CurlTalk

Why do people think you should give up your life?

AmnerisAmneris Posts: 15,117Registered Users
I got asked YET AGAIN today if I am going to quit singing after the baby comes. I can't count the number of times that people have: a) expressed surprise that I am still singing while pregnant and b) assumed that I will quit after the baby comes.

Why would I automatically quit something I spent years in school to do that is my career, and more importantly, something I love that is a big part of who I am, because I also have or am going to have a baby? That line of reasoning makes no sense to me. I understand the logic that it will be challenging and difficult - believe me, I already KNOW that - but plenty of people have made it work so it is still very much a viable option.

Lots of people also assume I will be a SAHM and seem disapproving when I say I probably won't be.

Tell me hopeful stories of yourselves or people you know who had a baby and still have careers and hobbies and lives!
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali


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Comments

  • M2LRM2LR Posts: 8,630Registered Users
    I have TWO babies and still have a career, hobbies, and a life. I was going on trips without my first baby when he was 3 months old - daddy was there with oodles of frozen breastmilk, he could take care of the baby. Same with the lil girl, hubby and I went somewhere over night and Grandma helped out...

    It's hard work to do it all, but it happens.

    ETA: I am a believer that my life changes all the time, but even saving a few mintues a day for myself is something I need. I work outside of the home because it's for ME. No husband. No kids. My OWN life...sure it's not the most enjoyable thing, but it's MINE.

    When I don't even get a chance to use the bathroom by myself, sometimes going to work, or even folding clothes with the door shut so no one can interrupt is a good thing.

    You can do it, but having the support of your husband and family will make it easier.
    :rambo:
  • DarkAngelDarkAngel Posts: 2,671Registered Users
    I have Doodleface and I have a career. Both of us are attorneys. I'm also a member of the Junior League and on the Board of Directors at two non-profits. I don't really have any hobbies these days. Just reading when I get a free moment.

    We still travel although not as much as we used to. Part of that is by choice, part of it is that it would be more complicated now. We travel out of the country without him occassionally and don't feel guilty about it. We found a great sitter so we can have a small social life that does not include cheerios.

    If we have another baby, I am going to cut back on some of what I do. Ideally, I would keep my community activities because they are entirely for me and do some part time or contract legal work instead of working FT.

    Doing it all is tough but not so tough that it is impossible. You just have to find your balance. What works for you may not work for me and vice versa. Try not let other people and their hangups bother you.
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  • PhDCowPhDCow Posts: 1,621Registered Users
    I've had 2 children while getting my PhD. And I'm defending my dissertation in 2 weeks. You bet it's much harder with kids, but it's much more rewarding, IMO.

    You've got to do what's best for you. Everybody's always going to have an opinion.
    God doesn't give special kids to special parents. He takes ordinary, imperfect people, and gifts them with his greatest treasures. And therein, he creates special parents.

  • geekygeeky Posts: 4,995Registered Users
    I have a child and my career. It's not the same as it was before Ben, but I still work (and I would go crazy as a SAHM, not that there's anything wrong with being a SAHM) and like my job, and I take a running class once a week, and we go out occasionally. You do what will make you happy.

    Yeah, it's hard, but being a parent is hard period. I don't think parents who quit work have an easier time - it's a different set of problems.
    To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
    I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

    Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
  • fuzzbucketfuzzbucket Posts: 996Registered Users
    Amneris: I know what you mean! Especially with something like music that lives inside you. How could you give that up? DH and I are looking forward to sharing our passion for music with our son. I think many people understand that, but there are always some that won't or can't understand it. I know it will be hard, but life is hard. I always used to tell my students that "it's a privilege to do something you love for a living, but that doesn't make it easy." Same goes with parenting.

    I guess I've been lucky. I haven't had anyone sound shocked that I will be working and DH will be home with the baby (after my maternity leave). Most of my playing colleagues expect that I'll be back playing when I can, and that is the plan. Same with my library colleagues. In fact, at school, I have to remind folks that "Hey, I'm pregnant and can't lift that 64 pound box of piano vocal scores! Get it yourself!" :wink:
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  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,258Registered Users
    I got asked YET AGAIN today if I am going to quit singing after the baby comes.


    Maybe people are just curious about what your plans are, just making conversation. All new mothers have to make some sort of plans for after they deliver...whether that be staying home or returning to work. So, people know you must be making SOME sort of plans.

