Stay at home vs going back to work-I need help! — The Bump
Babies: 0 - 3 Months

Stay at home vs going back to work-I need help!

First of all, I know this can be controversial. I'm just asking for opinions because I can't seem to decide what to do. There are valid arguments from both sides, and everyone of course should do what's best for them.  So, here goes.  With my first child, I almost died after she was born. My employer expected me to come back at 6 weeks, and when I wasn't able to due to the fact that I wasn't well enough, I was let go. It was extremely hard for me emotionally. I suffered with anxiety and depression not only related to my health, but also related to the blow of losing my job. I decided since I already lost my job, I would stay home for a while. Once my daughter was a year old, I started working outside the home again. It was difficult to get employers to consider me again, but I finally found something decent-although not making nearly as much as I was before. Fast forward a few years, I am 3/4 of the way through my maternity leave with baby #2. Thankfully heathwise things have been good so far. I also work for a larger company and have FMLA protection for twelve weeks. I enjoy my job, and I don't especially want to leave it. BUT, after paying for daycare for two kids, I wouldn't be bringing any money home. NONE. The advantages are that I would still have retiremment and my own health insurance (instead of being on hubby's). It will also be easier to continue building my resume and hopefully to get a truly awesome job in the future. I just can't get past a few things tho. It seems like there is so little time to spend with the kids when they'll be going to bed practically as soon as I'd get home from work. We might have an hour or two in between. They wont get one on one attention like they'd get at home, and I can't stand the idea of the baby crying and somebody being too busy to pick him up. Not to mention the more frequent illness and your boss getting ticked because you need to take off. At the same time, staying home is a real challenge for my mental health. I feel isolated and it's difficult to get out and about. I also had a lot of anxiety and depression before, but there were some other things going on then too, so who knows. I feel painfully inadequate as a stay at home mom. I feel like I don't provide enough enrichment. I'm not sure if this is valid or me being too hard on myself. I wish I could work part time, but ironically where I live I haven't found any part time childcare options I can afford. Daycares charge full time prices regardless (which i could only afford if also working full time), and i don't want to use an individual because I've had issues in the past. So, here I am. I feel like I'm between a rock and a hard place. I dont want to quit my job, but I don't want to leave the kids either. Anyone who can give some magical insight, I'd appreciate it. 

Re: Stay at home vs going back to work-I need help!

  • Could you go back with the plan to ask for a raise? That way at least you would be coming out ahead financially.
    DD1: June '16 DD2: March ‘19 :::: Married since 2011 :::: USN Wife ::::
  • Unfortunately not. It's a state job with very little leeway salary wise- At least for someone as low on the totem pole as I am. I was lucky to get a small increase this last year. Apparently everybody's last raise was a good six years or so before that. But it is a *little*easier than other places if I need to take off. Also, I have a guaranteed departure time every day-5pm. So it does have some good things
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  • Honestly...if it were me and it were financially possible, I would stay home. I'm heavily biased since I am a working mom but it is so hard for all the reasons you mentioned above. My son was just sick this week and my H and I had to call out sick the whole week, so it's particularly ringing clear for me today. Also, I feel like I will always regret not having been able to spend more of my son's first year with him. I went back at 10 weeks. Can you find a PT job to have the best of both worlds? Is your current job at all flexible with time, or at least understanding that you have two little ones?
  • I have been there and done that more than once with a week-long illness with my first. My boss lectures and guilt trips when I have to be out, but I think that's as far as she'd take it. Still enough to be stressful, but better than a lot of places around here that would flat out fire you because they don't care if you have a legitimate reason or not. I'm pretty sure there is no part time option where I'm at, although I could find something else and that'd be perfect, except all the daycares here charge full time prices (or outrageous drop in prices) that I can't afford if only working part time. I don't want to use an individual due to issues with that in the past. 
  • How old are your other children? To me it sounds like the main reasons you don't want to stay home is your emotional health and that you feel like you're not providing enough enrichment. I found once my oldest started preschool I was finally able to make friends with people that had kids the same age. That helped so much and I understand the anxiety and depression, they are both things I've struggled with since I was a teenager. As far as enrichment goes, we all are different. I have friends that I feel like so so much more then me but they think the activities I do are better. What it comes down to is we are all being to hard on ourselves. Have fun with your kids and try to throw some learning activities in but really I feel like play so important for them. I always found it odd when people would mention what big imaginations my kids have and I thought isn't that what important about being a kid! Maybe I should have worked on the alphabet more and my oldest would have had an easier time in kindergarten but you know what he has a great imagination and I love that! What does your hubby think? Maybe he has some insight that you haven't considered. You could write out a list of pros and cons on paper, I've found writing list helps my anxiety and can help with decisions. I've done both and I prefer staying at home but I know it's not for everyone and that's okay! You could also go see a psychiatrist or therapist to help with your anxiety and depression. But you should know it's okay to want to go back to work and continue building your resume. It's a big decision and I hope maybe you found something in here useful, good luck momma!
  • Thank you so much for the support rlbrooks84. Definitely some good things to consider :)
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