Friday, March 22, 2013

Where do babies fit into my career?

Here we go again, more career talk. 

Hey, if this stuff is boring you, my dog is blogging today over in Sarah's neck of the woods.
And if you're joining us from Floyd's Friends...WELCOME! 
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I promised a mini series throughout the month of March & I'm giving you a mini series by God. 
If you're burnt out on hearing me talk about my obsession with Sheryl Sandberg & her latest book, Lean In, well it's your lucky day as this is the third & final one I have up my sleeve.
Part one asked the inspirational question....."Do you (as a woman) sit at that table in your own career?"
Part two discussed "Couples who have more sex."
And today, we'll discuss how having babies fit into our career plans.
I'm 27....wait, 27 or 28?  Oh yes, 27.  I can never frickin' remember my actual age.
And now that I'm 27, all people want to talk to me about is when I plan to have a baby. 
All my ladies out there, can you relate or can you relate? 
It's like women are treated solely as a baby making machine.  We were put on this Earth to reproduce, so we're going to reproduce by God.
When I tell people it's not in my immediate plans to get knocked up, they seem really confused.
What.....she's not pregnant yet?  What the hell is wrong with her?  She must not be able to conceive? Maybe she doesn't have ovaries? 
Listen friends & family, yes, I absolutely want to be a Mom if God blesses me with the ability to be able to conceive.  But, surprise surprise.
  It's not my top priority as of today, this month., this year.
In the magazine article, Sheryl talks about three main success secrets &
number three encourages us not to
"Leave Before We Leave."
"The classic scenario unfolds like this:  An ambitious and successful woman heads down a challenging career path with the thought of having children in the back of her mind.  (Once she finds a partner) that thought moves to the front of her mind. The woman considers how hard she is working and reasons that to make room for a child she will have to scale back."
This scaling back could include passing on a big project because you know the long hours just won't fit into your future plans to become a Mommy.  It could mean not shooting for partner in your law firm (Casey) because someday you plan to have a baby.  Or for me, being in sales, it could mean not reaching for that next step in my career, that next promotion, because I don't want to take on that sort of challenge as my mind has already drifted to babyville.
I have to be 100% honest here.
My mind has drifted to babyville a few times over the past 6 months.  I dream of holidays with a little one, seeing Jon hold 'em in front of the Christmas tree showing the baby the lights.  And then I think of poop.
Explosive poop everywhere.  All over my handsome husband and all over my sweet little baby & I immediately change my mind.
Well, kind of.
But in all seriousness, I think about babies.  And when I think about babies, my mind automatically shifts my career to the backseat.
I mean, are we as women programmed to have that mental shift?
As Sheryl goes onto discuss, due to our mental preparation for babies, "without even realizing it, women stop reaching for new opportunities. And since women usually start this mental preparation well before trying to conceive, several years often pass between the thought & conception, let alone birth.  By the time the baby arrives, the woman is likely to be in a drastically different place in her career than she would have been has she not leaned back."
I don't know if this is true for some of you starting to have those mind drifts to babyville, but this is 100% true for me.  I hate to admit it, but I was that girl. 
What happens is we start leaning back, not pushing forward in our careers as our peers may be so by the time the baby comes we are left in the dust. We start to resent the feeling of being "behind" professionally.
"When women return to the workplace after their child is born, they are likely to feel less fulfilled, underutilized, or unappreciated.  We may wonder why we are working for someone (often a man) who has less experience than we do."
At that point, the road to the top seems so daunting that eventually we throw in the towel.
Now, not everyone wants to "make it to the top," run a company or even manage a team.  And that's what makes our world beautiful my friends.  We are all hardwired different than one another.
But for me, I love the feeling I get in succeeding in my career.  I love learning & growing (not only personally) but professionally as well.  That's why this book has touched me the way it has.
And for those that are reading, if this has struck a cord with you, then
these past few posts were worth my time. 
 Now, onto the fun stuff.

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SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

I think about this a lot. I think women drop the ball on their careers early on. Some don't want to pick it back up ever, and that's okay, but I think it's important to be present and to push yourself and go for the opportunities.

Amanda @ everyday b and b said...

I love this post! I am also 27 and I didn't plan on having kids til well into my 30's and then got the "surprise you're pregnant even though you have been on birth control for 10 years" pregnancy and about literally shit my pants. I have to say that I was definitely (and probably still am) torn between my newly found role as "soon to be mom" and working for a major corporation where I finally was on track for promotions and a career I want and that I had been working so hard for. What I've learned now is that my full time job now is to be a mommy- whenever she needs me, I'll go running. And part of that role is providing for my daughter and giving her the best of the best and also giving her a solid foundation to build her life on. I think it has actually pushed me to strive harder for those positions I know I deserve because I want to show her when she is older that she is just as capable as any man and that if she wants it she can get it. I'm fortunate to have a boss who understands if daycare calls I need to go get her, but that I will find a way to make up the time and my work is always done before everyone else's. It's a hard balance and there are definitely days where I want to throw my computer out a window go running and become a stay at home mom because I want to be with her. But I know that we're providing for her in ways our parents didn't by both of us working and if I have to work, then I'm going to get the job over the asshole next to me because as a woman we actually grow humans so clearly we are always better than them hahaha

Happy Friday! Love this series :)

Brandi Buehrer said...

I love your post. I always wanted to be a mom and always hoped to be a mom by 24. Afer 6 years of trying the hubs and I could not concieve and we saw a fertility doctor. After months a fertility treatments I finally concieved twins at 30.

I would love to but something for my twins fromt he etsy shop.

Unknown said...

I've got the baby fever on high alert right now. I'm a teacher, so I really don't feel like I need to "reach the top" of my career. I want to be the best I can but I don't feel that drive that is in the corporate world. Does that make sense?

jami lynn said...

Another great post Anne! I've had a blog about babies in my drafts for about two months now, you've inspired me to finish that ish up. I do hope you continue on with the series, maybe a monthly thing?

Gina H. said...

Great blog! I'm enjoying reading your post. I'm a new follower.

xx, Gina