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notoriety/[͵nətə'raiəti]/ n. 恶名, 臭名, 声名狼藉...

做全职太太还是继续工作(双语)

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I had a working mom, so I assumed my wife would be one, too. Clarissa Acuna, the woman I married, also planned on having a career of her own.

  But we were both wrong. Clarissa hasn't worked since the summer of 1991, shortly before she delivered our third child.

  At the time, it no longer made sense financially for her to work. After paying taxes on her wages and child care for three children, we wouldn't have come out ahead.

  But over the years, that fateful decision has locked us into two different roles. I work and earn. She takes care of the kids.

  Having a stay-at-home wife has given me enormous career flexibility. Unlike some of my colleagues, I've never missed days because of a sick child. I've been able to work late when needed, travel whenever I wanted for stories, and move around the country for better jobs.

  That's the upside. There are also big downsides. There's good reason to believe that Clarissa, who is bilingual and has a marketing degree, would have been successful in a multitude of careers. She never got the chance.

  And as the kids grew older, living on one salary was a squeeze financially. I come from a long line of cheapskates. But I've been made cheaper because it was tough supporting three kids -- particularly putting the eldest two through college -- on one salary.

  Periodically, I bring up the subject of Clarissa rejoining the work force. It's not so much the extra money, though I do worry about our household being completely dependent on one wage earner in a contracting economy. Mostly, I just think she's ready for something new, and she's very capable.

  We talked about it the other day. She points out that every time it seemed our kids had grown up enough for her to start working, something would happen to change that.

  A few years ago, our youngest boy came down with a painful neurological disorder, which flares up periodically. Clarissa was the one who toted him to the doctor and stayed up with him when he had a rough night.

  'Every time we started to ponder about work, he would get sick,' Clarissa reminds me. 'I needed to be home. If I had been working, I would have quit.'

  But that son is now a junior in high school, and he won't be in the house forever. Clarissa is rapidly approaching that day when she has to decide whether she wants to go back to work -- or find something else to do with her time.

  Every family has to navigate these decisions differently.

  Vickie Bajtelsmit originally trained to be a lawyer. Then, when she was 25 years old, she says she looked at a legal career and thought, 'I can't be a successful lawyer in a high-powered firm if I want to have kids.'

  So Ms. Bajtelsmit decided to become a college professor. Today, at 51, she is chair of the finance department at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

  She says she purposely picked a career with flexible work demands. Still, there have been times when her workday was upended by a sick child. 'I've often said jokingly to my female colleagues, 'I wish I had a wife,'' she says.

  For those women who do leave the work force, re-entry isn't easy. Clarissa is all too aware of this. Is there an element of fear about working again after 17 years at home?

  'Yes and no,' she replies. 'It's not as if I would get the plum job at this point anyway.'

  In fact, Clarissa believes one of her strengths is that she's flexible. She proved this the last time she worked, after graduating from college in 1989. She started as a customer-service representative at a consumer-finance company and was soon promoted to a much better-paying sales job.

  Clarissa still isn't sure she wants to go back to work. She says she could opt to stay home and work on hobbies like gardening or photography. And she might do some volunteering. After all the times she moved the family for my career, how could I complain?

  But Clarissa also believes she'll know the right time to return to work. And if she does, she'll eventually find the right job. 'Life just comes to you if you wait long enough,' she says.

我的母亲是位职场女性,所以我曾认为我的妻子也会成为上班族。我的太太克拉丽莎-阿库纳(Clarissa Acuna)也曾打算拥有自己的一份职业。

  不过我们两个都错了。自从1991年夏天克拉丽莎即将生下我们的第三个孩子以来,她就没再工作过。

  当时,让她上班在经济上变得不再划算。在缴纳了她的工资税和三个孩子的保姆费后,我们可能还要倒贴。

  不过这些年来,当时那个决定命运的选择让我们锁定在了两个完全不同的角色中。我赚钱养家,她照顾孩子。

  有个全职太太给我的事业带来了极大的灵活性。和我的一些同事不同的是,我从来没有因为孩子生病而请过假。我可以在需要的时候工作到很晚,可以为了写稿子想什么时候旅行就什么时候旅行,而且还可以为了更好的工作把家搬来搬去。

  这是好的一面。不过,这也有很大的弊处。克拉丽莎会两种语言,还拥有行销学位,有充分的理由认为,她本可以在很多种职业上获得成功。不过从来没有机会。

  随着孩子们渐渐长大,靠一个人养家糊口使我们在经济上有些吃紧。我一直秉承节俭的家训。不过这些年来,我变得愈加变本加厉,因为靠一份薪水养大三个孩子并不容易,特别是还供老大和老二上完了大学。

  我时不时地提起这个话题,建议克拉丽莎重新加入到上班族大军中来。可以挣到更多的钱并不是最主要的原因,不过我确实对经济持续萎缩之际,一家子全靠一份薪水过活感到担忧。从很大程度上讲,我只是认为她准备好要有所变化了,而且她人非常能干。

  几天前,我们又谈起这个话题。她说,每次我们的孩子看起来已经长大,她可以开始工作的时候,就会有什么事发生让她不得不呆在家里。

  几年前,我们的小儿子患上了痛苦的神经系统疾病,时不时地会发作。是克拉丽莎带他去看医生,当他晚上难以入眠时陪在他身边。

  克拉丽莎提醒我说,那时候每次我们开始考虑让我工作的时候,他就会生病。我需要呆在家里。就算我上了班,也会辞职。

  不过小儿子如今已经上了高中,他不会永远呆在家里。过不了多久,克拉丽莎就得决定自己是否要回去工作了,或是找点儿别的什么事打发时间。

  每个家庭都必须根据自己的具体情况做出决定。

  维姬?巴特斯密特(Vickie Bajtelsmit)最初接受的是律师教育。她说,在她25岁的时候,考虑了一下律师职业,然后想,如果我想要孩子的话,就无法在一家竞争激烈的事务所成为一位成功的律师。

  所以,巴特斯密特决定成为一名大学教授。现在,51岁的她是科罗拉多州立大学金融系主任。

  她说,她特意选择了一份工作要求比较灵活的职业。尽管如此,有时她的工作日还是会因为孩子生病而被弄得一团乱。她说:我常常跟女同事开玩笑说,我真希望我有个老婆。

  对于那些退出就业大军的女性来说,重新开始工作并不容易。克拉丽莎对此感触极深。在家呆了17年后重新开始工作,是否会有一点儿害怕?

  她回答说,可以说有,也可以说没有。无论如何,我也不会马上拿到最好的工作。

  实际上,克拉丽莎认为她的优势之一就是她的灵活性。她上次工作期间就证明了这点,当时是1989年,她刚从大学毕业。她开始时是在一家消费者融资公司做客户服务代表,很快就被提升到一个薪水更丰厚的销售职位。

  克拉丽莎仍然不确定自己是否想要重新开始上班。她说,她可以选择呆在家里,搞搞园艺或是摄影这样的业余爱好。她还可能做义工。在她为了我的事业把家搬了这么多次之后,我又怎能抱怨呢?

  不过克拉丽莎也认为,她会知道自己什么时候该重新工作。到那时,她会找到合适的工作。她说,如果你等得够久,生活会召唤你的。
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