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Career vs. family


Forum: January 2013 Playroom

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  #1  
December 7th, 2012, 08:23 AM
mal91011's Avatar Mommy to Maxwell
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I'm coming to realize the thing that's stressing me out the most isn't adding a little one to our family, not the potential for even more sleepless nights, not even the thought of natural labor. It's the though of being away from my job for 6-12 weeks. I have so much prep work and projects to finalize before i'm done it's making me crazy.

I hate the fact that i'm thinking in the back of my head that i got pregnant and am having my sweet beloved baby at the worst possible time ever in my career. At 8 weeks pregnant i got moved into my dream role at my organization. It's a position that i had been pushing for for 2 years when they finally decided to take me up on my proposal. It's a position that is brand new and the organization has never had, but fills a HUGE void which creates a never ending stream of work and projects. I'm also a team of one, so it all falls back on me.

So now we've got all these things on the table and everybody is freaking out because it all needs to be back burnered till i come back from maternity leave and even then it won't be started on because when i come back from maternity leave i'll neck deep in planning for our yearly gala.

I'm just frustrated. I want it all, but how can i have it all? I have wanted a baby for so long and all those dreams are finally coming true. But at the same time i also got the awesome career that i've always wanted. I don't want my family to suffer because i love my job so much and so much is expected from me.

I'm just blabbering i guess. I just got out of a three hour long brainstorming session with the heads of the organization and there's so many wants but it all needs to get added to the long term to do list. I guess my brain is just overwhelmed. Maybe it's just hormones. I don't know.
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  #2  
December 7th, 2012, 08:40 AM
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If I were still working, I would TOTALLY get that. I remember how massively stressed I would get each time I went on a week vacation or even took a few days off!
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  #3  
December 7th, 2012, 08:42 AM
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I completely understand. It's so hard sometimes. But, in the long run, it's good to show people that women offer SO much to a company and have them realize that babymaking is part of normal life. We are worth it.
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  #4  
December 7th, 2012, 08:42 AM
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oh I understand! We had a position come up and I wanted the promotion but just found out I was pregnant so didn't apply. Luckily my supervisor approached me and assured me having a baby wasn't an issue. So I got the promotion and now I'm worried about being gone. Since I know I could go anyday I've already been through my panic of having everything done in advance and now I'm just handling day to day tasks. Every day when I leave I have everything to a point that its ok if I don't make it back the next day. But I still worry.
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  #5  
December 7th, 2012, 08:58 AM
MammaWannaBe's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I am so feeling you Mal. I am going through the same struggles. When I got pregnant I really wasn't in the job I liked so I wasn't really concerned. But, I got into a position around 4 months that I honestly love. It is the perfect mix of creativity and the one on one client communication that I love and I'm good at it. Maternity Leave is so stressing me out because 1. I don't actually get maternity leave because I am a 1099 with the company I am working on. Therefore I have to prepare all these social media calendars for months in advance and teach individuals what I did and trust them not to screw it up. It's super stressful. Also I am starting to get more outside people that of course now want to hire me and it's hard because I have to say no and I have no idea when I will be ready to take them on. The uncertainty is really scary.

I wanted this baby so bad and I do want this baby so bad, but of course at the same time my career is starting to go in a direction that I love. I'm really struggling with how I will balance everything after I have the baby and how I can be great at both. Right now my clients are my babies, but I know that will change. It's the whole "having it all" arguement and I do believe that their will eventually be compromise invovled or something will falter (and I don't want it to be my parenting). It's also an identity struggle. I think I would love not working because that would be some stress off my plate, but then who am I? (les mis reference hope someone caught it). Not saying being a full time mother is not a worthy job, but where is your own identity in it all?

