Christy Nielsen is a Harvard grad and blogger who has gotten some flak for her choice to be a stay-at-home mom. On HuffPost Live Monday morning, Nancy Redd interviewed her along with two other Harvard alumnae who chose to lean into childcare instead of corporate America.

All three women expressed the extreme gratitude they feel for having the financial option to be stay-at-home mothers (which is key in making them relatable, because so many women just do not have this privilege), while highlighting that a woman’s ability to make a choice regarding the direction of her life and her definition of success is at the heart of feminism.

So did we in any way glean from this interview that it’s a waste of a Harvard degree to stay at home with your children? Absolutely not. It’s a woman’s right to seek happiness and fulfillment in any way that is true to her—and yes, those ways can transform over time. Not to mention, if we call childcare what it really is—a job—it’s a lot easier to accept the idea that these ladies' Harvard degrees might have actually had positive impacts on their work. Is it a waste of time to raise empathic, intellectual generations of children? A diploma is definitely not an indicator of the successfulness of one’s parenting, but aren’t we repeatedly told college degrees are what you make of them? At this time, these women are using what they’ve learned through their lives in motherhood. At another point in their lives, they might utilize their degrees to accomplish goals that are more socially accepted as career-oriented.

As interviewee Annie Stephenson Murphy stated, “I know I have the opportunity to have many reinventions of myself." For now, she is simply doing what she feels is best for herself and her family, an attitude reminiscent of the one that inspired Harvard graduate Ryan Park to become a stay-at-home dad—Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s—and is detailed in this Atlantic piece. If we can respect Park’s decision, we can surely respect the decisions of these mothers.

Image via Great Picture

Marissa is an NYC-based writer who loves feminism, doughnuts, and being outside. She's not a huge fan of writing personal bios, but she does love writing pretty much anything else. Read more of her work at marissadubecky.com and follow her on Instagram at @marissa_aleta

Support Feminist Media! During these troubling political times, independent feminist media is more vital than ever. If our bold, uncensored reporting on women’s issues is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $25, $50, or whatever you can afford, to protect and sustain BUST.com. Thanks so much—we can’t spell BUST without U.