College women, take heed: Prioritize marriage and family!

There used to be a poster on here (@HoosierDaddy, I wonder what has become of him, he hasn’t been around in a while) who was a stay-at-home dad while his business-talented wife was out there making money (and expecting their 7th child). Sometimes, it does make sense when the dad stays home.

Fertility is a fickle thing. Some couples are very fertile, some less so, some not at all.

We’ve never used ABC in the 14 years we’ve been married.

Number of kids : 0.

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I lost my job recently due to COVID but when I was employed, the people in my team were halfway across the world in India. I got used to working with people who weren’t in the same location as I. It didn’t matter if I was in the office or at home, the people I collaborated with were at a different continent or if they were in the States were either in a different state such as Texas or Florida.

It made working from home a lot easier. I am now job hunting and I was surprised at the number of work at home jobs available. I am talking about engineering jobs by the way.

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I could name quite a few people, especially women, who would not want to be full time home. They range from individuals who are self-centered to an amazing degree, to those who are abusive, either through neglect or outright abuse.

I defended their kids in juvenile court, so it is not as if I had no exposure to another side of life.

I have known professional women, very good at what they did career-wise, who had no desire whatsoever to be full time at home with children.

People come in all sorts of types; and the presumption that women are best suited to be marriage and family oriented is an over statement.

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What type of engineering do you do?

I do electro-optical engineering.

My son-in-law is a mechanical engineer, fwtiw and I have spoken with him periodically. He has noted that not only he but the others he works with are finding that trying to resolve matters by text/email/phone is a whole lot harder and time consuming than being able to walk down the hall. His team is in a time crunch that is not getting better; the separation has slowed down what was already a difficult project.

I am glad that you projects worked reasonably well for you and your team. That does not necessarily translate to other projects.

Additionally he is a really good parent; but finds that it is emotionally hard to shut the door on his daughters - they are good kids, but “daddy is here” and it makes a difficult matter even more difficult.

He, as well as the rest of his team will survive it all. I have doubts that the firm he works for is going to go all in for remote; they may have some work from home, some of the time. What I am hearing though is that it is not a “one size fits all”.

My other daughter has been working from home 4 out of 5 days for several years and seriously appreciates not having the daily grind of driving back and forth; but she also misses the interaction with coworkers. She is now a part time trainee for others and finds training by distance to be a whole lot slower than being there in person. She is not able to have children, so kids at home is a non issue. Her husband manages a payroll section for the state so much of his work already was on line; the 40 minute commute each way to work is not being missed; he goes in maybe once a week for meetings and related work.

No, this isn’t about more leisure to enjoy spending time with family. This is about focusing the work they do on managing the home, raising the children, volunteering in the community, etc. These women aren’t saying they want more leisure time. They are saying the work of a career is not fulfilling and they want to work at their vocation.

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From the article:

“In the last week alone, I’ve spoken with three millennial women (who reached out for coaching) who are all in the same boat: they’re up to their eyeballs in debt, having gotten degree upon degree due to the pressure they felt from their parents and the culture to do something big with their lives. To not let their intellect go to waste. To not worry about finding a man to marry or even having children because, well, they have bigger fish to fry.”

It seems to me that the article is calling for vocational discernment and recognizing cultural pressures which can make such discernment difficult. It then addresses the way poor discernment can be problematical for women who have based their choices on societal pressures, thinking that their human value is bound up with income levels and prestige, rather than being children of God.
I agree that this is important and should be brought up regularly with both boys and girls as they are growing up. This should be coupled with lots of discussion of what it means to be a husband or wife, so that as children begin pondering adult relationships and vocations, they will have a sense of the responsibilities and sacrifices associated with them.
Discernment of vocation will help to guide one in choice of education and profession. This also involves careful discernment.
Messages about choosing jobs which are self-satisfying may ignore financial realities. One needs to be able to support oneself, (and, perhaps parents or siblings under certain circumstances), and, if called to the vocation of marriage, to support a new family.
Sometimes that involves training for a job which will not be especially enjoyable personally, but which will enable meeting financial obligations. This includes those obligations which we might have, should those of us called to marriage not find a suitable husband or wife, or enter into a marriage which is of short duration.
Our society currently privileges wage labor and gives less support to the work of raising children and maintaining a home. I hope that, over time, we will see a shift in this attitude so that hard working, albeit lower waged or non wage earning parents will be give respect for their contributions to family and society and men and women will take time to carefully discern their vocational call and prepare to live this call to the best of their ability.

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If you apply this issue to young men as well as young women, then yes, the issue is a lot more complex than the surface that this article is scratching. Guys, too, should preoccupy themselves with debt. Guys, too, should question whether – in an age of negligent tuition over-inflation-- they belong in college as a means to fulfill their vocation.

Now I’ll move off-topic from your post and share some general musings. There are messages that I’d love to broadcast to young, college-age men.

First, go on a date. Ask someone. If you’re rejected, move on. So what? You’re going to get plenty of rejections for jobs, fellowships, etc. Rejection is part of life. It’s nothing tragic and a sign of emotional maturity when you can deal with it.

Second, men, too, need to prioritize marriage and family. There ARE more important things than your job. Men are being conditioned in our culture to tie their masculinity in with how many hours they clock in and how big their paychecks are. Your employer isn’t nearly that loyal to you and can dump you on a dime. Life is short, your wife and children are more important, and the latter will be out of the house before you can look twice.

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This reminds me of a snippet of a Taylor Marshall talk I saw on a video. He was talking about jobs and careers. He said that most people will have jobs, not careers, and that’s fine. But even if you have a career that you love, that’s not the most important thing in life. The most important thing is family. He said that he is happy with his own career, but it would not be enough to make him happy without his wife and family. He urged men especially to marry and start a family before age 40; otherwise they will lead an unhappy life.

