Most mothers struggle with the question of whether to stay at home
with their children or work. If youíre trying to make that decision, you
know that it can be very difficult, because there are advantages and disadvantages
to both sides. Here are some things to consider when making your decision.
Can you afford to stay home?
This one seems obvious, but the question requires consideration. There
are costs associated with working, such as child care, gas, wear and tear
on your car, clothing, lunches and parking. Deduct these expenses from
your paycheck and see whatís left. Next, look at other expenses you can
cut. Would it be worth it to you to cut back on vacations and luxuries
like cable television if it meant you could be home? If you didnít have
a commute to work, could you settle for a less expensive car? Once youíve
examined all the alternatives, you can make a better decision about how
staying home will affect you financially.
Will you be happy at home?
Some women stay home because they feel like itís the best thing for
their children, even though they are personally much happier working. If
you are unhappy at home, this will have a negative effect on your children,
so you shouldnít force yourself to stay home if it isnít where you want
Will you be miserable if you go back to work?
Conversely, mothers who truly want to be home with their children,
but go to work each day just because the paycheck is a necessity are not
getting the best from their life, either. If you fall into this category,
maybe itís time to examine a career alternative that might be a good compromise.
Could you cut your hours? Could you telecommute at your present job, or
find a job that would allow you to work out of your home? Fortunately,
todayís employers offer more alternatives in hours and work environment
that make balancing your work and home life a little easier.
Remember that the decision you make is not necessarily permanent. Your
financial situation could change, as could your personal preferences about
working. I have personally done it both ways, and neither is a walk in
the park. They are just hard in different ways, and which one works better
for you is mostly a matter of your own personal style.
About The Author
Sarah Veda is a 41 year old wife and mother of two boys and one girl.
She spent many years as a manager in the corporate world, and gave it up
to be a stay at home mom.
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