Business before baby
3 Good reasons to choose business over children..for now
Some people think that life really begins when you have your first child. At least that’s the basic sentiment from almost all new parents I’ve met.
As beautiful as that sounds and no doubt the feeling is, I don’t have that burning desire or expectation of ecstasy from bearing children. Which is odd, since growing up in the Midwest, I thought that was my life’s mission. Like most young girls, you imagine marrying your college sweetheart, having 3 beautiful children and settling into a life of bliss and endless summers as a wife and mother.
Not long after my 15th birthday, my vision of the ‘perfect life’ would change dramatically into something much more dynamic and much less expected. I dropped out of high school to drive my own bus and take a road less traveled. I wanted to make an impact on the world, leave a tangible legacy outside of naming rights and have a positive influence over others. In my mind, that would not happen if I had children. I could not do both. Some can, but I can’t. I wanted to be great at something and that thing was work.
So the decision was made by me and many others, to forgo motherhood, and double down in business. Because if you’re going to be great at something, you have to commit to it, 1000% percent. It is a choice that was made by all the greats. Michael Jordan. Steve Jobs. Elon Musk. I want to be great at business, so I choose ‘it’.
As a woman, I am constantly questioned why this was my choice? And, what if I change my mind down the road? Today I answer those questions.
First: Why business and not baby?
- Desire — it is my absolute desire to work, innovate and drive towards financial success. My mother told me, if I seriously question whether I really even want to have children to wait until I know I do. We are lucky to have a choice of when, where and with whom we procreate, and that’s a choice I’ve chosen to exercise. So, for now I wait.
- Timing — timing is everything in life. Just as much when you do something as when you don’t. Prime baby-making years for a woman are also prime career-building years. It is a sacrifice and serious risk to chose work over family, but the fear of what-if is one that could turn to regret. Success earned for your children is what I want, not in spite of them.
- Resources — time, money and energy are all things that come and go. I would like to increase my odds at having them all, at the same time, for the long run. I will invest all theree into my business until financial security is certain and life affords additional luxuries such as kids, travel and caviar.
Why it’s okay to wait
Only you and your partner can decide when is a good time to start a family. Only you know if you actually want children and if you’re really ready. There’s no magic age or income that gaurantees comfort, but there are a lot of options that we have as women to ensure a healthy, happy environment for yourself and your offspring to ensure the time is right. 3 reasons, I’m confident in my decision to wait for now…
- Advances in Medicine — We are better baby makers now for long after our prime years, so I can decide down the road when I’m ready.
- Technology — If I’m not able to carry my own child, surrogacy is an option. Presumably, my decision to wait and focus on my career has also allowed me to accrue significant financial resources to afford this luxury.
- Adoption — I have loved others more deeply than I have loved myself at times, so there’s no reason I can’t love someone else’s child as much as my own.
Almost every person on the planet can make a baby without trying. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are currently* 7.3 billion pieces of evidence of that, but to build a successful business, now there’s a thing few will try to do and even fewer will ever succeed.
If you look at the numbers, making babies is a lot easier than making business.
*as of 10:38am, January 4th, 2015: http://www.census.gov/popclock/