The other day I was sitting with Aniston after breakfast and she was talking about whatever came to her mind at that moment. Suddenly, she stops and says, "I want my own baby, with my own house, and a daddy (husband)..." I responded, "oh, that's nice, Aniston. Do you want to work too?" She said "no. My husband will work like daddy does. I'm going to take care of my babies like you do." My first response was to question her choice and I felt instant guilt because of it. Why was my first instinct to feel as though her choice to raise a family was not enough in and of itself? Well, here's why: I want her to have a back-up plan if something were to go wrong in her marriage (death of a spouse, spouse becomes unable to work, unexpected divorce or separation, etc.). I don't want her to feel trapped and dependant upon her husband should she need to support herself or, God forbid: leave the marriage.
Before I became a mom, I obtained an undergraduate and graduate degree. I worked in my career field for a few years, before my husband and I decided that we would start our family and I that I would stay at home to raise our baby. I knew that I had my degree to fall back on should I need to return to work. I kept my "foot in the door" so to speak, by occasionally working contract and part-time positions related to my degree field while we raised our children. In addition, I have skills that I can use to generate income should I need to do so on short notice. When we entered a rough season in our marriage and I had to start considering my options long-term, I knew that I could work outside of the home if I absolutely needed to. See, here's the thing: there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a SAHM. I have been one for almost 8 years. But I have seen the tragic outcomes of women who have no plan B and nothing else to fall back on when they need or want to support themselves.
I don't wish divorce, separation or an abusive marriage on either of my daughters, but I can't predict the future and I cannot control who she chooses to marry. I can only prepare her for the most successful future possible by giving her all of her options. If she chooses not to go to college, I will support that. But I will also encourage her to obtain a trade or marketable skill that she can use to generate income should she need to.
The bottom line is this: I am proud that my daughter sees me and what I do as valuable. I am honored that she wants to emulate me. But I also want her to be like the Proverbs 31 woman who not only raises her children and tends to her family with great care and attention, but she also adds even more value to her family by having multiple streams of income, independent of her husband. There were not always seasons in my life where I was able to work from home or do contract work. I needed to focus on my home and raising my babies. Then there were other seasons where I felt the urge to put my ideas on display in order to generate revenue and so I did.
So, raise your family, baby girl and do it proudly. But also have a parachute on you at all times just in case you need to jump.