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Returning Student

In the excerpt from Biklen’s “Schoolwork” she gives examples of 3 women who have had to find ways to convince their husbands to let themĀ get back in the work force. I have to admit, I am one of those women. I actually dropped out of the teaching certification program upon becoming pregnant with my son. At that time I married my husband and became a stay at home mom of his two daughters and pregnant with our son. I have stayed home for 4 1/2 years now.

My husband is a firm believer that my primary role is in our home; raising our children. I fully agree. Although, I came from a family where both parents worked. My mother went back to school when I was in elementary school and worked since I was in sixth grade. There is something inside of me that says my career, breadth of knowledge, role in life is not complete. I was not expecting to return so dramatically, but after casually looking into returning, I had one week to make a decision that would dramatically affect my family for a year (short time relatively). It was intense! I desired the return to school to finish what I’d started, to be able to help my family, to have something that was my own that I loved. My husband on the other hand, didn’t want it to distrupt the flow of our life.

This was a hard subject to approach him with. He had no intention of me going back as there was no immediate need. He wanted to know why, how much it would cost, what we were going to do with our kids, how I was going to maintain my familial responsibilities…I felt I had to have a well calculated game plan to receive his support. I made a spreadsheet analizing the cost of my schooling, the cost of my children’s schooling (private school is expensive!), the benefits of me being a certified teacher (if I had finished I could’ve gone to work as soon as he lost his job 2 years ago) and so forth.

After all that, he didn’t care about, he asked my “why?” Out of honesty I told him I wanted this for myself. I didn’t feel finished, I was a drop out, I desire to be educated, and it would be mine/something I had done for myself! I feared those reasons would not be enough which is why I devised the before mentioned “game plan”. Out of love B gave me his approval, knowing full well that I needed his support in order to do this successfully, to do this because he knew I wanted it for myself. And I’m back! Whew!!! Fortunately we get to gradually slide into the full time committment that is coming this fall. I don’t think he is fully aware of what is going to hit us come September :-/ yikes! By then there won’t be any stopping!

“All three women developed methods that allowed them to engage in full-time work as teachers and remain in intact families. When the time seemed right, each translated her mental commitment into an occupational reality.” Biklen 35