November 27, 2007 |
An ongoing battle of seemingly epic proportions, this choice haunts new moms and can turn into a vicious morality debate with finger-pointing and endless attempts at justification on both sides.
In fact, according to a recent survey, there is a widespread belief that the parents of today don’t measure up to the parents of 20 to 30 years ago.
For proponents of stay-at-home moms, this is because too many women decide to return to work. For proponents of working moms, it has nothing to do with that, and in fact, being forced to stay at home can be more detrimental to the mother and as a result negatively impacts her parenting.
So, what’s a new mom to think? Mothers who want to return to work feel just as guilty as moms who don’t return to work but secretly want to. Most experts agree that there really is no right or wrong answer. There are hundreds of arguments on both sides to justify the choice.
The key is to do what you think is right, not what your friends or neighbors think is right. It’s a personal choice that can be tailored to your suit your needs. For example, for moms who want or need to work but are also concerned with spending too much time away from their child:
• Consider part-time work if finances or career forward motion are issues.
• Talk to your current employer about the possibility of working remotely a few days a week.
• Look for an opportunity that allows you to work from home.
For moms that want to stay at home, but are also concerned about feeling trapped by being at home all the time:
• Consider volunteering at your child’s school.
• Help out other moms who may need it – carpooling, occasional babysitting, etc.
• Explore new interests that may not have been feasible while working full time.
Most importantly for both camps, remember that you can always change your mind. If your initial choice doesn’t feel right or if you feel its hindering your child’s development or your own well-being – then try another option.