I love all of your thoughts everyone! What a great thread! When dh and I got married seven and a half years ago, mone of my life goals was to have two children by the time I was thirty (I was 23 when we got married). Dh did not want to have children right away, and even though we had known each other for 8 years before then, I agreed we needed some time to adjust to married life and figure out what it all meant for us. so I turned to other life goals - one of which was to obtain a Masters Degree.
While working at my internship, I talked about dh and I wanting to start our family soon after my graduation (I went full time so it was a two year school commitment). Instantly, I got the comment about "What a Waste!" When I asked how my getting an education was waste, the lady said because I spent all this time and money doing this and wouldn't be using it. Another lady at that job defended my choices before I could by saying,
"When you educate a man, you educate one man, BUT When you educate a women, you educate a family."
I then proceeded to explain that my masters degree was personal educational goal above all else. The fringe benefit was that God led me into a career path that I would love to return to some day if I am called back to the vocation of working outside the home on a full-time basis. My goal of education is a value of mine. I see it as a very positive approach to showing my future child blessings the value of education and learning for personal growth, not just to make money. I learned incredible amounts about myself through my years of education, and especially through my masters degree program. This prepared me for what I have always felt is my top vocation - parenthood.
I see this as a reciprocal relationship - through my education, I will be able to teach my children how to find things out for themselves - how to begin looking for answers when they haven't a clue about something. And that self-discipline pays off - (and let me tell you, that research paper at the end took ALOT out of me to get finished - the program took two and a half years instead of two just because of the paper!)Just to name a few things...
The reciprocity comes in all the skills and personal growth that are the benefits of my vocation of parenthood. If I return to the workforce, my future job will benefit way more from parenting experiences, then my parenting experiences will have from job/education. My creativity, organizational skills, patience, etc have all expanded because of parenting. This would not have necessarily happened in the workforce alone.
Somebody already said this, and I agree - It truly depends on one's mindset about marriage and family life versus the almighty dollar of our so-called "free" market. As I've said, marriage and family are my truest VOCATIONS, work in local goverment administration (my degree) is another vocation, but just not as important and valued by me. Working, and watching my classmates and colleagues make decisions that led them down career-oriented vocational paths actually helped me clarify that I was heading down a path I didn't want to go down, and that wasn't my true calling. I am positive my marriage would not have survived if I had chosen that path as my primary, and can only imagine how screwed up my life would be. (No, i am not saying anyone who chooses a career vocation is screwing up their life - it is a personal decision that in my mind is between the person and God.)
Well, thanks again for the thread, and a place to express this. I haven't ever really gotten a chance to express this. I feel good after doing so, like a freedom because my story has been shared. I am due April 19th with our second child blessing - I know this self-expression will aid me in my labor and delivery!