I recently came across an article titled, “O, Alma Mater” written by Anne-Marie Maginnis, a Princeton educated, stay-at-home mother. It spoke to me and as such, I would like to share some excerpts from it. Ms. Maginnis states,
As it turns out, a sizeable debate is raging regarding the growing numbers of Ivy League graduates choosing to stay home and raise their children. Several recent articles have questioned the value of this choice. One such thought-provoking piece was written by Kelly Goff of the U.K. Guardian, entitled “Female Ivy League Graduates Have a Duty to Stay in the Workforce.”
In that article, author Kelly Goff argues,
That degree could have gone to a woman who does want to spend her entire life using it to advance the cause of women—or others in need of advancement—not simply advancing the lives of her own family at home, which is a noble cause, but not one requiring an elite degree.
Ms. Maginnis did not agree with the view that any female with a higher education must stay in the workforce, otherwise, that education is a wasted opportunity. Ms. Maginnis continues her article with four points that are evidence that this logic is incorrect.
First, the author points out that following such logic is “regressive for women.” She asks that if that conclusion is correct, at “what point is a woman not worth educating at all?”
Ms. Maginnis’ second point explains that if one believes higher education is pointless for stay-at-home mothers, it “overlooks the fact that many stay-at-home mothers resume their careers after their children are in school.” And even if these women do not re-enter the workforce, they “see something of equal or greater value in staying home to raise their children.”
Ms. Maginnis’ fourth and final point includes:
[T]he most meaningful way in which stay-at-home moms use their elite degrees is by raising their children to be well-educated, confident leaders of the next generation. When a mother with an Ivy League education stays home to raise children, she is making it her full-time job to invest the best that she has received, including her education, into these children. She is choosing to form a few people in a profound way, rather than to affect a broader audience with a smaller per-person investment.
These mothers are not sacrificing pay, prestige, and a stimulating career without good reason. They feel they are giving their children something they could not otherwise give if they were out of the house all day. This is not to denigrate mothers who cannot afford to stay home; they obviously serve their family, often at great personal sacrifice. Nor is it to criticize working mothers who choose to share their talent with the larger world. It is merely to point out that highly educated women who choose to stay home with their children have a unique contribution to make as well.“[W]hen a highly educated woman is home with her children day in and day out, she weaves the riches of her education into their lives in continuous, subtle, living ways. This is a priceless preparation for a lifetime of learning. This gift is the transmission of culture.”
We would love to hear your thoughts on this subject. You can find the entire article here: http://verilymag.com/feature/o-alma-mater/