Daily Archives: August 28, 2012

Family and or Career

Regular readers here will know of the LBC – Loose Bloggers Consortium. We are a baker’s dozen scattered across the world, who write a post on a given subject every Friday. We take it in turns to choose the topic and members do not consult or read other entries before they have hit the schedule or publication button on their own efforts.

Over the years we have become like a family and often interact by email, IM, Skype, and the very, very occasional opportunity for a face to face meeting.

In a recent email Padmum sent a link to an Op-Ed article from the Los Angeles Times by By Elizabeth Currid-Halkett:

Family and career: Women in academia lose faith in having it all.
More female doctoral students are backing away from the high-pressure academia race at the starting line, trading career ambitions for having a family…..

Rather than send a very long reply, it is a topic I get very hot under the collar about, I decided to go for a public lynching here instead.

A child is not a toy to be discarded when the parent gets bored or tired of it. Unlike the ‘i’s and gadgetry that are updated more often than I have hot dinners, a child is a continuum of the lives that have gone before and very much our future. We need to prepare a child for adulthood and a useful life in their future.

A child is for LIFE!

These days we are bombarded from every angle with reminders of how our modern ways are ruining the planet. The controversial mining process of fracking, the chopping down of trees for paper products or the redevelopment of the land, the thinning of the ozone layer caused by our carbon footprint (of course the latter does not apply to Royals, Celebs or politicians!). Yet, children – our future – are neglected, left to starve, and even abused and we stand by and let it happen.

Plants, flowers and trees need nurturing in order to grow and children need nurturing even more.  Why go to work in order to pay even higher taxes and others to do your job of parenting for you?


The above article seem to assume that everyone is doctoral material or destined for the world of academia. If everyone becomes a ‘Doctor of Whatever’, who will empty the bins? We need joiners, plumbers, chefs, shop keepers & shoe makers as well as the bin men.  They are all people who work with their hands as well as their brains and provide very important service. We need to guide our children to reach their potential and not expect them to become a Lawyer, Medical Consultant or Accountant, just because mother, father, or grandparents had adopted that career.

Every child is unique and there is a place for everyone.

If a career is SO IMPORTANT then there are many options nowadays, that were not available in my fertile years, to prevent conception. Even young children in junior school are force fed information on the subject – sometimes before they are even ready to understand what it is all about. So there is no excuse these days for having babies that upset your career plans.

The contraceptive options available are:

  • caps
  • combined pill
  • condoms (female)
  • condoms (male)
  • contraceptive implant
  • contraceptive injection
  • contraceptive patch
  • diaphragms
  • intrauterine device (IUD)
  • intrauterine system (IUS)
  • natural family planning
  • progestogen-only pill
  • vaginal ring
  • female sterilisation
  • male sterilisation (vasectomy)
  • Abstinance – Never mentioned these days

Life expectancy has continued to rise, 78+ years for men and 82+ years for women. It takes eighteen years of your lifetime until a child is through schooling. A quarter of your life to devote to a child you willingly bring into this world. If you have the pleasure you pay the price, there is after all no such thing as a free lunch.

A career is not A LIFE.

Not everyone gets to work until they cock their toes.

When life throws you lemons like ill-health, death of a spouse, or loss of a job, how many of those people you burst a gut for in your career, will be there to help you pick up your pieces? Very few I would say. Even the phone calls stop after three weeks.