A LAF reader shared a link to a story about Michelle Obama quitting her high-paying job to support her husband’s run for the presidency and to serve as stay-at-home First Lady. While we’re definitely not fans of the Obama administration and its liberal, socialist policies, this article shines the spotlight on something very important: the notion that a wife is invaluable to her husband’s success and that an intelligent, savvy helpmate really does play an irreplaceable role in the family. Here’s a sampling from the original piece:
It’s not what Germaine Greer and her ilk had in mind for this generation of highly educated, successful, independent women. But it’s a lifestyle choice at the heart of a new theory expounded in Megan Basham’s book, Beside Every Successful Man. The title is not just a trite twist on the familiar concept behind every successful man; it has much greater meaning than that. Basham argues that by using all your talents, skills, education and qualifications, you can make your husband’s career a stellar success, and your family life spectacularly happy. We’re talking an equal professional partnership, where the woman gets the best of both worlds — enjoying using her honed professional skills to enhance her husband’s career, but at the same time having the freedom and pleasure of spending more time with her children.
I realise Basham’s theory feels like taking a cheese grater to the most precious principles of feminism — independence, autonomy, equality, self-development, career. But let’s face it, whose life-work balance would you rather have: Michelle Obama, constantly extolling the joys of being in a strong partnership with a man doing something important, even as she enjoys her children; or Cherie Booth QC, the hard-done-by career woman famously complaining about the hardships of juggling family and career? Basham, an American author, dyed-in-the-wool feminist and successful career woman earning significantly more than her husband, explains it this way. ‘What my friends had in common is that they left school planning to spend most of their adult years working in their chosen fields, and expecting always to derive a lot of satisfaction from their careers.
‘Several years ago, I started to notice that among many of us, as other areas of our lives expanded, the enjoyment we derived from our jobs began to shrink. Work began to seem more like an intrusion on our real lives than a vital part of it.’ She and her successful career girlfriends wanted to spend more time enjoying being mothers and wives. But there was a financial imperative as they were all fully paid-up members of the two-income economy.
‘We realised we had to start looking at our dilemma from a new angle, and to start seeing our marriages as our own little business enterprises and our husbands as partners in that enterprise.’ As so often happens, Basham says a book changed her life — in her case, David McCullough’s biography of America’s second President, John Adams. ‘While everyone else was caught up by the relationship between Adams and Jefferson and Washington, I was fascinated by the relationship between Adams and his wife. He relied on her in almost every aspect of his work — and in the midst of the goal-setting and strategic planning they wrote each other intimate, teasing and tender love letters that revealed the sweet partnership they had in all things.’
I encourage you to go to the website and finish this article. It is excellent!