How do you maintain career momentum after parenthood?

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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

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