How do you maintain career momentum after parenthood?

April 13 |
@offbeatfamilies runs these advice questions as an opportunity for our readers to share personal experiences and anecdotes. Readers are responsible for doing their own research before following any advice given here... or anywhere else on the web, for that matter.
Photo by Hexidecimal, used under Creative Commons license.
I'm a woman approaching 30, and I'd still class myself as a junior in my profession. Kids are definitely on the cards for my partner and I, but so is having a career. My mother worked all through my childhood, and I think it had a great influence on my sister and I, so I know working parents are good parents. But my mother worked for the government and I work in the creative industries, putting in 14 hour days and having maybe one or two weekends off a month. I see almost no women in the more senior positions in my industry, and those that I do see don't have kids.

I truly enjoy my work, but I feel like my concerns — that having both a career and children isn't possible — don't get taken seriously. When I've mentioned it to other women in my industry they either tell me to never discuss it again, lest a potential employer find out, or reassure me that after I have kids I won't want to work so much. Both possibilities scare me.

So tell me, working parents: how do you make it work? Is it possible to maintain momentum? Can we have a discussion about work and parenthood? — Susan