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I knew people even back in the 80s who wouldn’t date people from their work because they were afraid of negative situations arising. But the reality is that when a lot of young and single people are thrown together in a workplace for 8 or more hours a day, day after day, some of them will end up dating. I’ve seen this pretty consistently at many different workplaces. Some places have rules about supervisors not dating their direct reports, which makes sense to me.

But unless you have some really toxic corporate environment, in which case a lot of folks would probably leave anyway, most workplace dates aren’t going to end up in a lot of drama or a Me Too lawsuit.

I hope you are right, and I certainly wish you the best of luck. But it’s not a winnable battle.

I’ve seen this claim from other sources but I don’t know what it’s based on. I have a son squarely in this generation. He attends a moderate private Christian school, where he and his peers seem to be at least as liberal as any Millennial I’ve ever worked with.

A Pew report published in 2019 confirms that the two generations are nearly identical on some issues with Z being more liberal on others. I would hazard too that given what I’ve observed in the protests a very large number are Gen Z.

Here’s the Pew report in case anyone’s interested.

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They should also “prioritize” religious life. I wanted to become a religious when I was 18. My parents were happy and I had their blessing. Another person (who shall remain nameless) said to me: “Live a little. When you’re 30, then you can decide to become a nun.” Well, that was 20+ years ago and I’m still not a religious. TBH, most orders probably wouldn’t even consider me today because 1) I’m too old - most orders won’t take 40+ women, 2) I’m too traditional - most orders have “updated” habits and I’d definitely opt for a traditional habit and 3) some personal problems of my own which would disqualify me as a prospective postulant.

As the old saying goes: “God writes straight with crooked lines.” I’d be a rich woman if I had a dollar for every time someone asked me: “Are you a Sister/nun?” because I dress modestly and wear a veil in church (at least during spring/summer; fall/winter it’s a hat).

And every time I’m afraid of being poor, I try to remember the inspired words of a SSPX priest (whose counsel saved me from getting into a bad marriage): “Our Lord Jesus Christ is the best Spouse of all, and He always provides.” Immediately I decided that I had to break off the relationship and did so after retreat. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be posting here today.

My one strong recommendation: Before considering religious life or marriage, go on retreat - if possible, an Ignatian retreat. That’s where I received the God-inspired counsel from a SSPX priest.

St. Ignatius of Loyola, pray for your spiritual sons and us sinners!

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Have you considered living a consecrated life in the world - or maybe that’s what you are doing already?

As I posted earlier, I’ve made the total consecration to Our Lady but afaik that’s not the same as a consecrated (i.e. with vows) life in the world. Maybe one of the CAF priests would know.

Something like this:
https://consecratedvirgins.org/

I have a career. It has its ups.and downs, but no.more so than the vocation of parenthood.does.

And is our work.not also.maybe meant to be a vocation? Was St Gianna not probably called to be a doctor just as she was a wife and mother? Or St John.Bosco to be an educator just as he was a priest?

Is a voction from God really mainly about feeling personally fulfilled? Seems a bit of a self-centered view, and certainly a poor basis for judging the rightness or wrongness of a course of action.

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The Catholic understanding of vocation is that it is a calling. For some, they may feel called to a particular work by God in service to Him like the saints you mentioned. That’s not the norm for most people. Most people’s jobs aren’t that kind of calling. Their job may be a tool to serve their vocation of motherhood or fatherhood by offering provision for the family but the work itself is a means to that end and not a vocation.

No. Not mainly. But if one feels the pull strongly to focus their work, time and attention to their vocation in a way that they think would be most beneficial and efficacious to their family and are able to eliminate those things in their life that hinders their ability to do that, there will be a certain fulfillment and satisfaction that results.

It’s not a self-centered fulfillment that is seeking ease and happiness for themselves but rather a fulfillment that comes from the sacrifice of service in giving yourself over to the demands of serving your vocation. If a mother sees that her job, other than providing money to pay the bills, is a hindrance to her in serving her particular family’s needs that’s not being self-centered. It’s being other-centered.

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Old Jewish lullaby…
Rock a bye baby
Go to sleep honey
You’ll marry a doctor
Make lots of money

New Jewish lullaby…

Rock a bye baby
Go to sleep honey
You’ll be a doctor
Make lots of money

It’s a silly Jewish joke that’s been around for a long time. The realization today is that most women have to work at least part of their marriage. It didn’t use to be this way. Families could be raised on one income. Those days are gone. Which came first? Income not being able to provide for an entire family or women going back to work because they couldn’t raise a family on one income…or, did they march together?

I know many women that would love to be home with their families. Some are able to compromise by being part time. I also know women that never wanted to be full time stay at homes. Their jobs are their escape from the monotony of motherhood at home.

What’s needed is an ability for each woman to chose her preference. As long as wages don’t meet the needs of one working parent, however, this choice only exists for a very few. I was a SAHM for the first nine years of my children’s lives. I don’t regret it at all but we were dirt poor doing it. My husband is an excellent man, worker and husband but he is in a field that went stagnant for years…so, I went back to school to earn my degree and become a working mom and pulling us out of poverty. If we were starting all over today, his job pays much better than it used to and I could have stayed home longer but I also don’t regret my career, either. It gave us many freedoms that otherwise were out of reach.

Each person and family has to change and adapt to meet the needs of family life as well as financial life, sometimes sacrificing one, sometimes the other. To any woman these days, if she really wants to be a stay at home…she needs to make sure she’s only looking at well paid men. It may sound bad, but the only way it will happen.

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