A couple months ago we covered a study that showed that women with three kids are more likely to quit their jobs in exchange for being stay-at-home moms. The study found that of 13,000 Australian women who had been been working before the birth of their third child, either opted out of their careers all together, or lowered their workforce participation. About 10% of these women “were found to have three children and were unemployed.” But just because you choose to have more kids, should it really be an end to your career aspirations?
Look around at some of the successful women who have three or more children and have managed to make their career work. Most notably are Republican sweethearts, Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann. Palin has five kids, and her buddy, Bachmann, not only has four biological children of her own, but has fostered almost two dozen children. Representative Nancy Pelosi has five kids, and extremely successful Harry Potter creator, J.K. Rowling has three kids. All these women are perfect examples that having your cake and eating it, too, isn’t just a myth.
While the study showed the down sides to having more children, the fact is of those women in the study, 55% with three kids worked outside the home, compared to the 68% with two kids. However, that 55% is still over half. Perhaps, that third child isn’t the “kiss of death,” after all.
What it all comes down to is work-life balance and choices. As women, it’s definitely harder for us to maintain that balance as we are still the primary caregivers, and of course, after nine months of pregnancy, time must be taken off from our careers so as to take care of that new baby before returning to work. However, it can be done. And if you want to have three or more children and your career, no study should persuade you otherwise.