As a mom you always have that voice in your head that tells you that you should dedicate as much time as possible to your kids in their childhood. It’s part natural, part conditioning, and I honestly believe that it’s a very fair consideration. Today I want to talk to you about how I decided whether I should go back to work after two kids or not. And why in the end I did.
Kids are only little for so long…
Some studies suggest that the first years of a kid’s life up until the age of 7 can really shape their personality and subconscious which then affects the rest of his or her life. Knowing this, it’s only natural that the thought of wanting to be there for your kid during these crucial years would come to mind. We often hear about how jobs and the different ways one can make money are always going to be there. But these initial years with the kids are not going to come back. (There is a lot to be said here about whether or not fathers are asking themselves these same questions and why but that’s a separate topic for another day.) So considering all of this made me not want to go to work as a mother of two. Although I have to say that in practical life, I haven’t seen too many “stay-at-home” moms who are truly dedicated to spending quality time with their kids unless they are also doing it with the plan of homeschooling.
…but what about me?
There was another part of me that wanted to do something that was just for myself too. The “problem” with the modern women is that they know and have seen their potential. If a woman has invested many years in higher education, if she has made an income before having kids and is used to a certain lifestyle, it can be very hard for her to feel satisfied at home.
She knows she can exercise a whole set of talents besides her home-making skills. The work women do for the home and kids is very important, but it is also never-ending and extremely repetitive. And while being there for your kids all day every day is amazing, let’s not forget that it’s a very tough job. No one realizes the value of this unpaid job until they do it. It is VERY demanding, there is almost no break, and it can take a physical and mental toll on a mother if she doesn’t get a break or adequate rest for herself. (Although I speak from experience when I say that depending on the nature of one’s job, the physical and mental exhaustion can come from the workplace just as easily.)
Perhaps another reason behind the exhaustion is also that the majority of people today live as nuclear families. While this structure has many benefits, there are also drawbacks of not living in a close proximity of grandparents, other adults, and kids. In a nuclear setting, the kids end up needing a lot of close monitoring and attention from the parents and that is exhausting. When you consider all the house chores and outdoor kids activities, you are suddenly way too busy.
Lastly, I strongly believe that every woman should be financially independent to some extent. It’s definitely great to rely on your husband for most of your income especially if you as the mother is the primary caregiver of kids. And sure there are some years you might completely take off to focus on kids. But unless you’ve got some serious inheritance to back you up, relying solely on your husband for income forever is basically like putting all your eggs in one basket. Being able to support yourself financially in today’s day and age cannot be a bad thing.
Dilemmas, Daycare, Decisions…
Alhumdulillah, my lifestyle isn’t extravagant in that I HAVE to have two full-time incomes to support it. However, I do need to contribute financially to my household to some extent to live rather easily and comfortably, if you know what I mean.
With my 18-month maternity leave coming to an end, I knew I had to make a decision soon. I had the whole aforementioned discussion going on in my head. Then there was this reservation I had around childcare. The daycare and before/after-school programs are amazing and I am grateful for how they care for kids at these centres. But they are costly to the point where it may demotivate you from going to work. It is still manageable with one kid, but the math doesn’t look too great once you have two or more kids. The early morning drop-offs and late evening pick-ups can be stressful too, especially in the winter months (people from Canada will know what I mean). I mean, I already felt like it was tough to do all that with one kid, so it just seemed daunting to leave for work early in the morning with two kids who were going to two different locations (school & daycare).
Stay At Home and Work As a Blogger / Instagrammer?
With all of this in mind, I wanted to come up with a “middle ground” solution: be a “stay-at-home-and-work-from-home” mom. Now, I have been doing some part-time work on Instagram for almost 2+ yrs. Having worked on many brand collaborations, I knew that I could make this a full-time job if I really wanted. Depending on your reach as well as the quality of your following, blogging via Instagram can give you a fairly comfortable income. So it was the first, most accessible thing that came to mind. It would mean A LOT of work (no it’s not easy), but I could do it from the comfort of my home. No commute, no trek in the snow, no rush-hour drives where you’re in a constant race against time. Sounded amazing! Once you consider the time and cost savings of the commute, car-related costs and daycare, it seems worth the effort. So I started to seriously consider working as a more serious blogger.
In the end, I went back to work. For now, anyway. And here is why…
Considering everything, I decided to go back to work. I sent my son to daycare and my daughter to an after-school program, and went back to work full-time. If you are interested in hearing about everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) that I factored into my decision, enter your email ID below and I will send you the details. It’s very personal and I’d like to share it only with those who are genuinely interested.
Hope this was helpful and I wish you the best of luck in your decision. Thank you for reading and if you have any questions / comments, let me know below. Would love to hear from other moms/ moms to be about how they made their decision.