Should you change jobs before you get pregnant?

Thinking about having a baby? Here’s why you should focus on getting ahead now (instead of scaling back). 

Should you change jobs before you get pregnant?

You don't need to be a sociologist to notice that women tend to adjust their careers once kids come along, often looking to shift their schedules, locations or workloads when baby arrives.

But Stanford researcher Brooke Conroy Bass noticed something else: Women are shifting their career focus in advance of having kids, making professional calculations that impact opportunities down the line.

Here are the 5 things you need to know from Bass' study on how children impact men and women's careers—

1. Women make changes to their career trajectory based on the possibility that they may have kids in the future

They do this "just by imagining the additional responsibilities and care work that comes with parenthood," Bass explains. This can come in the form of choosing college majors and entry-level jobs in fields that they think can better accommodate future children. Or it can cause them to lean away from taking on more responsibility if they don't think it would lead them to a role that would allow them to balance life with kids.


"Women tended to downshift educational or professional opportunities as a result," even before having kids, Bass found.

2. Men don't plan for parenthood the same way

Bass' research indicates that while men actually take on more responsibility once baby arrives, they do not worry about how to balance work and life before having kids. This may result in women assuming that they are primarily responsibility for adjusting their careers, and that men are not.

3. "While most couples maintain a sense of egalitarianism before having children, many shift to more traditional roles upon the birth of the first child."

This is not necessarily a problem, if couples consciously choose these roles and are happy with them. Bass' research suggests both that men should be encouraged to be more aware of how parenthood might impact their careers, and that women should be thinking about how their choices before kids might impact employment opportunities later.

4. Women are qualified

Women are now earning the majority of college and graduate degrees in the United States.

A more highly educated female population means that gender dynamics are in flux in many families. As many women begin to out-earn their men [new research shows that Millennial women in their 20s are now earning more than men of their generation], the question of whose responsibility it is to keep the home fires burning is a very real, and evolving, one.

5. Bass research suggests that women might consider maximizing career potential before having kids

Just as men might consider how becoming a father could transform their careers.

Raising children is a team sport.

Bass suggests that: "If career and family were made more compatible, through policies like flexible work arrangements and paid parental leave for both men and women, then perhaps women would not worry as much about juggling career and children."

And perhaps men might also realize that they, too, can consider careers that allow them to play a bigger role in family life. With more men than ever lobbying for paternity leave and other flexible options that allow them to play a larger role on the home front, change still may be on its way.

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Why do all of my good parenting or baby-focused inventions come after they've already been invented by someone else? Sigh.

Like the Puj hug hooded baby towel, aka the handiest, softest cotton towel ever created.

Safely removing a wet, slippery baby from the bath can be totally nerve-wracking, and trying to hold onto a towel at the same time without soaking it in the process seems to require an extra arm altogether. It's no wonder so much water ends up on the floor, the countertops, or you(!) after bathing your little one. Their splashing and kicking in the water is beyond adorable, of course, but the clean up after? Not as much.

It sounds simple: Wash your child, sing them a song or two, let them play with some toys, then take them out, place a towel around them, and dry them off. Should be easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right?

But it hasn't been. It's been more—as one of my favorite memes says—difficult, difficult, lemon difficult. Because until this towel hit the bathtime scene, there was no easy-peasy way to pick up your squirming wet baby without drenching yourself and/or everything around you.

Plus, there is nothing cuter than a baby in a plush hooded towel, right? Well, except when it's paired with a dry, mess-free floor, maybe.

Check out our favorites to make bathtime so much easier:

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I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.

And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

International Network for Aid, Relief and Assistance (INARA)

It's 2020. The world is changing. It's hard to believe but the old decade is over, the new one is here and it is bringing a lot of new life with it. The babies born this year are members of Generation Alpha and the world is waiting for them.

We're only a few months into the new year and there are already some new celebrity arrivals making headlines while making their new parents proud.

If your little one arrived (or is due to arrive) in 2020, they've got plenty of high profile company.

Here are all the celebrity babies born in 2020 (so far):

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