Both my husband and I agree that we ought to have kick ass careers to fill the void left by not parenting. But we have no idea how to arrive at that point. The problem is neither of us particularly like our current careers. My husband just fell into his (commercial audio visual and building integration) and spent his youth as a work-aholic. As a result he got many promotions and progressed to mid level in his career. Then he met me and his career progress stalled. Making it any further would require him traveling all the time and he isn’t willing to do that anymore because he wants to see me sometimes. Also the upper management at his current employer can’t make up their minds about what they want from his department-to grow or not to grow.

I sort of fell into my career too, I wasn’t my first choice career but I chose it for purely pragmatic reasons. It paid decent money, jobs were readily available and stable, and I liked working with people. I went in to the job with the work to live mentality not that nursing would be my life. The problem is that nursing takes over your life and its almost impossible to not take your work home with you. Its a really demanding field and it is plagued by the motto of of all jobs in the 21st century “Do more with less”. All jobs say that I know, but in my job the stakes are higher (human life) and its really stressful to not be given the resources you need to do your job.

Needless to say neither of our current employment situations are long term career options. I am currently exploring the Nurse Educator option by getting my masters degree but I am not sure this is really the answer for me. Its kind of my last ditch effort to stay in the nursing profession. Jack has ideas of careers he’d like to get into but they all involve starting at the bottom again and taking huge pay cuts. We can’t really afford this right now since we have his student loan to pay off (its a big one too) and our IVF 401 K loan to pay back (or face the wrath of the IRS). Not to mention the complete draining of our savings thanks to IVF and all the money we dumped into our second house just to sell it.

It seems like our only options right now are to just suck it up and keep going in our lackluster jobs for the next few years until we can financially recover but I don’t want to. Life is short people! I don’t want to start a new awesome career too late and I honestly feel like if I can’t have kids I ought to have some kind of fulfillment in life. I know there are no guarantees or entitlements in life but I really don’t think it too much to ask from the universe.


6 thoughts on “Careers

  1. I have two things to say.

    First, how about looking at your situation another way? You have the opportunity to spend the next couple of years planning what you want to do, exploring options, and working out a plan to achieve both your goals, and do all that funded by your current jobs. It’s tough changing careers, or setting up working on your own (if that’s an option), so my advice is to take some time over the decision. You never know, it might turn out that you find a way to do it all much more quickly.

    My second comment is that yes, it is normal to look for fulfilment when we find out we can’t have children. Sometimes that’s through a “kickass” career, sometimes it’s through a hobby, interest, or something where you reach out to others. It might be paid, it might not be. I hope you find what is right for you. I have (on and off) and yet I’m still wondering what to do with the rest of my working life. Right now, of course, I’ve opted out completely, but decision time is looming, so I understand the feelings of urgency.

    • Patience has never been my strong point, and I would really love to reach a point where I don’t dread going to work. But you are right, even if I want things to happen now, they aren’t going to so I might as well make the best of it and put a positive spin on things.

  2. I am still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I’ve found a position currently that I like, but will never make enough money to afford a kid, and of course wouldn’t afford me the time to parent anyway. I definitely feel like I need a change, but a change would involve moving and we’re not ready for that either. Sometimes I think I’m a grass is greener kinda gal.

  3. I feel you on this… I am totally in a panic about my career. I know it has to change, but I have no idea where to start. I have so many people who’ve given me advice and yet it’s like I’m frozen… I can’t figure out what I really want out of a career and am too nervous to take a step in any one direction in case it turns out to be a waste of time. Why do I feel like we never had these issues in our 20s?

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