By Chandrama Anderson
Highly Educated Women Moving to Silicon Valley/Bay AreaUploaded: Nov 19, 2015
It seems there’s a continuing influx of people from around the country and the world to this area. Many families move to Silicon Valley and the Bay Area for a job that's been secured by the husband or wife, (more often the husband, based on the phone calls I receive).
Silicon Valley offers so many economic and career opportunities, and seeks the best and brightest from all over the world.
You talk over the move, if that's how it's done in your culture, make the decision to come, and implement it. You've prepared for this change, yet in other ways you're unprepared.
There are, of course, many positives to living here. In addition to the career opportunities – to be at the core of making something cool, or a breakthrough technology – the climate is wonderful, it’s beautiful, close to the ocean and mountains . . . And there are difficulties too, and it's okay to talk about them.
A tremendous variety of feelings and adjustments to be made are normal. Many of you women who move here are highly educated. You must decide whether to be a stay-at-home mom (which is work), or part-time or full-time working moms. Some women don't have green cards and so they can't work. These choices impact your career in the future, as time out of the workforce derails your career to an extent; whether or not it should is a separate topic.
Moving here may include cultural adjustments, loss of the local support system of family, friends and coworkers.
Many women make new friends through activities at their children’s school(s). Others make friends through a religious or spiritual community. And these may or may not feel like friends that you resonate with, or share interests with outside of that initial framework in which you met. So where do you make these important friends? Build a new support community?
It can be competitive here, even down to birthday parties for kids, let alone accomplishments.
Meanwhile, your husband is busy at work, securing the job you came here for. He may be putting in an extremely long hours, and the job duration is longer than either of you expected. He may or may not be making friends himself.
You may be handling all the logistics, managing the household, planning vacations, etc. You both may feel overwhelmed and exhausted. Your task loads at home may be unequal.
Meanwhile, what happens to your partnership, intimacy, and sex?
All of these issues can lead to resentment, which can chip away at the foundation of your marriage.
Come back to each other in intimate, connecting ways. Remember why you made the decision to move here. Work toward compromises to meet the needs you each have. What can't you compromise on? What's most important in your needs?
Something I've often seen happen in these situations is that the mom gets focused on the kids (she'll even call them “my” kids instead of “our” kids); the husband focuses on his career, and the result is losing your couple identity.
How do you handle these issues? Where do you meet friends that feel like a good fit?