    I may be a SAHM, but I do have a "life". I have worked after having babies...it's hard work to juggle everything, and I much prefer being home, but it can be done.
  • mad scientistmad scientist Posts: 3,530Registered Users
    I agree with RCW, people are probably interested in your plans. And while its good to have plans, you don't want to be too rigid because in my experience, all bets are off with regards to a career-path once you have a baby. If you want to continue your career, that's great. If you don't, that's also a great choice. I don't think twice when I hear of a former career-woman choosing to stay home or a less career-oriented woman choosing to go back to work. You just never know beforehand how you are going to want to live your life once the baby comes.

    I'm working part-time and don't really have any plans to go back to work full-time. I'm even toying with the idea of taking an extended leave (maybe 2 years) when I have a 2nd child.

    I'd like to be able to incorporate more hobbies/interests into my life. Right now, my work, managing DH's business and taking Karan to activities is pretty much eating up every waking moment!
  • wild_sasparillawild_sasparilla Posts: 4,306Registered Users
    How lame of those people to assume all the rest of who you are would end for motherhood. And besides, why would you want the world to miss out on your singing? :wink:

    Ugh, if somebody told me they thought I should give up writing for pregnancy or ANY reason, I'd totally kick their arse for it.
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  • rainshowerrainshower Posts: 4,420Registered Users
    it's probably just small talk.

    but if a lot of sahms are doing the asking, maybe they are generally curious about how you'll structure the new dynamics of your family so that your singing and family life will balance after the baby comes. or maybe they are hoping that you'll be home like they are so that they'll have someone to associate with during the day.

    definitely don't give up what makes you happy, especially work as nonmainstream as singing.

    a happy woman = a happy wife + a happy mother, which contributes to a healthy family. :wink:
    "Dogs stink too, but I like dog stink." ~ rileyb
  • AmnerisAmneris Posts: 15,117Registered Users
    I don't think it's small talk, because small talk would be more, "So... are you planning to keep singing after you have the baby?" rather than "What do you mean, you have a show in November? I thought you were quitting that - you're going to have a new baby, you know." (No, I didn't know.... :roll: )

    I think it is possible that some of them want company, either literally, or company in me making the same choice as them and therefore validating it for them. I also get the feeling that some of them resent that I have the option to continue my career, travel with a baby etc. while they feel they didn't have the option, whether because of their spouse's wishes or their child's circumstances or whatever. It's obviously more about them than me.

    Anyway, I just have to ignore it and do what I think is best, right?

    RedCatWaves - I didn't mean to imply that SAHMs don't have lives. What I mean by "a life" is what *I* consider to be a life.
    Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali


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  • rainshowerrainshower Posts: 4,420Registered Users
    Amneris wrote:
    I don't think it's small talk, because small talk would be more, "So... are you planning to keep singing after you have the baby?" rather than "What do you mean, you have a show in November? I thought you were quitting that - you're going to have a new baby, you know." (No, I didn't know.... :roll: )

    I think it is possible that some of them want company, either literally, or company in me making the same choice as them and therefore validating it for them. I also get the feeling that some of them resent that I have the option to continue my career, travel with a baby etc. while they feel they didn't have the option, whether because of their spouse's wishes or their child's circumstances or whatever.

    Anyway, I just have to ignore it and do what I think is best, right?

    yeah, those remarks sound like they're coming from a different place. just let it roll off your back. your family set-up doesn't have to mirror theirs in order for it to work for you. surely they must know this. and if they don't, don't try to teach them.

    i think when people are truly secure with their lives and choices, they aren't so critical about others' lives and choices. so it's really telling about a person who is always digging about your mothering choices, career choices, etc.
    "Dogs stink too, but I like dog stink." ~ rileyb
  • Swirlycurly ChemistSwirlycurly Chemist Posts: 335Registered Users
    Well, as someone who never once even considered staying home with my child prior to giving birth, let me just tell you that it is hard to predict where your heart and body will be once that baby arrives! A a scientist who has years of education under her belt, tons of student loans, and was in the middle of finishing my PhD, I could *not* imagine handing my high needs baby over to anyone else. I doubt I ever will unless forced into it.

    Poor as a church mouse, yes, but happy to be the one making sure my boobear is safe and happy.

