To Be A Stay At Home Mom Or Not To Be
Becoming a mother is an exciting journey, whether through adoption, IVF, surrogacy, C-section, or vaginal delivery. Transitioning into motherhood is often portrayed as a glorious and joyful time. And it is! But for most it is also an extremely overwhelming time as you begin to experience a new sense of responsibility and new role. It can be a scary, joyous, and overwhelming experience, all at once. You may be having conflicting feelings that confuse you, make you feel guilty, or even surprise you as you navigate motherhood.
You are NOT alone.
Making A Tough Decision
A common internal struggle new moms face is making a choice of returning to work, or taking on the full time responsibility of staying home with their new baby. I often have moms share with me their story and journey into motherhood as they contemplate this very question, "should I return to work or stay home?" They may find their identity and purpose in their job and want to go back to work after their maternity leave, but fear sending their child to daycare. They may want to stay home with their baby, but financially cannot afford a longer leave from work. Or, feelings of guilt show up for wanting to work and not wanting to "just be a mom." Some choose to stay home with their baby, are grateful to be able to financially do so, and want to raise and love their new baby, but simultaneously feel a great sense of loss of their life before baby was born. Do any of these scenarios resonate with you? Have you had these thoughts? these feelings? Other moms are having the same thoughts!
A Brave Choice
"I am definitely conflicted about going back to work. Part of me wants to help provide financially and have my own thing outside of the home. The other part of me really wants to soak up these moments I know I won't get back and raise my kids myself, instead of sending them to someone else. I think I'll ultimately choose to stay home with my baby instead of continuing to work." - postpartum mom on maternity leave
Also, A Brave Choice
"I love my kids and want to be with them constantly. When I'm away at work I struggle a lot with strong feelings of missing them and guilt. I also really love my work and need to work in order to provide for my family. Even though it's hard, I know that for me, work is a really rewarding part of my life and greatly improves my mental health. Even though I rationally believe that working is right for my family, I still most of the time wish I could just be home with my kids." - working mom of three young children
Practical Tips when deciding whether to be a stay at home mom:
Spend some time in reflection to identify your values (what is most important to you, in THIS stage of life)
Remember, this is just one stage of life, and it does not have to last forever
Give yourself some grace. Motherhood is HARD, and you don't have to do it alone. Lean on your support system, or seek out additional support as needed.
Engage in self-care routines or activities that bring you joy. Check out our blog post about self-care!