Does career path really matter when you have a baby?

Erika - posted on 03/03/2010 ( 7 moms have responded )




I am working in a company for 5 years now. I was hardworking and always worked hard, taking initiatives to be an excellent performer and took job roles which were challenging. If my manager asked me to work extra hours or on shift, it's no problem with me.

Recently, I delivered a baby and suddenly all I wanted was to have time with my baby. Work becomes a second priority for me, it's more like I'm working just to have enough money to raise my children. My current job is alright, I've been doing it for some time, the problem is that it requires me to work extra hours and go on shifts which will definitely lessen my time with my baby.

I raised this concern to my manager and I informed him I wanted to do another job which can give me a more balanced life. My manager found a job for me which I happily accepted but he said I'm overqualified and there can't be much growth in that area, I could just be doing that same job for years, with less salary increment and promotion opportunites but I'll definitely have a balance life with family.

In a way, I'm very happy with the balanced job but I know if I take this job, it means my carreer will just be a flat pace. My manager also informed me, he's dissapointed that I didn't think of my future career.

What should I do? Stay in my job which has less time for family but definite bright career path or take the new job which has more time for family but no career path.


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Laurie - posted on 03/05/2010




Unfortunately, there is no easy answer for this question. I am a lawyer and a relatively new associate at my firm. I was in the firm for about a year when I found out that I was pregnant. I am lucky that my firm is really great about maternity leave, but the end result is that due to day care, my husband's schedule and the inability to predict my child's schedule each day, I can't work the 70+ hours I worked prior to having my daughter. I have a choice of trying to make partner by 35, or spending quality time with my family and having a good job! I am taking the latter.

Good Luck!

[deleted account]

Dear Erika,
YOu need to use this to your advantage. Nowadays anyone can create a side income on the internet, offering you the ultimate goal you have of flexibility. You will never find the kind of flexible dynamics in the conventional job, and no one will hand you that. You must create it for yourself. It may take time, but I'd begin blogging if I were you and learn everything around it that you can. Within a year you'd be surprised at the results!
Best of luck,

Kelly - posted on 03/05/2010




Like the others said this is a hard one.
I stayed at home for over a year with my son and we had only 1 income coming in and that was great as i got to see all thefirst's and loved every moment of it. Thenwe swaped roles and i worked full time and hubby stayed at home. I hated leaving to go to work but knew it had to be done.
Now im working a cruddy job part time as no one likes giving mummy's the hours they need to pick there kidsup from daycare (where i am anyways) But im about to have baby number 2 - hubby is working full time and after 6-12weeks i will be returning to work full time working for my MIL. I feel bad having to do it but i have about 4-5months before thishappens and time to get my head around it.

The reason for me is to better our family, buy a house, and have the money to affordthe things my family needs.
Weight up whatyou need. Money to do what is needed for your family or are you able to work lessand be with the family more and still afford everything needed.

Good luck this is one hard decisson no one else can make for you.

Maggie - posted on 03/04/2010




It's a tough choice. If you can afford to, spending more time with your child is worth it in a non-monetary way. A career is self directed and women are more than capable of spending time with their children as well as having a bright career, but its all done in a subtle way. Not all positions reap wonderful rewards with more hours. Nothing is certain, no matter what a manager sells you. Think about yourself and your child before you think of some else's bottom line. If you are truely driven by your career, you wouldn't have thought twice about the choice. Just remember though, sometimes when you get off the ride, you can't get back on. Timing is everything. Sometimes when you get passed over or when you choose to get passed over it's difficult to be looked at again. All those other people working on their career get in your way. You may not get a second shot. It depends what your true goals in life are and how you approach it. All the best.

Keisha - posted on 03/04/2010




You know I think it depends on the person. Parenting involves sacrifice at times and not all people understand in point..your manager. I can tell you that for me, my career has taken a backseat. Before having my children and getting married I was on a mission to be a super high powered business woman. I finished college, grad school and was ready to do it all. Now, none of that matters to me. I fortunately work for a company that pays me very well, is very flexible and very conducive to me having a family but I have no desire to pursue anything here that would take away my time from my family. That's just me and how I feel. I work to make a means for my family, however I no longer have those career ambitions and I'm not sad for it, not one bit. Maybe they'll come back later but who knows.

As for you. What will make you happy? After your child is older could you then maybe go back to the position you had or pursue something that would be at a higher level than you are now? I say do what will make you happy. As long as you can provide for your family, you'll be okay. You're in the workforce and you will have tenure with that company. If you decide to take the balanced job, I'm sure you'll be able to climb that ladder again when and if you're ready later on.

Bridget - posted on 03/04/2010




Hi Erika, it really is hard when it seems like you are forced to choose between your career and your family! I am in a very similar situation - I finished my degree, became a lab technician, then a teacher, then a senior manager and now I am back to being a lab tech in a school - BUT I LOVE IT! The fact that I can walk away from work and not think about it and whilst I am there it is extremely easy, yet still demanding enough that the day flies before I get to pick my little one up again!
Is there any chance that you can postpone your career path like I am and then resume it again once your little one is older and you are ready? I can go back to teaching whenever I want so it is easy for me to say!
I think you need to decide on what will make you and your family the happiest both now and in the future - be it making a few sacrifices now so that your career can still be a priority so that it doesn't affect your family's future, or taking that new job now and spending more time with family and then potentially resuming your previous position (if possible).
Good luck with your decision, realise you are not alone and whatever decision you decide to go with don't feel guilty as you will be doing the best thing for your family either way!!

Victoria - posted on 03/03/2010




Hi working momma,

to answer your question, maybe i would ask myself what is it that i really want ?? a career path or time with my family ? i feel both are important, but then tehre are times when sacrifices have to be made, and this could be one of them, if in your heart you feel happy and contented to care for the young family, i would take the lesser job to do it and not complain, from your explanations it shows you are a hardworker and as soon as baby grows old enough you will get right back on the previous job, i am also part of managment in my company but luckly for us it is so easy to pay for househelp, i am 9 months pregnant and have 2 kids 6 and 3 who goes to school, i still have time for their homework and weekend fun, but during hte day am afraid its them and the maid and TV

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