|I love being at home with my baby but am under a lot of financial
and social pressure to go back to work. How do I decide what
the best decision is for me and my baby?
While motherhood can be incredibly fulfilling for many
women, being with your baby all the time can also seem tiring
and unrelenting. Giving up a pay cherub at the end of the
month can feel like losing a part of your identity. You
may know logically that earning a salary does not make you
any more of a person, but there may be a part of you that
does feel that way! But going back to work may entail guilt
and anguish as you hand your precious baby over to a carer.
Neither choice is easy, and only you and your partner will
be able to work out what is the best decision in your individual
If you are uncertain about this decision, try to structure
the situation so that you do not have to choose immediately.
If you are able to keep your options open, you may find
that once the baby is born the decision is simpler. For
some women, being with the baby is fulfilling and wonderful
and they are sure that this is the role that they would
like to fulfill. On the other hand, many women do not realise
how much they value their career and the stimulation it
involves until they at home with the baby.
Once you are closer to a decision you can start to create
a structure that supports the life you plan to build. If
you are going to stay at home you need to find groups that
will provide you with the support you need to do this. People
you can talk to about the every day joys and frustrations
of staying at home with baby. If you look at your finances
carefully you may find that you can be frugal enough to
be able to afford to stay with your baby for the time being.
The cost of transport, smart work clothes and child care
can add up surprisingly fast. Be careful not to get isolated
and unhappy. If you are going back to work, a solid support
structure is vital. This should include a carer that you
are happy with and a back up system where the baby will
be cared for if either you or the carer have a problem.
One option that you should investigate is a way to have
your cake and eat it – many companies are willing
to consider flexible working arrangements such as job sharing.
If you can find a way to work part of the day or part of
the week, you can ease the financial burden, enjoy the stimulation
that a job provides, and still be a hands-on mother. It
is definitely an option worth exploring.
Whatever your decision, the most important thing is that
it is the best decision for your family unit. You need to
have the support of your partner to make it work, so communicate
your needs and opinions, and take those of your partner
into consideration when you make the decision.
Work - Baby
Work - Childcare
Work - Choosing a carer
Work - Financial implications
Work - Guilt at wanting to work
Work - Important considerations
Work - Making the first day easier
Work - Missing baby’s milestones
Work - Returning to work part-time
Work - Spouse doing his share
Work - Stay at home regrets
Work - The downside of working from home
Work - When to return to work
Work - Work from home
Work - Working with baby present