Go back to work or stay at home

One of the things I’ve been thinking a lot about lately is whether I should go back to work.

Here in Canada, I have been very very lucky to be able to be off work for the first year of baby’s life on maternity leave. 

This is obviously a very personal question and one that every family has to make on their own.  Some woman cannot imagine being anything other than a stay at home mom, and some moms can’t imagine spending 24 hours a day with their children. Both are understandable.

I would love to be able to stay at home and look after my child(ren) 24/7. I would love to be able to take them on trips to the zoo, the aquarium, library, swimming pool, whatever it may be whenever we please. I would love to be there for every milestone, every booboo, everything that they see and find fascinating so that they can say “Look, mommy!” anytime, and I will be there.  Ultimately though, it’s because I cannot ever fully trust the care of my child to any other person, no matter how trained they are.

It isn’t just that I am afraid the caretaker wouldn’t know how to take care of them, or that they would accidentally overlook something, or simply be too busy to give them a good hug when they cry.

I am afraid no one else would raise them properly. You see, my mother always told me “it’s easy to have a baby, but hard to raise them right”.  My own mother is a stay at home mom, who looked after me, kissed my booboos away, looked at my homework, and was there for every right and wrong thing that I did so that she could teach me right from wrong, ethical vs unethical, appropriate or inappropriate and so on.

There’s obvious downsides to being a stay at home mom.  While hubby’s income can indeed cover the basic expenses of the household, there’s no room for unexpected expenses or any extra spending like summer camps, ballet lessons, family vacations.

With the ever rising cost of housing here in Vancouver, we would never be able to afford a bigger house on just one income.

Sure there are ways to save money and live frugally.  To be honest, we could probably make it work on just one income. So, why am I still debating this issue?

You see, the truth is, I am afraid of the day my child goes to school.

The day she goes out to the “real” world, spending hours a day apart from me. The day she grows up and wants to hang out more with her friends than me. What would I do then?

Luckily, what will likely happen with our family is that Chichi will stay at grandma’s while I go off to work. Best of both worlds? I hope so.

 

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