WHY MEGHAN MARKLE QUITTING HER ROLE AS AN ACTRESS TO RAISE A FAMILY WITH PRINCE CHARLES IS UPLIFTING
This week, a headline that really had everyone all excited was the announcement of the engagement of Prince Harry and his long-time girlfriend, actress Meghan Markle. The internet was buzzing in reaction to the news that there would at long last be a black princess in the royal palace.
While Meghan is much more than just an actress – she’s also an avid humanitarian – she made it clear that she was planning to refocus her life towards starting a family with Prince Harry and leaving her 7-year run as Rachel Zane on USA Network’s hit show Suits.
In an interview with Sky Network, she explained how this was not a hard decision to make at all:
“I don’t see it as giving anything up. I just see it as a change. It’s a new chapter, right? And also, keep in mind, I’ve been working on [Suits] for seven years. We were very, very fortunate to have that sort of longevity on a series…I’ve ticked this box, and I feel very proud of the work I’ve done there, and now it’s time to work with [Harry] as a team.”
But, leaving your career to pursue being a full-time wife and mother – with or without the royal title – is never really an easy choice to make, and it tends to appear more simple than it actually is. Some critics think Meghan’s choice reflects a patriarchal expectation that women – royal or not – should put their careers aside when they become wives and mothers.
I disagree entirely.
In fact, I think her decision is downright uplifting.
I remember when I sat in my boss’s office and told him I was leaving my job to be a stay-at-home mother. He looked at me like I was completely insane.
I was an executive manager at one of the world’s largest banks, I had a 401k, paid benefits, and a nice fat salary at the age of 27. I was also a newlywed, and 13 weeks pregnant. My priorities were shifting and all I wanted to do was create a home for my husband and our son-to-be. I walked out of my office on my final day of work knowing through and through that I had made the right choice.
I spent my son’s first two years of life at home. I saw him take his first steps and say his first words – milestones many of my mom friends have admitted to missing because their child was in daycare while they were at work. Working moms have outwardly normalized the process of leaving our kids behind each day to go to work, but waving goodbye to your little one each day is no easy task.
Opting to leave them, especially in their early years, can be heartbreaking – but, so can the opposite choice.
My first year as a mom was filled with emotional ups and downs that included the sinking feeling that I was losing relevance. I wasn’t up on trends, I was just up at night nursing my sweet baby boy. As much as I cherished every moment of it, I did begin to long for the world outside my doorstep. Two years home was just enough for me, and my eventual return to work, though bittersweet, was one I welcomed. Do I regret my decision? Not for a moment.
As women, no choice we make about our career is simple. We face incredible odds and seemingly insurmountable biases once we become mothers. But, there’s no shame in opting for that 1950’s-style life, caring for your babies, and supporting a working husband. In a world that has forced us to fight for our right to choose, making that particular choice is ironically progressive.
Meghan Markle is unapologetically choosing the life of a full-time wife and mother for now and I have the upmost respect for her because of it. But princess or not, she’s not opting for less work or a carefree life.
Whether you’re running the halls of a corporation or running the lives of a busy family – you’re still working full-time. And your work is undeniably just as important.