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Hello all.

I would like to know your sincere opinions and experiences about the story I'm going to tell. I'm looking for answers, I read lots of texts that give a bleak view of the path I want to choose while the people I ask tell it isn't really this behemoth that the papers make it to be. Are the more positive position right and I'm just being paranoid, or do I have good reason to be concerned?

My question involves trying a career and jumping in the motherhood wagon. Yes, the endless war that is conflicting priorities in a short day of only 24 hours.

I still have no kids, but I want them. My husband wants them too. It was an important topic we agreed on before marrying. I'm 28, he is 36.

We waited I graduate from college before marrying. The plan was simple: graduate, start to work, work for two-three years and start planning for a family.

However, I was unlucky to graduate in architecture during an economical crisis in my country. My first two years I was unemployed. Now I managed a simple desk job that had nothing to do with my studies. But hey! better something than nothing, right? It is only temporary, a job that has nowhere to grow and I make only 1/10 of what my husband does. But it will get better. I was certain I would find something in my area soon!

But I didn't... It has passed a year already and despite all the CVs I submitted everywhere, I had a wopping zero interviews all this time. And economy continues painfully slow due political instability, my guess is that this stale-economy will last for at least two more years, maybe even more.

I know it wasn't my fault, but this has been a huge blow in my self-esteem and confidence. I followed the path my parents told me would lead to a successful life. I studied hard, I entered the best Uni in my country, I made a six-year graduation (which turned out to be eight years due bad health and another year of interchange). I was fresh, with a strong diploma in hands and ready to start! But no one was interested. I know it wasn't because of me, it was the economy. But I can't help the feeling that I had screwed up something. And if it wasn't back then, I feel like I'll blow it up soon.

My planning is out of the window, the three years I thought I would use to improve my career and start with all my might simply didn't happen. Now was when I was planning to start a family, after enjoying the experience of making my own money, of independence and growing up.

And my biggest fear is that, if I follow my plan to have children now, will it destroy any chance I have in making a career at all? Will it be the equivalent of throwing in the trash my diploma and all those 8 ****ing years? Where they for nothing? Was all that time I spent studying that useless? Why the hell did I do all that if it would be that pointless in the end?

So far I haven't been successful in not thinking that I screwed up somehow.

I find myself trying to conform with the idea that I might never actually work in my area, and that I might spend the rest of my life doing something similar to this desk-job just because it has flexibility and part-time option and that I should just be content with making something like 1.000-1.500 dollars a month. I can't help the feeling that I won't be able to get something better, or to improve, because I want to have children soon.

Those two priorities compete for the same amount of day-light (and night), something has to give up and... I know it will have to be my career, but will I really be giving up a career if I never had the chance to actually start one?

It doesn't help that, due the big age-difference between me and my husband, I feel bad for depriving him of having children because I'm still attempting to pursue said career. At this point, isn't pursuing a career also pointless, given that I won't be able to give it all my time and might if I have a baby to compete for my attention as well? But all those years studying... I feel such a grudge that I spend such a long time for nothing.

Don't get me wrong, I want to please my husband. I don't want to annoy him with my hobbies and tastes. I don't want him to think I'm lazy or stupid, this is one of my biggest fears. I don't want to disappoint him.

I feel a lot of guilt. Guilt for not being able to achieve something successful. Guilt for holding my husband because things didn't go as I planned. Guilt for the concept that I might have to abandon the idea of career if I want to have children. I even feel guilty for feeling the slightest pride for the job I'm doing.

I feel guilty to arrive at home and feel tired after a long day of work. I feel guilty that my husband actually asked me that I should keep the house cleaner, that I should cook more, that I should be more "feminine" or woman-like. I don't blame him much because I'm horrible at communication skills and I have failed so far to actually talk this stuff with him. I understand that when he asked for me to cook more was an attempt to compliment me because he likes the rare occasions that I do cook. He warns me about not being too sloppy because appearances are your welcome card and that, even if we don't like it, your first appearance is very important in the work-space or social-space. I feel guilty that I have no confidence or courage to take a freelance opportunity so I could gain some experience with the area that I supposedly want to work. I never wanted to freelance, not right out of the bat while I feel so unsure about my own skills and lack of experience. I want to bail out because I don't want to screw up, but I know I shouldn't give up because this opportunity might be the only experience I might ever get.