Sorry, went so off in tangents. What I'm trying to say is I totally understand you Meg and I struggle with maternity leave and the fears of what will happen when I'm gone and the frustration of not being able to do more knowing that I will have a baby in a few weeks.
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  #6  
December 7th, 2012, 12:04 PM
mal91011's Avatar Mommy to Maxwell
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Thanks ladies. I'm definitely having a tired, pity party kind of day. I'm so worn out mentally i don't know how i'm going to accomplish everything i need to get done here before the baby is born. And i'm trying to get everything wrapped up by Christmas just in case i do go early. It makes me feel so behind!

During our long meeting today it became a running joke - items that needed to be addressed BC and AB. Before Child and After Baby. Needless to say there's lots of items on the list.

I also feel super guilty even THINKING to myself that i got pregnant at the wrong time. I'm so madly in love with this little person i haven't met yet i wouldn't want them in any way to think they're not wanted. It's SOOOO wanted. But so is a career i love and see myself staying at for the rest of my life.

Ugh. It's not easy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by michellelb View Post
Every day when I leave I have everything to a point that its ok if I don't make it back the next day. But I still worry.
I wish i were at this point - i feel so far away from having things wrapped up on a day to day basis!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MammaWannaBe View Post
It's the whole "having it all" arguement and I do believe that their will eventually be compromise invovled or something will falter (and I don't want it to be my parenting). It's also an identity struggle. I think I would love not working because that would be some stress off my plate, but then who am I? (les mis reference hope someone caught it). Not saying being a full time mother is not a worthy job, but where is your own identity in it all?
This is what worries me. I know i wouldn't be able to not work - i'm just not cut out to be a SAHM. I don't know that i'd say that my career is my identity, since it took me till i was 34 to be in the position i wanted, but at the same time it took until i was 34 to get here - i still have so much to prove.

Blah, i'm rambling now. It's a good thing it's the weekend.
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  #7  
December 7th, 2012, 04:03 PM
MammaWannaBe's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I'm going to send you an article that I read a few months ago about the theory of having it all. I found it interesting and maybe you will too. I don't think it solves the issue and it's more progressive, but just know you're not alone with these internal struggles!
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  #8  
December 8th, 2012, 07:07 AM
mal91011's Avatar Mommy to Maxwell
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Thanks friend! I'll check it out right now.
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  #9  
December 8th, 2012, 07:43 AM
MsRK's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Hey lovely!!

I'm already struggling with this in a different sort of way because I was a 100% workaholic. It's just not possible anymore when I got pregnant and it frustrates me a lot and is the ONLY REAL problem I feel like I am facing during pregnancy. I actually have some depression over the fact that I can't work like I want to on my business and it makes me feel useless and angry sometimes.

Anyway..what I wanted to tell you is when I was working (I was with the company for 10 years as head of the I.T. department) and if a mother went out on maternity leave we gave her a laptop and VPN access to remote into the network if she wanted. That way she could get as much work done as she wanted while she was on maternity leave.

While some of the women didn't , of course, keep up their normal pace a lot of them said how incredibly helpful it was because they didn't have to come back several months later to a nightmare of work. Most companies have some sort of VPN access so if the type of work that you do allows it, maybe you can inquire about doing something like this.

I do hope that you find a resolution that works for you though. Good luck!
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  #10  
December 8th, 2012, 08:43 AM
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Wow! I could write pages and pages on this. I am my own boss and own a company with two locations. I love my job, my career, my employees.... The whole thing. But being a woman is very stressful Ina male oriented field..... But I don't care! I have the kahunas! Lol.... Even if it really is my big ole milk making kahunas...lol

I returned to work when my oldest was 3 days old and when my twins were 5 days old. Yep. You read that right! I took my babies with me and breastfed and cuddled and worked and worked. I am no less of a mama with no less of a bond. Was it hard at times.... You betcha! Did I catch grief then and catch it now for not taking "maternity leave" yep...... Do I care? Nope! I miss more work now running a 5 yr old and twin 4 yr olds to all their activities than I ever did before or after they were born. And I HATE MISSING WORK!
You gotta do what's right for you.... Cause that makes it right for your baby, too! Maybe ask about doing some projects from home and maybe even about bringing baby with you some.... No harm in asking. I would love to say I could be a crunchy, stay home mama..... But heck no! Work is so much easier than being here! Kudos to you stay home girls..... This sista ain't doing that mess! You know those projects and events and new marketing etc you've been working on? They are kinda like babies and benefit from your nurturing touch too! Don't feel guilty! I mean it!
Good luck girlie!

