It’s Saturday evening and I’m catching up with one of my college friends, updating each other on what’s new in our lives. Of course, the subject of pregnancy comes up and I know that since we are in our 30s with no kids, I brought it up. Hey, it was inevitable. She is one of my oldest and dearest friends and we think a lot alike. Very career driven while trying to plan our lives in order to control the outcome. We hate surprises. Since she is starting a new job, tone of her concerns is about having a child right now. New Job + Woman /= Good impression- for some women.
When is the right time? After we’re established? When we’re mid-career? How long do we and should we take off once we have the baby? We chatted about this and I just kept thinking that men don’t have to think about this crap! They don’t have to think about timing when having a baby because they aren’t the default providers for childcare when a new baby enters the picture.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think about these things, A LOT. Though, less than I used to because I’ve let go of the need to control every major life event. If we got pregnant right now, I’d be fine with it. I am fully licensed in my field and what you’d call mid-career management. But I keep wondering about the on-ramp after we have kids. Will I want to return to work? Am I going to have trouble finding a position commensurate with my experience if I take longer than 2 months off? I still think about these things.
Will having a baby now affect my ability to get promoted and move forward in my career? Would my employer fire me once they find out I am expecting? Or will I be pushed out if I start to have complications that require time off?
Fertility Concerns + Talking To Pregnant Friends
Given that we have some fertility concerns, finding health insurance or paying for it out of pocket is also an issue for me. Either way we’ll do it but I would really rather find health insurance that will cover the treatments since complications can mean more than 1 round at $15k each. That said, as we go through more testing (that is covered by health insurance), it’s become increasingly difficult to talk to newly pregnant friends about their impending bundle of joy. While I am truly happy for them, seeing them move on to this new stage in life admittedly makes me sad. Sulky tear-filled eyes after we talk – sad. Those of you in the infertility community may understand where I am coming from with this.
This is pretty new for me and while I try not to think about it, I do realize that it is hard to engage pregnant friends. Once they have the baby, I’m there, but while pregnant? Not so much. Call me selfish, and I think it’s obvious why I may feel like this but it is what it is. It’s something that I have to work on as we move towards parenthood. Now I’m not curled up in the fetal position crying in the dark, but ya know, it’s a difficult process.
I’ve asked my readers in the past, Journey To Motherhood: How Did You Know You Were Ready To Become A Mother? That was more-so related to knowing within yourself as a woman, that you’re ready. I’m there now. I am at the point where I crave wanting to be a mom. So that’s not my issue. But what I do want to know: how did you know within the context of the right timing and your career? Did you have any of the same fears or concerns?
Did you jump in and decide to worry about how you’d feel and orchestrate your return to the workplace later? Or was it carefully planned? Right now, I am somewhere in the middle. Sick of planning but addicted to a planned and orchestrated outcome. *sigh* The older I get, the more I realize that there is never really is a “right time”.