But if without a child I already have a hard time organizing my time between work, taking care of my plants, my birds, cooking, groceries, cleaning the house, using the weekend for woodworking and take care of our online store to sell the woodwork, somehow take care of my appearance, motivate my husband to go to the gym, have quality time between ourselves. Plus find some me time since my hobbies I can't share with my hubby (reading and the series I like), take care of the bookclub I admin with over 50 members. Then there are my hobbies that are writting and drawing, those two I already barely touch due lack time and because I have been plagued with the feeling that I shouldn't lose my time with something "useless" as art.

I feel like I should accomplish everything perfectly. I feel like complaining that my to-do list is too much is because I'm being wrong/entitled/lazy.

And how will I fit a child in there? I want and I know I can managed it somehow, but it still hurts me the thought that it is the career that I never had that will take the bite. Along with my bookclub, my hobbies that I already almost abandoned, obviously the gym, etc.

I'm sorry, this isn't only about motherhood and career, this detail is only the tip of the iceberg.

I just wished I could use the "**** it" switch and not care so much what others think or expect of me. Or what I expect about myself and project as if it was the others that are requiring all this from me. As if my mind is constantly working against me. And despite all this, I still feel like I should be doing more, accomplishing more. Working 8 hours a day isn't enough, I need to compensate it by doing more chores.

It is a cyclical and sick mental state. I'm going to the psychologist to try and break free from this but still not much progress.

I needed this a place to rant. Sorry if you read all the way down here.
 

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I am a man, so take my perspective for what it's worth. What is really important in life?

I am retired, early, at 53. When I look back on my life, the one thing that I know is that I wouldn't die wishing that I had more time at the office. Instead, I wished that I'd had more time with my children when they were younger.

As humans, what is the point of us? The only thing that makes sense to me is our legacy, which means our children. No one cares about what you did for a career when you die, but the legacy of your children? That resonates for generations and beyond. Either that or the story of you dies, because there is no one to tell it. I know several older, childless couples who did not have children so the wife could have her military career along with his. When they retired, then what? Yes, they have lots of money but no one to leave it to, and it is sad. I've had two 50+-year-old women friends crying to me inconsolably because they didn't have children and it was too late for them.

I am close to my children, and I made sacrifices for them that many would not have done. But I wouldn't change a thing. I love them, they make my life brighter every day, and if I had to live on ramen noodles and beans to support them and have them in my life, I would've done it.

This is not to say you can't have a fulfilled life without children. You certainly can. I'm just giving you my perspective. Who do you want standing at your grave at your funeral? Just a thought.
 

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I am a man, so take my perspective for what it's worth. What is really important in life?

I am retired, early, at 53. When I look back on my life, the one thing that I know is that I wouldn't die wishing that I had more time at the office. Instead, I wished that I'd had more time with my children when they were younger.

As humans, what is the point of us? The only thing that makes sense to me is our legacy, which means our children. No one cares about what you did for a career when you die, but the legacy of your children? That resonates for generations and beyond. Either that or the story of you dies, because there is no one to tell it. I know several older, childless couples who did not have children so the wife could have her military career along with his. When they retired, then what? Yes, they have lots of money but no one to leave it to, and it is sad. I've had two 50+-year-old women friends crying to me inconsolably because they didn't have children and it was too late for them.

I am close to my children, and I made sacrifices for them that many would not have done. But I wouldn't change a thing. I love them, they make my life brighter every day, and if I had to live on ramen noodles and beans to support them and have them in my life, I would've done it.

This is not to say you can't have a fulfilled life without children. You certainly can. I'm just giving you my perspective. Who do you want standing at your grave at your funeral? Just a thought.


Isn’t your post just causing her MORE guilt? Especially this part:

“Who do you want standing at your grave at your funeral ?”




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I feel like I should accomplish everything perfectly.
This is my advice:

Forget the shrinks. There's nothing "wrong" with you. Just find a way to go ahead and freelance in your chosen field. And, go ahead and have your child.

Neither of those things are going to be "perfect", so you will not be fulfilled as long as you seek perfection. Instead, resolve that you will ENJOY your life, your child, your marriage, and your career, and do anything you can do to make every one of those things "better", not perfect.

I just wished
And, forget that the word "wish" even exists in the English language..... because it carries in it an insidious lie..... the lie that you "can't".....

In the words of our beloved president Mr. Obama...."yes, you can....". This is truth. Embrace this.

