A meeting with my oldest’s guidance counselor led to an interesting teachable moment afterward.
The meeting was a fairly standard, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” one. Would she go to college? Trade school? Etc.
After the meeting she expressed some valid concerns, including feeling like she wasn’t ready to choose. And to be honest, she is fairly young to make such a decision.
I explained it was just the start of the discussion and that she really has several years to figure it out. There are tests she can take to help her narrow things down by identifying her aptitude’s and interests.
Seeing the opening I dropped in a red pill. “You know when I was your age, there was a really important job option nobody ever talked about.”
”Really?” she asked. “What?”
”The job of taking care of the homefront,” I replied. “Supporting a husband so he could work while the wife took care of all the tasks that help keep life running smoothly like cooking, cleaning, gardening, and childcare.”
I explained when I was her age they told us what a “waste of our potential” staying home and taking care of things would be.
But as she has seen firsthand as the child of a “career mom,” what happens is that stuff either doesn’t get done or gets done on the margins.
I pointed out some people we know who have taken that path, and how well it has worked for themselves and their families. I explained how I often felt I had been sold a half truth, and that had I chosen a different path my life might have been far less stressful, difficult, and overwhelming.
I could tell she liked the idea that maybe she didn’t have to be a career gal like myself. That maybe there was another way.
She said she did want to have an education, and job skills, and to have some work experience, “just in case.” I used her former babysitter as an example of someone who had done just that, and how if her husband ever needed her to take the lead because he was ill or something, she had the education and marketable skills to do so.
It was a really good discussion and one I hope she factors in as she chooses her life path.
Time will tell. But at least she and I are having the discussions I wish someone would have had with me at her age.
What do you think? Please share in the comments!