'Staying home with your children can be a huge blessing but know the risks...the unimaginable can happen to anyone,' shared the mom.
Women often leave their careers to raise their children and take care of their household. And then, sometimes, it takes them years to realize that it would have been good to have a career so that they are financially independent and can support their family in an emergency. A mom on TikTok shared how an older woman gave her sane advice, but she did not understand it back then. Bekah Erkel–who goes by @bekahdayspring on TikTok–replies to Rachel (@rachonlife) who is talking about how stay-at-home moms are told by older women that they shouldn't be dependent. Rachel says, "Like 'I would never be able to financially rely on someone else, like what if he died? What if he leaves you,' One, I'm not planning on those things.'"
Erkel begins by saying that 50% of marriages in the US ended in divorce and "I can assure you that nobody sitting on their wedding day and thinking oh, we're planning to get divorced." She stitched with Rachel's video because she was exactly like her when she was 26 or 27. Erkel then talks about what an older woman had told her and how it all makes sense now. "I had two young kids, I would remember walking into a thrift store of all places and I saw one of my mom's old friends and she was like, 'How are you? They're so cute. What are you up to these days? What are you doing for a living?' And I was like, this is what I'm doing for a living. I'm staying home with the kids."
After listening to Erkel's answer, the woman had a cautionary look on her face and said to her, "'Well, just be very careful, you know, you don't wanna be in a situation where you're reliant on someone make sure that you don't have any gaps in your resume and you're keeping all your skillset up.'" Erkel was "offended" by her response and said, "I'm like, that's not necessary I mean, we have a really great relationship, we're happily married, we'll be married forever."
She then narrated what happened to her. "Five years later, I really had to eat my hat, so to speak, because I was miserably married like in a miserable situation where I could not get out of this marriage. Now, I had given 15 years of my life to this man and I had poured out all of my talent and energy into his business because I was staying home with the kids and this was the way we were making an income together," she opened up.
"I was so naive that, in my mind, we were just going to be happy forever. That was the only choice," Erkel explained. "I never stopped and thought, 'What happens if I decide that I want to be out of this relationship?'" Erkel feels she should have heard that woman and done something about her career. "What I want to tell myself back then was listen to the lady who's a little bit older than you! Maybe she has some life experience that you don't know yet," Erkel expressed. Moreover, she said she did not regret the time spent with her children.
She concluded, "Whatever you do, do not give up your career entirely because when you give up your ability to take care of yourself and your children, you are giving up the ability to have the choice to leave something that's not serving you." People in the comments completely agreed with what the mom shared. @daisywitch commented, "My biggest mistake was that I assumed my ex would love and support me just because I did that for him. They don't."
@not_sorry_art wrote, "One of the most successful PR moves of the patriarchy is convincing us that the warnings and insights of older women are just 'bitterness.'" @user45363771246952 shared, "100% agree. People cannot be naive about the realities that come with being a SAHM (say-at-home-moms) if divorce ever happens!" @misslizard58 said, "I wish someone had told me that. Many women are seniors, finding themselves lost, confused and scared because their husbands did everything."