Yesterday, Ann Romney was attacked by the left wing for being a stay at home mom. I think this is crazy. Over the years, I have witnessed left wing working mom’s smugness. My wife is a stay at home mom. Some people think that we live in the dark ages.
However, for us it was a conscious choice. We had long conversations about it. Our first child was born in 1991. At the time, my wife was a salesperson with Ortho Phara. Prior to that job, she worked at Advanced Care Products where she was one of the top salespeople in the nation.
I met her in business school at the University of Illinois. She can net present value with the best of them. We were both marketing majors. Ironically, in the new age of apps and technology, one of the most crucial things is how you market your products. Engineering and marketing skill are two of the most important things to success-especially when it comes to using social media.
Couples that make the choice to have a spouse stay home don’t enter into it lightly. Generally, it falls on the female to do it, but more and more males are starting to stay at home too. The transition taking place in our society from a corporate 9-5 job to a gig economy also allows flexible working schedules where one parent may stay home.
In my case, there was a definite opportunity cost to my wife staying home. We went from dual income (on her benefits) to a one income entrepreneur household. It was then we realized the crushing burdens the government puts on sole proprietors and entrepreneurs running their own business.
But paying that cost hopefully has benefitted my kids. My kids weren’t raised by a nanny. They didn’t go to daycare. They were raised by a person that had a business degree from one of the top business schools in the country. Undoubtably, that affects them.
I have noticed that city people come from two career families. Each spouse has a stimulating career outside the home. Most of the one career families I see live in the suburbs. I don’t look askance at anyone that makes the choices they did. Having a one career household worked for us. It might not work for other people based on what they want to do with their lives.
Ironically, because women decide to make these choices, it tends to affect their pay. Marianne Bertrand from the University of Chicago studied pay between women and men. She found that women get lower pay because they tend to self select into jobs that allow them to have more time with their families. They also will drop out of the work force and drop back in when the kids go to school. That is the dominant explanation for pay difference.
I think it’s really stupid to attack women that make the choice to stay home with their kids. They have chosen to undertake an incredible responsibility, raising the next generation of people that will move our country, and our society forward.
That might be a heckuva lot more important and fulfilling than winning that next case, designing that next marketing plan, or any other money making activity that people choose to make.