I speak from personal experiences when I say that it is of crucial importance for a woman to ensure her own economic independence. It’s imperative to her own well-being and also that of her child. I would never suggest that money is more important than family because for me it isn’t. I have no desire to hold a high-powered job making six or seven figures. I want only to make a decent living for myself and for my family.
Three years ago, I came to the harsh realization that for my own sake and that of my daughter, I had to leave my marriage. It was an agonizing decision made all the more so by the fact that I was a stay-at-home mom at the time. With no way of providing for myself or my child, I was terrified at the idea of leaving and yet I knew I had to for the good of everyone involved. The end result is that I have struggled for the past three years to provide for myself and my child. I could not possibly love my daughter more and had I been given the choice, I would have continued working so as not to have had to put her through this period of economic instability. Fortunately, she is very young and will likely not remember the vast majority of it but I will never forget the pain of knowing that I couldn’t provide for my child the things I so desperately wanted to provide for her. I certainly gave her all the love and attention possible but neither of those things will put food in a child’s belly or clothes on that child’s back. There were days when I cried over being unable to spend a few dollars on an ice cream or a ride on the merry go round. I would never wish that experience on anyone, male or female.
Having been a stay-at-home mom, I know how difficult the job is and how little recognition women in that position often receive. In no way am I looking down on women who choose to stay home with their children. I’m simply cautioning them to think carefully about their choices as the unforeseen can strike any of us at any time and with no warning. I certainly never expected to get a divorce from a man to whom I’d been married for five years before getting pregnant and to whom I was utterly devoted, a man I had loved so passionately for the nearly seven years of our marriage. I certainly never imagined I’d feel the powerlessness that my economic dependency brought about, nor did I imagine I’d submit to the misery I did because of this dependency. Even at this considerably more stable point in my life, I shudder to think of those dark days and of the physical and psychological toll they took on me. This book is absolutely correct in stating that a man is not a financial plan and I am living proof of this.
— Bookphile, on a book review of “The Feminine Mistake” by Leslie Bennetts