Work or baby?(6 Posts)
I wasn't sure where to put this!
I have two children aged almost 5 and 7, from previous marriage. I remarried last year and am very happy - new husband is a fabulous step dad and has no kids of his own.
I work three days a week and am qualified to post-grad level in order to do my job. I'm very academic (1st in my undergrad, distinction in my masters, currently publishing research etc) and have to be for my career. Do progress further, I would need to do a three year full-time paid doctoral course - no part time option available and very very intensive. I am toying with the idea of applying to do this next year (if they accept me!), as both kids will be at school.
But, DH and I would love to have a baby. I am so broody lately. I am 30 and he is in his 40s. I'm afraid that if I wait until after my doctorate, age will no longer be on our side. I get very unwell during pregnancy (severe early onset pre-eclampsia amongst other things) and both my kids were very premature. DH is also anxious about being an older dad, in his 60s by the time our child would be at uni. I'm scared my fertility will drop also, I have PCOS and struggled to conceive before, although not as much as some do, admittedly.
But if I have a baby now, I might never get to achieve the career hopes I have, as I would want a years maternity, plus most of my pregnancy off sick in hospital, then part time for 2-3 years.. I am afraid I'll no longer be on the ball work wise or academically and be unlikely to be accepted onto the course I want to get the promotion.
Any advice? I want to have it all but I don't know how to!
A career can wait. Babies can't.
I left it too late and didn't even manage to have one. In your shoes, if I wanted another baby I would do that first. The rest will sort itself out.
You've got another 40+ years of working ahead of you - a few years out now will not wreck everything.
However, I'm not sure I could choose to put myself in a position of being that unwell if I had existing DC to look after.
Work can wait, babies can't but health trumps the lot.
Health wise, in my second pregnancy I knew I would likely be unwell again so I hired a cleaner and a part time nanny to help me with the kids and extended family supported me the rest of the time. It is only for a short time, so worth it for another child. I was an inpatient for an extended period with my first pregnancy, and was supposed to be with my second pregnancy but due to having DC1 to look after I negotiated with my consultant and was a day patient instead except for at the very end, going in for 2-5 hours every/every other day for the required tests etc.
Plus hopefully next time I will be less unwell as I've lost over 6 stone and it's a different father which decreases my chances of pre-eclampsia.
Anyway thank you for the advice - it was sort of what I wanted to hear! I still feel torn though.
Ok, just playing devil's advocate here, but why not go for it with the further research? On completion, you'll be 33/34 - still plenty of time for another baby. The reality is that if you go for a baby first, then you might not feel you have the time/energy to devote to further study, and the time could slip away from you...
As for your hubby not wanting to be an older dad, well, it's kind of selfish of him to put that on you totally - he knew this when you got together.
My story. At 32, I was in a job I didn't much like. I was getting married to my partner of many years (who is a few years older), and we were planning to have kids as soon as possible after the wedding. Just before the wedding, my dream job came up. I knew that if I accepted it, I'd have to wait a few years before trying for a baby (to be fair to my employer - my choice). Discussed with (soon to be) hubby - he saw the logic. That's what we did. I gave birth to our first child earlier this year. We're all really happy, and I'm looking forward to going back to my (still dream) job at the end of my maternity leave.
Anyway, I don't know anything about you and your situation. What's right for you won't be what's right for others. Just don't feel that you have to put having a baby first because of your partner's needs. You've probably put yourself second a lot over the last few years simply by virtue of being a parent. This may be your time to really kick start your career. Ultimately, I'd recommend you go with your gut instinct and you won't go far wrong. And try not to second guess yourself too much whatever you decide.
I'd say go for both. It might sound crazy but who knows how long it might take to get pregnant - you can't put the rest of your life on hold just waiting. In any case who says you can't do the job with a baby - what about sharing the parental leave with your husband? I shared 50:50 my leave with my husband for DS and DD (and kept BF while at work in fairly high powered office job too) - it can be done.
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