A reader with a stay-at-home husband emails the hello@ address:
I’ve been following your discussion about work, parenting, and gender. It’s one that my husband and I have been working through over the past couple of years, and I wanted to share my experience.
I was a National Merit Scholar in high school and went to college on a full scholarship. I was able to cram my bachelor’s and master’s degrees into 4.5 years of college, which meant I graduated with no student loans. I work in financial risk management, and my job pays well enough that, since I’m not repaying student loans, my income is enough to support us.
My husband has a high school diploma. He started his career selling cellphone contracts, and was promoted every year or so until he was running five cellphone stores in our city. He was making a good income, one which could have supported our family if we were willing to make some sacrifices in our lifestyle.
However, managing retail stores is a stressful job. He spent evenings and weekends taking phone calls and handling crises, and 60-hour workweeks weren’t uncommon. While I was pregnant, he had started having medical problems that his doctor partially attributed to workplace stress.
When I became pregnant, we both just assumed that we’d both continue to work.