After a woman has given birth to her baby, the last thing she wants to do is go back to work or even think about her job for that matter. After all, she's just welcomed her most precious bundle of joy to this world. She doesn’t want to think about emails, her co-workers, her projects or her supervisor’s complaints for that matter. All you want to do is spend every single moment of your time with your child while celebrating your new family. It’s a precious moment and the reason why so many mothers have a hard time going back to work.
Unfortunately, many countries don’t give new parents enough time to enjoy their first few months with their newborn during their maternity leave. As a matter of fact, some mothers are forced to return to work after a few short weeks because of the financial burden (and lack of funds) that parenthood puts on them.
Leaving a child in someone else’s care isn’t always easy, but it’s something that has to be done. And while more and more mothers are doing a great job of balancing their careers with their family lives, they are also being given very few options to make things work.
With that being said, here are 15 reasons why you shouldn’t go back to work right after giving birth.
15 Maternity Leave Or Permanent Leave?
For a lot of working moms, they have a tough time deciding on whether or not they want to take a maternity leave or a permanent leave. And who can blame them? Almost every mother will tell you that they would rather stay home and enjoy all of the special cuddles and moments with their child then go back to work. But there’s always one problem that gets in the way for moms and their stay-at-home dreams: money. Or rather, the lack of.
Now, let’s keep one thing in mind: stay-at-home motherhood isn’t for everyone. There are a lot of mothers who are itching to get back to work just because they can’t stand the feeling that comes with having cabin fever. That’s when you need to decide early on: do you want to just take a maternity leave or a permanent leave?
14 A Baby Needs Mom
You can get the best childcare in the world, but there’s no denying that a child needs his or her mother the most, especially during those crucial first few weeks of their life. Sorry dads, but there’s just no bond that can compare to the bond that a mother has with her child. After all, many of us carried our babies in our wombs for nine full months. We definitely deserve to spend more time with our kids after birth, too!
Now, I’m sure there will be a lot of pundits out there that will argue to the moon and back about this, but the most important relationship for a baby is with his or her mom. For some, it’s just indescribable, but it also boils down to biology and a mother’s instincts, too. Chances are you know what your baby needs the most before anyone else.
13 Breastfeeding Versus Pumping
If you are breastfeeding your baby, going back to work might complicate your situation. Now, don’t get us wrong: you can go back to work and breastfeed at the same time, but it might not be easy, especially if you have a long commute. And if you feel uncomfortable about pumping your breast milk at your office, that might make things harder for you and your breastfeeding goals, too.
That’s one of the reasons why so many mothers refuse to go back to work right after they give birth. They don’t want to give up on breastfeeding and they certainly don’t want to stop especially if they’ve already succeeded in getting their child to latch on. To complicate matters even more, a lot of babies won’t even take a bottle, even if it is full of breast milk. That’s why so many mothers decide to ditch their jobs of prolonging their maternity stay until their breastfeeding journey has been completed.
12 That ‘Mom Guilt’ Feeling
A lot of moms will agree that one of the worst feelings in the world for a parent is that darn mom guilt. You always feel like you might not have done enough for your child or that you don’t spend enough time with them. And if you are forced to go back to work early, you might also feel guilty about leaving them in someone else’s care. That’s why a lot of mothers make the decision to stay at home during their child’s baby and toddler years.
Actress and celebrity mom Amy Poehler has said, “When you're a stay-at-home mother you have to pretend it's really boring, but it's not. It's enriching and fulfilling, and an amazing experience. And then when you're a working mother you have to pretend that you feel guilty all day long.”
11 Lack Of Quality Child Care
While this is not an easy topic to discuss, there’s no denying that there is a lack of quality childcare in the country. And if you do happen to find a childcare provider or location that is right for you, it might be too expensive for your budget. Trust me that there are plenty of families that deal with this dilemma every single day.
If you have a grandparent or a trusted family that can take care of your child while you go back to work, that’s great. But not everyone has that same kind of advantage. That’s why they would rather quit their job and raise their children themselves at home. Plus, no one is going to watch your child, worry, and take care of your baby the same way you will.
10 Childcare Economics
For a lot of mothers, it doesn’t even make economic sense for them to go back to work after having a baby. That’s because the cost of childcare might equal to at least half of their wage. Or in some cases, it might cost even more than what they make at work!
Of course, let’s make it clear here that not every family can live on just one wage. It’s almost impossible, especially if you live in a big city where rent and the cost of living is pretty high. But at the same time, it doesn’t make sense to hit the daily 9 to 5 grind when half of your paycheck is going towards your child’s full-time daycare. Before deciding on what route you want to take, you and your partner just have to figure out the logistics at home.
9 You Become Your Child’s Teacher
This might be the best part about staying at home with your baby: you become your child’s teacher. Now, we’re not talking homeschooling here. Instead, you’ll be the first person to teach your child certain words, songs, colors, sounds, and their ABC’s. Plus, you probably won’t realize that you’ll also have lots of fun just hanging out and teaching your child their numbers while catching up on all of your favorite Netflix shows.
Plus, studies show that kids learn best from their parents! After all, you just happen to be your child’s biggest role model in life, too. You’ll be surprised to see just how much your child mimics you and copies all of the things you even say (both the good and the bad, mind you!). It’s great being both your child’s teacher and parent.
