Motherhood & Careers, Impossible?


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

5 Responses to “Motherhood & Careers, Impossible?”

  1. The older I get the more I realise you probably can’t have everything all at once, there will always be some form of compromise. All you can do is make the best decision you can for you and your circumstance and remember nothing is written in stone.

  2. Vicki Day says:

    It is a huge lie/ myth that you can have it all as a woman sadly something has to give either you don’t break the glass ceiling and spend precious time with your babies or you march on as if you haven’t got children and then get smothered in guilt – sadly we are judged as women which is really dumb. We need to procreate to continue the species but for some reason women get judged and penalised for doing what nature intended. So if I was to go back to being 25 and with a new born and working full time I would be a lot more aggressive and tell people to wise up and shut up who dare to comment on this as it is usually men
    I am sure my aggression would them be marked of as hormonal!

  3. Carly Sainty says:

    I think that whatever route you go it’s the guilt you need to manage. Guilt for missing school plays, travelling and your child is sobbing or leaving coworkers on late night projects because you need to get home to read a bedtime story for the first time in months! Getting through all of that is the real challenge.

  4. Penny Sturt says:

    I agree with the comments above. Another area is the challenges presented in co-parenting and truly sharing responsibility. Because that sometimes means not being there and the other parent getting to do the special things. It means allowing a power sharing of home responsibilities and that is something we women find surprisingly hard to let go of. (Some of it is easy…but not all of it, now what does that remind me of….)!

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