Asked by Anonymous

I'm 32, just got married. and I'm in a company where I am doing really well. My husband wants to have kids soon, but I'm afraid it will affect my chances of promotion in the future. What do I do?

I work in an MNC, and have always had very good performance reviews. I've been promoted twice, and my CEO tells me that I have a lot of potential in the company. However, I have to travel a lot, and having kids will definitely stop me from doing that. I want to start a family too, but maybe this is not the time? We are both ins our 30s, and also feel that we don't want to only have kids when we are much older. What should I do??

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    • Xinyi Lum
      Xinyi Lum, Content Strategist at Seedly
      38 Answers, 105 Upvotes
      Updated on 28 Nov 2018

      I have a teacher friend who has a similar dilemma as the one you're currently facing. She's much older than I am, and has gone through a few phases of her life while I watched and learnt.

      Like you, she waited to have kids and progressed fast up the leadership track in school and now holds a managerial role in a reputable school. Her goals were clear from the start: career-first. But in a recent meetup with her she did coax me not to be as 'silly' as her and always find a balance (guess there's a reason why the term work-life-balance exists). She's probably way past the age of having a kid at this point in her life and she has accepted that fact, but struggles/regrets a little.

      Back then, if she had kids, they would have grown up by now while she would have also meandered her way to the top (more stress and hard work and maybe not as high a position as now) but it's all a give and take kind of situation. I guess if you do make a choice to follow your goals (kids or career etc.) then stick with it for the long run. Jia you!

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    • Goh Ah Mao
      Goh Ah Mao
      4 Answers, 30 Upvotes
      Answered on 28 Nov 2018

      hi there, not sure if this will help but perhaps some questions on the following would help make a decision:

      1. why do you want to have a child? is it just societal pressure, some expectations, or is it something you truly want in life? a lot of us have children coz its something society expects, but we don't realise the trade offs and the sacrifices that comes along with having a child, especially for women. you sound like you really enjoy your work, which is great! but a child will throw a spanner on that... so perhaps re-examine the reasons why you would want to have a child, and that would give you a better answer.
      1. what will be the bigger regret? having a child now and having your career derailed, or not having a child until later and risking not having one at all, but having a bigger success at work? of course you can have your cake and eat it (some other people have suggested talking to your manager etc) but these questions help you examine your true feelings on things.
      1. other people's expectations of you. Whether we like it or not, our husbands, in laws and immediate families have some expectations of women to have kids etc. and this will impact thier relationships with us. So take this into consideration as well.

      Once you have decided, then i think you can use the tools given by other contributors to talk things through with either 1) your manager (or not - we al know the impact of having such conversations), or look for another company (or not) OR talk things with 2) your hubby or loved ones. I am sure once you decided, you would know how to navigate these communications =)

      All the best!

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    HC Tang
    HC Tang, Financial Enthusiast, Budgeting at The Society
    374 Answers, 897 Upvotes
    28 Nov 2018

    Hi. Suggest talk to CEO to see if they are pro family. If they are supportive I believe you can then discuss with husband if he can help while you travel and if yourself willing to hustle work and kids together. If not then defer later but do note that it is harder and more tiring when one reaches 40 (as my friend now shared ) and even at 30+ will be quite tiring.

    All in all I do believe for a good company , they should be supportive and willing to adjust and make comprised and flexible arrangement.

    It's good to have it now or it might not be later due to circumstances or body / energy level.

    Try talk to each side and get more sense on the group and find support. I believe they all will be supportive and you can have the best of both world. If not , maybe this isn't the right company for you afterall because even if you have it later, they can still be negative towards working mother.

    All the best 😀

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