Originally Posted by ToastyToes
I agree with this, and this belief has affected me personally - I don't say it casually. Before we split, I had returned to school to prepare to go to medical school. My dream career, I had the will and the way to do it. And then after nearly a year of school, taking the prereqs, I did some really hard soul searching and realized that, given my circumstances (newly single mom, whose STBX may very well fade from the kids' lives) I cannot devote the next 10 years of my life to intense academics and training. It will come at the expense of my kids. And I've got family support by the boatload, but I'm still mom, and my kids' father may not be much of a player in their lives so I've got to be front & center for them.
It was heart wrenching to give up this dream. I'd already worked so hard, and poured so much time, money & effort into it (quit a career, busted my butt making A+'s in school this past year, done volunteer work, etc.) but kids & motherhood have to take priority. So, I'm planning on becoming a nurse anesthetist, which will be about 1/3 the school & training, less grueling academics, and a MUCH easier application process.
Anyway, this is long-winded, but I wanted to share how I grappled with a somewhat similar dilemma. Kids trumped my dream career/life.
I hear you. I recognized going into pregnancy that I'd have much less time for my own work, which is why I waited till my mid-30s. Now I spend more time working for money than I ever did as a childless writer, and I do the sort of hack work I'd never have touched before. The fun stuff, the interesting stuff, even in those fields will have to wait another 12-13 years or so, until I can go jetting around with impunity. By which time, though the idea annoys me, age discrimination will have set in and I may not have the chances I do now. People dismiss a 55-year-old woman more easily than they do a fit 40-year-old, and by that time I'll find it more difficult to talk to the thirtysomething kids who run much of the show; I'll scare the grad students and interns.
I've cut myself off geographically, too. I live in the midwest and have for many years, but I've had enough. I'm not Protestant, I don't enjoy silence as a language, my world is a crowded world of people striving with each other and their wants, not the desperate fear of touch I find here. I don't want to look at any more parking lots, and I've begun to think that the absolute blindness to aesthetic sense in use of space and architecture here is some latter-day Puritanism. I'm ready to go live in cities again, and my writing needs it. I won't go, though, because doing that would mean either leaving my daughter or taking her away from the rest of her family. I dislike her father's family, but they're clearly important to her, and so is he. (I don't, by the way, expect him or them to maintain the same commitment. Oh, I'm sure they'd make many excuses and there'd be all sorts of cries of helplessness, but in the end I can see them abandoning the kid. But we play for time.)
I cannot understand parents moving away from their children or those who try to tell themselves that it's nothing and the children will adjust. If your family is starving and you have to leave for work, that's one thing. But because you like it better somewhere else? Or because of commitments that came up later, like another marriage? No, I can't see it.