One of the toughest decisions working moms have to contend with is whether or not they should go back to work after having a baby. There are so many things that need to be considered that it can get overwhelming. Some of the crucial questions most moms ask themselves are: What will be best for the baby? Can they afford to stay at home? Will their career come to an end if they do? Who will take care of their baby when they are away? If you are in this position, the first thing you need to do is navigate the dilemma by breaking the decision into manageable bites. The answers to these questions are different for every mom depending on the situation they are in so you need to figure out what will be right for you.
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The Most Important Questions to Ask Yourself: Staying at Home or Going Back to Work
Can You Afford To Quit Your Job?
This is one of the most fundamental questions because it will affect your lifestyle. You should discuss this with your husband and see whether you can afford to survive on his income alone. Make a budget and calculate all the annual expense that include bills, mortgage, utilities, groceries, baby items, and loans. Will one income compensate for all these? You also have to consider whether going back to work will offset more costs involved with earning it, such as transport expenses, dual-income tax, lunches, clothing and even childcare.
If you choose to stay at home, there are several ways you can work with your budget. You will save childcare fees when you personally take care of the baby, and you can skip expensive holidays and compromise on certain luxuries that you can do without. If you and your husband can make it work then staying at home is a good decision. While that sounds workable, you should consider long-term repercussions of quitting your job, like halting contribution for your social security and retirement funds.
In addition to that, consider the possibility of a reduction in your employability quotient if you choose to stay at home. It might be hard for you to get back to your career after taking a long time off. There is a possibility of becoming outdated and less marketable, and most often than not, when you go back to work you will get a lower ranking job with slower raises and promotions. However, if it’s possible for you to work online while you still stay home, you will have a better chance of recovering your job.
To some women, staying at home and witnessing all the major milestones their children go through is an integral part of their lives. They feel they simply cannot miss them and hence sacrifice their jobs to stay home. To other women, having a successful career is an essential part of their lives, and they simply can’t give it up. Both of these decisions could affect your marriage because your spouse might prefer that you stay home with the baby or that you go back to work in order to make ends meet. This makes it very important for you to come to an agreement with him. Regardless of the decision, your attitude towards it is what matters most.
According to study, marriages can change drastically when women choose to be stay-at-home-moms because most women feel like they have no right to voice their opinions when they are not contributing financially. The key to make any decision work is by communicating with your spouse and supporting each other through it.
Once you have a baby and have an emotional connection with him/her, leaving him/her will be pretty hard. You will constantly be burdened with guilt and wondering if the baby is okay without you. Being emotionally ready will make your decision easy to make. Will you feel comfortable with leaving your baby with a childcare provider? Do you have a family member who can take care of your baby? You should not rush with these decisions. Make sure you are very okay with the one you make, and you will be able to cope. If you decide to go back to work, then make sure you find the most suitable childcare provider who will take care of your child the way you want.
How Flexible If Your Decision?
Simply put, there is no general right or wrong decision, and your choice should not have to be permanent. Give yourself time to figure out how to fit motherhood into your life. Some women want to be full-time moms while others prefer staying with their kids for a year then going back to work. You should be able to go back to work when you feel it’s the right time for you.
If You Choose To Go Back To Work
If your choice is to go back to work, strike a balance with both worlds. You cannot put too much in your work and forget the baby or vice versa. Try as hard as you can to leave work at work and make home time strictly home time. Give your all in both worlds and involve your spouse in the workload. Here are some things to consider:
Working hours- Most women go back to work after six weeks, at which time their bodies are still recuperating. Working hours matter a lot because if you overwork yourself, you will fail in the office and at home.
Physical demand– Is your job physically demanding? If working involves a lot of lifting then consider increasing the length of your maternity leave. If you work when your body is not ready, you will wipe yourself out and have nothing for the baby.
Staying At Home
If you decide to be a stay-at-home-mom, make the necessary adjustments. Being a mom is a full-time job, and you will need to make new mom-friends so you can learn new things and encourage each other. Quitting your job might scare you at the beginning, but it might turn out to be the best decision you make for yourself, your family and your baby.