Something’s gotta give
Career-wise, I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. (I think we’ve talked about that before.) Once I dropped ballerina and astronaut off my potential job list, life got a little less interesting. But, I’ve always known that I wanted to be a mom. And now my life is interesting every day because of my son. I never know what that kid will say or do next, and I love it.
So, it is hard for me to think about not being a Mom. And yet, that is what so many young people are choosing these days – life without children. A study at the University of Pennsylvania in 1992 showed that 78% of Generation X graduates planned to have children. In 2012, that number has fallen to 42%.
It’s not that the Millennials aren’t into kids – that is far from the case. It appears to be a choice between demands: Do they want a good career (which they expect to be highly demanding) or do they want children (who will definitely be demanding)? The survey respondents didn’t see how they could make both career and children work together.
Last week I wrote about the elusive work/life balance. (The key takeaway is evidently exercise – who knew?) But I have hope that something new will come along to give us another leg to stand on (sorry, my balance metaphor is falling over on me.) I don’t know if it will be a cut back in working hours, more flexibility in the workplace or better benefits for maternity leave, but something here has to give us a chance to have a working life and a parental life and not have to sacrifice one for the other.
Otherwise, something like this might happen.
Where do you find balance? Tell me in the comments.