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Career path to motherhood???

14 years 4 months ago #64344 by DrSAHM
Its definitely interesting reading and I guess a reflection on how some families/individuals are deciding to cope in these crazy times of work-obsessed cultures.
Regardless of different women's decisions on how they will cope with their life and lifestyle I hope that all women can continue to support each other and support their decisions.

I found this site and the great support I had from the majority of mommd's to be an invaluable resource when I stopped surgical training 1 1/2 yrs ago.

I still work a little - its a job not a career now but am glad for the family time it has given us. Being a naturally busy high achiever type I've been working on a business that I guess is more lifestyle oriented and is something that I can do with a 2 yr old in tow. The change in pace has also given me time to heal from a miscarriage. It isn't what my previous degrees trained me to do but......I feel the education is never wasted as well and it really is only a few (okay, its looking like about 5) years and we will still be wanting to participate in the workforce. I think those that dream of baking cookies and playing tennis twice a week (i'm generalising) are the minority.

Female medical friends of mine have all been very supportive - they are currently cursing the grind of the training years themselves and wondering how many viable eggs they will have left at the end of them - if they can find a viable partner! A few have recently ended relationships because of 'the job' - 100 hrs a week at the hospital makes it hard to be a part of anybody else's life. We need partners that are absolute saints to put up with us when we're working like this.

As long as we continue to support other women as much as we can I think we will all eventually settle into the niche that we were meant to be in. That support and freedom of choice is key for us all to live the happiest and most satisfying lives that we can. :scratchchin:

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14 years 4 months ago #64345 by Doc201X

Originally posted by Empi:
I was at a meeting last week and we had a similar discussion No woman seems comfortible in her own skin.

Interesting point. I was at a meeting recently of PhD's, MD's and MD/PhD's and students for the afore mentioned disciplines. I have to be honest when I tell you that I had long talks with these inspiring women and not ONE of them had any complaints about ANYTHING. The only "negative" comment made was from the surgeon in the group who told me that she rarely sees her children and that her husband is a SAHD. Then the very next day, her ENTIRE family arrived at the meeting (including the children) to cheer her on (She' going to be featured on my website if anyone is interested).

Happiness is a choice yet it seems that women these days choose to be unhappy mainly because we allow other people to define our roles in life.

FYI, ALL of these women had careers in/aspired to careers in academia and they were also URM's.Perhaps some of these feelings about our roles are cultural since minority women have for the most part, worked since we got off the ship.

My Scientist/Physician Journey

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14 years 4 months ago #64346 by sahmd
I agree with all the comments so far about how husbands aren't making sacrifices. It is a big problem and it is totally unfair. If anyone wants to read more about the unfair division of labor in families, here are some very eye-opening books:

"The Price of Motherhood" by Ann Crittenden

"Kidding Ourselves: Breadwinning, Babies and Bargaining Power" by Rhona Mahony

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14 years 4 months ago #64347 by Doc201X

Originally posted by sahmd:
I agree with all the comments so far about how husbands aren't making sacrifices.

I used to think this way too but now I believe that it's almost impossible to change most men from what they've been doing since the beginning of time. So instead of forcing them to fit a mode I just don't believe most are cut out for, I think it's best to "force" them to provide the means for you to do what YOU need to do so you can have a career too. Now I'm not talking about changing diapers or getting up in the middle of the night to feed the baby. They CAN do those things. But let's face it, men are not only the weaker sex but the dumbest too and to expect them to be able to multitask the way I see working Moms doing all the time is asking too much. Now if he doesn't want to PAY for the Nanny/Sitter or maid to keep the house clean, then I say kick his neaderthal a$$ to the curb!!!

And that comment from the article about women going to college to marry men who can take care of them I think is RIGHT on point with what it looks to me like so many women are doing. And I personally find it appaling.

My Scientist/Physician Journey

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14 years 4 months ago #64348 by rydys
This thread reminds me of a discussion I had with my philosophy professor in college. I proposed that men and women are actually different in a deeper sense than just physically and that trying to turn men into women and women into men will not work and backfire in the long run.

The reality is that men focus more on "outside" issues, like work, providing for a family, etc. while women are more focused on "inside" issues like running a house, caring for children, etc. This does not mean that men cannot be good at "women's work" and that women cannot excell in a "men's world", but their basic natures are different. According to Judaism, this is actually shown physically as men's reproductive organs are external, while women's are internal.

This being said, it is natural that a woman going off to work would feel like she is "sacrificing" a lot to be away from her children, while a man does not. A man is likely to feel the same way if he stays home with his kids while his wife works.

I'm not saying there are not situations where people can work things out to mutual satisfaction, but I think that the world needs to refocus and stop expecting women to be men in order to enter the workforce and stop expecting men to turn into moms at home.

On the other hand, expecting an employer to just "make do" bec. a woman needs to be out for 3 months after having a baby is also unrealistice. I'm not sure what happens in those countries where women have a year's paid vacation. Does the employer have to continue to pay full salary for an employee who is not working? How can they achieve their bottom line in a cost effective manner if they are required to pay 2 employees for the same position? These are issues that need to be worked out, but need to be worked out realistically from both sides.

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14 years 4 months ago #64349 by Angie O'Plasty

Originally posted by mommd2b:

Great....It sounds like these women are really thinking about what the demands of parenting will mean to them and what they want for themselves/family in realistic terms.

I'm not saying that it isn't possible for you to be a good lawyer, doctor, teacher, enginner etc and to be a good mom...but it isn't for everyone. To top it off...working part-time just isn't a great option for many moms. Many fields don't offer good part-time opportunities. Maybe these women will be bringing in the next 'wave'...maybe we'll see a pendulum swing to a middle ground..where women can take some career time off and find more flexible jobs that work well with family.

Right now, most women who choose to stay home still are looked down upon as if they were too dumb to do anything else. After all, many working moms would just 'go crazy' if they had to stay home full-time. This must mean that the sahm's just don't need as much intellectual stimulation or something...

It would be good if there were more flexibility for moms. What I'd ideally like to do if/when I get married and have kids (which I hope to someday if I can find a really great guy) is for him to work during the day and me stay home with the kids, and then I could work a couple of evenings a week when he's home, while the kids are young. Then when they're in school I could work during the days, maybe three a week. (I'm going to go for a masters in nursing and be an NP--I was going to do med school and then decided I like the nursing perspective as far as prevention and pt education etc. and it would have more flexibility for having a family). That way, I could still work some but be with my kids the majority of the time and when I'm not, their dad would be there and get to spend some quality time with them. And I agree about SAHMs being looked down upon as being "dumb"--people should realize there are other ways to get that intellectual stimulation, such as reading (which I do all the time!), which can be done at home or pretty much anywhere, and learning all sorts of new things that way--just make a trip to the library! And then you can teach your kids lots of useful things!

I also agree quite a bit with the most recent post by rydys--we are not the same as men, and it's a good thing! Society needs both the male and female perspectives to function. And it's true that trying to force someone to behave like the opposite sex will have a tendency to backfire--what needs to happen is for the unique strengths of both to be appreciated so that no one feels looked down upon for doing what comes most naturally.

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