Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18

Thread: Balancing Act - EBF and Career?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    44

    Default Balancing Act - EBF and Career?

    Anyone out there struggling with EBF and climbing the corporate ladder? I work FT as a corporate department manager and still BF my 20 mth old. I feel I am about AP as a working mom can be (we EBF, family bed, every minute outside of work is spent with my family). My entire career, I have been on the fast track and always looked for opportunities to advance. I had my DS over 4 years ago but only BF him for a couple of weeks (BF was extremely difficulty and I still feel guilt about not trying to work through it longer) so I was able to continue on my career path with DH support. Now that I have DD who is still nursing at 20 mths (I will let her wean on her own), I have found that since her birth I have not been as career oriented. But by nature, I am very competitive and feel like I am holding myself back by not being as aggressive as I once was in my career. I also know my limitations and that I want to spend as much time with my family as I possibly can. I know she will not BF forever, in a year or so I could be back on track with my career but how do I let go of my career ambitions until then? I think this is the classic case of wanting it all right now. Funny thing is, I would stay home FT if I could, but DH is self-employed so we need the benefits and my income. Not necessarily looking for an answer here, but rather if anyone else is going/gone through this. I don't personally know anyone who has even BF for as long as I am doing now, let alone worked EBF and worked FT so I am feeling a little like an anomaly.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,064

    Default Re: Balancing Act - EBF and Career?

    I think many mothers (BF or not) go through these feelings. Before my DS was born, I was very devoted to work and put in a lot of hours. I thought I would want to go back to work after I had him, but I changed my mind. After I had DS, my career just didn't seem so important to me anymore. I was lucky enough to have the option to stay home so I did. I think I'll go back eventually, but probably only part time. Sometimes I feel like I'm shortchanging myself or even shortchanging women as a whole by dropping out of the workforce, but I'd just rather be home with my son. I think you've kind of answered your own questions in your post. On the one hand you say you'd stay home if you could, and on the other you say you regret not being able to put more into your work. It sounds like you've found a middle ground that is working well for you. We aren't superwomen and there are only 24 hours in a day. Even if your daughter wasn't BFing anymore, that doesn't really mean she'd need to spend any less time with you. Just FYI, I do know a mom who is working full time and still BFing a 22 month old. So, while I'm sure there aren't many of you, at least you aren't the only one! Good luck with your family and your career!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,813

    Default Re: Balancing Act - EBF and Career?

    Wow, I just wanted to commend you! Good job mommy!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    89

    Default Re: Balancing Act - EBF and Career?

    Hi Cookie,

    I do know what you mean . . . I too am EBFing (my daughter is almost 18 mo) and working FT as a scientist in an academic lab. I think these feelings of being torn between two major commitments are very common. For me, I wouldn't mind working part time, but there are basically no part time positions for someone with an advanced degree . . . and at the speed my field is moving, if I stopped working for a few years, my skills and knowledge would be so outdated I would probably be unemployable without more training. I only know a handful of other women in my position with kids, and I don't know anyone else who EBFs. I had a lot of problems a while back with candida and mastitis and got pressure from my colleagues to stop BF (they meant well--worried about my obviously high stress level, but still!) so I just don't talk about it, even though it is still a big part of my life at the moment.

    BTW, I think daddies also feel these competing desires to maximize their career involvement and to spend as much time as possible with their families--I know my husband does--but in this society I think it is even less acceptable for them to express such feelings than it is for us.

    Jill

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Balancing Act - EBF and Career?

    My situation sounds so similar to yours, Cookie. My DH is a partner in a small firm, so we need my benefits, but I also work because I want to- I love my career. And until the birth of my son, I was on the career fast track. I actually changed jobs after having my son so that I could focus more time at home. And it's working out for us, but at the same time, I can already feel myself itching for more. DS is a little over a year- I stopped pumping at 11.5 months (had plenty in the freezer) and still BF evenings and weekends. DS is a total boob man, so I feel like I could easily BF him another year- and that would be ok with me.
    I don't have any real insight for you- just wanted to say that I feel the same way.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Balancing Act - EBF and Career?