Stop thinking about it, and just do it. Today, and tomorrow, take your "next step"... the important characteristics of steps is not that they are perfect, but that they are in a correct direction, and taken with a right motive.
 

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Isn’t your post just causing her MORE guilt? Especially this part:

“Who do you want standing at your grave at your funeral ?”
Just my opinion.

I've seen the regret that people have when the time to have children has passed, and the only thing in their lives is an ex-husband and a couple of dogs (or cats). But it's true. Would you rather have children/grandchildren at your funeral, or a dog that needs to be rehomed and a couple of pet urns in your casket? Guilty has nothing to do with it, just facts.

Having kids is definitely not for everyone, and you don't have to have them to have a great life. I'm just saying that I couldn't imagine mine without them.
 

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As the parent of an architect / design daughter I'll say that there's a reason they marry people in the same profession more than any other field I'm aware of.

Is parenting doable? If you lower your standards a bit.

Is going back to school for a related degree or MBA an option? Is relocating to a larger city an option?

I remember you posted this a while ago. I also suggested learning the latest tools if you don't already know (Revit, 3ds Max) and creating a better portfolio, networking with local architects...
 

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Rant away, don't apologize. I think what you are going through is extremely common and part of the "modern condition," and the only way to deal with it is to sit down, prioritize and let go of fear of missing out.

I'm 31 and I had my child right after graduation. I took three years off as a stay at home mom. My career, as it was, absolutely took a hit but I took the time to stay in the loop - I stayed in contact with my internship boss, I read industry publications and I volunteered with my baby in tow to keep my face out there. The minute it was financially and emotionally feasible to go back to working full time and the opportunity presented itself, I took it. I am not where I thought I was going to be, but where I am absolutely works for my priorities and so I'm happy. I think if you work to let go of the guilt and the "woulda couldas" you will be able to find a path that works for you as well.

Education isn't a waste if you aren't using your degree perfectly. What I have found to be true is that each job should be a swinging branch to your next success and if you keep yourself open, opportunities tend to present themself -eventually. Not perfectly at the exact time you want but you just should be ready to take it when you can.

I will be honest with you 100% when/if you have a child, you will have to re-prioritize and it's a big adjustment. You might not have the time to admin your book club and have to pass it to someone else. Your hobbies might go to every other weekend. House will be a disaster some days. Some days will be sweatpants days. Make the most of the days where the house is clean and you get dressed up to go out with your husband and it will start to feel okay.

Again though, if your prioritize and let go of that fear of perfection - you will be able to fall into a rhythm of life that is comfortable for you and your family and you probably will not see it until you are in it.

I understand it is not easy to "let it go," and my personality and temperament has a lot to do with how I run my life and if I could give you a scoop of my ****-its, I would. :smile2: That is all there is to it though. If you want to focus on your career be honest with your husband and let him know that kids may or may not come. If you want kids, you may have to work part time until they are bigger. In the long run though, if you are true to your desires, honest with yourself and your spouse and let the petty stuff go, it will be okay.
 

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1. Man plans, God Laughs.
2. You can't have it all.
 

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Do you have a faith of any kind? What does it say about the virtues of a career and making a lot of money versus family?

I know more people who invest in their families and are happy, but not rich, than I know families who invested in their careers and buying more stuff, but who don't have a busy happy family life.

Money is a necessity to life, and if your husband is making plenty, why do you need more?

Do you absolutely love your chosen degree of Architecture? Are you designing things on your free time, because it is a passion that is always there?

Or is Architecture just a career you chose for the purpose of making a living, and something you wouldn't mind doing?

If Architecture was just a way for you to make money, and not a passion, accept that life has given you unexpected options. You don't have to chase the $, since your husband is doing fine for the two of you.

Definitely don't leave the work force completely. Have your family, and find a way to stay in the work force part time, because as I've learned from these boards, you never know if your marriage will be a permanent thing, and it will be easier for you to move from part time to full time work in the case of a marital break down, than it is to go from a SAHM to a full time worker after having been out of the work force for years.
 

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I too was a victim of the Master Plan that did not come to be. It's tough when time is competing for career and children.

I worked in one field for quite a few years, then that field became a desert, and I had to create an entirely new path. In my case, I had no choice but to start from scratch in a lot of ways. So I did.

