Being a stay at home mom was an incredible opportunity that I was able to take advantage of when my son was born.
I took my 12 weeks of maternity leave, returned to work, and quickly realized that being a working mom was not for me at the time.
My son was so young and as a new mom, I was so fragile.
How was my son able to thrive without me? Doesn’t he miss me?
What happens if no one can console him like I could?
These thoughts (and so many more) flooded my mind that first week back to work and I was fortunate at the time that I was able to give my notice of termination and stay home with him.
Staying home with my son quickly became the toughest job I have ever had, but it was worth every sacrifice.
The experience helped me learn how to become a mom and how to raise a child. Each day was like a blank page for me to write on and hopefully refer back to if ever needed.
As the months passed and time came closer and closer to my son’s first birthday, I began to wonder if the stay at home life was really what I wanted.
Of course, seeing my son do all these incredible things each day and being there for his “firsts” made this decision difficult to make. For my family, however, this was a decision I needed to consider.
Below are the five things I considered when making the decision to return to work.
1. Financial Needs
Probably the number one reason for most moms when considering returning back to work is based on financial needs for them and their family.
Unfortunately, money makes the world go around and if you don’t have enough of it, it makes providing for your family extremely challenging. Without the second income of me working, my husband was the main bread winner for our family.
But then, he was injured at work and was not able to continue to bring in the income that we needed. This sent a big push my way for me to quickly find a way to start to supplement the income that we were now losing.
Ultimately, finding a job for me would be the best outcome for this need.
2. Interactions with other Adults
I’m not going to lie, being a stay at home mom can be lonely. Yes, you have this beautiful being that relies on you every second of every day and you get to snuggle them endlessly.
But, that is really the extent of an interaction you get with a human being during the day while your spouse is working a full time job. I was already somewhat of an introvert before becoming a mom; now, I was barely getting out of the house once a week and it was starting to wear on me.
I researched mommy and me classes for us to attend, but as any mom knows, these come with a cost.
I took my son to a couple of play dates, but the kids in our area were older than my son and the play dates were not consistent to be enough of an interaction for me with other adults.
Getting a job would mean that I would be able to collaborate with others and make some friends who would hopefully be able to help me in my mommy journey.
3. Changes for Baby
Being that I was the main caregiver for my son, I started to wonder if this attachment would be healthy in the long run. Obviously the bond between mother and child is unlike any other.
But there came a point where no one was able to soothe him except for me. Now, while this made me feel good that my baby wanted me, I have to admit that I was exhausted.
I needed time to rest and take care of me, but that was not able to happen if no one else was able to care for him because of his preference to only wanting me.
The decision to go back to work did make this part of parenthood harder because I feared for how my son would react to having someone else as a caregiver. But in the end, he would adapt and learn that there were others who loved him and provided the things he needed as well.
4. My Sanity
Real talk – motherhood is HARD.
Any mother would agree with this statement no matter how you choose to be a mom. Everything you do to ensure the health, well-being, safety, happiness, etc. for your child is hard.
It feels like there is no room for your own needs and we all need a break from parenthood sometimes. Taking a position in the workforce meant that I would have a break from the mommy life and that I would have time to miss my baby.
I love my son with everything that I am, but I needed time to step away and miss him. I needed to appreciate the time that I did get with him. My sanity was important to not only me, but to my son and my husband.
I needed an outlet and getting a job meant that I would get that outlet to be productive in the workforce, earn some money for my family, and become a better version of the mom I wanted to be.
5. Best Option for Me
All things considered, the end result was the best option for me; I went back to work full-time.
It has been a hard adjustment to taking on another responsibility, but it has been worth it.
My son has the biggest smile for me when I walk in the door and just wants all the love I can give him (until he’s hungry then mommy isn’t good enough anymore)! I admit that I miss him each second that I am not with him.
I also enjoy that we now have a second income and don’t have as much stress about the financial things now that I’m bringing home some bacon.
Now, I’m a Working Mom!
As a working mom, there are other challenges I face each day aside from missing my baby each moment.
There are nights where I don’t get much sleep because I am on mom duty and then have to get up to work my full eight hours. It’s also hard to be a working mom just as it is hard to be a stay at home mom.
For now, I am happy that I took the time to consider what I would be gaining by becoming a working mom. I am happy that we can have the things we have now because of that decision.
It was not an easy decision by any means, but I hope anyone else looking for inspiration or help making this decision finds inspiration in my experience!