at Business Insider:
“You need to keep your skills fresh,” said a commenter in a recent post about the finances of parenting, referring to the concept of a mother staying at home with the kids. “In case of death or divorce.”
I didn’t argue, but I shook my head and rolled my eyes. (I do this to avoid leaving snappy replies to people’s comments. Work with me.)
I’ve long felt that combining one’s finances with a potential, or existing, partner should be approached with the same attitude as the partnership. What point is there in marrying (or otherwise vowing your eternal love) if you don’t think it has much chance of lasting?
Naturally, death is a part of life and should be considered as a possibility. But considering divorce when deciding whether a mother should stay home with her young babies, or which partner’s career should be primary, seems counterproductive. My motto is, if you’re so concerned about divorce that you don’t think you’ll make it through babyhood, perhaps you shouldn’t be having babies.
This is not to say that certain classes of people should submit entirely to their partners, letting them make decisions and more money and all the financial House Rules. What I’d propose instead is a more sensible, trusting and ultimately relationship-friendly approach to the financial decisions of partners. I’d propose being ruled more by hope than fear. (Is that a campaign slogan, or what?) Here’s what I mean.