What I’m Reading: Farnoosh Torabi’s When She Makes More
I’ve been captivated by the topic, concept and possibilities of and for women as breadwinners for the past two years. I began researching it as I was founding Women’s Advancement Compact, inspired by the wish to see my niece Ashley feel the freedom to choose a husband not based on financial stability, but because she’s actually in love with him. Hence, my delight that Farnoosh Torabi has tackled the concept in her new book When She Makes More.
This playbook gives wonderful strategic advice about how to have a relationship (not just with a spouse) that is healthy when it comes to managing money. It’s a fountain of practical guidance through all aspects of a strong and spirited partnership, from bookkeeping, to housekeeping, to ensuring that the man feels a sense of pride regardless of his financial contribution to the household.
Although When She Makes More dives full-on into Farnoosh’s primary area of expertise….managing finances, she directs the reader well beyond her specific financial roadmap. I value her sensitivity towards nourishing a healthy relationship in general: the “financial household dance”, the alliance against social stigma, and the good old-fashioned art of childrearing were all explored from a fresh, modern perspective. Here’s how each resonated with me.
Leveling the Financial Playing Field
The emergence of women as breadwinners is a fairly recent phenomenon, and the delicacy of the subject will depend on the kinds of egos involved in your partnership. Farnoosh points out how men being hardwired to retain breadwinner status and all the lower brain instincts associated with it should not only be respected, but should be discussed in-depth at the onset of the woman-as-breadwinner phase of the relationship. She goes on to offer tailored, sensible strategies concerning bills and budgets, large purchase decisions, and navigating a lifestyle wherein not all expenditure is expected to be “Even-Steven”.
A United Front
In today’s society, we see a great divide in the philosophies and goals of stay-at-home moms vs working moms, and the controversy bleeds over into the lives of stay-at-home dads. Farnoosh handles the subject gracefully and skillfully in her book, offering advice to husbands and wives about the importance of forming an alliance in the face of threatened social status. Her tips are clever and simple to adopt, promising a variety of positive outcomes for couples who battle opposition from others about their modern lifestyles and household arrangements. She explores the possibilities as related to extended families, friends and colleagues, fitting you with the tools and conversations to have in advance of such encounters, and in effect, putting you at emotional ease with your “role reversal”.
A Thought on Parenting
Often parenting begins spontaneously, with little or no prudence granted to agreeing on parenting styles, let alone whether the other expected to have kids in the first place. Farnoosh takes what I’ve always considered to be under-explored territory in relationships, and lays it all on the table, emphasizing not only the dynamics and fairness of parental forethought, but also the importance of quality time spent on mind, body and soul for parent and child. I’ve seen her “happy parent = happy child” model in action, and I find her nuanced outlook on forming a rich parent/child relationship to be priceless. This section alone is worth the investment in When She Makes More.
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