Family vs Career


I am sure many working mothers will agree with me that it is extremely difficult to shoulder the responsibilities of work and family especially for those who have young children and elderly parents. Especially when we are so ambitious to push ourselves to excel in all.  

True. It is possible to commit our best for all or striving to strike a balance. But not without a price.  Have we weighed the price of poorer health, compromised personal time, changing behaviours and failure to slow down our footsteps to seriously reflect what we could have done better or what we really want in life?    Somehow, something is still not complete, right?

Personally, as a working mother, giving up my entire career has never seriously crossed my mind…. not before.  I have always thought that it would be a waste to cast aside my degree, give up a career that I have devoted my time for many years and seriously it feels secure to be able to make a living and have the power to provide for a better standard of living for the family.  This is not a subject of right or wrong move but where our priorities lie in different stages of our life.




I once changed my job, that required travelling, to set-up a family (it was a willing decision to switch career, pursuing a new life with my loved one). Then, I rejected an opportunity to be a Director when I conceived my second boy (I had no regrets since I have never looked at it as a self-sacrifice). After that, when Ed shared with me how our peers (ladies) have achieved high management positions at work, I took my loss in career advancement as being compensated as I took pride in having a family, a home of our own and most importantly our two boys. 

These few years, I am much committed to my career again in a management position and at the same time placing high priority on spending quality time with our boys and striving to balance the amount of efforts I put on their academic, behavioural developments and domestic management. When I do well in my career and our boys excel in their academic studies, I tend to give myself a pat and comfort myself that all the increasing  expectations/harder work that I have on myself is worth it and I could sustain the drive and energy *it was a good try*. 


Then I failed to realise.  With accumulated work experience and good performance means more workload.  For every higher position we work towards in a big organisation, it involves a heavier responsibility.  The expectation and culture differs in different organisations. With 2 boys growing up, their needs have changed and their developments need more attention (this corrects the misconception that only babies and young toddlers need that extreme attention and guidance).  With teams of staff and operations to manage at work, growing number of projects to lead and targets to deliver …… and a son who is sitting for his PSLE soon, with no domestic helper, I have been drowning with heavier responsibilities. Despite our level of perseverance, goal …..nobody is superwoman for sustained period of time *haha, unless we are endowed with inborne superpowers*.   

Hey! Even machine breaks down when overloaded.  The wake up call is my poorer health and where has my patience gone nowadays? It is bad. I have been asking myself whether it is time to take a real break from work, then in search of something new.


Speaking from the heart.  It has not been easy for mothers to make a name at work, attain great achievements and still create miracles at home. To strike a balance in excelling in both, excellent efforts have to be placed in career (especially in a competitive working society when  there tends to be people who still look at mothers with doubts whether we would be half-hearted, having consideration for our other family commitments) and family unless we are blessed with well-behaved and sensible children who need minimal guidance.  Seriously, while in employment, I have never allowed family needs to affect my commitment to work or deliverables. This is when I feel heartache at times when I cannot tend to my sick children personally or I have to skip those days when I couldn’t be at home to supervise them during their exam periods because I have a fort to hold at work.


My sincere admiration for those mothers who are still coping well in getting the best of both worlds in this case. From my personal encounter, it has been most challenging. Sometimes, I wish I could close one eye and be easier on myself *haiz*.

It’s time I really stick to a choice. This choice is not going to be easy because it needs family support. I need a break for recharging.

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One Response to “Family vs Career”

  • Russ says:

    That is one tough decision you have there. I know it is not easy. We watch my wifes daughters baby while she works. She is my granddaughter. No doubt about it. I love her very much. We try to give her as much guidance as possible. I don’t know how her mother does it sometimes.She has no choice.
    You have a choice and I hope you find the correct solution to your problem.

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