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Baby or career? WWYD?

(52 Posts)
govan Mon 26-Dec-16 01:59:38

If you had to choose, right now, between the career of your dreams that you'd spent ten years building up to, or having a baby before it is too late, which would you pick?

Let's say that if you don't have the baby now, you may run out of time, fertility wise.

Equally, to get the career, you'd need to commit to and pass two more years of work based training that maternity/babies would not mix well with. This career chance may never present itself again.

If it makes a difference, this is not a first/only baby, but a much longed for baby to complete the family.


0nline Mon 26-Dec-16 02:29:38


There is much instability looming. I'd grab with both hands (and feet given half a chance) an opportunity to earn more and be more employable. For our sakes. And for the sake of the child we already have.

God only knows what the landscape will look like in 2, 5, 10 years time. There have been a fair few shock political outcomes this year. There may be others on the horizon. Maybe grabbing the opportunity wouldn't end up insulating us economically from any political and social tremors that are to come. But if it didn't I can't see our lot improved by the addition of another child when things are going somewhat bent.

But it easy for me to say because I am really happy being the mother of one teenager. I might get broody, but not enough to do the whole pregnant, newborn, toddler bit all over again.

Pluto30 Mon 26-Dec-16 02:32:58


Even if it was going to be the "only" child, my answer would still be career. The fact that it's not the only chance to have a child just solidifies my answer.

tighterthanscrooge Mon 26-Dec-16 03:24:34

If this is only chance to have a baby then that would be my choice
I know lots of couples who climbed the career ladder and are now unable to conceive due to being in their forties
Every one of them regrets it

Chelazla Mon 26-Dec-16 03:31:16


addstudentdinners2 Mon 26-Dec-16 03:34:48

100% baby if a first baby

In situation you describe I might go for career but it's hard for me to answer because I am so not a career person!

annandale Mon 26-Dec-16 03:36:48

I chose career.

It's both a huge regret, and the right choice. Not much help, sorry. DH now hasn't worked for years so thank goodness I took the chance to be able to earn more when I did. DS is the light of my life, I will always feel terrible that we did not have a sibling for him, but dh was so ill when he was little that I am also glad I didn't have to do that again.

Heratnumber7 Mon 26-Dec-16 03:43:14

Career, but I'd have the baby as well if I had a supportive partner and/or could afford help.

HopelesslydevotedtoGu Mon 26-Dec-16 03:48:26

What is your alternate career like if you do have a baby and pass up this career opportunity?

Do you already have a 'good' job that will support your family but isn't as enjoyable as your dream job? In this case I think would choose a baby, I see work largely as a means to an end, I have an interesting professional job and I still see it as just a way to pay the bills!

Or unstable/ poorly paid work? In which case in the interests of your existing kids I would take the career opportunity to improve life and stability for your family.

NurseRosie Mon 26-Dec-16 04:17:48


I consider myself to be quite successful with the likelihood of progression but I've decided to leave my job to have a baby. He is 6 weeks old. The best decision I ever made. Motherhood is a feeling like no other.

On the career front, there are lots of very successful mothers. People manage all sorts with the right support.

I think deep down inside you know the right thing to do. If you really want motherhood, the drive will overwhelm the career thoughts and if not, career is the right move.

Good luck either way x

sobeyondthehills Mon 26-Dec-16 04:31:43

there is no right answer, its ultimately which one you would regret least

talkshowhost97 Mon 26-Dec-16 06:54:05

There really isn't a right answer we can give you. There are too many individual factors.

Once upon a time I would have said career, now my gut reaction is baby. Whichever you choose you may always wonder.

Is there really no way of doing both? Can DP take a parental leave? Will the career finance a nanny?

Is it DC 2/3+?

ScarletSienna Mon 26-Dec-16 06:56:04

For me; baby.

Which opportunity would you regret giving up more?

fessmess Mon 26-Dec-16 06:58:37

Baby. The most rewarding and life enhancing experience ever. Made me into a better person. Teenagers however? They break you.

HerOtherHalf Mon 26-Dec-16 07:01:16

Baby. I work to live and my family is my life. A better career would never have compensated for delaying our family or risking not having kids at all. It is though an entirely personal decision and only you can decide for yourself.

BenefitsQuestions Mon 26-Dec-16 07:02:19

Why can't it be both? Does the hypothetical babies father have to pick between baby and career or will he get both?

Twooter Mon 26-Dec-16 07:05:22

Baby if it's number 2, career otherwise, unless the career meant that I'd never see baby number 1.

Shadowboy Mon 26-Dec-16 07:09:11

Career. Especially if it provides financial stability for your current family. It's getting harder and harder to compete for good, well paying jobs so I'd want to know I was very employable.
I also don't believe in 'completing a family' I think once you have a child that is your family. If that child grew up and found out you felt it was incomplete despite them, I think they may feel quite hurt.

Izzy24 Mon 26-Dec-16 07:12:49


Work up til your due date/ baby's birth. Take 2 weeks maternity/annual leave and continue. Not easy, not 'right'. But doable.

Xmasbaby11 Mon 26-Dec-16 07:14:48

Career. 2 years is not that long.

bittapitta Mon 26-Dec-16 07:15:40

Baby. There are lots of ways a second/third/whichever baby can slot in and you can get back to your chosen career sooner rather than later, maybe doing the training you're suggesting a few years down the line instead. Not sure how it can truly be either/or tbh.

bittapitta Mon 26-Dec-16 07:18:46

Also what if hypothetically you choose "career" and end up pregnant unexpectedly. What would you do then? Would you end the pregnancy as you chose career? Maybe that imaginary scenario would help you focus your mind on your answer. If you'd still have the baby if already unexpectedly pregnant then maybe there is a way of working out both.

Loopytiles Mon 26-Dec-16 07:22:54

Unless you're a single parent, why not both?

Sixisthemagicnumber Mon 26-Dec-16 07:28:48

Baby for me especially if my current career and financial situation could sustain a new baby. I know too many people who have chosen the career option and now regret it because they are too old to conceive / unable to conceive because of cancer or other health issues which they didn't foresee.

Andcake Mon 26-Dec-16 07:31:02

Ideally both but if I had to choose baby ( or 2 or 3)
I accidentally chose career had to focus on something whilst single. Met mr perfect at 35 started trying for baby 36 - found I was infertile st 37 low ovarian reserve - mirscle baby at 40.
In my 30s I focused on my career to literally cover the pain of wanting a family and being single but would give up it all up every pay check to have a 2nd child.
I like my career but it's meaningless. I now do have both ( although having an only child is heartbreaking and scary in other ways)

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