This is a subject that I feel very strongly about, as a woman who is career focused I have always wondered about how having kids would impact on my career and when is the ‘perfect’ time? As a teenager I always said that I would never have kids I felt that I didn’t have that motherly instinct, even though I was only 15 / 16 some of my friends were already becoming mums. As I got older I’ve realised at some point I would like to have kids, but as I am career focused, and feel like I have so much more I want to achieve first, so for me kids are on the back burner.
I think this subject is something a lot of women can relate to as I feel like sometimes we need to choose between a successful career / business or becoming a mum. Although we all know it is possible to do both. It’s more about the timing, do we wait until we feel like we have achieved enough in our career to be able to take a break? Do some women have this opinion and then wait too long and eventually get to the point it’s not possible? On the other hand do we get to mid-twenties and feel we are able to take a break and get back into the swing of things easily?
I took to Instagram to find out how female millennial's are feeling about the whole career or kids situation.
Question 1) Do you feel like you need to choose between a career or kids? 40% of people voted they feel that they do need to choose
Question 2) Do you feel like you need to be at a certain position in your career to have kids? This was nearly 50 / 50
The next set of questions were for people who already have children
Question 3) Did you find it hard to tell your employer you was pregnant? 80% of people voted Yes!
Question 4) Do you find it harder to start a business or to begin your career since having kids? 60% of people voted yes!
I also had a lot of comments from this post, nearly 200 people got involved in the poll. I think as women this is something that many of us think about but rarely discuss.
Emily who has a baby said “trying to find a job around childcare is so hard! I was a carer but my company wanted me to start work at 6 am so finding childcare at that time was impossible”
Krystal who doesn’t have kids yet said “I’m a good saver and always have been but my career is different the doors don’t always stay open to get a higher band. I can see if you own your own business or want to climb the business ladder that it would be much harder. My point is less about the status and more about ‘have I worked hard enough to support the family I am going to bring into the world”
Shakira who has a five year old commented “I had my son at 17 so I never had a chance to get anywhere before having a child. I’d say to get where you need to be is 10x harder with a child in tow, but it’s a beautiful journey either way. I would like to get further in my career before I have another child though.”
From the votes and the comments I would say as women we believe that we feel the journey to success will take longer and will be a tougher journey after having children.
In 2018 we are expected to be working mums and be able to balance work life with mum life. There is a lot of pressure on women returning to work after having a baby when is the perfect time.
This year I read Karen Brady’s autobiography which was a fab book and a must read for all career driven women. Karen returned to work just 3 days after having a baby and honestly I feel like I can totally relate. Even though now she believes it was too soon, she was trying to prove a point that having a child wouldn’t stop her career.
To conclude I think as women we have a lot of pressure on us about when to have children, my opinion is let’s stop putting pressure on ourselves if your career driven then there’s no rush and don’t feel pressured to wait for the perfect time. Also to the women who already have children remember that there's always time to begin a new career or business. This is advice I also need to take myself!