This week's question of the week touches on a topic that is sensitive for a lot of moms- the subject of whether to stay at home with the kids, or work outside the home. Having done both, I can see that neither are the ideal situation at all times, and the choice you make depends on any number of personal factors. There is one thing that we all know; and that is that the grass is always greener on the other side! So today, let's share our experiences and see if we can learn something about life "on the other side"!
Do you work outside the home, or stay home with your kids?
■How did you come to that decision? Are you glad that you made that decision?
I stay at home with my kids now. When my oldest was a baby, I worked for 8 months, then again a few years later for a few months. I worked again when my second child was 2 years old for 7 months (until my doctor took me out for bed rest with my first set of multiples). After that there was no way I could afford daycare for all my kids. My check would be for nothing but daycare and its not worth it in my opinion if its not contributing to the household (other than daycare).
■What is your favorite aspect of working, or of staying at home? Your least favorite aspect?
My favorite aspect of staying at home is being with my kids and seeing all their milestones. I also home school them all so I see all their educational accomplishments first hand as well. My least favorite aspect would probably be that I am with them all the time. Sometimes, it seems like I never have "me" time. However, I wouldn't trade it for anything!
■If you stay at home, did you have to make adjustments to your lifestyle in order to make this work?
Too a point, yes. As I said before, any job I had would've only paid daycare and now with 5 under age 5, it wouldn't have even covered that. So, whether I stayed home or not really didn't affect our lifestyle. Having kids in the first place is what affected our lifestyle. With her birth is when we gave up all the fun things. (However, at tax time, we take any remaining refund after bills and spend on luxuries for all of us. Usually not much! LOL).
■Do you plan to continue what you are doing now, or will you make a change in the future?
I am currently in college working towards my Associate's in Accounting and then my Bachelor's in Accounting (as well as an Associate's in Maritime Logistics (Management). I plan to work when I am done with school (and by then I won't have as many, if any, in daycare).
■What advice would you give to a mom who is pregnant, and trying to decide whether to stay home with her kids, or go back to work?
I would say to sit down and think hard about it. First, and foremost, do you NEED to work and if you did, would your bring home pay be greater than the daycare and transportation expense. If not, then you and your spouse need to formulate a plan of living off of one salary. Also, some mother's just can't handle not being there with their kids during their early years and wait until they are in school to go back to work. The only thing that matters is what works for YOUR family and not worry about someone else's situations. If you decide to work, then you will come across mothers who will try to belittle you for working instead of staying home. Ignore them. And if you decide to stay at home, you will come across working mothers that are jealous that you got to stay home when they didn't and they will come across as mean. Ignore them. You do not need to validate your parenting decisions to anyone!