Tough choices-family or career

When speaking about families, one can go in one of two directions. You can get all wishy-washy talking about how your mom made you cookies when you were younger or gave you children’s Tylenol when you were sick.

But I like to talk about the more controversial side of things.

Now, you may be asking yourself what could possibly be controversial about families.

Well, it all depends on how you look at things.

I don’t find anything wrong with my “current” family or their little quirks. But I do have some problems when it comes to my future family, not in-laws mind you, but the children I will eventually have.

No, I’m not going to complain about the pain women have to endure through childbirth while men just sit there telling you to breath.

And I’m not going to talk about how women are obviously the stronger sex since they have to endure this type of pain, usually more than once, and men act like it’s the end of the world when they get a cold (even though it’s true).

No, I’m going to talk about a much deeper issue—the decision women have to make between their families versus their career.

Now, this issue doesn’t only pertain to women—men are in the mix here somewhere—but also for college-educated women the choice is tough.

I’ve been thinking about this issue a lot lately since I’m nearing the end of my college career. This is something I dread facing.

Why? Because I have many conflicting views within myself as I’m sure many other women do. My choice simply comes down to this—career or kids. Not that you can’t have both, but it is the consequences of having both that my dilemma begins.

I’ve always seen myself as a career-orientated person, which is why I am in college earning a degree to educate myself on a chosen field. I want to look back on my life and know I’ve achieved something worthwhile.

Enter dilemma.

I’ve also always seen myself as a mom (eventually, that is). I do look forward to raising my children and that is where my problem begins. I, not a day-care center and not a 15-year old baby sitter, but I want to raise my kids.

That way if they grow up to be ax murderers, I’ll have no one to blame but myself.

So, what is a woman like myself to do? I could ask my future husband to stay home while I further myself in my career.

You can stop laughing now, I know that one is unrealistic.

So, I could either put my kids in day-care in hopes that they will recognize me after I drop them off at 6 in the morning and pick them up at 6 at night.

Or I could work for a few years, have the kids, raise the family, join the PTA and go back to work when the last one is a teenager and try to make something of myself with a 20-year-old degree.

Choices, choices.

Will I be less of a woman if I stay home with the kids and not try to better womanhood in the work place, therefore failing the women who fought so hard for my right to succeed? Or will my children suffer from being raised by part-time parents?

Guess what, there is NO easy answers.

You can only make decisions on things of this nature when the time comes, but one must remember there are always options.

It possible to find a job that is both satisfying to your intellect and easy on your time. You may have a husband who will contribute some of his time to the kids before rush hour.

Just remember there is nothing wrong with pursuing a career, just like there is nothing wrong with staying home and raising your kids. Because in the end, you’re still contributing something to society—whether it’s the value of your mind or the value of a life you helped to create and shape.