Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
Motherhood is full of choices, including whether to work or stay at home with kids. Some ladies know right away that they want to spend all day with their children, while others believe they would never last all day at home. Some women are so indecisive about the issue that they jump between working different jobs and being at home with the kids, unable to make a committed choice. And then there are women who fall somewhere in between, wanting a mix of both worlds. Outside of preferences, many mothers might not have much of a choice in the matter, due to finances, legal issues or circumstances.
Things to consider before making the plunge:
- Money: Most people work for money, plain and simple. So when deciding whether or not to work, one must take their financial situation into account. Does the family have enough financial security for the mother not to work? Can the family sustain their lifestyle with only one income? Are there changes that could be made in order to survive on one income, like limiting entertainment costs, reducing shopping and removing unnecessary bills (tv, gym)? Are there other ways to make money, while still staying home?
- Career: Some women have invested a lot of time, money and effort into their careers so they don’t want to just throw it all away. There are also situations where women have worked their way up within a company and need to return otherwise they’ll lose their position and have to start all over. There are many questions to consider regarding one’s career including: Will your career crumble if you take a break? Will you be able to get a similar job afterwards? Will you possibly have regret about your career later in life? Don’t be willing to abandon your career if you’re not ready, because the last thing you want is any regret later on that might get blamed on the child.
- Family: At the end of the day it is not just about you, but what is best for the children and family. I know many women who say that they parent better when they are working because they haven’t spend all day with their children, and so their patience is stronger. Work often provides an escape or break from parenting, and it is something typically independent from the home. Other women are genuinely ecstatic to stay home and spend all day focusing specifically on their children and home. Then there are parents who fall somewhere in between. The point is to look at your own personal situation, consider your wants and needs, along with your partner’s and child’s, to determine what would be best.
- Personal: The decision to work or stay home is very personal for every single mother. The worst thing to do is compare yourself with other moms or try to copy what they are doing. We are each created with unique personalities, strengths, weaknesses, wants and needs, so make a decision solely for you. Much research has proven that the number one factor affecting a child’s happiness is the mothers satisfaction with her own life. Therefore, do whatever will be most personally satisfying and meaningful for you as the mother, and it will end up benefiting the kids and family as well.
- Trial & Error: If you are still not sure about what to do, there is always trial and error. Go back to work, if you hate it or no longer get the same satisfaction from it, you’ve learned a lesson, and you may want to make a new decision. On the other hand, stay home for a period of time and determine if that lifestyle gives your life meaning. As you experiment and try out different lifestyles, jobs, schedules, you will find out what works best for you, your family and situation. Until you try things out you will never know, and even if things don’t work out as planned, its a lesson learned, and learning is never a waste.