    Everyone is different, but maybe these people had experiences similar to mine and expect everyone else to feel the same way (but not everyone does!)
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  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,258Registered Users
    I don't think it's small talk, because small talk would be more, "So... are you planning to keep singing after you have the baby?" rather than "What do you mean, you have a show in November? I thought you were quitting that - you're going to have a new baby, you know." (No, I didn't know.... )


    I guess I don't get why you would hang around with someone who would say such rude things to you. That's the sort of thing that would only come from close family, and it would still be rude from them too.
  • medussamedussa Posts: 12,993Registered Users
    Well, as someone who never once even considered staying home with my child prior to giving birth, let me just tell you that it is hard to predict where your heart and body will be once that baby arrives! A a scientist who has years of education under her belt, tons of student loans, and was in the middle of finishing my PhD, I could *not* imagine handing my high needs baby over to anyone else. I doubt I ever will unless forced into it.

    Poor as a church mouse, yes, but happy to be the one making sure my boobear is safe and happy.

    Everyone is different, but maybe these people had experiences similar to mine and expect everyone else to feel the same way (but not everyone does!)

    I love, love, love that you wrote this. Because I remember your reaction when you found out you were pregnant. And you are right, a woman never knows how she will truly feel until she is holding that baby in her arms.
  • M2LRM2LR Posts: 8,630Registered Users
    medussa wrote:
    Well, as someone who never once even considered staying home with my child prior to giving birth, let me just tell you that it is hard to predict where your heart and body will be once that baby arrives! A a scientist who has years of education under her belt, tons of student loans, and was in the middle of finishing my PhD, I could *not* imagine handing my high needs baby over to anyone else. I doubt I ever will unless forced into it.

    Poor as a church mouse, yes, but happy to be the one making sure my boobear is safe and happy.

    Everyone is different, but maybe these people had experiences similar to mine and expect everyone else to feel the same way (but not everyone does!)

    I love, love, love that you wrote this. Because I remember your reaction when you found out you were pregnant. And you are right, a woman never knows how she will truly feel until she is holding that baby in her arms.

    I totally agree, and I also remember your reaction to finding out you were pregnant...and you're completely right. You never know how you're going to feel once you have the baby in your arms. Also, you never know how you're going to feel about having to leave that baby to go back to work...it's easy for some people and can be the hardest thing to do for others.
    :rambo:
  • M2LRM2LR Posts: 8,630Registered Users
    I don't think it's small talk, because small talk would be more, "So... are you planning to keep singing after you have the baby?" rather than "What do you mean, you have a show in November? I thought you were quitting that - you're going to have a new baby, you know." (No, I didn't know.... )


    I guess I don't get why you would hang around with someone who would say such rude things to you. That's the sort of thing that would only come from close family, and it would still be rude from them too.

    I agree, I think it's very rude that it was worded to you that way.

    That said, when I would go on said trips with people I woudl hear, "You're LEAVING the baby? :shock: "
    My reply was, 'Yes.' And I didn't mention anything else.
    :rambo:
  • AmnerisAmneris Posts: 15,117Registered Users
    I don't think it's small talk, because small talk would be more, "So... are you planning to keep singing after you have the baby?" rather than "What do you mean, you have a show in November? I thought you were quitting that - you're going to have a new baby, you know." (No, I didn't know.... )


    I guess I don't get why you would hang around with someone who would say such rude things to you. That's the sort of thing that would only come from close family, and it would still be rude from them too.

    They're mostly not close family or people I "hang around" with, but acquaintances or people I encounter at work, church etc....
    Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali


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  • mad scientistmad scientist Posts: 3,530Registered Users
    I also think that "We'll see" is a good answer for a lot of questions regarding after-baby planning.

    You don't want to enter into a discussion when you don't really know what the outcome is going to be anyways. No point in vehemently insisting that you will be travelling for work at 6 weeks PP, when in the end you may decide otherwise. You just end up setting yourself up for "I told you so". :wink:
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,258Registered Users
    They're mostly not close family or people I "hang around" with, but acquaintances or people I encounter at work, church etc....


