This question, and the 2 answers you have received so far, represent the best that this forum has to offer.
The question is one that many in this industry care about, and many have had to think about. And the 2 answers provide 2 divergent, but equally thoughtful responses. I think this illustrates that there are many paths that can work, and that there is great value in speaking ones truth, and listening (really listening, not just waiting to speak again) to other viewpoints.
I agree with Harris that to be a professional one has to care passionately about one’s field. One also must care enough to learn enough to be a professional. A lot of questions come into this forum of the “what is the quickest, cheapest road” variety. When I hear someone who wants an online yoga ‘certification’ for example this does not make me think of them as a professional who is truly committed to the discipline. It is the same with the seeping of nutritional services out of the hands of those who have studied the science of nutrition for years. However, I do think it is possible to walk in two fields, and to use the knowledge and strengths of one to support the other.
And for a lot of women the ‘mom’ track is a really big fork in the road. In ANY field there are huge choices one has to face, that practically face the woman much more than the man in this case, at least usually. I have a friend who is a radiologist who chose almost 20 years ago to be part time so that she could be more hands on with her kids. Her colleagues warned her it was the professional kiss of death. In fact she has done fabulously with her career, and has raised a couple of great kids. I’d say I know women who have taken almost every possible path: the partner was child caregiver, working part time, using a nanny, using family….
About 15 years ago I made a choice, when we had to move from the place I had a professional identity to a place I had no ties. I made the choice to stop working. I felt, kind of as Harris says, that I needed to be fair to people who might hire me. I had no one to cover me if a kid was sick last minute. Later I went back part time.
Here is another thing to consider, which affects you as someone who is blending two careers, as well as someone who is blending a career with parenthood: your ability to accept opportunities are challenged if you are pulled in two directions.
If I had not gone out of the work force I would be in a much different place in my profession. I am at this point teaching better than I have in my life, but I am limited to how much time I can expend marketing myself, and what venues I can accept.
What choices will you make when there is a choice between an opportunity in job 1 and another in job 2? One job will tend to take pride of place, and your momentum in the other will not be as great.
Karen has clearly found a way to blend the two, and find her niche. She is able to bring her strengths into the marketplace in a way that serves her clients, and allows her to take both paths. But it takes thought and planning and some compromises to make this work long term. I am sure you will be able to continue to find clients and students whether you are full time or part time, but you must choose with open eyes if you are to make it work, and be happy, and not regret ‘the path not taken’.