“I love my job, but I want to have a baby.” Have you said this before? You worry that if you have a child, it will affect your career, professional growth and sanity. Despite the immediate “what ifs” that enter your mind, the aching desire to have a baby won’t go away.
These thoughts caused me many sleepless nights. I spent years in college and law school getting my degrees and becoming a professional. I got a great job, worked hard, and earned the respect of my peers. I had charted a very traditional professional course to put in the time, develop my skills, and advance. About the same time, I married a man, also a lawyer, and we soon began a family.
We had our first child and the needs of our
home life immediately changed. We had child care expenses, diapers, and music classes. I wanted to be home more with our son. Simultaneously, the demands of our careers grew. Projects at work became larger with higher stakes and more time requirements.
My husband and I decided that the best thing for our family was for me to scale back at work. Less days in the office, work more at home and, thus, have more time with our son.
A couple of years went by and we had a second child. We continued to balance family and work obligations. I scaled back a bit more from the office and increased my time telecommuting. I was worried because I was spending less hours in the office working with colleagues and my career path was changing. I feared it may never recover.
One day, I found myself standing at a crossroads where I wanted to have another child, but I wanted to keep working and advancing my career. I thought I couldn’t do both – stay professionally relevant and have a third child. How could I maintain a meaningful presence in the legal field and meet the needs of my family with three young kids?
I tried to ignore my desire to have another baby. I had two kids, both happy and healthy. The work life – family life tug and pull was challenging, but we were making it work with the help of a nanny, grandparents, and babysitters. Why add another child to our precariously balanced life? Continue reading “Enough. Or maybe just one more…”