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Children and careers

RGyure rgyure at aol.com
Sat Jan 21 11:17:39 EST 1995

Lori Kohlstaedt (kohlstaedt at sbmm1.ucsb.edu) wrote:
: I would just like to inject what I think is a necessary cautionary note
: here.  Among my aquaintance, for every professional who is happy with
: kids there seems to be another who really wishes their family was
smaller or
: non-existent.  People in the latter catagory don't talk about it much or
: post it to news groups.  I think a lot of them feel ashamed of
: because we're all trained to think that we're supposed to want a family
: above all else and enjoy our children more than anything else.

I previously posted a message encouraging "Deb" to go forward with having
a child, even though it didn't seem like the right time in her career.    
My reply reflected my own GOOD experience in going through with having a
child in similar circumstances. 
However, I am glad to see such reasonable and insightful posts by others
there to balance my own. In looking at my post now, I feel compelled to
add a bit more.
My situation worked out well, but it was also very difficult in the
beginning to stick with a career. If I had quit work and decided to stay
home I know I would have been miserable (I know, I tried it). Sticking
with a career was the other choice but it was very difficult. My daughter
is now 7, and life is so much easier-- but when she was an infant I was
always tired. She cried a lot and slept about 8 hours each nite,
restlessly, no naps, ever (doctors kept telling me all babies nap-- mine
did not!).  We never had quiet time in the evening after she was asleep,
or free nap hours. It put a strain on the marriage.
Also, fortunately for me, MY HUSBAND HAS BEEN AN ABSOLUTE 100% EQUAL
PARENT in this endeavor. Without that, I couldn't have done this. We do
everything with our daughter 50/50. He gets breaks, and I get breaks. I
very much admire single parents, since it must be so incredibly difficult
to go it alone. 
So I realize-- parenting is not for everyone. And I understand women and
men who schoose not to take it on. There is no NEED in this society to
become a parent. However, I do feel many of us have deeply rooted desires
to be part of what we call "family." To belong, to have relations, is a
natural and wholesome feeling. I believe to want children is a desire
similar to our need and desire to have parents! In between parent and
child we "belong." Please do not misinterpret-- those who naturally don't
want children are not weird or abnormal-- I'm not saying that. I MYSELF
NEVER WANTED CHILDREN. I got pregnant accidently and then really examined
my desires and feelings. I changed my mind, and on the whole have never
regretted it. But, there are many other waysthis could have turned out,
and I may very well have regretted it!!! My child is healthy and normal,
and well-behaved and adjusted. If she were more challenging, I may not
have been able to do this. Also, if my husband were not the kind of man he
is, this could have been very different. And, there's really no predicting
any of these things.
Life is not all that predictable after all. Deciding to have a child is
scary, rightly so. We try to put all our intellectual talent into making
the right decision-- but so much more will determine how it all plays out.
And, don't forget the heart....

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