Royal Wedding Lesson #1: Run Your Life Like Kate Middleton

Last Updated Apr 29, 2011 12:23 PM EDT

Kate Middleton put her career aside in favor of focusing on getting married. When Prince William dumped her, she took a foray into the fashion business, but only, it seems, as a diversion from heartbreak. Then, when they got back together, there was no pretense of career interests for Kate.

This makes good sense, and here's why: The chances of birth defects skyrocket after a woman turns 35. If you want to have two kids before you are 35, you need to start when you're 30, assuming you have one miscarriage, which is way more likely than you think.

To have kids at 30, you would do best to get married at 28, so you have two years of marriage with no kids. To get married at 28, you probably want to find Mr. Right at age 25. That means women don't have a lot of time to focus on career early in their adult life. (I've been researching this topic for years. Here is the supporting evidence.)

So focus on marriage and kids first, because you're a ticking time bomb. Then focus on a career. Also, there's a bonus to this plan: many women will find they are like Kate in that there is a natural career path based on the type of guy you marry.

Chase your guy around the country.
Kate relocated for the guy she's dating. Most women do that and think they are doing something wrong. In fact, it does decrease the woman's long-term earning power, but the women have more vested interest in finding a guy fast; men don't need to relocate to get married before their eggs dry up.

Also, it's clear that ultimately, women care more about their kids than their career. It's why women are neck-in-neck with men's earning power until there are kids. And then women start making choices that favor kids over career. So, if women care more about family than work, it makes sense that women would relocate to follow family prospects rather than career prospects.

Look for your own prince: you can't help it.
Women want a prince. According to a poll in Working Woman magazine, women and men say they approve of women earning more than men, but among couples that are actually doing it, they don't like it. Also, no matter how much money women earn, they would prefer to marry a guy who earns more. So we can scoff at the prince/princess thing, but we all want it. It's in our nature for women to want to have a provider and men to want to be the provider.

Also, in the zillions of books that explain the differences between men and women, women want to feel loved and men want to feel useful. Which means that men can bring home the proverbial bacon to feel useful and make the woman feel loved. This is not social pressure.

And maybe this explains the worldwide fascination with the Royal Wedding. Slews of people took the day off to watch the wedding. Women who can support themselves, taking a day off from work to indulge themselves in a fairytale. We can't sidestep what our DNA tells us to want, even when society tells us not to.


Get training for your rags-to-riches moment.
Boston College has conducted a study of the super-rich - those with at least $10 million. And the conclusion is that the money causes trouble. We all need to feel like we need to work, but work feels more like charity when you don't need the money. And we all need to feel loved, but it's hard to know if someone loves you for you or for your money when you are a member of the super-rich.

In fact, researchers in that Boston University find that the only people who have as many money worries as the super-rich are the super-poor. Given that information, each of us should acknowledge that we need some thoughtful coaching in order to be rich. It's disorienting and even someone like Prince Charles, who prepared his whole life for the keys to a kingdom has, in fact, lead a largely useless and unsuccessful life (though gosh, I love his sons so much).

In order to be productive and fulfilled in the face of a huge fortune, you need training. Kate has had this training, under the kind tutelage of her prince, and she is ready to lead a relevant life in the monarchy. Her first step is becoming a role model for contemporary women who are rarely encouraged to be their true selves at the expense of booming career possibilities.

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