I’m often asked for my thoughts on this topic.
What I’d really like to do is to change the whole system of patriarchy that has made it a relevant question in the first place.
Society needs babies.
Women have babies.
Babies need parents. There are ways of making this happen that work for everyone, just take a look at what some of the Scandinavian countries have done. It requires a fundamental change in attitude.
Business needs women. It’s not sustainable, equitable, or in any way right in this day and age to have most of the power and decision making still in the hands of one half of the population.
But, we are where we are so this is my advice:
Well before the baby longings kick in plan your career as best you can. Discuss the issue well in advance with your partner. They should be as engaged in this as you are; it will be their child too. You don’t know how you will feel when you are pregnant but I guarantee you won’t feel the same. And I can almost guarantee that whatever you decide to do you’ll feel guilty sometimes. When I was home with my babies I often felt frustrated and slightly cross with myself for a) not contributing to our meagre finances, and b) not being at work continuing my career. I lost out on years of advancement. When I was working I’d see a mother with a child and think ‘I should be home with my babies, I miss them so much’. And I only worked part time!
Everyone will have a view and most likely share it with you so it’s important to know what you want before the hormone rush. Your plans may change but you’ll have more control, however you decide to do it. It’s your decision so don’t let others make it for you by default.
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Posted on August 20th, 2014 by Jane