An MBA with a new baby?!

It may have come up in a previous post or two that I’m struggling with what to do professionally.  I am an independent PR consultant and I spent the last two years building my business.  Since I got pregnant last November, I’ve been struggling with morning sickness (all day) and fatigue.  Two of my clients wrapped up their projects in December and because of the first trimester woes, I didn’t do anything to fill those empty client spots.  Now that I’m starting to feel better I’m disappointed in myself for not having any clients except for one pro-bono client, a non-profit cancer organization.

Knowing that I’m pregnant and thinking ahead to my future with a baby, I’m confused.  I don’t know what to do about my career and professional life.  I know that I’d like to keep working and ideally the best position would be a part-time position so that I have the flexibility to spend as much time as I can with Roo, when he/she is born.

The problem is that PR is a very demanding career with clients needing your attention at all times of the day and sometimes night.  When I was working full-time, I worked 7:30/8am-7/7:30pm and sometimes later.  I also was traveling a lot.  It is not something that is sustainable as a new mom (at least for me).

The questions that I’ve been grappling with the past few months are:

  1. Do I keep trying to get new clients and only do shorter-term projects knowing that I give birth in six months?
  2. Do I look for a part-time job in an office environment?
  3. Do I recreate myself and find a different, more mommy-friendly lifestyle career?  If so, what do I do?
  4. Do I take my professional career to the next level and take the GMATs (yikes!) and apply for business school next year (Roo would be one if I got in for a Fall 2013 start)?  Is it even a rational thought to consider business school with a little one?  If so, it would be an evening program or an executive MBA program – I need to learn more about the differences.

I’m hard on myself.  Through the years, I’ve been pretty lucky but I’ve also struggled to find balance in my life.  I have been very successful professionally – many of my high school girlfriends have said that they envied my career.  But, I was always dreaming of how to make my personal life a little better.  When I met MH, I slowed down.  I realized that at 34 years old that if I wanted to get married and start a family that I needed to make a change.  So, I left my six figure PR job.  Three months later, I was engaged.

I don’t regret the decision because now my personal dreams are all becoming a reality but I am realizing that I also want to not forget about my professional ambitions….Ambitions, which are evolving as this pregnancy advances.  How do I get to a place where I can be satisfied with both my personal and professional life?  Is it OK to let go of my professional life temporarily?  Will I be able to get back on track?  How do I find the right balance?

Do you have any advice?  Do you need any PR support (I know someone with great recommendations)?! 😉  Is working towards an MBA with a little one a ridiculous thought?

I apologize for the long post but I need to get this off my chest.  MH is very supportive but he keeps telling me that everything will be OK.  Yes, I know it will be but I need some focus and direction and I don’t feel like I have it, which frustrates me and causes me more angst.  I need to let go of my type-A personality, right?!

4 thoughts on “An MBA with a new baby?!

  1. This sure is a tough decision because there’s no right answer. All of your options sound good for different reasons. Ultimately, I think best answer for you would be to choose the option that best fits your priorities and start there. For me personally, even though I’m not pregnant yet, I have always known that working normal hours were top priority. I did the 7a to 7p for a few years and it was ok, but what I love most about my current job is how “normal” the hours are, and they’re the same pretty much every day, with very few exceptions.

    Imagine what kind of job you’d like to have 5 or so years from now when you’re done having kids and are just living the dream life playing wife and mommy. What matters to you then? Hours? Money? It may not be an easy path getting there, but I say, put your type-A personality to good use, and channel it into creating some long-term goals for yourself. Once the long-term goals are set, I think you’ll find the short term ones will fall into place. Hope that makes sense. Ultimately, you have to remember that whatever you choose WILL work out in the end. Good luck!

  2. As K.Smitty said I don’t know that there is a right answer here. Certainly there is nothing wrong with taking a little time off from your professional career to concentrate on being a new mom. But after that? I think you’ll have to wait and see how you feel AFTER you have the baby. Some women can’t wait to go back to work and feel stifled being at home and others decide they never want to work again.

    I’d give it a little time and think on it.

  3. My advice is: give yourself a moment to breath, woman! 🙂 This doesn’t need to be figured out right now. In fact, even if you decide something now, chances are high that it will all change when you have the baby.

    First things first: get all the stuff you need for the baby, THEN start researching jobs and day care options in your area. Put your resume/CV and recommendations in order. Start a couple of online job searches. Honestly, I don’t think looking for a new position makes a ton of sense. It takes a long time to hire someone, and you don’t want to start a new job just before you need to go on maternity leave.

    If you need something to work on, make 6-month, 1-year, and 5-year plans. That time is going to FLY BY, but you will be able to accomplish a lot if you have some goals mapped out.

  4. This is such an interesting post. I freelance doing advertising and have thought a lot about this. I’m very lucky in that my current client mix is not to terribly demanding and are good, long-term clients. I’ve traveled a ton in the past for other clients but have accepted for now that’s not going to happen. My personal decision has been to take 3 months off when the babies are born and then work part time after that. Working part-time from home doesn’t seem too disruptive, and it will make a big difference in our financial picture. I’m pretty OK with stepping off the career fast track…but I’ll still be doing a little work so hopefully I will keep my skills relevant and contacts in place.
    Good luck with your decision! Will be interested to hear what you decide!

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