With statistics from the ONS 2012 indicating that 42% of UK marriages will end in divorce is it really smart to make your husband or partner your financial plan?
Feminism has brought us what is often termed as "choice" - the choice to shun paid work and instead raise your children full-time until they are able to attend school. At this point you may "choose" to return to the workplace only to find that you've been replaced by bright, young things filled with enthusiasm, energy, experience with latest market trends and technologies and no need to rush off to wipe down little Harry's puke-stained teaching assistant!
And therein lies the grim reality; divorce yourself from the workforce and you may well find yourself at the financial mercy of the one bringing home the bacon and it's not news to anyone that not only are there younger and fresher varieties of yourself at the office - but also in the bedroom!
Whilst your husband is living it up (or at least attempting to keep up!), you are the one left trying to pay the bills and plan for your financial future with a job well below the grade of the one you left for "happy ever after".
So what can you do? Well my advice would be to get back out there. Either don't quit the day job when you get that ring on your finger, or start making plans right now to get back in to work by keeping your skills relevant and an eye on what's happening in your industry.
Alternatively, you can join a growing army of women entrepreneurs who are creating their own version of success by building their own business on their own terms. Taking the myriad of skills they've learned from college and through their working careers, they're able to format and apply these to entrepreneurship.
I believe everyone has a talent - something they can do better than anyone else, but we often find ourselves stuck in the grind and despairing our self-esteem will ever return. But building a business where people pay you to do what you're good at, or buy products from you which enhance their lives creates a cycle of positive reinforcements for your self-esteem. There is of course the added bonus of your hours being more flexible and the absolute joy of being able to work only for the clients who are good for you!
I started my own business when I had two children under the age of two. I knew that the best thing I could do for my children was to be able to provide for them "no matter what" and when you're up to your elbows in nappies and bottles anyway - what are a few more late nights/early starts?
I believe feminism is about making smart choices which allow you to live the life you need to support your emotional health as well as your physical health. When you put your finances in the hands of someone else you are forever in their tenure and Emmeline Pankhurst didn't fight for your freedoms from the workhouse so that you could confine yourselves to the four walls of your semi baking cakes!
Alexandra Sheach coaches and mentors entrepreneurs and small businesses at The Business Of Women
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