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Did becoming a mom change your career aspirations?”

21 replies so far...

  • Just saw this question and I think the answer for me is ... I'm in the process of changing my mind. I have a 16 month old, whom I get to see for about an hour and a half each day during the week (I work an hour away from home at a university, where I direct my own center). I've always been ambitious, but not being home for my son is eating away at me. I'm trying to figure out what the next step is ... and would love to create something on my own, but am not sure what or how. Working at home certainly sounds appealing, and I'm not so sure any more that being at the top means so much to me!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Justine on 1st February 2008

  • Uh, YEAH. Let's just say that before I had a baby, my vision of working motherhood was all rosy-posy. OF COURSE I could stay on my career path. OF COURSE I could have it all. OF COURSE, I would need childcare, but how hard could that be? I mean, everyone does it, right?

    LOL. Boy, was I naive. I didn't have a clue. Even after finding a good daycare for my baby, the two and a half years I tried to juggle motherhood and career were the most stressful and unhappy of my life. When my husband received a promotion and huge salary increase -- with his assurance that there would be no more "child care issues" (because when Megan was sick, he might have to stay home to care for her one day to my four), I JUMPED at the opportunity to quit the rat race and stay home.

    It took me nine months of doing nothing to decompress from that situation -- and then realize that even w/hubby's raise, we couldn't live on just his salary. So then I started looking for part time work, and made another nasty discovery: employers are really happy to take advantage of your skills and experience on a part time basis, but are not willing to pay for them. I could not see myself starting all over in a crappy admin job for $7 an hour and STILL have to worry about what to do when my kid came home from preschool with a fever. That's when I started looking into home businesses.

    That was 8 years ago, and I have not looked back.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Donna Schwartz Mills on 12th January 2008

  • Wow- yes. I went back to work thinking nothing had changed and got socked in the face with how changed I was. I was asked to be on call 24/7 for my job AFTER I had my daughter and I did it for almost a year and I was a mess that entire first year of her life. I realized that my job was not what defined me and not what I wanted out of life. I quit my job and decided to go for broke with freelance writing. It's hard but I'm getting there. I am doing what I love too. I run three blogs and contribute different places and it works for us. I'm so glad I did it.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Vicky on 11th January 2008

  • Definitely! Because I wanted to be available to my children, I chose the route of entrepreneurship. Working for myself for 16+ years has allowed me to control my schedule and and keep it in sync with the kids' school, extracurricular & social schedules. Although at times it does take some maneuvering and juggling, it's been a great experience and has worked out really well for our family!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Mary Davis, Author, THE ENTREPRENEURIAL MOM on 10th January 2008

  • Not really ... I was one of those who really never knew what I wanted to be when "I grew up". I ended up joining the Air Force and never planned on making it a career so after I had my son, I got out of the military and went back to my old job as a bank teller. It was hard for me being away from my child so when I got pregnant with #2 and was having pregnany problems following a miscarriage, I quit my job.

    I sort of fell into a medical transcription job at home and have been doing that for the past 15 years so I think maybe BECAUSE of having kids, I found my career.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by on 10th January 2008

  • Absolutely! I always thought I would be climbing the corporate ladder, but all of that changed after having our daughter. I now work part time out of the home and swear I will never go back. However, some of those sentiments have to do with the fact that I was an older first-time mom, and had already clocked 25-plus years in the workforce. I see some of my friends without kids feeling the same way. However, I do think having a child gave me a real focus away from corporate, and one that I am still enjoying. If I was in my 20s or 30s, I don't think I would feel the same.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Roberta Martone Pavia on 10th January 2008

  • It definately did. Before I had my daughter, I was so driven to be the best of the best and I had ideas to go get multiple degrees. I went to college for 2 years, graduated with my Associates and started working. After 6 months of working, we found out our daughter was on the way. After she was born, I had 4 weeks maternity leave. My daughter is now 15 months old, and every day I hate being away from her. I wonder what I'm missing out on. I wonder if she's feeling alright. I would love to take a couple years off to just be mommy. Eventually, I'd like to start my own business. Maybe a children's resale store or something. I haven't decided. The company I work for now is awesome though. We get awesome pay, great benefits, and we can come in as early as we want to get our time in. I just don't like not being at home with my baby.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by on 10th January 2008

  • I had children later than some (first child at age 37, second at age 39). I had already finished my Masters degree and risen in my filed to the point of being the head honcho. I didn't need the ego gratification of climbing that work gives. I have found the flexibility of working as a consultant to be ideal. I get to spend maximum time with my kids, feed my brain and earn a decent living. It took time to carve out this niche, but I feel very lucky.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Liz on 10th January 2008

  • Great question! I work in the nonprofit field and have fairly flexible hours; I can also plug in from home when I need to. Part of the nonprofit gig, however, is lower pay than corporate peers, and that was okay for a long, long time. Mostly, I think, because I am an "artist" at heart and I didn't want to "sell out," even though I need health insurance and a regular paycheck, etc. And I always believed I would eventually quit my job to write full time. Now, however--with daycare and other expenses--I find myself thinking differently. I have the ability to get promoted, earn more, provide better for my family (which includes moving to a neighborhood with better schools)--even though my passion still lies elsewhere. So I am taking steps to advance my career as I can, as long as the cost-benefit ratio works in my family's favor.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Janine on 10th January 2008

  • I was more motivated to succeed because I wanted to be able to support myself and my children on my own if that ever became necessary. I also created my own line of baby clothes, which I would not have done without learning firsthand which baby clothes I really liked or disliked. I also became a childbirth assistant and considered becoming a nurse after giving birth. I wouldn't have done that otherwise.

    Mom to 3

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by AmyE on 10th January 2008

  • Yes and no. I have been working in a fast-paced portion of my field, with lots of travel. At some point I was going to have to do a less "sexy" type of job to get some more breadth, which will benefit my career as a whole. I've just chosen to do that less sexy job sooner rather than keep putting it off. I need (and want!!) to be home more! (Never thought I'd say that!!!)

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by spacegeek on 10th January 2008

  • Yes. Becoming a Mom made me work harder and more organized. I think I brought in my coordination duties from the office into my homelife. I run both pretty much the same. I joke often that some of my co-workers are a lot like my children and I treat them as such.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Jess on 7th January 2008