To return to work outside or remain at home is a question many mothers face. Mothers usually return to paid work outside the home because they need the money, or they miss the imposed discipline of work outside the home, they are lonely and/or they believe they should exercise their talents or training. Some of these needs can be partly met without going out to work, although not always easily nor satisfactorily.
Apart from the practical considerations – coping with a new routine of a home , child (ren)and work – you may have feelings of guilt. And the guilt will not be eased if the attitude of those around you is in any way negative or critical. So grow an armour plated skin, and surround yourself with people who are positive, and helpful. Adding conflict to all the other emotions at this time will be destructive and an atmosphere of resentment or begrudging martyrdom is not a healthy environment for you or your family.
It’s impossible to over emphasise the importance of sound childcare arrangements – proceed with caution and have a back-up plan. Make sure that you undertake every conceivable check and then double check those checks. Once you have arrangement in place prepare yourself for the fact that your child will develop a special relationship with the carer. You may feel usurped in your child’s affections this is normal and most women get over this. A further factor here is separation anxiety on the child’s part. This is normal. If they are old enough to understand explain your intentions and do all you can to reassure. Children are resilient and grow out of this.
Have you thought about working from home – freelance sites provide many opportunities to earn a fair income if you have the kind of skills that are easy to provide remotely.
Giving your children individual and group quality time - regularly scheduled - with a range of lighthearted and fun activities will help to ease the loss they may feel. Extra treats that your income provides also helps to firm up in their minds that you're working for them too.
I wish you well – your health and contentment in your role, whatever that might be, is vital to the happiness of your children and indeed the whole family relationship. Please keep me updated on your progress.
All the best,