“I’m 30, crushing my career, and want to have a baby. How screwed am I?”
Laurie Aquilante

Well, I’m not a woman, and my thirties are long past, but here’s a thought…

My father is 95 and living alone in an independent living community. No one there talks about their careers or their achievements or their money. Mostly they talk about their kids and grandkids.

All four of us kids live in the same town as my dad, and we each take one night a week to take him out to dinner. Many of his fellow residents either don’t have kids or their kids are far flung around the country. They all say the same thing: how lucky he is to have his family so close.

Speaking as someone who is nearing the end of my own career, one in which I am literally an internationally recognized expert, I’m discovering how unimportant it seems now compared to the look in my grandkids’ eyes. When I retire, my field will go on without me, and I’ll soon be forgotten. But the memories I have made and will make with my kids and grandkids will last beyond my life.

Now, there are many good reasons to not have kids, and there’s no shame in that. But I don’t think a career is one of them. (Your mileage may vary, of course.)

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