Motherhood vs. Career Pursuits: Real Women Share Their Stories

Motherhood vs. Career Pursuits: Professional Women Share Their Stories

Deanna Kimberly Burell (Photo: Burrell)


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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