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The New Mom Dilemma: Stay at Home or Return to Work?

Perhaps you've always been the working type but now that you've had a baby, you've changed your mind. Maybe you've always wanted to stay home, but you didn't feel like your circumstances would allow it. Either way, you may want to be home right now.

Making Your Way Home

Sometimes the solution comes from simply making the decision to stay home. You may not have even realized that you wanted to be home until after you had your baby and went back to work. This is rather common among new mothers. Once you've made the decision about where you'd rather be, it's time to take stock. Do you have a workable solution? Is there a way to arrange your finances so that staying home would be possible?

E Alert

Don't burn any bridges on your way out. Do your best to retain good relationships with your employer and coworkers. If you ever go back to work or decide to do freelance work from home, these contacts will surely come in handy. Simply make it clear that though your job is important to you, your baby is your priority at this time.

Once you know that you'd like to stay home with the baby, discuss this with your husband. Perhaps the two of you can come up with a workable solution. Then take action as soon as you can. Figure out how much notice of your resignation you need to give your supervisor. You may also need to give your child-care provider some notice that you'll no longer be needing his services. The first weeks of your new arrangement may be challenging, but with your maternal instinct to guide you, things will eventually work out.

Dealing with Disappointment

Sadly, no matter how hard you look, there may not be a way for you to stay home. This can be very disappointing, especially if you've gotten your hopes up. The disappointment of a plan gone awry can also make your work life seem unbearable. But since it is your situation, you'll need to find ways to make it easier on yourself.

One way to provide some light at the end of the tunnel is to plan for the future. Just because your financial or home situation isn't compatible with your staying home right now, that doesn't mean it won't ever be. Just keep your eyes open for future opportunities to try your plan again.

In the meantime, work hard to find an alternative schedule for home and work. While you may not be able to leave work totally, a flextime or part-time position might be better for you. Be creative in searching for ways to spend more time with your baby.

More on: Work

From The Everything Mother's First Year Book Copyright © 2005, F+W Publications, Inc. Used by permission of Adams Media, an F+W Publications Company. All rights reserved.

To order this book go to Amazon.


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