ForeignMom's Blog

Bicultural mom adjusting to motherhood in a foreign country

The Toughest Decision June 29, 2015

Here you are in your early 30’s and with three kids five and under. You have a college degree and do some free lance work but you want more. So what do you do?

Since I’m one of those persons who really enjoy classes, reading and learning, but with very little time and at not-so-convenient parts of the day, I decided to enroll in some online classes. The first one, which I finished in May, was a certification to be a Translation Professional, which comes very handy with my free lance work. The other one, I’m yet to start, but hey, I have until the end of the year to prepare and test for it, and who wants to do it in the summer? Not me.

I felt pretty happy and accomplished after taking the initiative to further if not my career, at least my education. Especially after that wonderful weekend away with my girlfriends where we shared some common frustrations. I felt a little jealous of their careers and/or advanced degrees and felt like I was not going anywhere in my professional life.

Then, out-of-the-blue, a head hunter contacted me with a position that screamed my name: Translator/Editor for a global (and very well respected, if I may add) company close to my home. My experience and their needs were the perfect match. All what I have always wanted, including the opportunity to learn some pretty cool translation technology.

I was pumped up going into the interview and even more so after talking to the hiring manager and him being ready to move forward and bring me on board. I mean, a dream come true, right? Well, yes and no. It was the perfect position for me on paper but the lack of flexibility at the beginning, and the fact that it was a non-negotiable full-time position, made it a pretty hard choice for me to make.

Am I ready to give up my time at home with the kids all together? Am I going to make enough money to cover the $500 a week in daycare costs for three kids (at least while the older one goes to school later this summer)? Am I ready to be a career woman 80% of the time?

I had a whole week vacationing with my family to weigh my options. Talking to some people I met in the trip and with one of my closest childhood friends, I realized that life is too short and few as lucky to be able to make a choice for themselves.

Was working for this global company a dream? Yes! Was this a fantastic professional opportunity that as a free lancer could have given me awesome references? Of course! Was I ready to give up my special time with my young children at home along with the flexibility I have to take off whenever we want to? Absolutely not!!!

It was hard making that phone call and rejecting the opportunity on the table. Part of me feels that an opportunity as great may not come my way in many, many more years (and I’m a little sad about it). But a bigger part of me knows that I wouldn’t have felt happy and I would have been overwhelmed trying to play wonder woman every day of the week.

I know my choice was the right one for me at this time, but that doesn’t change the fact that this has been the toughest personal decision I have made since I had my first child.

For now, I am happy with the route I chose to follow. So cheers to that and let’s enjoy the summer plans!

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3 Responses to “The Toughest Decision”

  1. Ina Library Says:

    You are so brave, Mama. I loved reading this story because as a working mom, I always wrestle with the idea that I would be so much happier at home. This resonated with me because you hit the nail right in the head: more money can come later, but time with your babies, watching them grow, is a non-renewable resource, time you will never get back and will regret missing! I applaud your decision and think it was the perfect one. Thanks for sharing this lovely story!!

    • ForeignMom Says:

      THANK YOU Ina! Motherhood changes us in a very complicated way, doesn’t it? On one hand I’m still that woman with dreams and career goals, on the other, I’m a mom who has the choice to stay home with her young children and experience life through their eyes (almost) every day. I say almost because staying at home also has its difficulties and stresses. At the end, it’s all worth it to me.

  2. Shelly Says:

    Doesn’t it suck when staying home is not an option? Specially when you can’t find a job? =/


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