“Hmmm…” I utter.
I say to my daughter, “I wonder if he’s unemployed.”
Okay, I’ll admit it. I have this image of very smart
Women…we get an out. Why? Because we have babies.
After this brief, non-feminist—perhaps—thought process, I continue my conversation with Girl #2.
“The reason I wonder about his occupation is because all the kids in his family must be smart and he’s substituting.”
I begin to think about other very smart people and add, “Mrs. Smith was number one in her class at WestPoint, got a law degree, practiced, and now she’s a stay-at-home mom; been one for years. People thought she had wasted her education; some probably still think so.”
Girl #2 says, “So if you plan to become a mom, then do you say, ‘I’m not going to get an education.’ What if it doesn’t work out; that you don’t become a mom?”
“Good point,” I respond.
(Girl #2 was—maybe—thinking of women who want to be stay-at-home moms.)
_ _ _ _ _
I often hear kids ask things like, “Why do I need to know that X2 is the same as X times X? Who cares! When am I going to use that in my life?”
It’s a valid question that has a good explanation that I won’t try to give. However, how many of us majored in one thing and worked in the respective field a short time and then began to do something entirely different. Same thing with trade schools; learn it and then decide, “That’s not me.” A lot of businesses have quickly gone by the wayside, too.
So, have we “wasted” time and/or money when we change our minds about what we want to do? Do we take a seat in a classroom from someone else who will perform the skill indefinitely?
I’ve heard people ask questions and express opinions to others in a tone that suggest disapproval, like:
- All that education and you are still so fickle!
- When are you going back to practicing law?
- You have a nursing degree. Why aren’t you working as a nurse? There’s always a need for nurses.
- What are you going to do now that you have your doctorate degree?
- Are you going to be a career student?
And to young stay-at-home moms—the list is endless, but here’s a few.
- I thought you wanted to do more than to just have babies.
- You went to college but you have no intention of becoming a teacher?
- When are you going back to work?
- Why did you go to college?
_ _ _ _ _
This is another time of the year when I question the energy parents spend in trying to direct the future of their children. The last of the high school graduations just happened. The college graduations were last month. Another round of kids are catapulted onto the roads of their various destinations—places where Mom and Dad will give the thumbs up to and feel that all their child guiding energy was worth it; or, to places where Mom and Dad will wonder, “What happened?”
With a curious eye, I have studied the lives and occupations of many people, trying to match their college choices and education (or lack of) with their occupations and successes (or lack of). I have concluded that the gifted are not always doctors or do gifted-people-worthy jobs, and the so-called average people are not always blue collar or servers. And being a stay-at-home mom (or stay-at-home dad) is not determined by how much education you have.
My oldest daughter, Girl #1, will be a senior in the fall. My friends have already warned me about the overwhelming college preparation process and because they know what they are talking about, my husband and I are going down a few avenues to get help and advice. It’s not easy when it’s your own kid.
This post is a sort of part II to my post titled, “What DoYou Want to Be When You Grow Up?” written three years ago, where I divided parents into three categories: the “Go-Getters,” the “I Just Want My Kids to Be Happy”, and the “Sports families”. No Serena Williamses in my bunch, so I find myself split between the first two types of parents. Three years ago, I was amazed at the competitive nature of getting educated. Nowadays, I’m used to it.
Currently, Girl #1 has not chosen schools she’d like to apply to. It’s possible that the colleges most of the neighborhood kids attend are not high on her list. I am happy to report that I am not stressed, believing that it will come together.
I have a friend who is employed at a large corporation as a manager. She has a master’s degree and a lot of letters after her name. A graduate of a local university, she told me that she works in the office (or was it a cubicle?) next to the guy who received his degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Their different roads from higher education led them to the same place.
Are our recent grads benefiting more if they earned a degree from a top ranked university versus one ranked much lower?
Are you one of those rare people who is doing something that relates to your college degree or field of training?