Motherhood vs. Career Pursuits: Professional Women Share Their Stories

Professionals talk childbearing, life balance and family planning choices

Deanna Kimberly Burell (Photo: Burrell)

PASSIONATE, SINGLE CAREER WOMAN

Deanna Kimberly Burell, 35, Marketing Executive, Author, Single Girl Summer (Chi-Towne Fiction; 13.99)

DECISION TO WAIT: I’m a traditional woman with a traditional view of family. I grew up in a loving, two-parent household and so did both of my parents. I would say that I made a conscious decision that I did not want to enter into motherhood as a single mother. I have the utmost respect for all single mothers because being the primarily caregiver is a lot of work. Personally, I decided that raising a child in a one-parent household is not the kind of responsibility that I can handle. I want to raise my child like I was raised: with two loving parents in the household. Until I find a man that I want to marry and have a child with, I decided instead to focus on succeeding at my career.

PREGNANCY PEER PRESSURE: The women in my close circle are similar to me. They want to follow the traditional path of marriage first, then children. We encourage each other to remain positive and prayerful. We don’t buy into the gloom and doom scenario that women over 35 will end up lonely, old maids.

Then there is another group of women outside of my circle that feel their biological clock is ticking so they have children outside of marriage. They are single mothers and primary caregivers who are diligently working to strike a balance between work, children, dating, friends, family and everything in between.

FUTURE FAMILY PLANS: Yes, I would love to have children in the future. I have two beautiful godchildren who I love and adore. When I spend time with them, I love watching them grow and learn new things. When I see them I know that having children is something I definitely want in my future. I am a woman of purpose and I believe in naming it to claim it. When I date a man that I deem is a long-term candidate, I’m upfront with my long-term expectations. I prefer to date men who have also grown up in a two-parent household like I did. In my dating experience, I’ve found that I’m more compatible with men who share the same upbringing. And the response I get from them about waiting is positive.

FINDING THE ‘RIGHT TIME’: I turned 35 this year. I recently changed careers. I left my corporate job to be a full-time entrepreneur and author. Things are going very well for me. I’m enjoying my new career path. My book is doing phenomenal and my marketing firm is taking off. So, if I meet the right man, and we got married now, this would be a great time for me to have children. Being an entrepreneur allows me to set my own schedule and to be flexible.

ADVICE AGAINST THE ‘TICKING CLOCK’ PRESSURE: Regardless of what the media says, there are lots of African-American men who want to get married and have a beautiful family, just like there are African-American women looking for the right one. If it’s meant to be, it will be. In the meantime, I’ll keep kissing frogs until I meet my prince, pursuing my dreams, having a great time and working on myself. When the Lord approves, it will happen.

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ACROSS THE WEB
  • Eva Popek

    Thanking God for your children and your dreams. You have been blessed with such a loving and supportive family for your business. Continue to encourage teens and thanks for your living example.

  • Allison Higgins

    Great inspiration, Summer! Thanks for sharing. I’m impressed with your courage and openness. I think you are destined for greatness!

  • Summer Alexander

    Thank you ladies! It was a rough start but I made it!

  • Erica Hubbard

    Summer Alexander, you are absolutely AMAZING! What an inspiring story! Especially your advice to teen moms… Although your journey hasn’t been the easiest, you’ve endured and pushed forward. Your children are witnesses to your determination and this will do nothing but drive them to pursue dreams/goals of their own. Love it!

  • Summer Alexander

    Thank you Erica!

  • Andre Senegal

    Keep up the great work. Doing big things!!

    • Summer Alexander

      Thank you Andre!

  • Jannie Singleton

    I am already inspired. Thanks for the heads up!

  • chavon green

    Summer you are definitely an inspiration to many, Thank You for sharing your experience and encouraging others to follow their dreams. May God continue to bless you while you pursue your destiny!!!

  • Santosh Purkait

    Hi Summer,

    I salute this spirit of “go and get it” sttitude. This is an inspiration for all. Ofcourse family is priority, but managing career and family is the challange that you have tackeled succesfully.

    May god bless you and your family give you give you more success!

  • Summer Alexander

    Thank you Santosh, God Bless you as well!

  • Pingback: Can You Have A Meaningful Career And Still Be A Great Mother? | Black and Married With Kids.com - A Positive Image of Marriage and Family

  • Suzette Mariel

    Hi Summer! Keep putting action behind your dreams. You have more than what it takes to succeed. Glad to know you. For more great info about Summer Alexander check out the interview on my blog at http://suzettemariel.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/ff-spotlight-focus-on-summer-alexander-research/