Yes indeed you have discovered why software development in general is not a very competitive environment: most developers love their profession (not their specific job, but that they are paid to develop software) and would not want to be promoted into a management position.
As far as a "career" goes, you have to "advance" into management. Either project management or people management or tech management, but management. Because short of the owner of the whole thing, a "career" ends in being CPO, CEO or CTO.
Now, I put "career" in quotes, because that is something that other people think you should have. I have never seen a developer coming up with the goal to move out of software development as a career goal. Sure, some may find that after a while they enjoy something else more, but unlike other jobs, where you know when you start the job that you don't want to do that shitty job forever and it's just a necessary step on the ladder, software development is what most in our job actually want. Not a necessary temporary evil on the way to a great job, but a great job in itself. So competition for the next step on the career ladder is incredibly low compared to other professions.
I have been a department manager, tech lead, architect, project manager, product owner and scrum master. Quite frankly because I cannot keep my mouth shut while developing software and I want to make the job easier for us developers and if you have good ideas and plans how to do that in the company and can sell them, you end up in one of those roles. But every time I look for a new job, I look to be a software developer. That is what I love. And I don't think you can make a good plan for improvements if you haven't experienced the actual process yourself (assuming that you only work there because it is a good job to start with, everybody can improve a shitshow).
I can do all those things and I'm more than happy to make use of those skills for my employer in a temporary capacity. For example I'm more than happy to stand in for others on holiday, maternity leave or any other temporary capacity. I think that is an excellent selling point to hire me. But as a long term job that I intend to keep for years... I want to develop software on a level that requires a debugger, not a planning tool.
So yes, you have found a truth in software development or actually professional life in general: leading roles have nothing in common with the actual role. You will not open an IDE or debugger as anything that contains lead or manager in the title, just the same as the lead or manager of sewer cleaners will never see a sewer from the inside again. For the later that is a great step forward, for us developers it feels like a big step back.
Only you can decide if a little more money and prestige can buy you so much happiness that you can leave development behind with a smile. Some can. Many don't think it's worth it. And don't be afraid to take a step "back". There is no official direction here. Only people that hate their jobs see "direction" on the ladder. The important part is whether you make enough money to support you and a potential family. In any western country, the answer to that should be "yes, being a developer pays the bills easily". And as a second priority, you should be happy with what you do. You would need to earn a ton of money to compensate for being unhappy 8-10 hours any working day. That is a huge part of your life.
Somebody else, I don't remember who, compared it this way: if you had kids, what father would they probably deserve? The father who comes home happy, plays with them and when they are 16, buys them a new bike for their birthday, or the father, who comes home angry every day, is generally grumpy because they don't like the idea of going back to work tomorrow, but can buy them a car when they are old enough?
It's your decision.