Your family’s financial picture is obviously important. Beyond the essentials, household needs vary, and it is up to you and your family to decide whether staying at home, working part time, or working full time will work best. You may end up making a choice that could prove to be difficult for the household. For instance, if you choose to stay home or work part time, finances could be stretched thin. On tight budgets families need to sacrifice things like expensive vacations, cars, and places to live. Others forgo the iPods, Xboxes, Game Boys, and other “must have” gadgets.
Expectations of mothers in families and society can make it difficult for women who have different ideas. If the family tradition involves staying at home to take care of children, for example, working moms may end up feeling guilty about leaving their kids. It is crucial to determine your OWN feelings about working and staying home, because it can make a difference in your child’s life. Figure out what would be an acceptable work/home combination; struggling with guilt at work regarding family and battling guilt at home regarding job performance is a formula for failure. You need to establish your own individual comfort zone, and make a choice with respect to personal and professional boundaries. A mother’s level of fulfillment and the quality (versus quantity) of time she spends with her child are the biggest components to both, their intellectual and emotional development. Basically, as the saying goes, “if the mother isn’t happy, no one is happy."
YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER:
Your partner’s support of your decision is critical; otherwise you could be facing many difficulties. If your husband is unsupportive, he may not help you with finances, child rearing, or household chores. As a start, if you and your significant other disagree over whether you should stay home or work you should compromise on a six-month trial period to see if your working will work for the family. Also, whatever course of action you take, make sure to run by potential issues with your partner, otherwise resentments could build up on both sides. If you decide to work, for example, it’s important to figure out details…Who will pick up kids from school? Who will care for them when they’re sick?
- Option A: Call her mom. (No, she’s away on vacation.)
- Option B: Call her husband. (No, he has an all-day meeting with an important client today.)
- Option C: Call her neighbor, a stay-at-home mom, and ask for help. (Sounds good, but her call gets no answer. She must be out, getting her hair done.)
- Option D: Tell her boss she needs to leave now. (This would most likely be met with hesitation and a deep sigh of discontent.)