At some point during your maternity leave, you will probably start thinking about going back to work and whether you want to or not, or maybe you planned to go back but now after meeting your child, are having second thoughts. Are you going to be a Stay at Home Mom or Working Mom is a big decision to make. Many reasons such as personal finance and career goals can influence one’s decision to stay home after baby. Personality also plays a large role in this decision as some moms just aren’t cut out to be at home all the time, and prefer to be a working mom as they need that adult interaction for their sanity.
Deciding to stay home or go back to work is a hard decision to make, and is all based on your own personal family situation. There is no right or wrong answer to this question but rather what works for your family.
Finances and how they affect your decision
You will probably sit down and make a budget for when you return to work and realize how much money is spent on daycare. You will then start to question is it worth it to return to work for the little amount you take home after daycare.
Here are some questions to consider:
Can you survive off of one income (Only your significant others)? Do your finances allow you to stay home?
If you can’t survive off one income, then staying home is clearly not an option. Create a budget for your family both with your working income and without, and then weigh the options.
Does staying home change your quality of life due to decreased income and are you comfortable with this? Will you be happy and comfortable on one income?
For our family, we like to do lots of activities and travelling and one income would not allow us to do this so I will be returning to work one about one day a week in Sept, and full time in Jan.
Career Goals – Will staying home affect your chances of advancing in your career?
You will need to decide what your goals are as working women and what risks and changes you are willing to make in order to stay at home with the kids. For some women, taking more time off can ultimately cost them the ability to move further in their careers and can substantially slow advancement opportunities.
Questions to consider:
Will your career advancement be impacted by staying home?
Do you have career goals, and does staying home push these goals way out of reach or does staying home just push these goals on a longer timeline to complete?
Will you need to look for a new job when you return or will they hold your spot for multiple years?
If you stay home and need to find a new job when you return to work, it can be very difficult to re-enter the workforce as necessary skills and requirements will have changed. As a supply teacher, if I choose to stay home longer, I would lose my spot on the occasional teacher roster and have to start all over which is quite a difficult and competitive process and took me multiple years to get to this position, to begin with.
Personality Traits – Do you have what it takes to be a Stay at Home Mom!
Staying at home with the kids is not an easy job as it is very demanding keeping kids entertained, and safe all day long while trying to keep up with managing your household. Staying at home can be very rewarding as you will have a strong connection with your kids, and be responsible for helping teach and develop them as a person.
Some questions to consider:
Do you enjoy staying home with your kids? Can you find someone you feel comfortable leaving your child with? Are you comfortable with the lack of adult interaction?
If you are stressed and overwhelmed at the end of the day then staying home all day with your kids might not be the right choice for you. Staying at home can also be very difficult due to lack of adult interaction and can become isolating.
For me I enjoy staying home but based on my TYPE A driven personality, I don’t think I would be satisfied with myself and my goals doing it full time. I also have the privilege as a teacher to have 12 weeks off a year, so I really get a unique balance of working mom and stay at home mom which also impacts my decisions. If you do choose to stay home check out the following for ideas to get out of the house.
Do you enjoy being a working mom?
Does your job come with dental and medical benefits? Bonuses and other perks such as gym memberships, etc.?
If you really dislike your job, I could totally understand the idea of staying home longer, but for me, I love teaching so I am happy to return to work. I also really like the idea of my daughter socializing with other children at daycare and getting used to other adults.
Going Back to Work?
Remember that you can deduct some of your daycare costs on your taxes as long as you have receipts which definitely will help the budget.
CONCLUSION: The choice is up to you!
However a recent article shows that children of working moms and children of stay at home moms are equally happy in life satisfaction, so forget that “mom guilt” and make the decision that feels right for YOU!
Whether you choose to stay home or go back to work, we should support all decisions equally as let’s be honest being a mom, in general, is a job in itself!
Erin Robinson is a Canadian Blogger and Working Mom who is embracing the chaos of parenting one day at a time! Erin blogs with her partner Kate about baby activities, easy recipes, craft ideas, travel and parenting tips, and saving ideas at www.littlemisskate.ca.