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Having a family vs having a career ?

(7 Posts)
headingforthehills Sat 23-Jul-11 16:41:51

Hi everyone - I've never posted online before but am at my wits' end and would appreciate some views - good or bad. My DP and I have been TTC for over two and a half years. Our Dr's recommendation is for more and more invasive procedures - all fine (relativly speaking) if I was sure that having a family is for me. I changed jobs about a year ago to a more 'family friendly' environment and am so bored. I'm am ambitious career woman and have never bought the myth that you can have it all - you can't. I'm at a crossroads in terms of career vs. children and if I'm being completely honest, career is winning. My DP and I have a great life together, not having children doesn't feel like a big deal - and after two and a half years of TTC, shouldn't it ? My DP is fairly keen that we press on with the fertility treatment, however, which is beginning to make me quite resentful. I'm getting to the stage where I just want to move on, into a world where kids aren't on the agenda - argh !

All thoughts gratefully received.

knitterati Sat 23-Jul-11 17:31:05

Hi headingforthehills!

First of all, and this may seem really obvious, but you really need to talk openly to DP about how you feel. I too don't believe you can have it all. It is a myth and you do need to decide what you want for yourself short and long term.

I think it's natural to feel a bit nervous about starting a family because it is a big deal. That said, Im sure that as soon as a little one arrives on the scene, your whole world turns and the universe centres around that little person whether you realise it or not and you'll think it's the best thing that ever happened.

I'm in a similar position about the whole fertility thing getting more serious - why don't you suggest to DP that you carry on ttc, but hold back on the fertility treatments until you feel you've got your career where you want it to be?

Anyway - those are my random ramblings, hope that helps and I would urge you to talk DP.
Let us know how you get on. smile

headingforthehills Sat 23-Jul-11 17:43:39

Thanks knitterati - you make a lot of sense. DP has a fair idea where I stand on this, but is a bit shocked as we have been TTC up to now - I guess his view is that I'm now trying to change the goalposts - and he's not wrong.

I was happy to TTC, but it hasn't happened - in the meantime, my career could be going from strength to strength but it isn't due to job change - which was mostly to assist TTC ! Worst of both worlds to some extent - and god, I miss not being challenged in work.

I'd LOVE to delay IVF, etc., but I'm 33 and DP is 40 so we have to be realistic about the possible implications of delay on our overall fertility - hence the crossroads. You're right - we need to keep talking but I sense both of our positions are hardening - which I hate because I do love him so much. Sorry for the rant - as you can probably tell, I'm fairly upset...

InsomniaQueen Sat 23-Jul-11 17:48:05

I think the most important thing is that you discuss this with DP. If he definitely wants children and you really don't think you do then it might be good to actually air this with him. It might be something that he is saying to try to support you in going through the treatments but then it may be that this is something he desperately wants.

Last year I was very focused on work and was only looking at where I was and where I wanted to be. We started TTC at the start of this year.....being honest I wasn't totally ready (not that I didn't want children but I sort of wanted to maybe get a bit further up the scale) but I assumed it would take some time to happen. After 6 months we found ourselves pg and it was amazing and scary. Unfortunately we lost that baby, I can honestly say that lying on that table waiting for the consultant to come in I was thinking "I would give anything I have if I can keep this baby" and in that moment I knew what I really wanted. In a way that loss changed my life, I have been so much more focused on my marriage and family and friends in the past months. I have found out I am pg again and although I'm scared out of my wits I am putting myself and this pg before work commitments.

Having children isn't for everyone and many women I know don't have or don't want them - it doesn't make you a bad person it makes you realistic. You can't have it life you have to choose and if your choice is to carry on as you are and your happy with that then that is the most important thing. Many people might be negative but only you know the ins and outs of your situation and only you can make this decision.

Hope you are able to discuss all of this with your hubby and then move forward.


headingforthehills Sat 23-Jul-11 18:48:31

Thanks InsomniaQueen - I'm so sorry you lost your baby and wish you all the very best with your pg.

I'll keep you ladies posted !

auroraday Sat 23-Jul-11 20:23:52

The most successful woman I know has two kids. She has a lot of help (I mean seriously successful, she is right hand woman to some serious figures in the City, so she can afford housekeeper and nanny etc) but you can do both. She is very committed, travels a lot, works every night after bedtime etc.
If you cannot deal with the pain/don't want a family, that is one thing and your choice to make. Having a top career can be very fulfilling and will certainly be easier without a family. But it is simply not true that you can't do both - even though there will be compromises along the way - so I wouldn't hang your hat on that one. Good luck whatever you decide!

eurochick Sun 24-Jul-11 09:34:21

My view is that you can't have it all, but you can combine a successful career with a family. I think you need a supportive partner to be able to do this, and it helps to earn enough to be able to hire help (childcare and cleaning, so when you are outside work you can spend the time you have with your kids rather than cleaning the cooker or doing the ironing). Plenty of my friends work full time indemanding careers after having kids and manage just fine. I have always intended to (I acknowledge that a lot of people change their minds about this after they have them and if I do fair enough but I don't believe I will).

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