I’ve been blogging now for around 10 months, not very long at all but the reason I wanted to start this blog to talk about real life, not the life we’d rather just share in the highlights. That means, discussing difficult topics, or topics that can feel hard to navigate through.
I feel like this topic, in particular, is a difficult one to discuss:
Career Woman .Vs Motherhood
Personally, I’ve always been ambitious, hard-working and focused on doing well in my career. I remember being 21 and being deeply concerned with my job reflecting who I was and my ability, which gave me motivation to keep learning, keep applying for jobs and rising through the ranks until I felt I was using my potential. Additionally, I have also been considering my wage and ensuring I will have a comfortable life and being able to provide for my future children is a big motivator in the choices I have made.
I have heard stories from many women around me who either had not worked for the first part of having a child or who had been full time in work and placed their child in full-time care. The stories of not working for the first few years were more prevalent in the older generation, my parents and their siblings. Now, it’s more likely that I’ll hear one of the parents are part-time and the child is in part-time care with a family member or creche. I just know, for me, I’d like to keep working, but I’d also like to place them in a creche/with a family member for a day or two a week. I know for many people this isn’t as simple as being able to choose these options, and although I’m incredibly lucky to have a comfortable life, I’ve also worked my bum off for it and so in some sense, it’s got nothing to do with luck.
I feel passionately about being around for them more than I’m not around.
Why does my age matter?
As a 26 year old woman I am highly aware of being in my late 20’s. In fact, I’m 27 very soon, and I’m highly aware of that. I feel pressure from my body to have children before 30 because of the ‘statistics’ and ‘advice’ given online and in the media about women’s ability to conceive after 30 (all hail our media!). That pressure has then entered my mind as a pressure from myself to have them ASAP. If I don’t hear the words “Are you getting married anytime soon?” It’ll be “Any kids?”. which is fine. That’s mostly making conversation or just a genuine interest. But for the women on the other side, it’s a constant reminder of the things we have to ‘take control of’ some time soon.
When is the right time?
This is the million dollar question, right? When is the right time to completely change your life and have a child? Absolutely nobody else can answer that for you, but I know for sure I can’t even answer that myself. I often find myself thinking “I should consider having children soon” and in the same breath thinking “I am nowhere near ready for that”. Time is a huge factor for me. I have already achieved so many things so quickly and at 26, that I am constantly aware of losing time. On the other hand, I can’t be a full-time career woman, and a full-time mother to a child; I think that is the world we’re in. I think we have to make sacrifices for better or worse and I’m certainly not ready to make those.
I hear the same advice every time this topic is brought up:
You’ll never be ready to have children, it will happen and you will adapt
For me. It’s not my time yet and I still have so many things I want to do:
Blog on the weekends when I’m not working
Have me time
Have those luxury dinners with my partner
I think for now, I’ll be a cat lady
I think the important message here is that you should go with how you feel. Don’t let pressures change your mind, don’t believe you should do things that you don’t feel you are ready to do, just because of your age or what society expects of you. Go with your body and your mind, and when it’s the right time for you, THEN it’s the right time.
I’d be really interested in how other women have felt about this topic – it would be great to hear other experiences below.