I know from personal experience and from working so closely with women over the years that these concerns tend to be in the forefront of their mind as soon as they have learned of their pregnancy.
I have been a single mother, a full-time mother in college, full-time working mother, a stay at home mother and a work from home mother. I get it. It is the question that we are always wrestling with and I would like to share some 4 important tips that have helped me with these decisions over the years.
Part One: Begin With The End In Mind
Your little one may already be here or you may be counting the days until you see their face but it is not too late to begin this process with the end in mind. By the end I mean, what are the biggest things you would like to accomplish with motherhood? That sounds like a loaded question doesn’t it?
In the beginning it is so hard to imagine your kids leaving the nest but I am here to tell you with a daughter graduating from college in the spring, that it really does feel like a blink of an eye. So with that in mind, what do you want them to take as they venture out into the world? What values do you want to impart into them while they are under your roof? This will look different for every mom and every family.
Some examples may be:
A strong family bond
A strong connection with their siblings
A love for traveling
Being able to provide financially
Being amazing people that you launch into the world (character development)
Confidence and strong sense of self identity
I’m sure you can name some more and remember it doesn’t have to look like anyone else's. It’s about you and your family. Try to list three and if you are having a hard time thinking of some, consider your own childhood. What would you like to share with them? What didn’t you experience or take with you that you would like to give you kids?
As you navigate the decision to stay home or return to work, start with the beginning in mind.