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everyone has a career but me?

(12 Posts)
fruitcake Tue 21-Dec-04 22:50:58

If I went back to admin or teaching, I wouldn't earn enough to cover daycare. So I'm quite happy (never bored, certainly!) to "stay at home". We struggle on just dh's salary. BUT I secretly wish I had chosen a career (rather than fine arts degree... sigh!) & was respected & earned pots of money & did lots of "important" things. I'm not very competitive and money isn't a huge motivation (unless, God forbid, dh should lose his job) but I almost envy women who have to juggle their careers & their families.

Gobbledigoose Tue 21-Dec-04 23:18:46

what could be more 'important' than raising your children? Not many things that people do out there in the world of work, that's for sure!

ChicPea Tue 21-Dec-04 23:26:12

Fruitcake, juggling a family and career/business/other commitments is hard. Last week at the theatre, it was the seventh night I hadn't been at home for bedtime and the third night my DD cried as I left and I felt like sh*t. So what did I do? I sat in the theatre - it was dark - and cried. All the way through. Not fun.
Not a lifestyle to envy.
Have now decided that if I miss bedtime it will be one to two bedtimes a week maximum.

Gobbledigoose Tue 21-Dec-04 23:26:48


PaRumPumPumScum Tue 21-Dec-04 23:28:10

How old are your babes, fruitcake? If you want juggling in your life you could always do the career thing once they start school, (aka free daycare!) no?

spacedonkey Wed 22-Dec-04 00:46:12

I did the career thing and basically missed a whole chunk of my children's lives when they were tiny. And it wasn't even a job doing something important - shuffling bits of paper about and doing other people's websites. But I can understand your feelings - as scum says, you can do that when the kids are at school - and take the time to think about what you would really like to do

ssd Wed 22-Dec-04 09:45:50

Fruitcake, I know exactly what you're saying here.

Before kids, I worked in a well paid, proffessional job.Then I had kids and decided I didn't want someone else spending all day with them while I worked and played at being important.What was important now was being with them.

So now I childmind part-time and we live on the tightest budget.But I'm always there for the kids and that is very important to me.I know we are all different, but I think if you have chosen to stay at home with the kids and put the career on the back burner you will always be glad you did it.Who knows what opportunities will appear when they're all at school....

I should add I don't want to incite a major battle between SAHM/Working Mum,, I'm just saying having a brilliant career VS being at home, you'll always lose out somewhere.

StNickschik Wed 22-Dec-04 10:35:38

I was made redundant just before I had dd (bummer!) and found a p/t job (clerical assistant at local Uni.) when she was 8 months old, so I wouldn't say that I have a career now - or even before dd for that matter! Sometimes I wish I had made better choices and had better careers advice but I've never been particularly ambitious. My job brings in some money, keeps me sane and helps me feel like I still have a place with the grown ups! Much as I totally adore dd, some time out was essential for me! Feel very lucky as have managed to get the best of both worlds really as both dh and I work p/t and just about manage financially, even with nursery care! I get a day at home with dd on my own and we all have a day (other than the w/e) together too. DD loves nursery so we are all happy! Don't beat yourself up. I think finding a balance that works for you is the most important thing. I agree with Scum re doing something when the kids start school - you have time to decide what really interests you. I shall certainly be trying new things then!

mrsflowerpot Wed 22-Dec-04 10:44:43

I think I know exactly where you are, fruitcake. For me it's not about the staying at home/giving up a career debate, it's the feeling that I didn't really have a career worth going back to, and feeling a bit of a failure for that. Nothing to do with having had children, just that that has crystallised for me. I was a real academic high flyer at school and uni, and then just never really found a career path that suited me, ended up in public sector work that was OK but not a real give-it-everything career. I don't know what decision I would have made post children if I had had a higher flying career, but I hate and regret the fact that in my twenties I just didn't take the opportunities to make sure I had a career that was worth the dilemma when I had kids. Don't know whether that makes sense at all.

fruitcake Wed 22-Dec-04 21:09:10

Thanks, all! It's a delicate subject. Maybe it's the impression I get from most women's magazines, especially. Not that I can be bothered with them. The only one I find reasonably intelligent & helpful has a terrible name that immediately makes you think "housewife". Shudder! How can something that is such hard work be so underappreciated? My problem is that I had my babies late in life but this wasn't because I had a fast-track career. I might not be "wanted" once I need/decide to get back to work as I will be in my mid-40s by then.

fruitcake Wed 22-Dec-04 21:14:15

I'm so sorry if I sound like I'm whinging! Truly, I'm very grateful to have so much freedom. I hated having to go into work, week in, week out, same old routine... what the French call "métro-boulot-dodo". It's just that I feel a bit inferior sometimes in a social situation. What I do is terribly old-fashioned and not "cool" at all. Still, at the end of the day, I could care less but it seems a shame that my work should have such a stigma.

lindat1964 Thu 23-Dec-04 11:51:51

Hi Fruitcake,

I agree with chicpea - juggling is so hard - and to be honest I think it gets even harder when they are at school (sorry to contradict!).

My Ds is in year 1 and I work full time at the moment with another DS at nursery. I know the younger one is fine and loves nursery, but there are sooooo many times where I wish I was around more for no1 - he goes to a great childminder and is very happy, but I want to go to assemblies, activities after school, school plays, meet the other mums and his friends etc etc.

Luckily (!) I will be made redundant sometime next year and will have more flexibility to do this - but as we need the money I have started working part time running a party plan business, which I am hoping to build up to provide my full time income when I leave.

If you are looking for a new high flying career, then starting when the kids start school isn't ideal , if you are looking for a job that fits around school hols and days they are around but not generally 'high flying careers'.

Like the others suggest - take the time to find something you really want to do and gives you the flexibility , but please don't be under the impression that it's easier to hold down a full-time job when they go to school.


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