Family or career? A woman's dilemma

By Vu Thi Minh Huyen   March 20, 2024 | 03:18 pm PT
At 42, I'm just an ordinary employee without a glittering career, but I'm content because I have time to raise my children well.

"Should women choose family or career?" is a controversial issue in today's modern era.

I believe each choice has its pros and cons; no option is perfect. If a woman chooses only her career, it's hard to maintain a happy family. If she chooses only family, she might become economically dependent on her husband, face disrespect, and miss out on many beautiful and meaningful things outside society. Therefore, instead of choosing between family and work, women should learn to balance both.

However, balancing is not easy because focusing on career development means significantly less time for family. Business trips, late nights at work, and working on the computer until midnight can make family bonds fade, leading to estrangement. Many career-successful women may not build a truly warm home.

Retreating to be a homemaker can be incredibly boring and economically dependent. If the husband changes heart, women might face a divorce with nothing left in their name, being forced to find another place to live and struggling to raise children alone. A true balance requires lots of work.

Historically, women have been burdened with many responsibilities: marriage, childbirth, child-rearing, caring for their own and their husbands' families, fulfilling filial duties, supporting their husband's career, and managing household finances... In any case, if the husband fails or falls into social vices, society tends to blame the woman for not keeping the husband happy.

Many women have given up their beloved jobs for a happy family. Many talented women have glittering careers but unhappy families, feeling lonely without their husband's support. While some manage both a successful career and a happy family, they are few.

In their careers, women need to strive diligently for a certain position they want. In family life, a skillful woman knows how to make her partner and family always trust and support her, especially when her work demands more of her efforts.

I've realized I'm not among the elite, so I don't strive for a dazzling career or choose to quit my job to become a homemaker. I always prioritize family first, equipping myself with enough qualifications and knowledge for a stable job with income. If my husband struggles financially, I can still earn money for the family or even support us by myself if needed.

I'm always aware of the need for financial independence so my husband can't look down on me, and I don't end up in situations where I am without money and have to rely on my parents or relatives for support.

When there are opportunities for better positions at better organizations with higher income, I've chosen to decline because I know the high cost it entails, opting instead to spend time with my children.

Being in a leadership position means spending more time at work, going on business trips, coming home late, and working over weekends or holidays. It's normal to be so busy that there's no time for self-care, enjoying life, or caring for the family, leading to constant stress. Many other sacrifices and compromises are also involved.

I always strive to be an employee who completes my work well, prioritizes family after work hours, taking my children to school, cooking for them, doing their laundry, helping with homework, reading books, and playing with them. During tough times, I've worked multiple jobs but reserved Sundays for my children. I don't take extra jobs outside but opt for work I can do from home while helping my children study at the same time.

For me, money is important, but my children are my top priority. No amount of wealth matters if my children poorly behave or perform badly in school. If I have a good economic support system, I would work at one place, not taking extra jobs, and spend time raising my children. If I have to support my children alone, I'd work multiple jobs to ensure sufficient income, but not to the extent of neglecting them.

At 42, I have no regrets about being just an ordinary employee without a shiny career like my friends. I believe everyone has their own circumstances and choices that suit them. No one can have everything; gaining one thing means losing another. I'm satisfied with what I have.

Though my salary is not enough to support my children, I can find extra work suited to my abilities to increase my income. As long as I'm diligent, I won't fear starvation. I have two well-behaved, independent daughters who love and strive in their studies. This makes me luckier than many others in society.

As a middle-aged woman, I've faced many challenges and learned valuable lessons. I believe that in modern society, women need not only a solid career but also a happy home.

Success in career but not in family life still means a woman is not truly successful. But dedicating all the time to family means missing out on our youth and dreams. To live the most fulfilling life, women need to balance their time between career and family reasonably. Only then can we independently and confidently control our lives.

Whether you choose family, career, both, or prioritize family as I do, I hope you will always be independent, intelligent, confident women who dare to dream and act, love themselves, live passionately, and have a happy family. Balancing career and family has never been easy, especially for women in this era. But I believe it is never impossible.

The opinions expressed here are personal and do not necessarily match VnExpress's viewpoints. Send your opinions here.
go to top