To Work Or Not To Work As A New Mother; Which Way Should I Swing?

I want to be with my baby all the time, but I want to continue working at my well paying and extremely interesting career, one that has defined me for so long. What do I do?

I have either been studying or working almost all my life and now I am at the crossroads of deciding whether I should continue with my career, or just pause and savour this moment of being a new mother.

I bet a lot of new mothers go through this dilemma at some point in their lives. For me, the time has come now when my son is a year old, and with a high pressure job I am finding it really hard to juggle between the two worlds.




This is a complete surprise to myself as I always have been good at handling high pressure situations. During my PhD years things would get really challenging, and I had the resilience to move forward; that kind of challenge motivated me even more. But now, I increasingly find myself asking: is it really worth it to cling on to a job which is constantly throwing challenges at me, and I’m unable to focus on the job, as my mind is half pre-occupied with my son?

On one side, I want to give up my job and spend time with my son without worrying about my next meeting, or thinking of checking emails or meeting deadlines. At the same time, I feel: is it really right to give up a 6-figure salaried job at a very good company which helps me define my identity as an intellectual? What is the right thing to do?

I have been reading various articles, talking to people and I wish someone or something would just make that decision for me. Unfortunately, I am the one who has to make the decision, and also learn to live with the consequences.

It is scary to give up my job as I feel so many women are balancing it, why can’t I? I also feel I am not confident that I can handle myself without a structured life, and I don’t know how I can qualify my own worth without the 6-figure salary or a job title? I fantasize of not worrying about meetings, checking mails or rushing to work in the morning, but I also question myself, will I be bored to death by filling my day with daily chores?

A part of me says, YES, stay at home to enjoy time with your son, as this time will never come again, he WILL grow up. Another part of me says, don’t ignore your intellectual side, you have worked very hard, earned your degree in spite of the naysayers, and only now are you enjoying the benefits of this lifelong work. Why would you want to give up? It isn’t like you are ignoring your son –  in fact, you spend quality time with him in the evenings and he is fine with you being away for a few hours every day, he IS coping well.

I am not sure which of these two thoughts will finally sway me to its side. For now, all I can say, watch this space for more revelation.

Image source: unsplash

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I am a new mother with a PhD in Genetics from Cambridge University. I have

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