Highly Educated Women Moving to Silicon Valley/Bay Area | Couple's Net | Chandrama Anderson | Palo Alto Online |

Local Blogs

Couple's Net

By Chandrama Anderson

E-mail Chandrama Anderson

About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and have lived in and around Palo Alto since 1969. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in Silicon Valley for 15 years before becoming a therapist. My background i...  (More)

View all posts from Chandrama Anderson

Highly Educated Women Moving to Silicon Valley/Bay Area

Uploaded: 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?

Comments

 +   6 people like this
Posted by sEaN, a resident of Sylvan Park,
on Nov 22, 2015 at 7:18 pm

sEaN is a registered user.

Birthday parties are competitive here? Lol - most of the foreign women that come here are younger, more attractive, smarter, and have a sense about them that the local women or regulars don't have. Your lady's here should learn from them not vice versa. Btw my group of friends make females are couples in mid 30's with kids - they are Swedish, Russian, Turkish, and Korean to name a few, have been in the USA for less then 3 years and yeah, not older Americans. Just my .02


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by marc665, a resident of Midtown,
on Nov 24, 2015 at 8:51 am

marc665 is a registered user.

I have a very politically incorrect question.

Why do so many of the highly education american women who move here quit their jobs?

I'm not talking about foreigner who need a work permit and can't work. I'm talking about american born women, that went to college, got a law degree or MBA had a career and as soon as they move here they become stay at home moms. They just bail out of their career. And this is with a nanny, au pair, and housekeeper so you can't say that they are doing this to take care of the children.


To post your comment, please login or register at the top of the page. This topic is only for those who have signed up to participate by providing their email address and establishing a screen name.

Vina Enoteca to serve first 'Impossible burger' in Silicon Valley
By Elena Kadvany | 21 comments | 7,389 views

Coupon for Yourself and Your Partner
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 2,149 views

Housing Impact Fees and the Economy
By Steve Levy | 2 comments | 908 views

Planning for College Tours
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 0 comments | 416 views

 

Short story writers wanted!

The 31st Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult (15-17) and Teen (12-14) categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by April 13, 2017. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

Contest Details