    If they're just acquaintances making rude remarks like that, I'd think up some flip answer...like, "Oh, I'll just put the baby in a suitcase. It'll be fine."
  • Oregano  (formerly babywavy)Oregano (formerly babywavy) Posts: 5,297Registered Users
    M2LR & Co. wrote:
    medussa wrote:
    Well, as someone who never once even considered staying home with my child prior to giving birth, let me just tell you that it is hard to predict where your heart and body will be once that baby arrives! A a scientist who has years of education under her belt, tons of student loans, and was in the middle of finishing my PhD, I could *not* imagine handing my high needs baby over to anyone else. I doubt I ever will unless forced into it.

    Poor as a church mouse, yes, but happy to be the one making sure my boobear is safe and happy.

    Everyone is different, but maybe these people had experiences similar to mine and expect everyone else to feel the same way (but not everyone does!)

    I love, love, love that you wrote this. Because I remember your reaction when you found out you were pregnant. And you are right, a woman never knows how she will truly feel until she is holding that baby in her arms.

    I totally agree, and I also remember your reaction to finding out you were pregnant...and you're completely right. You never know how you're going to feel once you have the baby in your arms. Also, you never know how you're going to feel about having to leave that baby to go back to work...it's easy for some people and can be the hardest thing to do for others.


    I agree with all three of these comments. There are some women who have no problem with carrying on the lives they had before they had children - and there are others who cannot fathom keeping their old lives because it involves occasionally leaving their children behind.

    Either decision is quite fine, and totally depends on the personality of the person - and yes, you truly do not know how you're going to feel about that until the baby comes. It's amazing how in the blink of an eye you're entire being can change.
    ~ the artist formerly known as babywavy ~

    Please excuse any typos. For the time being, we are blaming it on my computer.
  • wild_sasparillawild_sasparilla Posts: 4,306Registered Users
    I also think that "We'll see" is a good answer for a lot of questions regarding after-baby planning.

    You don't want to enter into a discussion when you don't really know what the outcome is going to be anyways. No point in vehemently insisting that you will be travelling for work at 6 weeks PP, when in the end you may decide otherwise. You just end up setting yourself up for "I told you so". :wink:

    That's why you don't want somebody spiteful like me arguing with you...even if I was tortured by leaving the baby, I would keep at it and throw myself into my work to distract myself. Just so nobody could ever, ever say those four little words.

    Shoot, if I had to walk around wearing bear traps to spite some rude woman, I wouldn't put it past me. :lol:
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    ...It's a siggie. :shock:
  • MunchyMunchy Posts: 5,206Registered Users
    I just got a job offer for an awesome job down the street from my house, but it's 60 hours a week and would start right after my projected due date. The money will be so good, and I know that will be useful at the time, plus it's less than 5 minutes from my house.

    I'm almost scared to take them up on the offer. It's so appealing, but who knows if I will be able to have the kind of flexibility I have with my job now... Who knows if I will have this chance again, though...

    Plus, I have no idea how I will feel once the baby is born. I may not even want to come to work (although we don't have the luxury of me staying home).
  • Jenny CJenny C Posts: 1,195Registered Users
    Munchy wrote:
    I just got a job offer for an awesome job down the street from my house, but it's 60 hours a week and would start right after my projected due date. The money will be so good, and I know that will be useful at the time, plus it's less than 5 minutes from my house.

    I'm almost scared to take them up on the offer. It's so appealing, but who knows if I will be able to have the kind of flexibility I have with my job now... Who knows if I will have this chance again, though...

    Plus, I have no idea how I will feel once the baby is born. I may not even want to come to work (although we don't have the luxury of me staying home).

    Honestly Munchy, starting a new 60 hour a week job right after having a baby seems beyond stressful.

    It's hard enough trying to prove yourself and learn the ropes at a new job, but now you'll be trying to do it without sleep. You'll also be trying to learn the ropes as a new mother at home so you'll never feel like you're in any kind of comfort zone.

    This isn't a situation where you need to give up your life, but you do have to think about your santiy. You can't put a price tag on that.
    If you got nothing to bring to the table - don't even bother sitting down.
  • goldencurlygoldencurly Posts: 2,385Registered Users
    Munchy -JennyC is wise.