Can u tell I totally feel like you can have a career and a family? Heck... I am having baby number 4 and still work full time!
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  #11  
December 8th, 2012, 10:34 AM
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Can you post the "Having it all" article, Meredith?

I think we get so caught up in the "vs" part of the argument instead of figuring out how, as a family, we can find some balance and have it some. ("Having it all" seems like a ridiculous proposition to me.) I think working will make me a better mom. I think that's true for lots of people. And I' lucky that I love my work. I will miss it, and feel kind of forced out for the weeks of informal leave we've discussed. (We don't have a formal leave policy.) I know I'lll want to spend time resting and getting to know our baby, but if I' up for working, why not? My due date is wildly inconvenient, too, but I had to remember there's no convenient time to have a baby, really.

I feel like I could talk about this for hours, it's really emotional for me. I'm with you.
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  #12  
December 8th, 2012, 10:48 AM
MammaWannaBe's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d_tops View Post
Can you post the "Having it all" article, Meredith?

I think we get so caught up in the "vs" part of the argument instead of figuring out how, as a family, we can find some balance and have it some. ("Having it all" seems like a ridiculous proposition to me.) I think working will make me a better mom. I think that's true for lots of people. And I' lucky that I love my work. I will miss it, and feel kind of forced out for the weeks of informal leave we've discussed. (We don't have a formal leave policy.) I know I'lll want to spend time resting and getting to know our baby, but if I' up for working, why not? My due date is wildly inconvenient, too, but I had to remember there's no convenient time to have a baby, really.

I feel like I could talk about this for hours, it's really emotional for me. I'm with you.
Here is the article Why Women Still Can?t Have It All - Anne-Marie Slaughter - The Atlantic

I was hesitant to post it because it won't be every woman's cup of tea, but I think it is a worthwhile read either way. It basically takes on the idea of "having it all" and to the author's point, you can't and it's a feminist idea that has made a lot of women in this generation feel inadequate because they can't have it all. Her main point is that, if our economy, what we value in people, and just the structure of the office were different, than we could have it all, but the workplace is not super flexible for women. (once again this is what I took away from the article)

I think overall the article made me feel better about myself. If a high ranking Washington official feels that way than it's ok that I struggle with how to "have it all" as well. Granted she is also a Princeton professor and had the luxury of going back to that job that allows a better balance between work and family, but she has some interesting ideas that make you think.It made me realize that I have to evaluate what my limitations are and how I can still have my cake and eat it too. It's frustrating though at times that I have all these projects I want to take on and can't and that I don't know when I will be ready to get back to work (I am a contractor so Maternity Leave is just time off unpaid), but I can't see myself not working at all because I truly do what I love and it's part of my identity. It's overwhelming at times.

Here's a paragraph from the article
"The first set of reactions, with the underlying assumption that my choice was somehow sad or unfortunate, was irksome enough. But it was the second set of reactions—those implying that my parenting and/or my commitment to my profession were somehow substandard—that triggered a blind fury. Suddenly, finally, the penny dropped. All my life, I’d been on the other side of this exchange. I’d been the woman smiling the faintly superior smile while another woman told me she had decided to take some time out or pursue a less competitive career track so that she could spend more time with her family. I’d been the woman congratulating herself on her unswerving commitment to the feminist cause, chatting smugly with her dwindling number of college or law-school friends who had reached and maintained their place on the highest rungs of their profession. I’d been the one telling young women at my lectures that you can have it all and do it all, regardless of what field you are in. Which means I’d been part, albeit unwittingly, of making millions of women feel that they are to blame if they cannot manage to rise up the ladder as fast as men and also have a family and an active home life (and be thin and beautiful to boot)."