I confess I don't know much about architecture. However, are there skills than can be used or redirected into freelance work? Freelance work can be more lucrative than an entry level desk job, it can give you the flexibility to work with a baby at home, and it can (as it did for me) grow into a "real" job. It was freelance work that ended up launching my second career.

I like what John said about updating skills and staying abreast of things. And I know if it was ME, I'd go for the baby and take the hit :) But I am not you.

I stayed home for 2 1/2 years when I had children, and because I kept my credentials current, I was able to jump back in.

I know it's a tough decision.
 

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Nobody completes 6 or 7 years worth of architecture or design school without being passionate about it... Depending on how it's taught it is extremely time consuming and stressful. My daughter is a month from graduation and is really struggling to stay focused (senioritis ). Few of her classmates have solid jobs upon graduation, even from a top school. Her "fiance" has a job, the result of some good old networking. And his starting pay is peanuts compared to anyone with 6 years education. That's how it is here too.

Also working - in America at least - is quite stressful with long hours and low pay initially. It's not for the faint of heart.
 

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Isn’t your post just causing her MORE guilt? Especially this part:

“Who do you want standing at your grave at your funeral ?”




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That makes no sense. The question is valid. Do you really think your employer gives a crap about you or what you want out of life? Your boss may be your friend, but if their boss says to get rid of you, guess what? They will get rid of you.
At the end of your days do you think anyone will care that you worked every Saturday for a year to make some deadline or do you think your child might remember how you missed all of their soccer games?
The OP feels guilty because she is struggling with that question, which is deliberately not answered within the master plan. For perhaps the first time in her life she is experiencing a real self directed thought.

I went thru the same thing when I first got married. I was working for a business, whose management style could best be described as "that was yesterday, what have you done TODAY". I shucked the whole master plan out the window, and started my own business. Since that time, I have yet to have missed anything that I did not desire to miss.

The OP should take ownership of her life and a great place to start is with that very question.
 

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I'll make this simple at first and then elaborate after you answer.

Question #1
Should they have kids - do the people have level heads and a maturity about them to be able to handle the responsibility?

A. Yes - Go to Question 2
B. No - They need to wait and mature, if they even can

Question #2
Do you want kids, how important is it for you to have kids?

I'll answer #1 for you. From your situation, what you described and how you communicate, I can virtually tell you are responsible, level headed and able to carry out what you plan for and take on.

Because of that you need to determine question #2. If you really want kids, there's NO perfect time. I can tell you. There is no greater joy, no greater happiness in having kids and raising them but also no greater responsibility, no greater stress, heartache, etc. Overall it's the best thing in the world but also the hardest. Like I said there's no perfect time and sometimes you just have to dig in.
 

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I remember you posted this a while ago. I also suggested learning the latest tools if you don't already know (Revit, 3ds Max) and creating a better portfolio, networking with local architects...
@FeatheredSerpent

John is right here, focus on a skill, like the tools and create a better portfolio. You can freelance by being the go-to person for firms that that overflow work. Could you take some classes to help you develop some specific skills that you can then market to architecture firms? With the internet you could market your skills all over your country and perhaps to other architects in other countries as well.

Also, you have to network with local architects. Getting the right job is more about who you know what your degree. Sure you need to degree. But a degree by itself is usually not enough to get the job done. Join any organizations for architects here you live.

Is there an organization in your area for female architects? Or women in business, if so join it. It's another great way to network.

You do have a lot of hobbies. Something has to give if you are going to have children. What are you willing to let go of to make room for children in your life? Life is all about choices. When you do have a child, you will need to let some of the things you do go since right now, you don't seem to have the time and energy for all of it. Add a child and the child will take up most of your time.

You seem to live in your head a lot of the time and seem to beat yourself up quite a bit. That should be the first thing that you let go out of your life. It's a waste of energy.

Does your husband help around the house much? What is the plan for when you have children? Is he going to help 50/50 with the children or are you going to be the primary care taker? Are you planning on working only part time when you have children? What childcare options do you have where you live? Can you hire a full time nanny? Do you have family who will help?
 

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Children use huge amounts of time and energy- so they will impact your and your husbands lives and careers. (How you share the load with him is an important question)

Only you know what your priorities are. Some parents think children are the best thing that ever happened to them. Others regret having children for the rest of their lives.
 

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Just my opinion.

