Three women I know have recently taken on international assignments, their husbands followed them. I caught up with an old friend last year, her marriage almost crashed when she got an international assignment. They were both professionals, she clearly had better prospects. After much fight, they were finally able to reach an agreement. Her husband agreed to support her by moving abroad with her. For 7 years she worked while he took care of the kids and home. They are back to base now, kids are grown, husband is running a decent business. Everyone is happy.
Another friend resigned her job last year after being transferred out of state. Her husband has a promising career. It was understandable that he didn’t want to pause it, but what wasn’t so comprehensible was why he wouldn’t let her go with the kids either. He said she was free to go alone. So, she quit her job. She had climbed all that way up, only to be bumped down like snakes and ladders. When we spoke about it, we concluded that if that was her husband’s job that had transferred him, she would have packed up and followed with the kids without batting an eyelid. That’s what women are groomed to do.
A few years ago, I read a Harvard review article that cited that for women to be successful at work, they either had super supportive spouses or were very single. Ever since, I have researched more on this phenomenon and nothing rings truer. There is no in-between for career success for women. Very supportive spouse or going solo.
I remember growing up hearing the phrase ‘behind every successful man is a woman.’ I can also tell you, that behind every successful woman is a man/partner or none at all.
One of the biggest challenges women face is juggling dual careers of home and work.
When asked about how we balance life and work, I am quick to admit that there is no such thing as work-life balance, it never balances, something has to give. You can’t have it all. Same way you can’t be here and there. Even with technological advancement, you are either attending live or you are not.
Children bring a different dimension to families. Someone who cares needs to look after the children. If you are pursuing work goals, you won’t be always available and you will miss important events. Even after hiring all the support staff to help, the best partner to share responsibility of raising your children remains your spouse. A super supportive spouse is the best thing that can happen to your career. Marriage is a team sport.
For us all and women in particular, your choice of spouse is a very important decision in realizing your career goals.
Choose your spouse wisely.
ps: To my ever supportive spouse Mikky de Moko, words can never fully express my gratitude to you. Thank you😁.