Thank you for this insightful post and all of the replies to boot. I am 32 and have found myself on my way to a second career due to injury retirement from my first. I, too, thought at this stage I'd have my life laid out nicely and children would simply be the next step (simply? ha!). Instead, my world did a few somersaults and as I enter my last semester of prereq's for nursing school, I've been swimming in confusion as to how I'd ever find a balance of so many big life events-- marriage, kids, and if I was choosing the right new career.
I look forward to nursing and learning every day how to be great at a new job. I've never known it any other way than to pour myself into work. I've also looked forward to being a mother for as long as I can remember. In a time when women are encouraged to do it all, I now truly see that finding that balance is no cakewalk and I have so much respect for those who pull it off. A few friends and I have found ourselves laughing at our own naivetÃ© of thinking we could easily be "career beasts" and great moms. What I have read on this post has solidified my decision to go forward with nursing and the flexibility it provides at different stages in life. While "the best laid plans...go astray", my hope is that life as a nurse and a parent more easily allows for adaptability when they do :)