You never know what the future will bring. When my mom wanted to re-enter the work force after almost 15 years out of it, having her degree was really useful. While a lot of her friends were finding jobs in retail, she was able to start substitute teaching and get her credential. Despite never wanting to be a teacher when she was younger, she really enjoys it now. I went through college assuming that I would stay home for at least a few years when I had kids, but with the economy and the job market being how it's been lately, it turns out I'm the one who can find a job in a place that we can afford to live on one salary, and my husband's at home with our 9 month old. More education will give you more flexibility, more debt will give you less. Finding the right balance for you can be tricky...but it sounds like you are doing a great job of thinking about these things in advance rather than letting them sneak up on you.
I am a stay at home mom with a BA...now I don't think of that as especially educated, it is probably the equivalent of a HS diploma back when my grandmother was a SAHM!
I think it depends on what field you are hoping to be in. In most fields you need more than just a degree to stand out. If you graduate right now in 2013 and are looking for a job 2018 with no experience I think that you would have a lot of trouble finding something. If you manage to have a few projects, volunteer in your field (or even better start a group yourself that betters your community & goes along with your future-career!) and otherwise stay active and self-educate about any changes,ect...maybe you will be a better candidate for a job than a new graduate.
I am loving every minute of staying at home, but as an IC for a marketing company I actually do have a current job on my resume. I think it's important that you don't fall off the map... you my future & for my current sanity!
I am of the opinion that education is never wasted. Whatever you learn will impact your personal development and what you bring to your children. I also think it's wise to remember that life can quickly shift your plans. Not to be a downer, but some people never meet the right person, others lose a partner due to death or divorce. There are also many couples that struggle with getting pregnant. You wouldn't want to forgo your education to be a SAHM, only to find yourself working a "temporary" job for way longer than planned while TTC. My own mom got a biochemistry degree, then took several years off to raise me and my brother. Because she had a degree, however, she was able to go back to school part-time when my dad moved out, and to eventually have a satisfying career as a hospital librarian. My family really valued education, so I have two degrees and was able to support myself well while I was single. Now I am married to someone in a highly demanding profession, so I plan on being a SAHM whenever we have children, but may go back to school when they go to kindergarten.
That said, if you know going into college that you may not be in the workforce for a long time, be mindful of your debt load. You don't want to graduate with huge loans if you're not going to be able to pay them off. That's easier said than done since here in Canada our tuition is much lower than in the US. (My cousin's tuition for one year at Boston University could literally cover a four-year degree at my alma mater AND my grad school tuition. And there would be enough left over to take a trip to Hawaii.)
@blade - I agree. I am halfway through my MBA right now and I have no plans to become a SAHM, although my dream is for me to be making enough money for my husband to stay at home - he would love it! For me thre tricky part is trying to figure out when to get pregnant and have kids so as not to hurt my chances at a good job. I think if I had a baby shortly after graduating it would work out best, but who knows?
While I am willing to keep an open mind because who knows how I will feel when I become a mum, I'm pretty sure being a SAHM just isn't a viable option for me.
I'm a lawyer and agree with other comments that it would be very difficult to re-enter my profession after a signigicant absence. I'm also the main breadwinner in our family (not that we couldn't survive off my husband's salary as a military pilot if we needed to), and so we would still be materially financially better off having me work even after paying for a nanny/daycare. While I wouldn't see giving up work as a "waste" of my degrees and believe that educated women staying home to raise children will likely result in educated children, I do think that I will crave a balance between mummy time and adult, thinking time in my life - I believe I will crave the intellectual stimulation of work.
Also, and this is personal baggage, after my parents got divorced when I was a child, both of them became financially dependent on their new partners. Even as a kid, I saw how this limited their choices in life, and made them less autonomous and free. While I hope that my husband and I have a 'forever' marriage, I am terrified of being shackled to someone because I do not have the financial resources to stand on my own two feet. So, financial independence is really important to me.
That being said, I deeply admire all SAHMs, regardless of how educated, and do believe it is the one of the hardest, most relentless jobs in the world.
I'm home with my first child now for the next few months. Already I am very nervous about leaving him. I wish I had a more flexible schedule but I do want to work.
If I was in your situation I'd work until I paid off my education--mainly because I would personally feel kinda rotten if I worked hard and paid a bunch of money for my education and then stayed home and left all of the weight for earning money to pay off that education onto my husband.
Also, having a few years of experience in my field would make it easier to get a job after my kids were grown.
I think having an education is definitely a good thing for a SAHM. It broadens your mind and your experience, it helps you to see your own potential and what you are able to accomplish if you put your mind to it. I also think it's a good example to your children.
I agree with previous posters that education is never superfluous - it's important to your happiness and personal development, and ultimately it will make you a better parent. I also second the opinion that you never know the future - you might never have children at all, you could marry someone who may not be willing or able to support you financially, or you could use an extra salary someday.
On the other hand (and keep in mind this is coming from someone who lives in a culture where SAHMs are rare and even frowned-upon; I'm sincerly perplexed by it) I do have trouble understanding a situation where a person takes the time and effort to get an upper degree (especially in the US, where university is so expensive many people have to take loans to pay for their education) yet never puts it to use or, worse of all, expects their husband to pay off their debt. I'm not talking about staying home while the kid is small (I know for many of you maternal leave is short and kindergarten isn't an option) - but cases where an educated woman stays at home for 10 or 20 years, making it extremly difficult for her to go back to the work force after being away for so long. To me that's like buying a new house and never move there!
Have you considered taking college classes online? That is what I am doing currently and I really enjoy it! There are lots of good options available for that kind of thing these days.
Originally Posted by violetink1231
I have considered going back online. When I was in college, the few online classes I took I despised because Blackboard would always crash and several of my professors were terrible at communicating (that’s probably just the University itself, however, and not the rule).
Originally Posted by sunshine.10
I’ve been checking out different colleges and the cost of it makes me hesitant. My grades in high school allowed me to go to college for two years free, and I haven’t had to face the reality of how expensive it really is. I’m also pretty cheap, but I haven’t completely ruled it out. :)
I think that education is important; it helps you better yourself and it can be empowering. If you are educated and stay at home it can also help with your child’s development as you work with them and can help instill a love of learning in them from an early age. However I think it’s important to consider whether or not you want to spend a ton of cash on a degree that you may get nothing out of in return.