Mothers Don't Let Your Daughters Grow Up to Be Deadbeats
Over the last few days I've seen my Facebook feed lit up with posts written by some of my favorite bloggers about Hillary Rosen's recent exchange with Ann Romney - wife of presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The debate between working and stay at home moms has once again reared its ugly head, but at the heart of it, the key factor in this argument should be about money.
If you have enough money to stay home with your kids and can still devote time to causes you believe in, then more power to you. But if you are relying on your spouse to bring in the lion share of income to your family and then one day, he walks into your home, tells you he's tired of the life he's leading and leaves you, I hope for the sake of those stay at home moms, that you have a bank account that will support you once your gravy train is gone.
I know way too many women who have chosen the early retirement route over working and building a nest egg along with their spouse, only to find that as their kids get older, their marriage is on the rocks and the only thing preventing them from starting over is the fact that they can't afford to get out of it. For elite multi millionaire moms like Ann Romney, she has had the luxury of never having to work. However, while she hasn't toiled away in an office to pay her electric bill, she has devoted her time to important causes like Operation Kids which supports several organizations that help children and families in need. She also has raised five children while battling multiple sclerosis and enduring a brush with cancer. Despite not ever having worked, Ann Romney has devoted her time to those in need while battling diseases that have affected millions of Americans. Something tells me she may be more relatable than we think.
I remember reading a book by Bill Gates Sr. called Showing Up For Life and what I found most interesting was while Bill Gates' mom never worked, she was involved in some of the most important and relevant humanitarian causes of our time - and she's the one responsible for helping Bill get his first job! And throughout his own life, Bill and his wife Melinda Gates have given back to communities in need. If you are part of that elite 1 percent and can help those less fortunate than yourself, then kudos to you for paying it forward.
However, there is a contingent of women (and I know them all too well) who don't work, go to the gym, lunch and shop to their hearts content without having any concept of money. These are the mothers who have me worried. Instead of encouraging their daughters to pursue careers so they can achieve financial independence, these moms spend their days shopping with their girlfriends, they buy their nine year olds iPhones and regularly take their daughters to the mall to buy yet another pair of skinny skinny Abercrombie jeans. These are the women I'd like to be at war with.
A word of advice to the moms with no concept of money - please don't let your daughters grow up to be deadbeats. We encourage our daughters to do what they love and many of us, myself included indulge several of their whims and wishes. What we don't teach them about is the importance of financial security and giving back to those in need. Getting a job means you have the means to do what you want on your terms. Having a career and doing what you love means you can be fulfilled in life and share that experience with your family. Don't get me wrong - if I had 100 million dollars, I would stay home too. Then again - no I wouldn't. I would travel, start a community theater group, write more and donate more time to important organizations that support children and families while teaching my own kids to help others while not taking life or money for granted.
So spare me the mommy wars controversy. What it really comes down to is that women have the power to be anything they want to become in life and they should be inspiring their own daughters to do the same. You can have a high powered career or be a stay at home mom who manages to build a multi million dollar business from your kitchen. Or you could be an incredible philanthropist - donating time and efforts to the PTA, your church, synagogue or a local charity. Or you can work while your kids are in school so that you have extra cash to pay for necessities or that bag you've had your eye on for months. The key in life is to find fulfillment while never giving up on your financial independence. Women were given the right to vote a very long time ago and I'm sure that Susan B. Anthony didn't fight the good fight only to have women semi-retire after they found a man who could take care of the family finances. It's time to come together as women, as mothers and as parents and be role models to our kids. Inspire them to succeed but don't indulge them to the point where they think that everything is coming to them. The American dream is built upon hard work and dedication. And it's time for women - whether they work or stay at home to get back in the game in a big way.
You and your money: