I was home on maternity leave to have my second child (and relieved to have a break!) But soon I would have to return. And I dreaded it.
Not only did I not want to go back, but I didn’t want the babies raised by strangers, so i told my partner one of us needed to quit our job. He thought for a few seconds then made me see the truth: Not only did I make more than him, I had to get a raise of $10,000 more a year to afford the mortgage in California. So that HE could stay home, take care of the kids, and run a side gig.
I had to face it, so I got serious about advancement: I read about 6 books a week, mostly during my 2-3 hour commute. I learned so much that I solved the problems that put our department under so much pressure. That difficult boss was the first to create a new position for me, and give me a 10K raise. This happened twice more! I got hooked on career advancement and discovered that showing powerful results was critical.