The decision to be a stay-at-home or working mom is difficult. Here are some points that you should consider first.
Raising kids is one of the most challenging tasks in life. There are so many sacrifices to be made, so much emotional stress to be dealt with, but it's the sheer joy of watching your child grow up that keeps you going.
Since child care is a full-time job, it is important to decide for a couple how they are going to manage it.
A mother is essential for every child's development. This is where the battle between stay-at-home moms and working moms comes into the picture. While the statistics show that stay-at-home moms tend to be less educated, this is not always the case.
Many women with impressive educational backgrounds leave their careers for the joy of experiencing motherhood.
You should start planning for child care from the moment you decide to have a baby. The decision about who will stay at home with the kids should also be made at that time. Although raising children is primarily considered a woman's domain, it would be wise to make an exception if the woman has a challenging career with bright prospects.
However, more often than not, it is the woman herself who willingly decides to quit her job to care for her kids. However, this decision may not be easy, especially if you don't have a reliable friend or relative to help with the child. Given here are some points that you should consider before making this big decision.
Can You Financially Afford to Leave Your Job?
Although a full-time day job means a regular paycheck and extra cash at hand, it may not always be the case if you decide to continue your job after childbirth.
You have to spend a large amount of your earnings on commute, office wardrobe, taxes etc.; however, a working mom will have to make arrangements for day care, baby sitters, and other expenses besides regular expenses.
Considering that, will you still be able to save a large amount of your earnings? If yes, then you should consider being a working woman, otherwise staying at home may suit you best. However, make sure that you can afford to forgo your income and be able to cover your expenses in a single income.
Will You be Able to Cope with the Stress?
Stress is the factor that is invariably present in both the situations. Although, staying at home means more free time with your kids and spouse, you cannot forget that you will still have to do the housework.
Similarly, if you opt to work full-time, you still cannot evade household responsibilities. Handling job stress along with housework and demanding children can make you crazy. On the other hand, if you find your career challenging and derive pleasure out of your job, you may be able to handle both the responsibilities with increased efficiency.
Interaction with people at work can indeed have a positive impact on your personality. This is something you'll lose if you choose to stay at home. Many stay-at-home moms who had to forgo a growing career for motherhood suddenly find their life dull and depressing. Thus, you'll have to assess what kind of a person you are and what your inclinations are like.
What are Your Prospects of Returning to Work?
Most women who give up their careers for raising children hope to join the workforce again someday.
However, by the time your kids grow up and you are ready to make a comeback, your skills and qualifications may have become obsolete, making your return pretty difficult. Hence, before quitting a promising career make sure your prospects of returning are good.
Another option is to hone your skills and keep yourself updated with your corresponding field while you are at home caring for your children. You may also consider this as an opportunity to learn new skills. Many stay-at-home moms work from home, or engage themselves in some home jobs, so that they don't feel incompetent when they are ready to resume work.
This is an issue where each side has its own pros and cons. There is no formula that can work for every mother. Hence, consider all the aspects and make a decision that suits your individual needs best.