Once again, it won't be everyone's cup of tea. Also some women don't have a choice whether or not to work or to work in a certain field so there are variables to consider when reading this article. I wouldn't judge any woman's decision to choose whatever path is right for her, but this is a compelling article about the current workplace structure and how it effects women.
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Last edited by MammaWannaBe; December 8th, 2012 at 10:57 AM.
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  #13  
December 8th, 2012, 05:43 PM
Lucky Mama's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I just wanted to add my two cents as a SAHM. I think it is really, really hard to plan something like this out in advance, but that somehow everything works out.

When I was a teenager and young(er) adult, I worried about being a mom in general. I HATED babysitting. I felt like I was good with kids and that they liked me, but I got no enjoyment out of caring for or being responsible for youngsters. It sounds awful, but true. I had always wanted to be a mom, but I was honestly worried I would hate being responsible for my own little munchkins 24/7.

Plus, I loved my job. It wasn't my dream career, but it was very fulfilling and challenged me and put me in a leadership roll. It played to my strengths and my bosses had taken note. I had stellar benefits and worked with people I saw as friends. It was great!

Then I had my first. Oh, my gosh! What a world-altering event that was! I had 6 weeks of maternity leave I had planned on taking. But when that 6 weeks was up, I need more. I asked for 8 weeks, and then begged for 12. Wanting me to come back, my boss obliged the extra time. At the end of those 12 weeks, I called my boss and asked to be taken to a PRN (as needed) position. After my second was born, I quit altogether. I still loved my job, but, very surprisingly, I loved being home more.

I have been a SAHM ever since and haven't looked back. I love it. I feel complete. I feel lucky that my full time job now is raising my sweet, beautiful girls.

Now, I'm not saying that is how it will play out for everyone. Everyone is different and that's WONDERFUL! My point is that I would have never planned for things to go the way they did. Every mom has to find the balance for herself, and you will find it, but it may not be the balance you would imagine being perfect right now.

Try not to stress too much and trust that things will work out. There is a solution and you will figure it out. You just may not see it until that sweet wee one gets here. When you see all the pieces of the puzzle, you can reassess and arrange them in the best way for your family.

Hugs! Things will work out. Promise!
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Last edited by Lucky Mama; December 8th, 2012 at 05:49 PM.
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  #14  
December 8th, 2012, 05:47 PM
MammaWannaBe's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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That was well put. I think the uncertainty is most scary for a FTM like myself
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  #15  
December 8th, 2012, 05:52 PM
Lucky Mama's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I hear ya! Anything unfamiliar is a little (or a lot) nerve-wracking. I so remember that feeling when I was expecting my first. It can be hard to even imagine making so many things work, but it can be done!
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  #16  
December 10th, 2012, 08:29 AM
mal91011's Avatar Mommy to Maxwell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The only girl View Post
Can u tell I totally feel like you can have a career and a family? Heck... I am having baby number 4 and still work full time!
Reading stories like yours TOTALLY makes me feel better. There's just so much pressure out there, you know? And really, the majority of it is pressure we put on ourselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MsRK View Post
Anyway..what I wanted to tell you is when I was working (I was with the company for 10 years as head of the I.T. department) and if a mother went out on maternity leave we gave her a laptop and VPN access to remote into the network if she wanted. That way she could get as much work done as she wanted while she was on maternity leave.
A lot of us already have remote access so i will be VPNing in. Per our policy i can't work for the first 6 weeks, but weeks 7-8 i'll be VPNing in so at least i get some work in plus extra time with my little one. Then weeks 9-12 i'll be ramping back up in the office and working from home. So i am fortunate - i get to take a decent maternity leave but also get work done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MammaWannaBe View Post
I think the uncertainty is most scary for a FTM like myself
I think this is exactly what freaks me out the most - it's all an unknown.
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