    Amneris - I've been a SAHM and a go to work at the office and leave the baby mom too. Both decisions were hard to make. I was a SAHM when I could afford it and now I'm a leave the baby mom because I cannot afford to be a SAHM. Everyone has an opinion about everything you do when you become a parent. Heaven forbid, I went back to college when S was 2 years old WHILE working. You would have thought I'd sold her on the illegal adoption market the way most people were so unsupportive. My response to their shock and abhorrence: "How can I teach her she can do anything, be anything she wants IF I DON'T SET THE EXAMPLE FOR HER?"

    Hang in there!
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,258Registered Users
    Heaven forbid, I went back to college when S was 2 years old WHILE working. You would have thought I'd sold her on the illegal adoption market the way most people were so unsupportive. My response to their shock and abhorrence: "How can I teach her she can do anything, be anything she wants IF I DON'T SET THE EXAMPLE FOR HER?"


    It's awfully rough on the kid when the mother is away so much though. I did it too...went back to school when my oldest was 2, while also working full-time. It was very difficult on both of us. I set an example for him, sure...but I also put him through hell by not being there.
  • AmnerisAmneris Posts: 15,117Registered Users
    Munchy -JennyC is wise.

    Amneris - I've been a SAHM and a go to work at the office and leave the baby mom too. Both decisions were hard to make. I was a SAHM when I could afford it and now I'm a leave the baby mom because I cannot afford to be a SAHM. Everyone has an opinion about everything you do when you become a parent. Heaven forbid, I went back to college when S was 2 years old WHILE working. You would have thought I'd sold her on the illegal adoption market the way most people were so unsupportive. My response to their shock and abhorrence: "How can I teach her she can do anything, be anything she wants IF I DON'T SET THE EXAMPLE FOR HER?"

    Hang in there!

    Thanks! The bold is how I'm thinking, too. I want my doctorate, so school and kids may be in my future, too...
    Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali


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  • geminigemini Posts: 3,325Registered Users
    The thing that irks me most is that no one asks men the same question. The first day I returned to work, one of my co-workers didn't say "Welcome back," but, "I didn't think we'd see you back!" Nice.

    The way my life was before is gone--some days i have hard time accepting that the freedom I had before (and the "me" time) is just not the same anymore, I won't lie. And while I am glad I nursed, the whole nursing-pumping at work juggling act was a HUGE stress that I honestly don't miss. And with all the parenting debates on the "mommy" board that I joined when I was pregnant, I got a good idea of all the demands and expectations that people have of you once you've had a child.

    For me, maintaining a social life outside of work and home has been a real effort, but it is manageable if you have a considerate husband and you want to make the effort.

    I am like geeky--I don't think i have the makings to be a SAHM (I lack infinite patience, to start), but the next time around, I would like to stay home longer than the 3 mos. mandated maternity leave if it's feasible.

    And Swirly, you definitely made a 180 degree change, as a former fellow "preggo" at the time, it was an amazing thing to witness in someone else. :)
  • AmnerisAmneris Posts: 15,117Registered Users
    Hey gemini! Long time no see - how are you and the family?
    Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali


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  • goldencurlygoldencurly Posts: 2,385Registered Users
    Heaven forbid, I went back to college when S was 2 years old WHILE working. You would have thought I'd sold her on the illegal adoption market the way most people were so unsupportive. My response to their shock and abhorrence: "How can I teach her she can do anything, be anything she wants IF I DON'T SET THE EXAMPLE FOR HER?"


    It's awfully rough on the kid when the mother is away so much though. I did it too...went back to school when my oldest was 2, while also working full-time. It was very difficult on both of us. I set an example for him, sure...but I also put him through hell by not being there.

    S didn't go through hell. I worked my schedule so I had classes only 4 days a week and with no breaks between them most days so I was gone the least amount of time possible. My last semester, I had one night class, and even though it was only one night a week, it truly sucked. I think I minded that time away from S more than she did. S is very independent and she never went through seperation anxiety or felt abandoned or neglected. My mother took care of her when I was at work or school. When at home, I devoted myself to her when she was awake. Once she was asleep, then I did homework. I didn't get nearly enough sleep! It wasn't easy on me, but she didn't suffer. Aside from the one night class, going to school and working wasn't that big of a jump from just working 40 hours a week. I realize every mother-child relationship is different of course and this is only my experience.
  • geminigemini Posts: 3,325Registered Users
    Amneris wrote:
    Hey gemini! Long time no see - how are you and the family?

    We are all doing well thanks for asking. Elise will be 18 mos. old on the 21st. :)