    Before having my DD, I was more focused on my career and advancement at my current job. After her, I just can't stand to go to work at all. I hate that I have to leave her to spend 8 hours a day in a n office. I would quit id=f I could, but we need my income. My DH i sstill in college. I am thinking of going into nursing to get a job with more flexible hours. Before I go on and on... Jobs are replaceable. Children, family and time are not. If you can afford to make a change, do it. When it comes down to companies and layoffs, no one is looking at how loyal you are an employee. Your family will always appreciate your comitment and loyalty.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Balancing Act - EBF and Career?

    Hi Cookie,
    I wonder if the hardest part of your situation right now is feeling like an "anomoly". My guess is that whether or not your child was breastfeeding, you would feel torn between home and work with two small children. Are you turning down travel because of your children? Longer hours? Time to socialize with someone besides your family? These things may be more possible than you think.

    In the hope that it's reassuring to hear oyher people's stories, here is mine -- I live in Canada, so I had a 12 month mat leave, then I BF DD through the first year back at work (at which point I left for a 2nd mat leave and the joys of tandem nursing ... ). I was sent away to be the team lead of a major system installation for 2.5 months when she was 20 months old. I calmly, but firmly, told my boss that I was happy to go, but we would need to find a way for me to bring her since she was still BFing, and I didn't want to wean. To say that he was not supportive is an understatement ... but I brought her! She's still nursing at 32 mos, and I'll probably still be Tandem nursing when I return to work in September!

    I definitely felt like the odd duck at work when I first started back, but I'm meeting more and more moms doing the same thing.

    Hope you feel a bit less anomolous now
    Liz

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Balancing Act - EBF and Career?

    Hi, everyone,

    I relate to this issue! My daughter is almost two and nursing. I work "full-time", though I am a university prof., so the hours are pretty flexible and I can work at home quite a lot. I'm also a competitive person, and I have a hard time balancing my career against my family. I want to spend as much time as possible with my daughter. I adore her, we are very close, it is a great and important age in her life. I also want to spend as much time as possible reading, researching, teaching, writing my books. I know my husband sometimes feels squeezed out, because I'm always busy. For me, ambition did not disappear with the birth of my daughter. I know some people say one "should" try to work as little as possible while children grow up. I'm not convinced of that. It's not always true that "jobs are replaceable". If I don't write this book now, I may never. If I don't publish now, I won't get tenure. Waiting five years isn't really an option if I want these things at all. And if I'm not true to my own desires and ambitions, won't I set an example of fakery and masochism for my daughter? If I didn't really want to do the work, it would be different. So -- I don't think I have a lot of help or insight to give, but I hear you, and it's tough to weigh up these intense and contradictory desires! But here we all are, doing both. That's good in itself. And maybe the more women there are who try to be true both to their work and their children, minds and hearts, the easier it will get for our daughters. I think it would be great if more career structures and offices were flexible enough to allow for attached parenting, ebf, part-time work without loss of benefits and career advantages, all that. So we need to talk about it, and try to make it happen.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: Balancing Act - EBF and Career?

    Thank you all for your replies! You were able to articulate many of the feelings I am having. It was good to hear the perspective of other moms who are in similar situations as myself.

    I realize my daughter will need me even when she weans, but EBF adds some additional limitations that non-BF moms may not have. Because I nurse my dd to sleep every night (she goes to bed around 7:00 - I have never been able to push this time back), I felt as though I have had to pass on travel (I did take her on one trip but not something I want to do on a regular basis) and extra hours. I can not stand the thought of her crying for her 'drinky' when she is ready for night, night so I make it a priority to be there for her.

    As one poster noted, I think I have found a middle ground and we aren't superwoman...as much as I try to be.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    222

    Default Re: Balancing Act - EBF and Career?

    I am in this same balancing act currently. I am torn between home and work. I just went back to work in May after a three month maternity leave, and pump three times a day at work. I nurse my son in the morning before work and right after and through the evening and night. It is not an option in my family to quit because I make too much money and I also provide the benefits. In addition I am up for a promotion which will have me take online college full time to earn a degree for the position. I am a little nervous about taking college again. I also travel with my job. I will be gone a week in July, Sept and two weeks in November (during my daughters birthday ). For the travel I had to do a lot of research on shipping BM home, it will be a large undertaking for me, but I am going to do it. Life is a little hectic, it is going to be a bumpy year, but with the help of my family and work, I will get through it.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •