When you decide to stay home with your baby, and not return to work, it can be a decision that does not come lightly.
Many people return to work because they think “its the right thing to do”, or “it’s what everyone else does”, and whilst there is no right or wrong answer, you have to do what is right, and of best benefit, to you. There are many challenges you can face both when you decide to not go back to work, and also when it’s finally happened…and it’s just you and bubs.
The main challenges we face as new mums:-
Change of daily plans
Gone will be your idealistic and set-routine day. You will now be confronted with no schedule and will find yourself firing on all cylinders and upping the coffee intake. The demands and requests in your day will be more abundant, and you will need to prioritise, manage your time effectively, and make quick decisions.
Babies, toddlers, and children are all unpredictable, and I think this is one thing that new mums don’t understand – they think a baby will just sleep quietly in the corner while you go about your day – wrong! Having said this, the upside is, that you will become a fantastic multi-tasker, and your time management will be impeccable.
Lack of adult interaction
Being a stay at home mum myself, I set up my own business Jobfrog Resumes, and the one thing I miss the most is the lack of adult talk. Most of my days were filled with baby babble, and I would often find myself goo-ing and gaa-ing. Whilst spending this quality time with your little one is very rewarding, and fun, I must admit I thoroughly enjoyed seeing family members and friends throughout the day, and when my husband came home at night, for some good grown-up conversation.
Worried what other people think
One other personal challenge for me, was when someone would ask “what do you do for a living?”. It’s a question I definitely shouldn’t be ashamed to answer, with, “I’m a stay at home mum”, but as we all know some people believe that professional careers are highly important these days, and therefore you should put your baby in childcare and return to work full-time, or at least part-time. Again, it’s a case of, do what is right for you, and above all, what you WANT to do.
Sense of fulfillment
Bottom line is, there should be no shame or resentment, with regards to if you went back to work, or not. We all know that going to work is great sometimes, especially when you get that pat on the back for a job well done – sometimes we don’t receive that as new mothers (and let’s face it, we’d like to hear it), but ultimately there is no better thing in the world than staying home with your baby and watching all the milestones they achieve.
Often mums will feel they ‘need’ to go back to work so that they have some financial security. Whilst it is good to have some strong financial backing, usually, if your partner has a full-time job, that, along with any government allowances, can make for a suitable and affordable living (just means you may have to hold off purchasing that Gucci handbag for a while).
If you feel you have to do something, not only for monetary purposes but to keep your mind active and engaged, you could even consider taking up an interest and turning it into a business. That’s what I did – I loved helping people with writing and designing resumes, so took the plunge and implemented a new business. What started out as just a hobby, soon flourished into a proper business.
Facing challenges of any description are never fun, but if you think them through, and tackle them head on, you will be sure to succeed. The feeling and satisfaction of being a stay at home mum and watching your baby develop their skills and grow up are next to none – you just need to find that perfect balance for your day.
Go on, do it, you will love it!