The decision to have children is a big one, but one millennial says she definitely wants to be a mom — and she’s not sure she wants to have a career because of it.
In a new essay for LoveWhatMatters.com, Emmie Pombo says that she doesn’t know what she wants to do for work because “nothing appeals to me more than raising a family and being a good wife.” Pombo says that she’s “toyed around” with the idea of pursuing different career paths but after “getting a taste” of different fields, she realized that she has “no clue what I want to do with my life — except have children and raise a family.” She added, “honestly, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.”
“This decision of mine does not mean that I am not capable of holding a ‘standard’ job. I’m sure that if I wanted to, I could become an accountant. If I worked hard enough, I could be a nurse. I could do anything I put my mind to, but what I want that to be is a mother and a wife,” she continued.
Pombo finished on this note: “I can’t wait to be a mother because I’m not sure I want a job. The idea of working a 9-5 is not my cup of tea. There’s a saying that goes ‘Do what you love and love what you do.’ To me, that means chasing babies around while my floor is scattered in Candy Land pieces while PB&Js wait in the kitchen.”
Pombo’s essay is getting mixed reactions on social media. “Ugh millennials,” one person wrote. “I said the same, then my now ex-husband left me. So I had no job, and now had to take care of myself and a child,” another wrote. “Five years later I can FINALLY go to college and pursue my degree. Get an education before getting a husband.”
Others applauded her viewpoint and argued that being a mom is a full-time job. “So many jaded comments. Just let the girl have her dreams! This is no different than a girl wanting to pursue any other career,” one wrote.
People tend to have very strong opinions about this topic in general, but it’s ultimately about personal choice and taking responsibility for that choice, licensed clinical psychologist Ramani Durvasula, PhD, author of Should I Stay or Should I Go?, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “In the macro, everyone — women and men and all other genders, but particularly women — struggle with making choices that are authentic and not dictated by society,” she says. “Women get caught in a bind because they may want to be mothers, have careers, or pursue other interests, but our policies in the U.S. and in most institutions make this quite difficult.”
It’s also really hard for women to “have it all,” she points out, and often there is a sacrifice in one area of her life if she wants to have a glittering career, kids, and perfect home life. So, if some women or men simply want to have a family, that’s OK — they just need to be aware that there may be consequences and difficulty entering the work force down the road if their marriage doesn’t work out, someone dies, or there is a loss of income, she says. A partner who may be happy with a stay-at-home wife and mother may also have other more traditional views on a woman’s role in the house, and it’s important to be aware of that too, Durvasula says. Still, it’s a choice.
“This isn’t necessarily something that needs to be brought up on a first date, but it’s a topic that needs to be covered with a potential partner at some point,” Jocelyn Charnas, PhD, a clinical psychologist in private practice in Manhattan, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “It’s like anything else about a person’s values and expectations, and what they want from their lives,” she says. “It’s about knowing what you want and when you do find a potential partner to get to know them and allow them to get to know you at an appropriate pace.”
But, of course, it’s important to be comfortable with your own decision. “I would say to any woman, including this essay writer: Own your s***,” Durvasula says. “There is no shame in wanting to be a full-time wife and mother, but then own it and don’t be a missionary or a proselytizer because then you demean other people for their choices.” If this is your choice in life, she recommends making the choice and owning it — just know that you don’t have to defend it.
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