Make The Best of Your Options
Having a child is the ultimate life-changer. Priorities are rearranged suddenly and irrevocably, and for a while you seem to forget that there is anything else in the world apart from your baby. Yet, sooner or later the moment comes when you need to make a decision: go back to work or stay at home. In the worst case scenario, economic necessity will be the reason you return to work, regardless of how you feel about leaving your child in the care of someone else. In the best case scenario, you’ll have the comfort of choosing whether to go back or stay at home a while longer. Whatever your options, there is always a choice that may involve certain compromises.
If you hate your job but need the money, you can always consider a career change, even though you’ll have to go back to the grind for a while. The thought of leaving your baby for a whole day can be very depressing but here’s a soothing thought: after a day away from him or her, your time together will be that much more rewarding and happy, and, after all, it’s not the quantity of time you spend together, it’s the quality that is more important. You’ve probably noticed that spending 24 hours a day with your baby, especially if it’s your firstborn, can be a bit taxing, since no baby is perfectly calm and always doing what you expect him or her to do. So, if you’re forced to go back to work because you have to, think of it as an opportunity to get some adult interaction, talk about something that’s not child-related, in short, try to find the silver lining. Meanwhile, of course, look for something that you would love doing — freelancing is booming, so there are good chances that you will find something that suits you and that you can do from home, making sure you don’t miss out on any big moments while your baby grows up.
In case you are career-driven and eager to go back to work, you’ll probably be happy to get out of the house but in all likelihood you will suffer some emotional pain from being separated from your child. Gratifying as your job is, you’d do yourself a favor to take some time and consider if it’s worth the pain you would experience as a mother and if your family budget would bear your staying at home for another couple of years. It’s all a question of acceptable sacrifices, and the keyword here is ‘acceptable’ — if your job gives you the fulfilment you need as a person, then don’t burden yourself with worries about missing out on time with your child — remember, quality over quantity. Children love their parents unconditionally and the best thing you can give them in return is the same unconditional love, which doesn’t hinge on your constant presence. However, children are different and while some have no problem adapting to a babysitter or daycare, others may find it hard to separate from you. Needless to say, your child’s needs come first, yours come second. Besides, if you find it would be better for the baby to stay at home even though you’d prefer going back to work, you don’t have to go rusty professionally — you can keep up to date with news in your area and maintain your skills. You may even acquire some new ones that would serve you well when you finally get back on the job.