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Mother of 11month baby-Quit or keep Working-Advice Pls

  1. #1
    candyman's Avatar
    candyman is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Mother of 11month baby-Quit or keep Working-Advice Pls

    Dear all,

    Am a mother of a 11month old baby girl. I went back to work when she was 3month, and now I am considering to quit my job and stay at home for her, if I quit, I plan to stay at home with her for 1-2 years till she goes to kindergarten (we plan to send her when she is around 2.5-3yrs old)

    -We are very sure that we would not consider to have another child, this is due to personal reason. So this kid would be our only kid, and I really want to spend more time with her.
    -My job is quite demanding, normally need to work from 9:00-20:00, plus the commute, I would be away every weekday from around 8:00 till around 21:00. so I barely have any time with her on weekdays. And on weekend, either I need to run errands, or feel exhausted, I have tried my best to take my time with her, still not much time was there, and I do feel very guilty about this. my hub is busier than me, he works in i-bank and works round the clock. So he is not helping in terms of taking care of our LO at all so far.
    -Am still breastfeeding her (EBF and solids, I pump at work and nurse at home), if I quit now, it would be very likely I can breastfeed her till toddler years. Otherwise, I would wean her when she is 1yr. I tried very hard to BF her for this 11month, I run home everyday right after work, stay with her or around home for almost all the weekends. I feel very drowsy most of the time because of lack of sleep, but I do enjoy BF, because the connection makes me feel better at work and in general
    -I think the period of time from now till she goes to kindergarten, would be the only time that she is at home,spending most of the time with care-giver, later on, she would go to school, go to colleague, have her own job/family and all that, so this is the only chance that I have to be with her for more time. And teach her in my own way instead of my helper’s? am just speaking out loud, my helper for sure is great.
    i meant the marginal benefit of staying home is highest now at this very moment?

    -my job pays pretty well. I don’t like it too much, my boss and my team is really mean, but I kinda already got used to it ...and accepted it. I simply get my job done and get paid. That’s it.
    -maybe if I stay at home, I would feel losing my independence financially? (I have always been working, so I am just guessing the changes if I stay at home) plus my hub is a bit overwhelming
    -if I quit now, after staying home for 1-2 yrs, it would be difficult for me find a similar level of job? or it would be difficult to find ONE at all?
    -Kids would find their own ways and mom’s company is not that necessary as I have imagined?

    Please kindly provide your advice, a lot of dear you would have already been there and truly help me out with my doubts.
    Thank you very much for any comments.

  2. #2
    charade is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    All your reasons to quit are very good and valid. About the cons your mentioned:
    1. The financial situation of your family is the most obvious one and I guess you would have figured that out already. About missing financial independence, I'm sure most people who quit work for similar reasons go through the process of missing it. I would have a frank discussion with my husband about his expectations of how your family lifestyle would change as a result of the loss of one income and also maybe agree on an amount for you to spend so you don't have to be asking him for money for stuff you'd like to do.

    2. Your career prospects after a break depend on the industry you are in and the economic climate then. You didn't mention which industry you are in. I work in media and I don't think I'd have a hard time finding work if I took a break. my sister works in hi-tech research and says there's so way she could quit, there'd be too big a learning gap when she joined back. So depends on the industry i guess. I also could get freelance work to keep in touch with my industry. Would that be possible for you? Would you want to do that?

    I would suggest sharing your fears with your husband so that when and if you do quit, he can be sensitive about these things.

    My personal experience in deciding whether to go back to work:

    1. A indicator of how you would handle being at home fulltime could be how you handled maternity leave. I went a bit crazy during maternity leave and realised I am not cut out for being around a baby fulltime. My ideal situation would be part-time work but if its a choice between full-time work and full-time home, I realised full-time work is better for my mental health and thus better for my kids. But if you loved being on maternity leave and even months after going back - I heard that normally returning mums take about a month or two to really settle at work and get used to being away from baby - then maybe fulltime with your baby is the right choice for you.

    2. We could manage on one salary. But my husband would feel the stress of being the sole breadwinner too much. And it proved to be the right choice for us because there were huge lay-offs in his company last year and me having a job made it all psychologically easier for him. So a frank discussion with your husband is really important. The economic situation is still not great and were he to lose his job, would your family be able to manage for a while on savings?

    3. Both my husband and I have jobs that allow us to leave work around 6-6.30 and we chose to live so that we can be home in roughly half an hour. That makes a huge difference for me. My job is not stressful and when I'm home I rarely have to think about work. I can be fully there with my kids. If either one of us had a stressful job with long hours, I would have quit. I think at least one parent needs to have a less full-on job, financial situation allowing it of course.

    All said, even though both my husband and I work, I think there's nothing like a parent looking after their own child full-time. I have two helpers and they are great. But as my son turns 2, I can see he misses us, his parents. Yes, kids will manage but your presence at home would be valued and enjoyed even if your kid is not interacting with you all the while you are home.

    That's my two cents. Good luck with your choice.

  3. #3
    kacoak is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Mid-levels Central
    Dear candyman,

    It's good that you have obviously thought this through and came up with a list of pros and cons. I was a full-time mom when my first one came long, and continued working until last year when we moved here as I was pregnant with my second (no job transfer opportunity for me, and I didn't think anyone would care to hire a 7-mth pregnant lady). Here's my 2 cents:

    1. Frank discussion with your husband is indeed key, as financial stability is very important. Make sure that he is comfortable with the loss of your income, and will try to be less 'overwhelming' as you went down the route of your choice. Just as importantly, you have to be comfortable with it, too. It took some time for me to adjust not bringing in some dough into the family, and I have intermittent chats with my husband to make sure everything still stands the same as when we made the decision (ie. he hasn't started feeling pressurized about being sole bread winner, business is stable, family budget still in place, etc).

    2. Charade is right in that returning from a break can be easy or hard depending on the industry you are in. I try to stay in the loop by doing part-time consulting work on the side (i'm in market research), which sounds good in theory, but in reality, it actually stresses me out more. A freelancer doesn't get to dictate when will the work comes, so I find it often time hard to fit it into my existing schedule with the two children. And I find that I don't like spending time on work as much, certainly not more than the time I spent with my children, no matter how mundane it is (brushing teeth, reading books) or how much I complain about it (teeth brushing is not a favorite activity, and kids ALWAYS want one more book before bedtime). So if you don't like your job all that much, I don't think you will miss it a lot, if at all.

    3. If you do plan to return to work, you may want to rethink your return time frame. When my older daughter turned 2, we put her in unaccompanied nursery, but it was only 3 hours a day. I realize there are schools out there that offer extended days, but I find myself wanting to spend more time with her (even with a newborn around) as she's in that age where she's visibly absorbing so much, and at the same time communicating actively with us. I wanted to become more involved in her learning and upbringing, and really enjoyed going to music classes with her, or simply going to the park. Similarly, you may find that you won't be ready to go back to work so soon. At this point, I'm thinking when my children are both in Primary is when I'll be ready :)

    4. I grew up with both parents working. My mom worked out of necessity though, as she told me she'd chosen to be a stay-at-home-mom hands down if situation had allowed. I have two younger siblings, and cousins around, and we lived in a family-friendly housing complex, so I never feel bored. So I do believe that kids are resilient, and mom's company is not always necessary. However, I also think it's nice to always be there when they need you. If I can have that and work at the same time, I will do it, but at the moment I haven't found a good middle ground.

    Good luck with your decision!

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