Hi, I’m working on a civil engineering degree, and one thing I constantly think about is “how on earth am I going to raise a family if I go into engineering?”. (I’m not planning on it anytime soon…just thinking about it) It looks…impossible. I keep trying to find information about women who have taken an extended leave from engineering to raise a family and it looks like people just don’t DO that. So…anyone have any idea what being an engineering mom is like? Or even someone in a tech field I guess. …Oi.
I am not an engineer, nor is any female in my family. However, my dad works with a woman who is and their family are friends of our family. This may not be the ideal situation, but it works well for them. The mom works and the dad stays at home with the children, homeschooling them. It’s really about what works for them and where the priorities are. With this family, I think the wife makes a lot more than the husband would which enables them to have a relatively large family. Hope this helps!
I’ve got two little kids and I work full time in electrical engineering. My oldest son is 4 and I’ve been an engineer for over 5 1/2 years.
I don’t love my job… but I do love my degree! I love engineering and science and mathematics and have always been drawn to it my whole life.
It’s a challenge to balance everything… but I’m blessed with an amazing husband (who is also an engineer… I think our mutual love of logic helps us manage so well as a couple), and it works out well for our family.
Remember, despite what many will try to say… there is nothing morally or religiously wrong with being a working mother. Nothing.
As Catholics… it is always our priority to put faith and family first and to teach our children about Christ and His Church… always our #1 priority. That is what we are called to do as parents. Individual family choices are up to you!
God bless and good luck working on your degree!
I’m an electrical engineer! However, I found a really rare niche to work for me. When I was pregnant with my first child, my husband was a banker doing a loan for a very small engineering company that was just getting off the ground. They hired me part time…trained me to do what they needed me to do…and I’m still here 9 years later, working 20 hours a week.
Now, that’s pretty rare, BUT my daughter just made a new friend in school whose mother…I believe a mechanical engineer…decided to return to the engineering field after 17 years off. She went to one job fair, and got a job!
So…it’s not impossible! I have female friends who are engineers, too, and we just make it work! I’m sure you will, too! Good Luck, and God Bless!
Computer engineering for over 20 years. It’s really been a blessing. Worked since I got out of school. When I became a widow 10 years ago, this career allowed me to keep the house going without much (more) interruption. Since the kids were already in day care, I didn’t have to make huge changes to their routine. So, we really just had the one issue to deal with (the loss of their Dad) and that was plenty to have to deal with.
I’m not one, but I know someone who is. She worked for years as a civil engineer, then quit to raise her children. She plans to return to work in a few years when the youngest is in school. She’s a great mom, and she’s especially helpful with math homework.
I’m a chemical engineer. I have worked for the same company since 1996. I have three children (4, 2, and 1) and have worked 10 - 20 hours per week for over six years now. I really want to be home with my children and this arrangement has been great!
My company has lots of women working alternative work arrangements due to desires to be at home with their children. I work from home most of the time and go in to the office less than once a month.
I’m not sure what type of engineer you want to be and whether you are interested in part-time or not. My advice would be to look at companies you are interested in working for and see what type of hours people keep (i.e. are you expected to put in 40+ hours per week - many jobs today, not just engineering are like that) and if the companies offer part-time arrangements.
Second tip - if you want part-time, expect to work full-time for a few years. It takes a while to come up the learning curve, especially right out of college and it would be REALLY hard to get a part-time job in engineering with no experience.
Friends of mine in occupational therapy and nursing also seem to have really flexible jobs, in case you are looking into other science-oriented fields.
Hope this helps!
Hey! I’m a recent civil engineering grad getting married in June. My dream has always been to be an at-home-mom, so when we’re blessed with little ones, I’ll probably put the engineering aside. That being said, if I was to keep working, I’d choose a government related job as a civil engineer. Working for the federal or state government often presents may benefits with regards to annual, sick, and maternity leave. It also usually has more regular hours–and infrequent overtimes required. So if you’re looking to just work a regular 40-hr week, I’d recommend working for a government agency.
I have a degree in Metallurgical Engineering and I worked for ten years before having my children. Once they were born, I quit working to stay home full time. I have loved every minute of being a stay at home Mom. Now that my kids are in school full time, I am working part time at our church in an administrative role. I don’t make great money but the skills I learned in industry translate well to any organization. Plus, I still can be home when the kids are home.