I've seen the regret that people have when the time to have children has passed, and the only thing in their lives is an ex-husband and a couple of dogs (or cats). But it's true. Would you rather have children/grandchildren at your funeral, or a dog that needs to be rehomed and a couple of pet urns in your casket? Guilty has nothing to do with it, just facts.

Having kids is definitely not for everyone, and you don't have to have them to have a great life. I'm just saying that I couldn't imagine mine without them.


Yes, it’s fine if it’s your opinion.

But I did have 2 sons, and I love them with all my heart, but there are MANY instances where the adult children could care less about you, despite giving them love, discipline, a warm safe place to live, and being the best parent you can be.

Nothing is guaranteed to create the situation where they do take care of you, carry on your legacy, care about you, etc.

I know parents who have said they wished they would have NOT had children. And those who are abused and mistreated.

Sooo .... there’s more to consider than the outcome we HOPE to have.

Also, a person can leave many good deeds behind, can change many peoples life, can make a difference in many ways in the world, without having children.

Just my opinion of course.


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Just to give you an idea of the power of networking. Arch jobs are either with the big soulless firms where you work 80 hour weeks designing bathrooms or small firms that work reasonable hours and expose you to different aspects of the practice. But don't really advertise jobs. In America you have to go thru the IDP to register some 2000 intern hours then take 6 tests then you get license. Not fun.

DD's "fiance" applied to a bunch of big firms in their new city. Crickets. Also had one of DD's friends pass his resume to a smaller firm where one of her bff's works. He was hired the next day.

Granted, he's a damned good designer and has 1000 hours already. But he is a genius with the latest tools, can fabricate models... He's good (my daughter is far better than that, but I'm not biased ) for firm work. She's heading for more school.

Networking, portfolio, tools.

(No mention of family there)
 

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That makes no sense. The question is valid. Do you really think your employer gives a crap about you or what you want out of life? Your boss may be your friend, but if their boss says to get rid of you, guess what? They will get rid of you.

At the end of your days do you think anyone will care that you worked every Saturday for a year to make some deadline or do you think your child might remember how you missed all of their soccer games?

The OP feels guilty because she is struggling with that question, which is deliberately not answered within the master plan. For perhaps the first time in her life she is experiencing a real self directed thought.



I went thru the same thing when I first got married. I was working for a business, whose management style could best be described as "that was yesterday, what have you done TODAY". I shucked the whole master plan out the window, and started my own business. Since that time, I have yet to have missed anything that I did not desire to miss.



The OP should take ownership of her life and a great place to start is with that very question.


Actually what I said makes perfect sense.

To some, it’s an annoying comment, to others, a valid comment.

Everyone has a right to feel how they do, and if someone decides not to have children, no way should they feel that just because of that decision, that no one will be at their funeral, that they haven’t meant something very special to certain people, that there won’t be those who love them and will greatly miss them at their funeral.




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Actually what I said makes perfect sense.

To some, it’s an annoying comment, to others, a valid comment.

Everyone has a right to feel how they do, and if someone decides not to have children, no way should they feel that just because of that decision, that no one will be at their funeral, that they haven’t meant something very special to certain people, that there won’t be those who love them and will greatly miss them at their funeral.




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No, your comment actually makes very little sense. Whether or not some one chooses to have children or not the answer to the question "“Who do you want standing at your grave at your funeral ?” doesn't change. Because the answer is who ever was important to you.
So I f you chose not to have children you have made the decision that people other than your family are more important. If you decided to have children then you made the decision that your family is more important.
There is no guilt involved. You made a decision based on what was important to you.
But I have some news for you, the people who come to your funeral, regardless of whether they are your children or not, WILL be people to whom you were important to. And I can guarantee you it will not be some nameless. faceless corporation you gave away all your time to instead of living a good life.
 

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Actually what I said makes perfect sense.

To some, it’s an annoying comment, to others, a valid comment.

Everyone has a right to feel how they do, and if someone decides not to have children, no way should they feel that just because of that decision, that no one will be at their funeral, that they haven’t meant something very special to certain people, that there won’t be those who love them and will greatly miss them at their funeral.




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This seems to have triggered you. I think the point was that it is okay if you have to give less to your career if you want children because MOST people regret spending less time with family at the end of their lives than they do spending less time at the office at the end of their lives. I cannot imagine someone being plagued with guilt over a fairly obvious statement unless it is somehow a trigger.
 
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