Yesterday I met with an adult female student who wanted to withdraw from her LPN program. Reason? "I'm not being there for my children or my husband," she wept.
Then, we talked.
In short, her husband, who works out of state and is home a grand total of four days a month, has decided that she needs to be more present for him and their three children -- one who is in college, a senior in high school, and a six-year-old who has discovered that acting out earns everyone's attention. She disclosed that her husband came home to inspect the house and found anything that wasn't clean and scolded her. He refuses to tell her their income, except that it is "over $100,000", and, he believes she isn't giving him enough attention the four days a month he is home. She wept harder and harder as she told me this.
"But," she said, "I have such a heart for helping people. I take care of everyone and everything. He sleeps, eats, and wants sex when he is home. He doesn't pay any attention to the children. And, he pays me a salary for being home."
At this point, I wanted to shake her and scream, "Why are you doing this?? What about your desires? Your dreams? Your gifts?"
She's a straight A student in nursing. Holy cow.
One day, I fear, she will wake up to find he has found "his soul" with a woman half his age. She will have no skills, not experience, nothing.
I wanted to tell her that education is power. It is freedom. Choice. Control of one's life. Opportunity. A chance to make a difference in her children's lives by modeling how to pursue a dream and achieve a goal. She is showing her daughters how to stand on their own two feet. How she is becoming an adult instead of her husband's child, maid, housekeeper, and baby maker.
Instead, I patted her arm and told her that she had to do what would give her peace.
She filled out the form. And left. I was shattered.... for her, her children, and even her bully husband. A chance to grow and learn was lost.
If you educate a man you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman you educate a family (nation). -- Dr. James Emmanuel Kwegyir-Aggrey