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Balancing Career Desires with Family Desires

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by avatar Mooncake 1 day, 12 hours ago.

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  • #852780 Reply
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    Mooncake

    Last year, I married my boyfriend of three years. We are 30 and 31, respectively, and we live in China.

    He’s Nepalese, and I’m Ameican. We are currently waiting for his green card so that we can move back to the US and participate in my family’s life once again. I can visit, but he cannot get a tourist visa while we are applying for a spousal green card.

    When I met him, he was in medical school in China. He finished in 2017 but decided to stay in China after graduating to be with me. He has a part-time job and studies pretty much full time to earn his Nepali medical license. He is going to take his test this February. We tried living in Nepal for about six months, but it was tough to earn enough money to meet our savings goals and pay our lawyer’s fees. So we returned earlier this year.

    When he eventually moves to the US with me, he has reluctantly decided to try to get into a Physician’s Assistant program, rather than s for a medical degree from the US. The timeline is much shorter (only two years), and he would have to take out a lot fewer loans.

    We also have a huge desire to have children. But at the same time, we worry so much about how much it is going to cost for him to be in an expensive medical graduate program and then also have a child. Right now, I am the one who brings in most of the money. I probably will have to continue to bring in the money for the next 5-7 years (fewer if the green card comes soon).

    I am so worried that by having a kid, I won’t be able also to be the financial provider. I also worry about my age. In a perfect world, I’d have met my husband at 25 or younger, and we’d have applied for and gotten his green card under Obama when the process only took nine months. But under Trump and all of his chaotic changes to USCIS, we have no idea how old I will be once we finally get permission to move back to the US as a family.

    I worry about whether I’m doing something wrong. I worry about whether I’m making as much effort as I can to earn as much as I can so that my husband can go into his dream career and we can also have a family before I’m too old.

    Many of these problems could ultimately go away if we got permission for him to start school in the US in 2021, but I can’t count my chickens before they hatch.

    I just finished an online master’s degree. I could go back to the US right now and try for a job in the field I want to work in, establish myself, and establish a household for my husband to come to once the government allows him to. But I have no idea how much longer it’s going to take, and that could mean a whole year of separation.

    I could also stay here, where it’s quite easy to find work that gives me ample opportunity to save (but won’t help me get a w job in the US), live with my husband, and be quite financially comfortable until we get the green card.

    I don’t know which one is smarter. To live apart but establish my career in the US, thereby making our transition to American life as a family smoother? Or should I stay where I am, enjoy being with my husband, and wait to leave China together?

    #852849 Reply

    How long have you been waiting for the green card? I wish I knew more about the process and could recommend a lawyer or advocate something. If there are avenues like that to explore, do. I’m assuming you have. I’m sorry the process is so long.

    It sounds like you unfortunately have a very hard choice to make. I don’t know if I could leave my husband for a year or more hoping his green card came through. I think you should spend some time making pro/cons lists and using thought exercises to see which decision you would regret less.

    Like-Decide you’re leaving. How does that feel? Would you regret leaving?

    Choose to stay. Does that feel better for you? Work through all your options and make the decision that feels the best for you both. Good luck.

    #852851 Reply
    bittergaymark
    bittergaymark

    Trump is going to be in power for a LONG time, I am afraid. So plan accordingly.

    #852855 Reply
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    Essie
    Participant

    I think you need to consider the possibility that your husband may not be able to move to the US for a lot longer than a year. It’s a stated policy of the current administration to cut way back on legal immigration, so I hesitate to advise you to move here and establish a career and a household when it realistically could be 2-5 years before he can join you.

    It sounds like you’re happy where you are, and have a good job that lets you live comfortably. I’d stay put for now, live your lives, save as much as you can.

    #852998 Reply
    CurlyQue
    CurlyQue
    Participant

    I agree that you both should stay overseas where his job prospects are much better and you are also making $. The amount of stress that eliminates is ginormous. Start a family when your ready but don’t plan it on the move to US. Definitely visit as much as you can afford and ask your family to visit you where you are.

    #853150 Reply
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    Leon

    Stay with him. I mean. That’s why you get married, no? To alleviate the burden of life with shoulders side by side.

    As long as you are together in this, you would be ok. I highly suggest to look for the way to share finances. I understand it is difficult to work while studying, but it is really exhausting to be the sole breadwinner of a relationship, and that could damage love in the long term.

    Good luck!

    #854357 Reply
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    Mooncake
    Member

    Thanks very much for all of your replies. I’ll give you some more details.

    We submitted our application on Dec 22, 2018. The Lawyer we hired told us that the process would take 12-14 months to get an interview.

    I am considering going back because while there is plenty of work I could do, there is very little work I want to do that pays me a competitive wage. Right now, I do corporate training and college admission consulting.

    I want to work in Higher Education (with international students as an administrator and facilitator). The best choice to make myself employable would be to teach for a University, but anything University-related in China pays quite poorly.

    I am just not interested in doing tons of part-time jobs to make up the salary difference to have a university’s name on my resume.

    If I go back, I have several people I have networked with that have said that they could probably get me a job in the field I studied. If I stay here, I will have to work longer in a role that doesn’t exist in the US, and won’t help me work towards my career goals.

    There is also the issue of my husband’s employability. He cannot work as a doctor in China, and even if he could, the pay would be terrible. While he’s here, he teaches English to young kids. I am worried about that so much. I am afraid he’s throwing away his time to earn a more western salary. He could be in Nepal getting real medical work experience. Instead, he’s teaching English. Something that most people do not consider respectable work outside of China.

    Ideally, he would be able to do something medically related here, but that isn’t reality.

    • This reply was modified 1 day, 12 hours ago by avatar Mooncake.
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