Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Family vs Career

How important is your career to you? If I had been asked this question when I was younger my answer then and now would have been as different as day and night.

I’m posing this question because these days many new parents are more than happy to leave their children at the baby-sitters’ full-time on weekdays, taking them home only on weekends. Often, their reasoning is they need enough sleep because they are a working couple but don’t we all? Somehow I sympathize with the children because home for them probably means the baby-sitters’.

I’ve relatives and friends who’d rather leave decision-making concerning their children to their parents or in-laws, almost always telling me that they felt their parents or in-laws know better, and besides, they are too busy with work. I’m sure they do but surely that’s no way to relinquish our responsibilities on them. If our mothers and their mothers before them were able to take care of our needs, surely we are able to do the same for our children.

Why do some women think it’s justifiable for them to place their responsibility on someone else instead? Is it because women these days have no confidence in themselves in caring for their family or is it because they feel that they are inadequate compared to their parents/in-laws? I find it hard to believe that successful businesswomen are unable to handle childcare and thus depend on someone else to do it for them. Certainly some will argue that career is important to them. I have a career too but I will as soon give it all up for my family. After being in the rat race for so many years, I’ve realized that career is not all that important anymore. I’ve learned to set my priorities straight because although it might be good for a while, my career will not last forever. At the end of the day, it is our families we return to and it is our families who will be there for us.

It’s too big a sacrifice to put our careers above our family. I’m not sure if it’s really worth the sacrifice. Do you?

5 comments:

gRaCe said...

i totally agree with u tht family is more important. remember the lil girl tht my mum babysits... nowadays she doesnt want to go home anymore. see her mum also she shy ady. she used to be jumping with joy whenever her mum comes to pick her up.. then once her dad beat and scold her.. now she doesnt want to go back. poor thing..

Sharon said...

That's really sad. If only the parents will see that joy comes in their children and not their work. But I guess that's sometimes too much to ask for with everyone going for material things.

Haw said...

'Family v career'.. a matter of choice. Times are different. In the good old days of your's and mine's parents time, wives stays at home to take care of kids and household whilst the husband's duty is to find money to buy food for the family. This was also due the mindset of earlier generation where women dont get to go to school as they will be married off. But since 70s, women are becoming more educated, more aware of their rights and more important, have the ability to choose. I feel that at the end it is a matter of choice... not so much a lack of confidence in bringing up children. Just an opinion....

Joanna Teh said...

This is an interesting topic. I think it is not the issue of lack of confidence, but leaving the children to someone else during the weekdays truly reflect the trends on contemporary life i.e. instant gratification and taking the easy way out. While juggling a demanding career, many women had opted for an easy way out; to leave the bulk of child care to someone else. As for me, because I lived in UK with no prospect of getting any domestic helps and day care generally covers office hours only, I felt in a way disadvantageous to my Asian counterpart when it comes to having the full commitment to their careers. While raising children is the most demanding task in the world, I wouldn't trade it for anything else, because there is no replacement for parents love for the children. I hope for those who chose the easy way out will not be utterly shocked to find out that at the end of their lives, their children prefer to put them up in a Nursing home or to allow their old parents to stay alone at home taken care by a foreign maid; because after all that had been said and done, the parents are the one who had chosen the easy way out, so does their sons and daughters.

Sharon said...

Haw/Joanna, personally I feel that it's a shame for children to be raised by babysitters instead of their parents. I could absolutely understand if the parents need to go to work and leave them with a sitter during the day, but to leave them at the sitter's for a whole week is incomprehensible. You're right, the parents make the choices, although I think some do not fully understand the consequences.