The Real Issue With Him Not Letting His Wife Quit Her Job

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

I know I haven't blogged lately, as life has been well... busy. What else can I say except that there are other priorities when mouths must be fed, brains must be engaged, jobs must be done, and families need to be loved on. Speaking of being busy as a working momma, I wanted to throw my two cents into the pot of opinions expressed by bloggers and mother's everywhere over a recent article that was posted by a New Jersey man in the NJ Press. You can read the article here.

Columnist: Why I won't let my wife quit her job

Editor's Note: Sean Dunbar, 32, is married with two children. He spent four years in the Marines and Navy Reserve. Here, he explains why he's against his wife being a stay-at-home mom. As I get older, more of
Women all over the country, including in my own community, are in all out "mommy wars" if you will over the tone of this article where a husband tries to explain, yes using words (strike one, men never say the right things), why he is not an advocate for his wife becoming a stay at home mom.  Mothers every where are particularly irked by the word "LET" that is only said two times in the entire article, one of which was in the title; Why I will not LET my wife quit her job. Lets just take a moment. Has anyone ever tried to think of a catchy title for a piece? As I writer I think he did a damn good job. That one word right there shot his article to the TOP of the trending charts around the country. Bravo fellow writer! Women everywhere read it, because they were bothered by it. 

He goes on to say things about the progression of his friends lives, as their wives start staying home with children and how the question as to why his wife still works is so annoying to him. He defends himself against being cheap or jealous, and continues on to praise his wife for all of her accomplishments as a young, educated, working mother. 

He touches on the fact they they often discussed other options, like selling crafts and such, but ultimately it wasn't a mutual feeling that those were the best options for their family. He talks of the joy she had from her career, a joy that he didn't see during other periods of time in their lives:

"The happiest times I have seen my wife (besides with the kids) is when she has achieved professionally. I don't want her to look back and say, "I could have done 'this' with my degree."
He continues on to comment on his daughter and her aspirations. He says he wants more for her. He claims he really doesn't want to pay for her schooling just to watch her graduate and have a man take care of her. Does that mean he wouldn't? No, but it's not what he sees for her future. He wants more than the social expectations for his wife and daughter. 

The comments on my local mommy's page about this article were almost hysterically funny! The number of women posting "I'm so OFFENDED by these words." was comical, and quite frankly proves almost everything this man is trying to say!! In reading through the comments, and the feedback, and the responsive articles from bloggers around the US, there is one interesting thing I can say I noticed. The MAJORITY of the "offended" women that were bothered the most about this article were in fact stay at home moms. Mom's who's lives consist of fighting for the SAHM. Living the life that he speaks out against. Wanting more for his daughter than to be the type of person who sits at home or a park or a play ground and gripes about how the whole world is out to get her and no one appreciates her or takes her seriously as she writes how OFFENDED she is about one random man in NJ's opinions. The other group of women (working mothers), tended to comment reflectively giving credit to stay at home moms, and expressing their opinions on how everyone needs to do what's best for them and not worry whats right or wrong. The more I thought about it, the more it became clear. Us working mother's are ALWAYS giving credit to SAHM. We KNOW we couldn't do it. We praise women for their desire to do it, and the fact that it is fulfilling and they do it every day with a smile. Rarely, if ever in fact, do I hear of SAHM's praising the working mother, and all she does. Which guess what, as working moms, we don't care! We are too busy to care or be OFFENDED by this. As women in the work force, we do not need the praise of our peers to encourage our decisions. Most women in the work place are praised and encouraged daily through the production at their job. We know we have contributed to the economy and society, and when we go home to continue working as a Mom at home, we don't question if what we did was noticed today. It was. By the money we made companies, the people we helped, lives we effected. 

That said, I am surrounded by SAHMS and I LOVE them. I was raised by one. My mother-in-law stays home. I have two incredible sisters-in-law that are SAHMs and they are AWESOME at it. Karrie is an amazingly creative mom, who makes things for her kids, bakes with love, and really "lets them be little". Lorinda is raising two very opinionated and strong willed kiddos who are going to be dynamites in the world some day, changing lives, but for now, what she does everyday to raise them is something I literally could never do! I'm so proud of the SAHMs I know. 

So what's the issue? The issue isn't the war between staying at home or working. The issue is that when people are sometimes unsure of their decisions, that's where the insecurity lies. That's when they become open targets for criticism. If everyone would stop caring so much about societies approval of our decision and start loving our own decisions, there wouldn't be debates over ridiculous subjects such as this. If everyone would stop being some DAMN OFFENDED every time someone said something they didn't like or said it in some way that came across wrong, then it wouldn't be so much fun to have any opinion on the subject at all and we could all mind our own business. 

Back to the man and his article, and more importantly his wife (who by the way everyone claims is basically a slave to her husband because he makes all the decisions and won't let her do what makes her happy), I say this, why are we all criticizing this man for having an opinion and wanting what he perceives is best for his WIFE? The real issue here, as I see it, is HER. 

To her I say this:


If my husband ever wrote an article with that title (well I would probably actually high five his creativity), but then I would chew his ass out until he wanted to pack a bag and change his title to Why I wouldn't Let My Ex Wife Quit Her Job Before She Kicked Me Out. If she is the bad ass he acts like she is then I guarantee you 1 of 2 things:

1. SHE is not as unhappy about the decision to work as people are making it sound like, or she would do something about it. She's clearly a women with drive, intelligence, and probably some power by this point in her career, and for her to sit back and "LET" her husband run the show without any agreement, doesn't sound probable.

2. If she IS that unhappy, then SHAME ON HER for not fighting for what she believes in.

 Bottom line? I love stay at home moms. They are great! They are the ones who bring the homemade cupcakes to the class parties, and set the incredibly high bar for summer activities for us working mommas. I also respect working mother's who bust their booties to be everything they can at home and outside of it. I respect husbands who want their wives to stay home, and they bare the burden of being the only source of income. I also respect the husband who hopes his wife will keep her job even after children, as he sees her equally as an asset inside the home and outside.  The problem with this article is not the man who wrote it. It's the interpretation of the women who read it. It's the cop out that the world is against us and that we are the victim. Learn to read an article like this and allow it to broaden your mind to the lives and opinions of others. Look at it as an opportunity to get a glimpse at what it might be like in someone elses shoes, and take it in. Educate yourself on the diversity of parenthood, and MOVE ON. Once we stop being a society that gets so easily offended by one another, I think we will find a lot more joy in the decisions that we all make to better the lives of us and our families. Isn't that the goal people??


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