The recent controversy that was recently posted on between Michael Nor, the editor and his associate Elizabeth Corcoran about whether or not working women make lousy wives is the same controversy that working women versus stay at home mom’s have been fighting over for the past 30 years. People dramatically defend their positions based on their own personal point of view, regardless of the statistics that support theirs or their opponent’s side.

Let’s take a look at the so called facts according to the article by Michael Nor:

If you marry a working woman:

Working women are more likely to get divorced, and less likely to have children
If they do have children, statistics show that they’re more likely to be unhappy about it

But, let’s also look at the facts:
They still carry the majority child rearing duties
The average woman does 7-9 loads of laundry a week and are carrying the majority of the housework and still are working the same average of working dads at 7 hours and 50 minutes.
These numbers change when the couple has small kids.

On the flip side:
Non working women aren’t as happy according to the polls
Don’t have as much in common with their husbands as the young ladies at the office do
Working women aren’t controlled by their husbands because they have more freedom if they earn their own money.

Let’s face it! We’ve heard it all before and we all have an opinion about it based upon our own experience. What I’ve learned by coaching and speaking with men and women about this subject is that we are all painfully aware that we’re basically living in a different day and time from the time any of us grew up. In the good ol’ days, most of us came home to a mom after school who gave us snacks and then we kissed her goodbye until dinnertime when she served us a home cooked meal. If and when we did homework, it wasn’t until middle school that we really had to study at home, and we might turn on the Brady Bunch or Gomer Pile to unwind after an afternoon at the neighborhood pool or playing Simon Says. We worried about whether we were going to get picked on a team for kick ball, and whether or not the neighborhood boy would sit next to us on the bus.

Fast forward 30 years and our teenagers are dodging bullets in our schools. Kids are learning to make explosives off the internet and as parents we’re scared stiff for our child to wander out of our site for 5 minutes so our child isn’t molested or kidnapped. Mom’s are working just as many crazy hours as their husbands or ex husbands and the kids have to fend for themselves spending hours upon hours with their best friends, the TV’s, and Video games. Conversely, they’re also getting to travel more, have more luxuries and have more conveniences than we did as children.

What is the answer to this question of working or not working outside the home? We want our kids to excel in school so we work to provide them an excellent education. We want them to be able to explore the world and travel so we work to give them opportunities that we never had. The pressure is on both moms and dads to compete for promotions at the office or to build their personal incomes or empires. Our world is globally competitive and we’re no longer competing with just the people in our own community, but now, we’re competing with everyone else around the world.

As a result, we have added tremendous pressure and stress to our lives. We’re burning out more often and our families are suffering. The divorces are up because stress is up, and if we don’t personally take control of our own lives, we can all end up being a statistic.

The bottom line is this: YOU GET TO CHOSE FOR YOURSELF! We all make personal choices depending on what is important or what we value at that point in our lives. If the kids are small and we feel that they’re better served by us saving for their future by working for their college tuition, that’s a personal choice a couple has to make. If the kids are in high school and need someone to monitor them more closely, the couple may choose to have one of the parents at home during that season of their lives.

What I’ve learned is this: We’re all doing the best we can given the resources we have at the time. Are we all making the best choices? No, not necessarily, so here are a few tips that can help aid the process along.

Put the marriage first. Couples will only stay strong as a unit if they’re able to connect frequently to discuss their ups and downs. If the couple sets aside 10 minutes a day to “dialogue” with each other about their feelings and events, the marriage has a better chance of staying a priority. Just like a car, if you don’t do regular maintenance, the car will die. A marriage is the same, without the regular focused time given to the relationship, the marriage will die and the couples will individually turn to outside sources for their support. Do things like write emails to each other during the day, have a regular coffee time where you call each other on the phone, or meet nightly in a special setting that you set up to do a dialog with each other. Practice only using encouraging words to each other and stop yourself before you use words like “you always, or you never”. These destructive words damage and don’t heal or support. Focus on supporting your mate first and foremost before everyone else.

Focus next on the family. When you married and had kids, you chose a life, and a lifestyle. Your family is going through seasons all the time. Having little children is the most demanding time of all. Discuss the needs of the children and what is going to work best for them, then plan accordingly. Kids need to feel secure so setting family time every week such as Friday night is movie night, or Saturday is chore or play time. Make things a game and decide together how the family will spend family fun time each week. We’re lucky in Orlando that there are so many things to do for families such as the theme parks, beaches and resorts are close by. Make events such as the first lost tooth memorable by doing something special. Create special holidays and traditions that are unique to your family. And try to eat together at least once a day for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

3. Realize that all of our choices bring positive benefits but also have a down side. You will have to make sacrifices along the way. Discuss these fully by making a pro and con list before you make major decisions in your lives such as should we hire a nanny or use day care? Should I go part time and receive no benefits at work in order to have more time at home? What is more important at this point in our lives, having a beautiful wardrobe or going on a nice vacation? These should all be joint decisions. And always have something to look forward to so you don’t feel like you’re never coming up for air.

For husbands:

Thank and acknowledge your wife for what she’s doing right! Tell her that you appreciate her making the meal even if she threw it together at the last minute.
Realize you’re NOT married to June Cleaver and that a messy house is the sacrifice that you might have to make if you are both working. Realize that you are now a modern man, and modern men change messy diapers, clean the toilets and occasionally do laundry.
Only have eyes for your wife and tell her how beautiful she is and that you’re blessed to have found her!
Take time out for yourself and do self care by working out and meeting with your buddies for lunch every so often. Your career isn’t going away and statistics show you’ll be more productive if you take time off every week to refuel.
Be a good partner by loving and respecting your family and their differences.

For wives:
Thank and acknowledge your husband for him working hard to support your family. Even if you do it too, understand the toll he’s taking at work and appreciate the time he spends taking care of the family.
Praise him for every thing he does in the house to help you. Yes if you are a typical family, you probably do more, but you can encourage him more by being sweet than by arguing and by nagging.
Treat him to a special dinner now and then, and make sure you have fun date nights where you dress all up and look great for him! Call it old fashioned, but guys love to have their wives look nice, so put on that make up, put on some heels now and again, and take care of your man!
Get support if you need it from friends, co-workers, counselors or experts in the areas where you need help.
Take good care of yourself by doing lots of personal self care to nurture your mental, physical, spiritual and emotional sides.

We’re all in this world at a crazy time. We’ve got stresses with money, war or children. Realize you’re just in a SEASON of life and it will get better eventually. Hang in there, and know, that the weekend is coming, and you can kick back for a few hours on the weekend to recharge, and do it all again on Monday.