Real friends will encourage positive career exploration

​My wife Francie decided to get her Phd at age 44.  She already had her undergraduate and master’s degree. But she always wanted a doctorate and was given a full graduate assistant fellowship to the University of Connecticut.  I was delighted.  She would be making the most of her potential and I know it would make her happy.
Francie’s parents and her real friends expressed equal delight. Naturally, there were some reservations.  We have three children and Francie is one of those moms who joyfully immerses in all things motherhood.  In addition, we live in Old Saybrook.  Those of you who know Connecticut geography realize that Old Saybrook is a long, long way from Storrs where UCONN is located.  (About 1 hour 10 minutes one way).
Nonetheless, 2-3 days of a long commute, some hectic activity juggling, and some additional demands on her wonderfully accommodating husband J would be worth fulfilling a dream. 
Due to worries about being the best mom she could be, Francie had her doubts.  But through encouragement from her true friends and family, she was set to go for it.  Then, a couple of “friends” began to sew the seeds of doubt. “Don’t you think it will affect what kind of mother you want to be?” One of these friends was particularly pernicious as she and husband sat down with Francie to convince her that she would be doing something really bad to her family.
The women that did this all had one thing in common: they didn’t work.  In my estimation, they were doing what men and women tend to do when they don’t have your best interest at heart. They were trying to keep someone from getting ahead of them.
I am so proud that my wife is now finishing her doctorate.  She is a wonderful example for all three of my children (and perhaps particularly to our two daughters) And, guess what, there was nothing of significance that affected her from being the great mother than she always has been.