What does it mean to be dependent on one's spouse? Carol Chandran, at the blog 4 Mothers, responds to Katrina Onstad's recent and controversial article in the Globe and Mail about Kate Middleton quitting her job to become a princess. Most of the comments on Onstad's piece are negative, but I like that she took on the topic and I appreciated much of what she had to say--it struck a chord, as I continue to struggle with what it means to be a contributing member of society (and no, I don't think paid work is the only path, but it sure is lovely to contribute financially to my family's fortunes).
Chandran's response is measured and thoughtful. She disagrees with Onstad's premise that paid work equals social contribution. Chandran, who supports her family of four as a lawyer, points out that although she is the primary earner in her family, she is nevertheless dependent on her husband to look after their children and support her on the home-front. She writes: "'Dependence' is a maligned word in our society because it is associated with a lack of autonomy and weakness. But all strong foundational relationships like marriage or the parent-child variety expose our vulnerability."
I needed to hear that, today.
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