I was reading a parenting book a few weeks ago and there was an interesting statement in there that stuck with me. It said that lots of moms work at least partially so that they have a form of “divorce insurance.” It isn’t a new concept; The Seattle Times explored that same idea a bit, too, back in 1997. I’d never thought of it that way, but I get it.
In some ways, even though I’m passionate about what I do and I’ve always wanted a career, sometimes I think I would like to take a few years of time off to raise children without additional obligations, returning to work only after all of them were in school. Yet I’m unwilling to give up my job, “just in case.” I fear the unknown, being vulnerable, not being able to be there for my daughter in all ways, including financially if necessary.
It’s not an issue because we need my income and I couldn’t quit working if I wanted to, but I also wonder how many women actually do think that way and would walk away from their careers, at least temporarily, if they didn’t feel they needed to have a backup plan in case the marriage didn’t work out. How many don’t have to work, but do it anyway because they’re afraid to stop?
What drives you to keep a job? Is it passion? Does it fulfill you and keep you sane? Or do you work out of fear? Fear that you’ll need the income, whether as a result of divorce or because your spouse could lose his job? Or were you able to step away from your job for awhile and make your lives work on one income and the faith that nothing would go awry?