How do you have children and still work?
May 10, 2008 9:29 PM Subscribe
For couples with kids, where both of you work: how do you do it?
posted by jasminerain to Work & Money (60 answers total) 39 users marked this as a favorite
This is a rather long question, but here's the short version: I don't want kids, and a large part of that is a reluctance to give up my career (or delay it). There has to be a way to work around that, right? So if you did it, how?
Long story part: My boyfriend and I broke up a few months ago after going out for almost 3 years, but a large contributing factor was the long-distance aspect of the relationship. Now he has moved much closer, and we're re-evaluating whether to get back together. We feel really right with each other, and the only thing that we're unsure about is that he definitely wants kids, and I've never wanted kids, and have strong reasons for not wanting them (at least to me). Background: he's 24, I'm 22. I'm in grad school, graduating within a year, and he's working. If this is a deal-breaker, we want to know now, instead of wasting time.
We are both in the technology sector, and we've both worked really hard to get to where we are. Neither of us wants to give that up (or delay it by very much) in order to have kids, although he's more willing to make sacrifices than I am, since he wants to have kids more. He's fairly willing to split the time with me (i.e. we both take x months away from work).
There will probably be some paid maternity leave + option for unpaid leave, wherever I end up working, but it has more to do with the fact that I'll be behind at work after being away for any long period of time.
I'm not convinced that having kids is right for me yet, but it would certainly alleviate some of that if I didn't have to give up my career. I've read the other AskMefi threads on having children, and most of the advice (plus my own feelings on having kids) seem to say that I shouldn't have kids. But it's hard to give up this relationship when everything else feels so right. So I at least have to know that my reasons for not wanting to have kids are good ones (or re-think them if they are not).
(The other reasons that I don't want kids: fear of pregnancy and giving birth, loss of freedom, increase in stress from worrying about their future, possibly resentment toward the child if I didn't want to have a baby much in the first place, risk of being disappointed by them. I think I would also have high expectations of my child, since my parents had really high expectations of me. I don't want to do that to a child, but at the same time, it might be hard for me to keep myself from doing that. I know the biological clock will kick in later, but for now, I can't imagine wanting kids. But all of these are reasons that I'll have to resolve separately.)
So, is it possible to have a baby, working in the software industry, and have each spouse only give up a few months of work? What's the usual timeline for kids going to daycare, preschool, etc? Any other advice regarding the decision is also welcome.