{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "So I'm just going to put it out there, how realistic is it to have a child while being a women consultant?", "post_id": "5c763235ca3220001cf9ab55", "reply_count": 9, "vote_count": 5, "bowl_id": "59e88be7e2808e00149b0443", "bowl_name": "Women In Consulting" }

So I'm just going to put it out there, how realistic is it to have a child while being a women consultant?

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Depends on how present you want to be for your kids. Do you want to pick them up from school? Pick them up from their after school activities? Eat dinner with them on weekdays and be there in person to help with homework? Are you ok helping them from a distance? Are you ok traveling during the week and spending tons of time with them on the weekend? Can you work on local clients so you’re around for them? Parenting comes in many forms, and what it means to you and what type of parent you want to be, is what will determine how realistic it is for you

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It’s definitely realistic, but agree with the previous posters that’s it’s all about mindset, support system (not just physically there but also your close SO/family mentally support you), and your approach to parenting. There are many combinations of the above that work and some that are more challenging. We both travel a lot (me more last minute than my SO), and have a fantastic set of people who care for our kids (dog included) both nannies as well as family (family does not live close). I have set loose boundaries at certain points in my kids development (e.g. when they were super young, I needed to be home if they weren’t feeling well, as toddlers I can miss the parent teacher meeting, as they grow up there will be key things I will move mountains not to miss). My judge of it working is having a well adjusted kid who is having fun being a kid while we’re happy with our personal and career growth as well. Every day is not a walk in the park and there are tough moments and decisions but I’d rather have to make those in the moment vs stopping my career for the sake of everyone else.

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It depends on you as a person and the support structure at home. I have 2 kids, and don’t travel much anymore. I am currently working at a portfolio level though and not focused on delivering one project that I travel to weekly. When I had my first kid, something flipped on me and I just knew that the traveling life wasn’t for me anymore, so I was able to find a new role that fit with what I wanted. I had to make some sacrifices, and there are times that I really miss being onsite at a client with my team every week. My career progression has slowed some, but that is really more about me and what I have had to juggle, not the company. I have also adjusted where I want to go/what roles I want to take. So for me, it works, but I don’t have the traditional consulting role that I think you are thinking of. My husband is also a consultant, so when we both travel in a given week, it takes a bit of juggling to get coverage. That being said, I have seen plenty of women do it, but it takes a really strong support network at home (which can be bought)! Either a spouse who works near home with daycare or nanny, family who are willing to help out, etc. It seems kind of impossible, but you really do figure it out.

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Here's the thing. When you're 80, which will seem most important? That you worked at some firm that either quadrupled or completely disappeared? OR That you had a child(ren)? That's how I'm choosing to look at it. Do what feels right. My plan is to go as far as I can before children, then move to industry until my kids are old enough, then either go back to consulting or start my own business. Also where one firm is not accommodating or doesn't have a range opportunities, others might. I see lots of women saying they took local positions. So that's an option, too!

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The firms should cover the total cost of egg freezing for certain level and above / years of tenure with the firm

Egg freezing really doesn't solve the problem, though. It just (maybe) gives you more time for the decision. But being 40 vs being 25 doesn't fix the time available.

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IMO depends on your individual practice and how much travel/ overtime is the norm/ needed to progress in your career

Depends on so many things. But yes of realistic

Have a child. Have been in consulting for 20 years. Know many women with children. It is realistic.

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