I was thinking about this issue recently, and more so with the college poll...
I have two friends who spent 4+ years in college (and graduated)--I believe their parents paid for most of it, and the rest they took out loans.
Both graduated and worked for no more than 4 years...and then proceeded to have babies (with their husbands) and have not been in the work force for over 5 years (and probably won't return any time soon).
For some reason, this bothers me. They spent 4 years in college (and a lot of money!), to only work for a total of 4 years...and I don't think either will go back to work for a very, very long time (if ever). Just seems like a waste. On the other hand, I've been in the workforce for over 10 years since we graduated, with only a 6 month maternity leave. I definitely feel my college years have paid off.
I will admit that this might be some jealousy on my end (there are many days I wish I didn't have to continue to work).
What do you all think about this? Did they waste their parents' hard earned money? Or was it worth it since they met their future husbands while in college (and hopefully they feel more "well-rounded" even if they no longer have a career)?
I think it was worth it. For the experience if nothing else. And maybe once their kids are older, they'll get back in the workforce and use those degrees again.
I too wish that I didn't have to work and sometimes really kick myself for changing degrees in the middle so that it's taking me longer to get done with my schooling. However I do not regret going to college. My freshman year on campus was so much fun and I'm glad that I had the chance to experience college life. The rest of my schooling has been through a community college or online and that's just not the same.
Good points. I'm the first to admit when I get jealous...and I think knowing that they got a 5 year "break" when all I had was a 6 month break is probably what is bothering me most.
One of these girls just announced her 3rd pregnancy, which is what spurred this thought, I guess. I assume now she'll wait until child #3 goes to elementary school (so another 5 years) before she works again. That would be 10 years out! Lucky you-know-what, lol.
I think that the experience is all worth it. And the fact that they have something to fall back on if they needed it. I have friends who went to community colleges while living at home and they never got the experiences I had. College was an amazing experience and I am so glad I got to go through it. I am a SAHM now but I don't consider college a waste. I met the best friends I could ask for and the entire time there shaped who I am today. I understand the jealousy though, I'm sure it's hard to see that. Although I don't think I could handle 10 years of being a SAHM lol.
Not necessarily a waste. I have friends who went to college for the sole purpose of meeting someone, so they could get their MRS. degree. I don't judge them, if they did meet their future hubs, good on 'em.
I also think about the stuff that I learned in college outside of the academics. I learned about time management, perseverance (I still have nightmares about accounting and statistics lol), and I met all of my still close friends there.
None of my local friends where I live now work and most of them went to college (*cough* see above *cough*). There are days when they want me to go to play groups, out to lunch/brunch, shopping, and I have to remind them that even though I work at home, I am actually still working. Those are my jealous days.
You know I just had a conversation similar to this with my DH. We have a quite a few friends who went to college, married a guy from college, worked maybe 2-5 years and now are SAHMs. I'm speculating that their parents paid for college b/c most have NICE houses and multiple kids, so I don't know how they could pay student loans too. I'm definitely jealous b/c I only had 9 weeks maternity leave. So in a way I think they wasted their parents money but I also have to agree with the well-rounded/experience of living on their own aspect. I just hate that people (from my church) are suprised that I work full-time. HELLO! I have student loans and a mortgage to pay.
ad1978, I too have a college "friend" who just announce the pregnancy of her third child.
My take on this kind of from the experience that I had with an exboyfriend's family. They came here from another country. His Dad was an engineer that worked for Disney. When my ex was 5 his Dad feel off the roof of the Swan Hotel and died. His Mom was left with no education and barely speaking english to raise two kids. She fought and made it work but she fought hard. Even since I met her, I want to make sure that I am able to provide just incase something happened to my DH. I want to know that we will be fine if we lost him.
I don't really have a problem with people that get an education and then decide to be a SAHM. Who says they won't go back to work one day. We never know what the future will hold. I don't think what they are doing is a waste at all. The way I see it I went and got an education for 4 years. My DH on the other had didn't go to college and he wasted 4 years of his life doing this and that. As a parent I would rather my child walk away with something (the education) than to just waste 4 years and have nothing to show for it.
Me (30) DH (37) DS 10/20/08 New Baby Girl EDD 11/11
Thanks all...the whole thing got me thinking: we already have a big chunk of savings for LO's college. How will I feel if she spends our money on 4 (or 5!) years of college, and then hardly works at all afterwards? Well, I guess if she is happily married and enjoying life, then I shouldn't care?
One of these friends, by the way, stopped working BEFORE she even became pregnant with her first child. Her husband's job demanded that they move often, so she just stopped working (he said they could afford it). That kind of boiled my green-colored-blood :)
The other friend, is actually my former boss. I shouldn't be complaining--she left years ago on maternity leave and never came back, which is how I got promoted!
There are days I wish my degree was simply an MRS :)
Yeah, I guess these days getting a college degree is sort of like getting your HS diploma--even if you don't use it right away, it is better to have it in your back pocket for future use.
I still think that my two friends will have an awfully tough time getting a job in the future (even with a degree) since the are out for so long (I'm a recruiter, and I'll be honest that we pretty much never hire someone who has been out of the industry for more than a couple of years), but at least they have that just in case.
That is one of my greatest fears with becoming a SAHM, not being able to find a job later on. If I did become one, it would only be until my kids where in school. That is one reasons that I like that I can work part time and be home with DS. With the way it is now I still have time on the job for my resume.
Me (30) DH (37) DS 10/20/08 New Baby Girl EDD 11/11
This is my take on the whole situation... yeah, in someways, I think it would be great to sit back and not have to work. But it has been instilled in my core since birth that you should NEVER rely on a man to support you monetarily! I mean, I understand why people do the SAHM mom thing, and in theory, it would have been nice to have a year or so off after DS was born. But this is the thing. Most SAHMs don't take just one year off.. they take many years, if not a decade or so, off, and with every year, it will be more and more difficult for them to reenter the workforce. And even if you are able to successfully reenter the workforce, you won't be even close to the same level of career advancement you would have been if you stayed in the workforce, even part time.
Not only that, but I feel like every additional year you spend as a SAHM will make you much more complacent with your non-working lifestyle, which in essence, makes you more and more dependent on your husband, not only for income in general, but the amount of income needed to keep up your comfortable lifestyle.
Let's face it... something like 50% of all marriages end in divorce. What if he just up and leaves your tail for someone 10 years younger after you've been a SAHM practically forever? You are SOL big time. If my DH leaves me, I want the only hardship to be in my heart, NOT MY WALLET! I mean, I couldn't imagine having to think about finding a job after my marriage just crumbled.
That being said, I also just think it is a little odd that someone who had the dedication to earn a 4-year degree wouldn't want to use it at all for academic/career pursuits. I guess it is the idea that going to college will introduce you to potential suitors with good career prospects who will be able to support you when you have babies and have the desire to become a SAHM.
I'm lurking and would just like to add that being a SAHM is not a "break". I also don't base my life or decisions for my family on the divorce rate. I wouldn't have a child with my DH if I thought that our marriage would end in divorce.
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