We all have dreams as children. To be a singer, an astronaut, a fireman, a cop, a dancer, something. For most of us, those are childish dreams that we cherish; even after we have out grown them. As we mature, we develop new dreams. Usually they are more realistic than being the super hero our 6-year old self decided upon while wearing a pillow case as a cape. Some dreams die much harder than others.

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Life is filled with just as many disappointments as it is amazements. I have never believed life was easy, nor should it be. I had dreams of working. I was going to graduate from high school, go to college, be top of my class, get hired at a company I loved, and work 50 hours a week. All of my dreams, hopes, and ambitions of my youth revolved around a career I do not have. A career that never happened and never will happen. I held on to that dream for most of my 20s. It caused problems with my family, my marriage, caused financial troubles and triggered my depression. But I still held on for dear life.

I did not dream of the perfect wedding, or think about how awesome life would be with children. I focused on my desire to work. To be the best at what I did. To earn awards, recognition, pay raises and promotions. The reality is much different. I have no career. I am a stay-at-home mom who must re-enter the workforce next month. No skills to offer, no degrees worth mentioning (Associates of Arts degree is basically worthless in my area).

Brutal honesty: my dreams died a bitter, slow, burning death that left ashes in my mouth that I swear I will taste until the day I die. “What if?” runs through my mind on a daily basis, and I have so many regrets. What I wouldn’t give to work! Having a career has always been the biggest thing in my life. An ambition that I have never realized and I feel it is far too late in my life to find it.

I can only speak for myself and the familial/societal sphere in which I grew up. Females do not have a choice. They must get married and have children. Husbands and children are chores, like going to the dentist. No matter how we feel about it, it must be done. So suck it up and get it over with. We are expected to graduate high school, pushed to go to college in order to compete with men in the workforce, get a job and prove ourselves. We are supposed to be independent in every aspect of our lives. Then we are supposed to get married, have children and stop working until our children are old enough for kindergarten. Why?!

What is the point in going to school or developing in the professional world if we are expected to give it up for children? Why are we pushed to have children? If we are unsure or if we flat out decide we do not want to be a parent, why are we pushed? Especially in this day and age? What is wrong with focusing on work and avoiding a family life? And why is it so damn difficult for a parent to have a career? Personally, I would rather go to the dentist for another root canal.