Pursue your dream but don’t be surprised if you end up changing careers a few times. An engineering degree makes that pretty easy.
I am a civil engineer and land surveyor. My children are now grown and I entered the work force in 1986 when my youngest was kindergarten age…he did not go to kindergarten, he spent that year with his Papa and grandma while I was at work. My two older chidren were in 2nd and 4th grades in the fall of 1986.
I became a licensed professional land surveyor in 1990 and a licensed civil engineer in 1997. I stayed home and attended college from 1997 to 1986 [graduating in 1986].
I earned a Masters in Pastoral Ministry in 2003. I worked in state and county government positions at the technical and management level. Today I own my own company.
A lot of your success in both family and career will depend upon the strength of your marriage and the relationship you and your husband have. This I can attest to because I was divorced in 1991. A deep sadness at recognizing you have failed in one of life’s most important vocations…
I am married [again] to a wonderfully supportive husband. We share a faith in Christ, a commitment to family and faith that sustains and strengthens our marriage. We are committed first to our Savior, our marriage and our family. The occupation is an out growth of who I am, it is not what defines me. While being a wife [or husband or priest] and also being a mother [or father, grandparent] and especially being a Chirstian is something that defines a person. If that makes sense…
God Bless you :yup:
DD is a techie masters in physics, she still works on research teams she was on in grad school doing all computer analysis of results, reports, writing etc., travels to campus once or twice a year, which gets her a break, chance to see friends etc. She has a couple of side businesses–installing home electronics & entertainment systems in new construction, acoustics analysis for an architectural firm, hosting websites for various techie orgs, most recently has gone back to teach part time at her undergrad college, runs lab sections for science courses, and is revamping curriculum and syllabus guidelines for science dept. She says she is not a SAHM, she is a Stay in the Van Mom, because most of her free time is spent ferrying kids to various activities, but I guess for her, have-laptop-will-travel is a way of life.
I have a degree in Engineering Management. I worked for several years before we had kids. Now I’m a stay at home mom, and it’s so much better than being an engineer. :)I don’t regret going to all the effort of getting my degree to work for a short time. I know that if I ever needed/wanted to go back to work I could get a good paying job.
One of my best friends is a Chemical Engineer. She worked for several years, and then became a stay at home mom. She ended up going back to work for a while part time.
I know a lady from La Leche League who is an engineer (Maybe Mining not sure–something where she’s the only woman in her workplace.) She makes it work just like other working moms do (I don’t know how that is!).
I don’t think it’s any different from any other career.
There is no reason you can’t take an extended leave from any field.
One great thing is you can make a good salary right out of college, and use that so that you become debt-free…and have the financial resources to be a stay at home mom.
BlestOne and I are technical engineers- at least, in addition to being a tech manager, I am a technical engineer, and I think she is, too. I am also an adragogue (teacher of adults).
It all depends on you, your circumstances, and what works best for you and yours.
My sister is an awesome full-time engineer and full-time mommy. She married a little later in life so her children are 6 and 3 at age 41. Her secrets seem to be living a frugal life on a major income; encouraging programs at her work that are friendly to families (both women and men–like leave time for new babies); tele-commuting when possible; and good parenting.
The best advice I can give from my watching my sister do it well is to save money when you are single. Many young people on a large engineering income will spend it on “stuff.” My sister socked away her money and lived very frugally. She did a few things just to do them, like buying a brand new car in 1989. She was still driving that same car until she gave it to me last year. It still runs great! She was putting away money for a house and buying one long before any of her friends even thought about it.
Her priorities were very well defined going into engineering. Her saving and living frugally has helped her have a lot of freedom in raising a family while working so much.
I earned a degree in electrical engineering in 1989. I worked for about 5 years out of college with a woman who had 4 kids and worked part time. I know a lot of professional women in different fields that traditionally work 9-5 full time, but a lot of them went to part time after they had kids. The trick seems to be to get some experience and be in good standing at your job and then going part time is easier. I don’t work much at all, (due with baby #7 in March) but my engineering degree has led me to other work. Right now I teach computer software courses at a local community college. You just never know where your degree will take you, and if you are interested in engineering I’d say go for it!