Pregnancy, Performance & Career

Pregnancy, Performance & Career
Can I still have a career and have a family?

This question comes up regularly.

The answer is:  whatever you choose to make work,  you can do.

Is it easy?
Will everybody "approve"?
Will you have to make some hard decisions?

No, no, and yes.

Anybody who says you cannot have a career and a family hasn't done it.  Consider the source.

Developing a career in the business of show is difficult at best.  If you are pursuing that career, you know this. 

Why have a child?

If you want a family,  that is NO ONE'S BUSINESS BUT YOURS!!!

If you don't want a family,  or choose to not have one,  that is NO ONE'S BUSINESS BUT YOURS!!!

You make a decision based on your life and your choices.   Nobody outside of your partner and family and you has a say in that. 

So,  should you decide to have a baby,  remember that the business doesn't need to be aware of it. 

When you find out you are pregnant,  you are excited.  You will want to share.  You do.  Don't be surprised if you don't get the same excitement from people in the business that you are either working with or for, or auditioning for.  They are looking at you for a job,  not as a mother. 

So,  it's not a lie to keep the truth to yourself.

Being a mother does not have to be an issue to you auditioning or performing - as in DOING YOUR JOB.

Can you audition while you are pregnant?  Can you perform while you are pregnant?

All these questions have to be answered individually. 

Some of us are healthy and well enough to do that.  Some of us are not.  Your health and your baby's health is most important,  so health comes first.

Many of us have performed, auditioned,  been in shows, throughout our pregnancy.  It all depends on the individual.  How are you feeling?  How are you singing?  How are you showing?

Will your career be "the same" after you have the baby?

Again, that depends on what you are pursuing or what you have already established. 

Each career is unique,  and how you develop it is unique, with or without a family.

Obviously, having a child brings another dimension into your life in a very big way - and that will be something you have a full time responsibility for.  This will add another major consideration into your decision-making about what you choose to do in your career.

Yes,  you have to make some tough decisions sometimes.
Yes, you may have to stream line what you pursue, or how you pursue it.

You will not have the same "freedom"  with a family.   You will need to consider more options.  

That doesn't mean baby out with the bathwater!!!!!!

Decide what is important to you.  See where compromises are.   Decide what you want for your life.

It is your life.

It is your career.

Follow your choices,  commitment to them.   Pursuit of a career,  and a choice of having a family will only ENHANCE each not deter from either.

If you are pregnant and feeling good,  audition as you would,  but recognize time lines.  Don't put yourself or a company in compromise by auditioning for something that would open close to your due date!  That's just not smart.

Don't lead with your pregnancy in the audition room.  That's not why you are there.  Keep the boundaries clear.

Don't lead with your parenthood in rehearsal.  You are there to do a job,  and that isn't being momma in that space.

When you are mapping out your career world,  you simply have to insert the ongoing priority of family and how the two will affect each other.  Yes, you will have to make clearer choices. Yes, you will not have the freedom to choose anything that comes your way.  Yes, you will sometimes have to turn down possibilities because you are a responsible for another life.

This does not mean you cannot have a career,  and cannot perform and cannot pursue your life path.

Embrace all aspects of your life.

Remember not everybody is going to agree.

It doesn't matter.  It is your life.  YOU make it work.

People in the business may not "like" you are having a baby.

People in your personal world may not "like" you still want to pursue a career.

Last time I checked,  they aren't you.

So,  make up your mind,  wear the hats,  and remember which one you are wearing,  and when.  Don't confuse it for yourself.  Be clear about your priorities.  Focus and commit!

Is it easy?  No.  When is it easy?  Having a career isn't easy,  without a child or with a child.  Being a parent isn't easy either.

So,  when does a little work  scare you?

Make decisions for YOU and your life.   The path you create has never been walked,  so pioneer forward and live your life as you choose. 

If you want it,  you can develop the courage to make it work for you in whatever way makes sense for you and your family.

Whatever you decide to pursue,  be it career only, or family only,  or a career with a family,  simply commit to it,  don't make excuses for it,  and live your life! YOUR life.

Susan Eichhorn Young covers all things voice—strong and sophisticated singing and speaking. 

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