Having everything doesn’t come easy. We want that dream job, that dream house and that dream family to fill it with, but they all can’t be achieved so easily. Do you have to sacrifice one thing for the other? It’s a big question that weighs down on a lot of couples and individuals. If you do have a partner, it’s a decision you should make together. Talk to your partner about what they want and compare it what you want. Ask yourself, if having a family at this very moment in your career is what you truly want or does it just seem like what’s expected of you at this point in your life? For women, the act of choosing between a family and career is harder. Women typically take on more responsibility when it comes to having a child, they have to take maternity leave and even after they return to work they face a lot more household duties at home with a child.
Ask yourself, is it possible to put one on hold. Can you wait a few years to have a family? Having that extra space in time allows for more time to figure out how to work things out. Make a five-year plan with your partner. Together you can plan ahead and see where you can both make the time and commitment to have a family. Establish who can take fewer hours at work and how the household and child rearing responsibilities will be divided amongst each other. Figure out the quality time you can spend with your child. Think about child care. If you’re both taking on a lot of responsibility at work and see yourselves taking on even more down the road, then having a family may be hard to accomplish.
Next ask yourself about your career. Do you have a career right now that you truly can’t live without? Determine whether this job is where you see yourself working in the long term or if it’s simply a stepping stone to the job you really want. Finding out how committed you are to your present career can determine whether you’re willing to give it up to take a break to raise a child, work part time or switch to a job that offers more flexibility. Also, think about where you currently live. Consider if you plan to raise the child where you currently live or if you had planned to move out somewhere quieter or safer for children. Think about how moving will affect your career.
Choosing between a career and family is difficult and is a matter of answering a slew of questions like the ones I just proposed here, but having a family is a big life-changing decision that needs to be well thought out. Remember, although it may seem hard it is possible to have both. You don’t necessarily have to completely sacrifice one for the other. If you truly love your job and see yourself advancing in it, then you may have to actively seek out flexibility within your work schedule to accommodate for a family. You will have to make small sacrifices and so will your partner. For women, it’s important to recognize that you aren’t alone in this decision process. You need to ask for your partner to be active in the decision process and be willing to make it less of a burden for you. This is a process that involves the both of you, and you both need to figure out a solution that will satisfy you both.