SHOULD you quit your job to be a stay-at-home mother (SAHM)?
I remember the fuzzy feelings when my first child was born and how, after I completed my maternity leave, it was time to head back to work and leave my precious infant in the care of someone else.
The guilt was so strong, and I cried the moment I placed him in the arms of the nanny and left for work. The drive to the office was especially long as a million questions ran through my mind: “Am I a terrible mum for leaving my baby to go back to work? Would my baby miss me so much and refuse to take the bottle? Will the nanny soothe him to sleep and attend to him when he cries?”
The questions were endless.
There was never a day that it was easy for me to leave him behind to go to work, and I rushed back to spend time with him.
Not long after I returned to work, the company changed my job scope to include more travelling days, which meant I had to leave my baby behind overnight in the care of someone else.
I did what I felt was in the best interest of my baby and quit my job to be a full-time SAHM. It was a strong desire to always be there for my baby that made me take this decision, and I’m now into my fourth year as a SAHM.
Mothers who are thinking of becoming SAHM should ask themselves a very important question: Can you give up your financial independence? Quitting your job will mean relying on your spouse’s income.
If you answered yes, it is possible to make it work but you will need to cut back on luxury items like holidays, new clothes every month and that weekend high tea sessions and monthly spas.
Another question to ask is: Can you look after your baby 24/7 alone? Being a SAHM means being the only adult in the house with a baby, unless you are living with your in-laws or parents. You will be deprived of adult interaction the entire day with no coffee breaks or one-hour lunch with colleagues. Being a SAHM can get really lonely.
While being with your baby 24/7 sounds amazing, the feeling usually wears off after the first few months. Pretty soon, you will be exhausted and longing for that coffee break and hour-long lunch instead of cleaning up pooh and baby vomit all day long.
The first two years of being a SAHM is especially hard if you have been working for a long time. It takes a while to get used to the new routine, and you will miss your work and paycheck badly.
But the reward of attending to your baby 24/7 is peace of mind as you will not miss any milestones in the growth of your child.
Whatever you decide, know that there is no wrong choice. After all, being a mother is the toughest job in the world, be it as a SAHM or a working mum.
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