The other day I was having a conversation with a friend: she’s engaged, dreaming of having babies, and trying to decide the next move to make in her career. As the conversation continued, she told me that she had thought of being a stay-at-home mom, but she didn’t want to waste her degree. My initial thought was, “Ouch! Does she even remember who she’s talking to!?” But after giving it more thought later that evening, I realized that she certainly was not the first person to make that conclusion.
I graduated from college with a degree in interior design. I got married a year after graduation and worked within the design world for several years before having kids. During that time, my husband and I worked very hard to save all of my income while budgeting and living solely off of his. I realize how fortunate we were to be able to do that. It wasn’t easy, but we made it happen because our dream was to save, invest, and budget well enough in those early years so that someday when we had kids then I could stay home with them.
Fast forward a few years and two kids later, and that’s exactly where we find ourselves today… some savings built up, living off of one income, and one parent at home full-time with the kids. I’d be absolutely lying if I tried to convince you that I use my degree on a daily basis. I don’t. Does that mean I wasted my time obtaining it though? Personally, I don’t think so.
A college degree is something I will always have no matter how long I stay out of the work-force. No one can take that away from me. Whether I choose to actively use that degree at this time in my life or not is just that: a choice. Working mothers will always have my utmost respect. I will never question someone’s choice to work outside of the home, nor will I proclaim that they are “wasting” their time at work. They’re NOT.
So, while the notion of staying at home after obtaining a degree may not suit you, please do not proclaim that another mom who chose to do so is wasting her degree or, for that matter, her life. It’s someone’s choice. It’s someone’s life… and NO life is a waste.