular good by working. Had I been a man, I suppose I would have slogged on. But as a woman I could assume the guise of full-time motherhood and more or less get away with that. As a result I live the only life I could ever really imagine for myself: a quiet life at home reading fascinating books.

  16. Springfield
    Springfield says:

    I’m a man, so ‘my apologies’ for giving my input. I’m 21, and the reason I divorced my wife is because she felt she was entitled to be a ‘stay at home housewife’. Well excuse me, that’s not how it works. This isn’t the 1950s, I’m no breadwinner, you work and pay your share of the rent or get out, wife or not.

    • Linda Ardizzone
      Linda Ardizzone says:

      Good for you. I agree whole hardheartedly. I am 60 and women of my generation worked so hard for women to have opportunities to be real partners not just barbie dolls who stayed home all day eating bon bons and watching soap operas. The attitude of young women today disgusts and appalls me. Best of luck in your search to find a REAL partner in life. Just make sure that you are a real partner as well by sharing the domestic duties that come along with cohabitation. If she works, cleans and raises the kids then you must too.

  17. Kevin
    Kevin says:

    Just stop breeding for heaven’s sake. If you want equality, take it with both hands – and either get tubes tied or a partner who has had a vascectomy. QED.

  18. M
    M says:

    Excellent post. Good God if you knew how fed up I am of the pathetic farce, the nauseating shuffling yourself upwards to a place where a new usually smelly old guy – your new employer – starts condescendingly ‘showing you the strings’ of your new job. By definition you loathe it, and only got it to display outwardly all that you haven’t achieved inwardly.

    9 to 5s are pure slavery. You’re selling your time, the time you’ll never get again, to yet another disgusting pointless company.

    And try to do anything that is worth doing and there are about 2, 250,000 people who want exactly the same as you. So you get the same sort of treatment in the good jobs as you would in the bad. The employer’s mindset is ‘either you put up with this terrible set up, or someone else will’. And while you re sitting at your desk, the endless line of hopefuls are waiting for your nerves to give in.

    • Linda Ardizzone
      Linda Ardizzone says:

      Can’t say that you are wrong about the corporate crap that goes on but is it fair to subject your partner/husband to it when you won’t do it yourself? That is my biggest problem with your logic. You don’t mind subjecting your husband to the corporate grind as long as you don’t have to do it yourself. How selfish is that? What kind of partner does that make you? Good God.

  19. Linda Ardizzone
    Linda Ardizzone says:

    Wow, all of this “I don’t want to work and I am proud of it” bullshit makes my generation regret fighting for all the rights that women enjoy today. If we had known that they would all be so ungrateful for the opportunity to be “independent” rather than “dependent” we would not have wasted so much time paving the way for future generations. We thought we were doing a great thing for women. Turns out it was a total waste of time as younger generations don’t appreciate it at all. How sad.

  20. Cheryl Knepper
    Cheryl Knepper says:

    I didn’t even need to read the article to respond. The wife’s income is more important than the husband’s. Men have more physical power than women by nature. Women should have even less by being financially dependent on men???

  21. Elissa
    Elissa says:

    Thank you for this article. This is fabulous. I have always wanted to be taken care of by a man. I have worked full-time for 34 years and absolutely hate being the breadwinner. The men who “want to be taken care of financially” are not men but cowards. What makes a man a man is his “willingness to step out in the face of risk to take responsibility for his wife and his children”. What makes a woman a woman is her ability to stand tall in our essence of vulnerability. Men and women were created differently. Let’s embrace and proclaim it!

    • Elissa
      Elissa says:

      Allowing ourselves to be cared for by a man is a strength on the part of a woman. It is not a matter of “dependence”. If a woman cannot depend or rely on a man she is better off being alone. We eat with them, buy homes with them, sleep with them, go to football games with them, have their children…..but we aren’t supposed to “depend” and “rely” on them? This is what’s wrong with today’s outlook. Get with it ladies! Keep your legs closed till you know for sure you can count on your man!

  22. Linda Ardizzone
    Linda Ardizzone says:

    After viewing some of these comments I have to ask: How far back would you ladies like to go, do you still want to be able to vote? Being dependent is very foolish. With the divorce rate in the country hovering at 50% it is way too risky to not be able to pay your own way through life. After all few, if any, men are willing to pay the bills of a woman they no longer love. Plus I am not sure where this entitlement attitude is coming from. No offense ladies but this attitude is so very backward. I fear for your futures.

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