Saturday, January 17, 2009

The working mother

Mr Accident and I have been struggling over a subject that I am sure many families have faced at this juncture in life. Mr Accident and I met through work. There is a very defined path for advancement in our career, and we are just about even on the ladder. We both love our jobs and we are both doing very well. However we have agreed that having someone at home full time for the bub's first year of life is vital. That decision was straight forward since I'm clearly the breastfeeding specialist.

The real challenge comes afterwards - we both need to be able to travel at short notice to stay competitive at work. Mr Accident and I may easily be called upon to travel at the same time, so who takes the hit and tells work they can't make it? Who leaves early when the kids need to go to the dentist? Who takes the sick day when junior has a cold? Do we take turns, sabotaging both our careers in the process? Or do we put one career ahead of the other, ensuring one of us advances and can support the family as well as possible, but perhaps breeding resentment in the other partner?

Since we are planning on having several children, each probably causing a year long gap in my career, it seems that my career will be the one to take the hit. I know this is the obvious outcome and will be the best for the family as a whole, helping ensure a strong start in life for the kids and the possibility of the highest overall income for our family. I am just having a really hard time accepting it!

So much of my identity and self worth is tied up in performing well at work that I am concerned about how I will feel when this is reduced. The wonderful Mr Accident has pointed out that healthy, well adjusted children that love their mummy are an excellent performance indicator, but will it be enough? Our careers are in a service industry that I feel is vitally important, and I have only been fully functional within that industry for four years - have I served enough before taking a step back for my own family? So many questions, and the answers are by no means clear.

So, has any one else faced the decision on career versus home life? What did you take into consideration? Did you make the right choice? Any regrets?


  1. We have no children yet but I know that will be an issue for us too! What you end up doing may be totally different than what you had planned ~ who knows!

    On a different note, I would love to follow your blog but cannot find the 'follow' button! ;)

  2. I followed you from Bye Bye Pie. I noticed you because you and I share a Blog Name. I changed mine because there is someone out there with a copyright. Imagine that!;)

    I'll be a regular now that I found you.