Asked on 28 Nov 2018
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??
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!
hi there, not sure if this will help but perhaps some questions on the following would help make a decision:
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.
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.
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!
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 😀
If you do choose to have a child, get a nanny to care after your child when you need to work. And ofc ask your husband to help also. In the absence of relatives' help, that's honestly the only way.
Add on: talk to ur husband beforehand and agree on who takes the kid to vaccinations, what happens when kid falls ill etc. These are the little things that one may not think of at first but which I frequently see my working mum colleagues struggle with.
Talk to your CEO and see if there are other positions available so that you continue To contribute as a local headcount rather than regional.
when your kids are older you can consider moving back to a regional role.
with support from your family(MIL or your parents) I Guess some stuff can be arranged So that they are taken care of.
May want to consider the following:
If we choose to have kids at later age, the parent-child age gap will always remain the same, whereas if we choose to "forsake" career progression (which is not guaranteed in the first place), there are still opportunities (and high likelihood) to close that career gap in later years.
Have the kid. These are golden windows, once missed it will never come back.
The will always be work. There will always be promotions as long as you are a good worker. I have friends with 3 kids. Each time she comes back from maternity, she gets promoted.
That's really great. Most have the misconception that you need to have kids soon in your 30s because of health reasons. If it's not because of that I'd suggest you to delay having any children and blaze forth with your carrer first. All the best!
As a side note you can also Google Pepsi Ceo on how she juggles career and family! Goodluck!
3 more comments
My personal opinion, currently work for a MNC too, if your company is really good, works life balance should be one of your company culture values.
I think having kids does wonders to your life, in both the good and bad sense of the word. It brings to you tremendous changes. Your lifestyle changes, your mind set changes, your pace of life changes. Children brightens up your life and make you slow down your life pace, letting you enjoy the finer things in life, appreciate the little smiles and kisses they bring you. At times you will feel the stress and pressure of life but when you enjoy life through the eyes of your child, you will count your blessings and take everything in stride.
I did slow down my career pace when I have children. I travelled lesser and worked shorter hours to continue my breast Feeding journey and to be there when they are very young. So far, I do not regret the stagnation period of my career as my children acknowledges that mum is always there for them and this is most important to me.
Every One is different and you would have to think it through thoroughly. Whilst it is true that our biological clock is ticking every minute and as we ages, it gets harder to have children, it is also important that you are convinced to have them at a certain point in your life so that you won't look back and regret later.
Whenever I meet people who are much older than me, I always make it a point to ask them if they have any life experiences to share or regrets...
I heard many things but not one has told me they regret choosing family over career if they ever had to make that choice... One of them shared that he passed up the chance for promotion 20 years ago so that he could have more time with family. The person who took the promotion and was posted overseas is very successful today but still working long if not longer hours...
No one can tell you what to do, it's up to you to decide whether kids or your career is more important to you. Know that some companies and managers are accommodating of mothers' responsibilities at home and will not impact your career, but be prepared in the event that yours may not be.
Hi, you and your husband should have a heart-to-heart talk on your priority in life?
I know someone focus on career but neglated his/her own health and family. My friend unfortunately passed away during his prime, and some retired alone despite very successful in their career.
Personally, I think the priority should be own health, family then career. Without a health body and mind, you can't take care of family and career? Without a stable and loving family, what is the point of having a successful career that you can't share the fruit?
At the end of day, I think happiness is more important than material wealth.
My cousin got married when he was 29 y/o. He and his wife decided to have kids at a later age as both were working in a company with really good prospects. now with a succesful career he & his wife is 36 y/o and still "trying". Nature waits for no one... sometimes when you want to have a kid after a successful career, you may not be that successful in "that" area. of coz, with medical advances this days you could try for a child through IVF which means all the $$ that ur hubby & u have saved up will be put to use through the process. there is no 100% guranteed with IVF & neither with natural methods. However, ask yourself if you really want children coz of "expectations" or because you really want 1 to complete your family. Always understand that a company (no matter how big) is about dollars & cents, once your value is gone so will you in the company.
Hi there. First off, I’d like to assure you that a lot of women in your position feel the exact same way. While there is no one who could be in a better position to make this decision other than yourself, I’d like to share some thoughts with you.
Here are some questions to help clarify the thoughts on your mind and hopefully lead you to figuring out your answer.
1️⃣ Have you brought this up with your employer, company HR, CEO?
Understanding what opportunities lie ahead of you is important, but it helps to know what other alternatives are made available should you eventually become a mother to your children. The first couple of years will not only be financially and emotionally exhausting - physically, too. As career driven as you may be, you want to ensure that balancing this work of yours will not harm you emotionally and mentally.
Work with your employer to figure out alternatives and options you can work around for the first five years of your newborn’s life, and your new life as a mother.
Do expect there to be a slowdown in career progression or financial impediment, which brings me to my next point:
2️⃣ Will your husband be able to manage the household during your pregnancy, slowdown in career and finances on your end?
Having a child is a financial, emotional, and physical commitment for both parents. Husbands have it just as hard as their wives, and have to strive to commit to greater demands at work and at home. By understanding what commitments are required and expected for both husband (father) and wife (mother), will you have much more confidence in coming to a smarter decision and plan. Which brings me to my final point:
3️⃣ Unfortunately, delaying having children does have medical and health consequences for both mother and child.
For better clarity on the impact of your health and your baby’s health, please seek a reliable doctor’s advise and possibly pre-pregnancy screening. The results will aid in your decision making here!
Starting a family can seem stressful, but carefully planned decisions can help mitigate much of this stress. It is ultimately going to be a rewarding and beautiful journey for you and your husband! You should be incredibly proud of how far you’ve come in career and in life!
Do let me know if I can be of any assistance to you or your family. Always here and available.
Representing Prudential Assurance Company Singapore (Pte) Ltd Reg. No. 199002477Z
Do you want kids? Would you rather have promotions or have kids? There are tradeoffs.
Or if you don't want to go on maternity leave and risk having your career growth stunted, there are alternative methods to having kids as well, such as adopting. There are many children in need of a family. You will still have to spend more time at home but at least you wont have to waste 9+ months of sub-par work.
You gotta decide which is more impt to you--family or work? I won't be surprised if the CEO tells everybody they have potential.