Post # 1
I know we like to think we can have both but I am slowly coming to the realization that I am not sure I can. I really like my job, I really like working and I have always put my career first. I am a very driven person and have been fairly successful in my career as a result. I am just not sure if I am willing to give up my career and have kids. A lot of women in my office are pregnant right now which has made me starting thinking about if I can or want kids while I am pursuing my career. I hate the idea of being off of work for a whole year (I realize I don’t need to take a whole year). I feel that I would miss out on opportunities in my job field if I just stopped everything and started to raise a family. At the same time family does mean a lot to me and I am pretty sure I would like a family of my own someday. I know I am not even married yet but my FI for the most part really wants kids and he is aware of how I feel about the whole situation and said he would support any decision I make (including taking the mat leave for me). I have been really struggling with this for a while and it doesn’t help that all of my close friends have no desire to have kids so I would kind of be going it alone (I do realize they will be there to support me but from what I am told it is not the same if they don’t have kids too).
I know I sound kind of selfish about the whole thing but has anyone else struggled with the career/kids dilemma?
Post # 3
I definitely struggle with it. I think you can definitely be a teacher or nurse or something along those lines and have children. I’m a lawyer, it is a bit harder. It is doable… especially for those in state jobs… but for female attorneys in private practice… definitely not the norm. I think in certain fields it is extremely difficult to be successful both at work and at home.
Post # 4
I had my daughter young… at 19! I had to work through college with my daughter (with a lot of support from my parents) and eventually ended up landing an amazing job before graduation. I started out temping and ended up handling the majority of the PR for a Teachers Union in the Houston area… it was an amazing job!
Because I am a military wife I ended up relocating, but while I had the job I was very happy. I did however feel like I sacrificed too much time with my daughter though, and while she loved day care and I loved my job when I moved I decided to stay at home with her for a while and it has been amazing!
So to answer your question, yes it is completely possible! Difficult but doable!
Post # 5
Hopefully I don’t upset people with my opinion. I don’t have kids yet, so that could change things.
Frankly, I don’t think while they’re young (under the age of 5), that I’ll be able to have a career. I’m willing to take that sacrafice b/c to me, truly being there at that age is most important for my Fiance and me. If I have a career now, then take time off, I’ll lose momentum and I’ll lose that time between for advancement opportunities and could fall behind. Even when they’re 5+, if they get sick at school, it’ll be me that picks them up for the most part so it would seem my priorities are my children. So I’ll definitely be a SAHM for a long time, and then work part-time. Btw, I’m in accounting.
Post # 6
I worry about this too. I am by no means a “career women” if I didn’t have to work I wouldn’t and I’m not ashamed to say it!! I used to work at a daycare and it would break my heart to see the same kids there for over 10 hours a day monday – friday, but the more I think about it I would almost have to put my kids in daycare. Me and FH work M-F 9-6 jobs, that means we would have to drop off our kid at like 8:45 and then not be able to pick up until 6:15. I’m not sure thats what I want to do, but I’m not sure theres another option.
Post # 7
@beekiss2: Well, I did have something to say, but then you went and said it for me, so I’ll just say I agree with what you said and you said it exactly right. 🙂
Post # 8
I think alternative careers are great option. Hopefully places become more flexible about work hours and working from home. I think it’s a shame that there isn’t more options out there to keep family and work life both good and that they have to be at war with each other.
Post # 9
I think beekiss2 articulated my thoughts on this issue perfectly. I do see women who appear to be able to juggle career and kids well, but I personally cannot imagine being able to give my all to both, and no career would be important enough (to me!) to not be able to gve 100% to my family. My husband and I agree on this issue and this is a huge part of the reason I work for him at his business so I can continue to help him when I can once we have children and I don’t have to return to a job outside the home. Of course, I know that it is financially impossible for some families to have one parent at home with the children and there are so many families with two working parents that make it work very smoothly. I just know that it wouldn’t be the ideal situation for us. The motherlode blog on NYT.com often has very interesting – and heated! – posts on the topic of working moms vs. SAH moms.
Post # 10
Plenty of people do it succesfully, even in high powered jobs. My mom did. I turned out fine. You’ll just have to shell out serious $$$ for daycare but if you’re focused on your career, the $$$ should be there. You have to make a choice as to whether you want to be there every single second of your child’s existence or whether you want to keep your job. It’s a personal choice and I think only you know what’s right for you. Being a 2 income family was right for my parents, and ultimately that served me well as they were able to save and pay for college and all that shizz.
