I wanted to have it all…a satisfying career and a happy family. It would be a balancing act, but not impossible. At 26 years old, after dedicating my whole life to my studies, would I go into medical school at last?
My husband and I had started a family, one lovely boy, and we were both working at the time. I remained in the Master’s program while my husband’s career was well on its way. At this time, we started to plan for a bigger family, and we both believed that someone should be home with the children. Therefore, we reasoned that in order to ensure a wholesome family life, one of us would have to give up their career. At this point, I had not yet reached my career goals; I was working at the University as a program coordinator for $22,000/year and as an assistant to the professor in his research and teaching. My husband however, had a promising career in science with a bigger salary and potential advancement. For these reasons, I decided that it was best that I step down, make the sacrifice and put the family first. At the time, I saw it as a wise and noble thing to do. After all, we would be married forever, till death do us part and have beautiful children raised with parents at their sides to provide our best for them and to guide them in this crazy world.
So, just like that, POOF! With one choice my life was changed forever. I would continue to work with physicians, yet not be one. I was already working with the cardiologist at the hospital undertaking to establish a rehab program. So I convinced myself that cardiac rehab would do just fine and that my family needed me more; and there went my dream. I let it slip right through my fingers. I comforted myself with the thought that I could always go back to studying medicine once the children were at school.
Having made this decision, I declined the letter of recommendation for the medical school that my professor had offered to write, as it was no longer in my plans to move forward in medicine. What I wanted to work towards was the expansion and care of our family life. The choice had been made; I had chosen family over my dream career. So I continued to work with the professor for some time until problems evolved and, sadly, I decided to leave the University. After I left the University I started my own company and obtained a nice grant to pursue a very successful gerontology project for a duration of two years. Soon after, we had a second child, another lovely boy. During this time, I worked as a consultant at the ministry of Health and did some very interesting projects. We then had our third child, our daughter, and I moved on to teach fitness. Life was good. I was a working mom, working part time and carrying out my responsibilities as a mother of three growing children; and I had become a wife supporting her husband’s career.
Would you give up your dream for love? Let us know through your story…Tell us your story… e-mail your story at firstname.lastname@example.org and be the next feature article on our web site.
Part 5 of this story will be available soon… don’t miss it!
Story by Jo-Anne
Edited by Lee-Anne C.