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.

11 thoughts on “Family and or Career

  1. gigi-hawaii

    Well said. I am one of those women who had a child out of wedlock. The child’s father and grandmother wanted her dead via abortion, but I made the right decision to have and keep the baby. Absolutely no regrets. I am married now, and that child has gone on to become a math teacher and wife and mother, herself. I babysit her son four days a week.

  2. Delirious

    Amen Sister! 🙂 I know that individual situations require adaptation, but a human life is more valuable than all the money a person could earn. If you can’t parent well and still have a career, think twice about being a parent, or think twice about having a career.

  3. Rummuser

    I don’t quite know if being a male, I am allowed to express my views. I shall therefore restrict my comments to what my wife did. I could afford to keep a minder for our son but my late wife decided on her own that since my career involved a lot of traveling and I could not give enough time to bring up our son, she would give up her career. She was an absolutely devoted mother, wife and family member and to a large extent our son’s current status of a happy human being can be attributed to her spending a great deal of time with him during his growing up years.

  4. Darlene

    There is no career as rewarding as bringing up a child. If you do a good job you have done yourself out of a job and you can have your second career then.

  5. shackman

    Couldn’t agree more GM – that’s from one who regrets the decisions made by the two of us – we bought in to the “she needs a career” and you are oh so right. Nobody she worked with gives a tinker’s damn about her now.

    It’s also time our kids (here – cannot speak to your educational system) were given a better chance at school. Our school systems were designed for an agrarian economy – not the fast paced Future Shock world we live in.

  6. Dianne

    Well said, and I agree with you. Children are for life. I have not always been the best Mom. There are many things I would do differently today. Some how my kids all turned out well, and the two with children of their own are excellent parents.

  7. Dianne

    I would also add that my daughter lost the father of her children when they were ages 1,3,5 and 7. My husband and I did everything we could to help her stay home with them for as long as she could. They are all grown now, and wonderful girls.

  8. The Old Fossil

    Carol was already employed when we met. We have always viewed our employment and our commitment to our children as part of the same package and, as you know, we have been very committed to our family at all levels.

    Our work has served the family, not vice versa, and we have been able to spend a huge amount of time with our children and continue to do so, even though both of us are employed.

    It works, because we did not give in to ambition in trying to climb the corporate ladders to the top. However, for those that do, I agree with you totally. The commitment has to be to the people who count!

  9. Grannymar Post author

    Sorry folks, I have been away from home & the laptop all day, a long drive followed by a birthday lunch for a friend. We had fun and plenty of laughter.

    So I am safe to lift my head without danger of a lynching. I am busy with family right now so will come back to answer comments tomorrow.

  10. Debra

    You obviously have your priorities right. I am in agreement with you and lament that everyone doesn’t feel the same! Too many children are not afforded the focus and attention they so deserve. I don’t think your message could be any more timely! Debra

  11. Nick

    Jenny works so incredibly hard as an academic, there’s no way she could have coped with bringing up children properly at the same time. One of the jobs would have to go.


A penny for your thoughts...