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To Stay at Home or Return to Work?

The Stresses All Moms Share
Here's the reality I experience firsthand: friends who bounce babies and checks, as couples try to maneuver a lost or reduced income and/or the heavy costs of diapers, child care, preschool, feeding, clothing, and entertaining their little kids. For reasons scientists don't understand, couples still base economic and "who will work and how much" decisions on the formula in which child-care costs are charged against Mom's salary only. While it's true that a woman's salary is still apt to be less than her husband's, there's no good reason for couples not to approach choices, considering child care a cost to be absorbed by their joint incomes.

Whether by choice, or because they had smaller salaries, lots of moms I know who quit full-time employment started innovative Internet-driven or home-based businesses such as selling Mary Kay cosmetics or Weekenders clothing, but none of them did so to pay the mortgage.

Alternately my friends who shine in their offices, law firms, and on sales staffs become masters of the faked calendar or the forwarded office phone, rarely able to be truly candid with their employers about their needs as mothers.

Many of us approached motherhood the same way we did marriage: to enhance, not complete our lives. We envisioned hoisting Baby in a backpack and going on with the lives we had already established. Little did we know that we would meet our match, when the real needs of babies and little ones exposed the limits of our energy, our marital partnerships, and our forward-thinking companies.



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From What No One Tells the Mom by Marg Stark. Copyright © 2005. Used by arrangement with Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book, visit Amazon or click on the book cover.


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