Blog about having premature ovarian failure and trying donor IVF with my sister's eggs

Reluctant career woman

At the risk of sounding like a spoiled brat; I am a reluctant but fairly successful career woman because of my infertility.

While most of my friends have dropped out of the workforce to become mothers, I have continued on with my career.

By virtue of the extra years I have spent working, I have made my way to levels that women who take time out to have babies don’t generally get to.

I know every job has its stresses but I’ve found the higher you go, the more stressful it is. So how do you ever reverse this and go back to a job with less responsibility and stress? Employers are generally suspicious if you say you want a less challenging job.

If you’re a working mum you can downsize by telling everyone you are going part-time, leaving, or taking a less demanding job as you ‘want to spend more time with your family’. It’s harder to explain this away if you don’t have kids. And in future if you decide to beef up your career again, temporarily ‘dropping out’ can look weird on your CV if you are childless whereas those with children can put breaks or downsizing their career down to family commitments.

My friends with children who are lucky enough to be full-time mums say they wish they did my job, while I say I wish I did theirs. I have been fortunate to have had many opportunities that many people don’t get in my career (this is where I feel like an ungrateful brat). But every day wish I could change my job to being a mum.

Does anyone else ever feel like this?

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Comments on: "Reluctant career woman" (3)

  1. Absolutely.

    By virtue of being at my job for 7 years, not wanting to move because I’ve been expecting to cash in on my maternity leave for the last 5 years, I’ve been promoted way beyond my expectations. (And comfort zone).

    I’d love to do something less stressful too, but should I never have kids I rather be rich and childless than poor and childless!

    • Yes I agree – it’s very fortunate to not have money problems.

      But it is weird to get to the stage in your career that you never expected to or even wanted to get to.

      I’m also stuck in my job as I don’t want to lose any maternity leave benefits in the event I fall pregnant – there must be so many people in this situation!

  2. I definitely can understand how you feel. Even the extra one-two years in the workplace than my original life “plan” allotted when I first graduated have allowed my career to gain a lot of momentum. I have also noticed that I have shifted too… a few years ago, I would gladly would have given up my career to stay home. Now I feel much differently and think that I would like to continue working like I do now. My husband and I were just talking yesterday about how my rapid career growth is even surprising to him and he isn’t quite sure how we will handle it when we do finally get pregant. Somedays I can barely find time to handle everything now – and try hard to figure out how I will carve out that very important time for kids. I try not to worry about that too much and figure I will only be able to really figure it out when the time comes. I do worry though that if I do really want to stay home when a baby is finally an actual part of our lives that the additional income will be difficult to give up.

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