Why do people think you should give up your life?

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!
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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.
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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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.
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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.
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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!"
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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.
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!
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?

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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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.
"Dogs stink too, but I like dog stink." ~ rileyb
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 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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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 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?
Originally Posted by Amneris
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
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 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.
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!)
Originally Posted by Swirlycurly Chemist
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.
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!)
Originally Posted by Swirlycurly Chemist
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.
Originally Posted by medussa
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 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.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
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? "
My reply was, 'Yes.' And I didn't mention anything else.
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.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
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











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".
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."

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