8 Staying At Home Benefits Your Family
Another great thing about staying at home is that having one parent accessible at all times benefits your family. This is especially true when your child will begin pre-school or kindergarten. With two working parents that have office jobs, there are only so many sick days you can take for your child, right? With one parent at home, you’ll be able to manage your household efficiently like the pro CEO you are rather than dealing with corporate headaches in the office.
A lot of people like to say that being a stay at home mom isn’t a real “job” but trust us, it is. You might not get a salary like everyone else, but there are plenty of job responsibilities that you have to deal with 7 days a week. Unfortunately, you don’t get any PTO days but don’t let that deter you from the job, either.
7 Consider Your Own Emotional Well-Being
If you are a mom that is working outside of the home and you’re not happy, chances are you’ll end up bringing your unhappiness and misery home with you, too. And trust us, that kind of negative attitude is not good for anyone in the family. If mom is unhappy, everyone is unhappy. That’s why you have to consider your own emotional well-being and what’s right for you as a parent and a partner in the long run.
If you have a supportive partner, take the opportunity to stay at home with your child if you can. Actress Angela Kinsley once said, “I think it's a tough road if you're a stay-at-home mom, a working mom, if you have a partner if you don't. It's the best job in the world, and the toughest job in the world all at the same time.”
6 You Won’t Witness All Of The Milestones
If you work out of the home, chances are you probably miss being with your baby and witnessing all of those great milestones from their first year. Everything from their first word to the first time they sit, crawl and walk. It’s so special being able to be with your child while they learn and discover all of their different motor skills.
I mean, a lot of people get a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out). Mix that in with parenting guilt, and you’ve got a toxic combination that will most likely give you the sads. You don’t want that to happen. You want to be there for the first time your child says “mama” or “dada” or giggles during a fart. Trust us when we say that it’s super special.
5 Work At Home Options
The great thing about being a mother these days is that you have plenty of work at home options. Just because you’re a stay at home mom, that doesn’t mean that you no longer get to contribute to your household’s net worth. A lot of companies even encourage parents to stay home with their kids as it benefits both the company and their employee’s family life, too. It’s a win/win situation for all.
Believe it or not, reality television star Kendra Wilkinson once said this: “Before, back in the '50s, women didn't have as many rights as men, so they had to be that stay-at-home wife and take care of the kids all day. But now, with marriage, it's a partnership. It's not like this old traditional marriage that it once was.”
4 Will Parenthood Hamper Your Professional Goals?
A lot of people postpone parenthood because they believe that it will hamper their professional goals. Plus, they want to make sure that they are financially secure before starting a family (and of course, there’s nothing wrong with that). But let’s make one thing clear though: being both a working mom and a stay at home mom is tough. However way you look at it, both jobs are not easy, regardless of whether or not you bring home the bacon. That’s because there are so many expectations that are put on mothers these days.
Leslie Morgan Steiner once explained it this way: “Working moms elevate themselves above stay-at-home moms, and stay-at-home moms try to put down working moms. It's a war in which both sides are trying to put the other one down.”
3 Don't Forget To Create A Family Budget
Before you decide to stay home, it’s very important that you create a family budget. It might not be easy living on just one salary, but at the same time, it’s not impossible. You’ll quickly realize that you don’t need that daily Starbucks, those weekly trips to Nordstrom Rack or take-outs several nights a week.
With the right planning, you can live a very comfortable life within your own means. Sure, you might have to say no to those Tory Burch sales, but if you don’t have to go to the office every day, you don’t need those new wedges anyway. And yes, when you are happy, you often find that you don’t need a lot of material possessions to fulfill that empty void you might have had before parenthood. Of course, kids are expensive. Diapers and formula might easily take a good chunk out of your weekly budget. But with a little creative planning (and a handful of coupons), you can make it work.
2 You Can Go Back To Work Later
This might not have been an option for our mother’s generation, but now more and more parents realize that they can always rejoin the workforce later on in life. That’s because we have many more options for working moms. We can work from home, telecommute, work part-time, or in some cases even bring our children to work with us (if on-site daycare is provided).
One professional told The Guardian: "There are several different levels here, the mum who has taken maternity leave and goes back, maybe to the same job or to the same organization but a different role. Other mums have been out for a longer period of time and they will be going back into an industry where technology has moved on and they have to re-establish themselves. They're the ones with the greatest fears. But you have to look at your skills and as a mother and repackage them to an employer: it's all about how you sell yourself these days."
1 You Won’t Regret It
There are very few mothers in this world that will actually tell you that they regret staying at home during their child’s first few years. In fact, many even say that they loved bonding with their child during those first few and precious years. You can’t turn back time and you certainly can’t make up these baby and toddler years when your child is older. The best kinds of parents are full-time parents.
With that being said, if you do decide to stay home with your baby, it’ll be worth your time. But if you decide to go back to work, more power to you. At the end of the day, do what’s best for you and of course, your family. Being a mother is one of the most fulfilling and rewarding jobs you’ll ever have, regardless of how you do it.
Sources: goodreads.com, azquotes.com, brainyquotes.com, today.com, cnn.com, mom.me