One morning, Cecilia sat in her backyard watching her grandchildren play, and when she saw her daughter Laura, who gave up her high flying career to care for her kids, hang the clothes to dry in the sun, she realised something – both Laura’s and her own dreams of being successful had been put in the back burner.
While there is still a chance for Laura to resurrect her once lucrative career, Cecilia believes that her dreams have been destroyed – by Laura.
Cecelia was a trained nurse and she loved her job. Seven years in the medical industry, she met Greg, an engineer. They eventually got married and after a year Greg was handpicked to head up a new office in the neighbouring state. Cecelia had to leave her job and before she knew it, they had five children running around in the house.
“When I stopped working, it was meant to be temporary. I always had the intention to return to nursing and make use of the knowledge and skills I had accumulated over years of education and training. But when we started having kids every other year, I put my dream in the back burner,” said Cecelia.
Now, at 62, Cecilia thinks she had made the wrong choice of sacrificing her dream job to raise her kids.
“Three more years and I will be moving to a nursing home. Greg’s long gone and my daughter has too many kids that there is no room for me in their lives. Her husband isn’t keen to have me around for more than a week at a time,” said Cecelia whose four other children live overseas.
“Some people say raising kids is an investment where they will care for you in return. I think that’s just b*llshit. Now, I’m the loser. I spent all that time raising my children that I forgot about my own needs and wants and it’s all too late,” cries Cecelia.
While Cecelia believes strongly that her ambitions had been squashed by raising her children, not everyone agrees.
Author Terrie Lynn Bittner said, “When my children were young, I decided to start freelancing as a writer. I finally reached the point where I was selling to good smaller magazines and getting “Almost” notes from big ones,”
“Then I needed to start homeschooling because even the principal admitted the schools couldn’t meet the advanced learning needs of my children. I had been writing from 4-6 AM so it wouldn’t take away from family time, but now I needed that time to prepare for homeschooling.
“I prayed and felt impressed that I should take a break from freelancing. I still did some writing–I wrote a column–but that wasn’t as emotionally difficult as freelancing.
“It was eight years before I felt I was to start again, and weeks after receiving that answer to my prayer I was offered a book contract by a publisher who had seen my column and website.
“If I hadn’t taken eight years off, I might have had a lot of books by now–I was just starting to learn to write them. I don’t for a moment regret the loss of those eight years of writing however.
“Neither of the two books I’ve published have changed my life for the better the way raising and educating my children did,” said Terrie.
“Now that they are all grown and on their own, I am sorry for every silly thing I did that took me away from them. None of the “me time” things gave me what parenting did. Books are nice, but families are forever, and that’s where I needed to spend my time, “Terrie admitted.
Brian Greenhow has a different view all together, “I never had any ambitions, I never gave up any dreams. When my children came along I finally realised that they were my dream, I just didn’t know it until then.”