Post # 11
I think it really depends on your relationship with your partner and your goals for your career and family. My fiance and I aren’t very traditional. He’s perfectly OK with working part time or working from home or being a full-time stay at home dad. I’m more driven when it comes to a career and I don’t see myself giving up my career once I have children. I know plenty of women who have careers and children. It’s tough and they can’t always give 100% to both, but they make it work. I think having a supportive partner is the most important factor in finding a good balance.
Post # 12
It’s definitely possible, but it’s definitely difficult.
Like others have said, I think the career field can really determine how difficult it is to balance having a family and a career. It also can depend on the specific job and company you work for (some are very understanding of mothers and will allow you to leave work on those days when a kid is sick and stays home from school, some even offer daycare through the company) so it really varies by situation.
Before I met my fiance, I wasnt sure I even wanted children (even in the distant future), but as we spent more and more time together, my priorities really changed and the idea of a super successful career just didnt measure up to the thought of raising children together. At the time, I had not decided on a major, but was considering pre-law, english, and psych as my main options and fiance was already decided on finance (a major that generally starts at a very nice salary, but a lot of hours!). I have always loved studying English/Literature, but it doesnt hold very many lucrative career opportunities, so my changing plans on family vs career really made me consider which career field would allow me to balance family and still provide a fulfilling career.
After a lot of thought, I realized that I would love to teach at the college level, declared my double major in English and Communications and will be starting grad school this August. I feel fortunate that I was able to fully consider how to balance work and family BEFORE deciding on a career path, because I truly admire women who can balance a law career and family, but I know that I wouldnt be very happy struggling to make that work. Even a full-time professor can do a lot of work from home, but more and more colleges are relying on a large number of part-time professors, so that should work out just fine with my plans!
Post # 13
Absolutely! I think all mother’s do what is right for them. For me, I want to stay home at least until our future child/children are in grade school. I grew up as a child of a single mother and never, ever saw her. I don’t want that for my children. I want to be there for them during their most early years. Then, I’ll certainly return to the working world.
Everybody has different viewpoints on this and there isn’t a right or wrong.
@Pwitty That’s awesome you figured it out before getting married and having children. Sounds like a great career path to be home with kids. 🙂
Post # 14
I think just your mind set right now shows that you’re not ready for kids. Your looking at as “kids will take away from career opportunities” instead of “my career will take away from time with my kids”. We all need to look out for number one, especially when we are still trying to get established in our jobs, and our financial situation – but in my opinion having a family is a BIG sacrafice… and until you’re ready to devote your life to your kids, I would hold off. I’m not saying that mothers/parents can’t have a life – but you have to be willing to put your kids first (ie. like beekiss2 said, if your child calls home sick from school, you have to be willing to pick them up, take them home and care for them, without resenting them for “messing up” your work day).
BTW, I do not have kids yet… so this is just my uneducated opinion 😉
Post # 15
Before I started dating my husband, I was pretty set on never having kids. I wanted to be a career woman and really work my way to the top. After I started dating my husband, and eventually married him, that changed. I want to be a parent with him. And my career has drastically changed. I’m moving from a corporate America job to working for myself this year. I love what I do for my own business. It’s literally my passion. BUT, that said, my family (husband and future kids) will always come first. Therefore, I plan to take at least three years off when the kids start to come. But, I also plan on being an older mom because there are goals I want to reach before I dedicate myself to my kids.
It’s different for everyone. You just have to do what’s right for you, and it doesn’t sound like kids, right now, is what you want. And that’s fine! You may also change your mind down the line. You never know.
Post # 16
One thing I failed to mention is I think there are people who make it work, both parents willing to take time off for their children. I also like to say that I’m glad I have a choice. I’m glad we live in a time when I can choose, 70 years ago I doubt I could.
I have to say that it’s hard to do both perfectly. I really feel it’s a disservice to women to “expect” them to do both perfectly. If some women can do their jobs and raise their family perfectly, by all means continue, I’m wrong about them. I’m just not one of them. I praise women for their career advancements and I think women do wonderful things outside “the home.” I think everyone has to be careful b/c SAHM is a job, just not one glorified and I used to be of the thought that I could do both and actually looked down on SAHMs not doing both.
I think as long as people don’t judge another person for their choices, we’re all good 🙂