Will You “Go Back” To Work After Your Baby Comes Along?
When it comes to understanding parenting there is this really strange thing that occurs for a lot of people. For some reason, you truly and deeply feel as though you can relate to it by simply imagining the future or by using another parent as the example. But in truth, it is one of the very few things that you just can’t really emotionally prepare for until it happens. In this way, many of the things we claim we will “never” do are null and void because they are based on a complete hypothetical that might be very different in reality.
And as many of us realize, it really is very different in reality. Many parents may have spent fifteen years completely obsessed and in love with their chosen career. They may have given it more time, money and love than they could possibly imagine giving to a person. For this reason, it is no surprise that many mothers (or fathers) claim that they could never stop working after children came along. They are sure of it. Absolutely not a doubt in their mind. And here’s the thing – they are not being unreasonable or saying these things to “make a point”. They mean it emphatically.
And then this tiny human comes along. When the newborn fog begins to lift people begin asking questions about your plans to return to work. “Will you go back?” is a very standard question these days. It’s a bit bizarre when you say it out loud because upon seeing a line on a stick few people make a plan to only stay in their current job until the baby comes. On that last day of work when you were gifted a voucher and baby balloons were left at your desk you had every intention of returning sometime in the future. But things happen. A lot of women adjust their relationship with their career when the baby comes along because life and everything in it changes so dramatically.
For some women, the decision to leave employment is purely based on logistics. Their role may have involved responsibilities and expectations that are not conducive to motherhood. Extensive travelling or being around certain chemicals and machinery for example. For others, it is purely financial. The very act of returning to work might incur childcare fees that make the “difference” in money so very small that it doesn’t feel justifiable to exert such time and pressure.
But for a lot of women, the subject is extremely grey. It is so deeply entwined with conflicting emotions. On the one hand, the mere mention of being separated from your child for 10 hours a day is enough to induce a panic attack. On the other, the thought of being a “stay at home parent” is fuelled by anxiety. Perhaps this was never your plan and the possibility of it is a total shock in itself.
There are few who find themselves in the ideal situation. Every single choice has its highs and lows. Quality time may go hand in hand with financial pressure. Leaving work might make sense emotionally but you may also fear the lack of adult company day to day.
Whether you decide to “go back” to work or become a stay at home parent. Whether your work days and expectations lessen or grow. Whether you choose your reality or you feel it’s been chosen for you – the changes that occur between you and your career are a very real and taxing aspect of life when a baby comes along.
One thing we know for sure, nobody understands your situation better than you do. Take advice with a pinch of salt and do what works for your family.
Written by Tracey Quinn staff writer at Family Friendly HQ.