Am I going back to work or staying home with my kids?
I’ve had to answer that question twice, and both times, I’ve answered differently. Whether you are going back to work or staying home with your kids, everyone seems to have a very strong opinion on the matter. And, for some of us, it’s not a question of “yes” or “no.” Instead, there are a lot of factors involved in making the decision. Here are 8 things to consider when you’re making the decision…
What is the best choice for you?
- Are you making a choice that YOU are comfortable with (not the neighbors, your friends, your family, etc….YOUR family matters most in this choice)? Remember, every Mom is different.
What is the best choice for your child?
- Are you considering the needs of your child? One of my children thrived in childcare, but my second child had very different needs. Pay close attention to your child to get a sense of whether or not they could handle being in a large childcare, in-home childcare, nanny, or with a family member all day while you are gone. Some kids can, some kids struggle.
Is it financially wise?
- Make sure to consider your finances in all of this – I had to work for my first child, but my entire paycheck would have gone to childcare if I went back to work with my second. Be sure to look at all of your financial options and weight the benefits of both decisions.
Do you WANT to stay home with your kids?
- Staying home full time isn’t for everyone (you can read about how it shocked me in the beginning) while others can’t imagine it any other way. It’s okay if you do, it’s okay if you don’t…but check in with yourself about what you want!
Do you WANT to work?
- The camaraderie with coworkers, the accomplishment of working on projects, having time away from your kids, etc. can be very beneficial for some moms and that’s okay!
Do you want to do BOTH?
- Staying at home with your kids and working part time is always an option. You can join the thread on our Facebook page about how moms are considering staying home and working from home to earn an income.
Is there an end?
- Can you be home with your baby for a period of time before returning to work? I got an extension on my first maternity leave which helped me dramatically (both financially and emotionally). Or, do you want to stay home forever? Sometimes, there can be options if you ask and investigate.
Do you have support?
- With either decision, it’s important to find support. Let friends and family know what you are deciding and how they can help. If you are going back to work, you’ll need help when the baby is sick and needs to stay home. If you are staying home with your kids, you may need help getting out and connecting with friends. If you are really struggling with this choice, be sure to find a professional to help you through what can be a very emotional decision.
Tip: If you are going back to work, try going back on a Thursday or Friday so that you don’t go back for an entire week. It helps to have the weekend closer when you make that transition!
How did you make your choice?
Come let us know on our Facebook page – we’d love to hear from you!