Williams should not be saying that," mumbles my husband. It's morning coffee
time and he's scrolling news items, skipping over the international wars and
local tragedies to highlight the pop culture nonsense he knows I like. He's hit pay dirt with a story about "Girls" star
Allison Williams' recent wedding to CollegeHumor co-founder Ricky Van
reads Allison's quote aloud to me: "'My
goal is to create a career I can walk away from and become a mom.'" It's a bold statement from an actress on the
rise, announcing her intention to ditch Hollywood for having babies—perhaps sooner
My husband is surprised Allison would confess to having one foot out the door so publicly, where any agent or movie studio
head can read it. "That is not something you say to a
prospective employer," he tells me. "And this kind of comment is exactly why
companies are afraid to hire young women."
But I can't help but admire a 27-year-old who knows her own heart so well.
While I don't think it's fair to hold one actress
accountable for women's plight in the workforce, I understand his point. Working women certainly don't benefit from the assumption that they are not in it for the long haul. And even highly productive working mothers
must often battle the perception that they're not as committed to their
companies as other employees.
But I can't help but admire a 27-year-old who
knows her own heart so well. When I was
pregnant with my first daughter, I told everybody I'd be back to work in six
months. Then she arrived, and everything
changed. I walked away from a successful career in television production that I'd
built over 10 years, working long hours and weekends. The schedule I'd thrived on suddenly seemed oppressive—impossible even. We figured out how to make our family work on one income, and I feel lucky every day (okay, most days) that I was able to opt out, at least for now.
Allison Williams does leave Hollywood to stay home, she won't be the first high
profile actress to do so. Phoebe Cates,
a huge star in the 80s ("Fast Times at Ridgemont High", "Gremlins") had kids with
husband Kevin Kline, quit the business and never looked back. Others like Elizabeth Hurley, Calista
Flockhart and Meg Tilly took long breaks to raise their babies and only
recently returned to work.
course, Allison may change her mind. Just as some women surprise themselves by deciding to become SAHMs,
others realize they are happier balancing life in the workforce with
you know whether you would want to stay home or go back to work? Were you right?