A baby is the best thing that ever happens to a family.
The baby coos are the most beautiful sound in the world. The tiny feet just make you want to eat them up.
The moment they came into our lives, our hearts are forever smitten.
As you have this amazing baby, you have to make the decision whether to stay home or work. And it’s an incredibly hard decision.
In my years of being a mom, I believe the real question here isn’t just whether to stay home or not.
What you’re really is asking is this:
“What suffering can I tolerate better?”
There are great things about being a SAHM and a working mom. You’re going to have to choose between two good things. But they also have different tradeoffs.
You’re just choosing whichever tradeoff you can live with.
There are lots of outside pressures. But nobody has the right answer regarding which is best for you. Not your parents, your pastor or priest, your best friends, the women you most admire the most. Not even me.
There are some considerations that will help you discern deep into your soul and decide.
Here they are.
Consider Being A Stay-At-Home Mom
Ask these questions:
- If you leave your job, can you return to the same job or similar?
- Can your family afford to lose your income?
- Do you have other kids at home?
If they’re mostly yes, you have a good basis to stay at home.
- You get to be a luxury for everybody else. For example, you don’t have to coordinate vacations with your DrSpouse. You can be there for your family in a pinch.
- You have freedom to spend time with your kids any way you want.
- Few people realize how incredibly hard being a SAHM is. Nothing stays clean for more than 15 mins. You have no free time. You’re constantly feeling like you’re treading water every day. There are no “weekends” or “holidays,” especially in a medical marriage where your DrSpouse tends to work them.
- You’re watching your budget closely because you’re a single income household.
- For all of your hard work and sacrifices, you don’t get any recognition.
Being A Working Mom
Ask these questons:
- Can you work part-time, flex time, or get on a Mommy track?
- Do you have good caretakers who act as extensions of yourself?
- Are your kids so social and prefer their friends so much that they cry when you pick them up?
If the answers to these questions are mostly yes, again, you’re probably going to be OK going back to work.
- You get to help your family financially.
- You get to use your precious talents to help society. (For instance, the wife of Physician Philosopher, for example, is a teacher who teaches other Kindergarten teachers. How awesome is it that there are people like her?!)
- It’s nice to have your accomplishments recognized.
- After spending an entire weekend with your kids, you get to look forward to Mondays because you know you can finally R E L A X.
- You miss out on events during the daytime with your kids.
- You have to pay for and coordinate more help such as paying for Shipt, a grocery store delivery service (get $50 off an annual membership with my link).
Keep All Options Open
If you do decide to stay home, I encourage you to stay active in your career field. Keep your foot in the door and don’t let all options close.
Some ways to do this:
- Do at least the mimimum work to get your credentials, certifications, and licenses updated.
- Continue to learn.
- Meet and network with people.
I can’t tell you how many friends I have who have a hard time going back to work because their certifications and licenses are expired. Unless they go back to school or get re-certified, they’re kinda stuck.
Keeping your skills current gives you confidence, independence, and most of all…CHOICE. You can choose to go back to work if you want to instead of being forced by the job market to stay home because nobody will hire you.
The best way to empower ourselves as women is to give ourselves as many options to choose from!
Back to the original question:
“What suffering can you tolerate better?”
Only you know that answer. But here are the biggies I touched on:
- If you are a working mom, you have to be able to live with missing out on events during the day with your kids.
- If you’re a SAHM, you have to suffer the incredibly hard life of not having breaks from your kids and having to financially live off of less.
The fact that you’re carefully discerning means you are a good mom. Your family is incredibly lucky to have you. You are doing great, Mom.
Once you have your decision, be confident that you made the best decision for your family.
I’m hugging and supporting you, friend.
To strong medical families,