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To Quit or to Stay: The Dilemma of Working Mothers

By: James Cummings

One of the most difficult decisions a career woman might have to make is whether or not to quit her job to be a stay-at-home mom. Many never imagined they would be faced with this dilemma as they thought they would never quit their careers, especially when there are daycares and nannies available. Soon after having their first child, they begin to realize it's not as simple as they had imagined. 

Reasons you might decide to quit your job

While there are many reasons why a woman might decide to stop working to be a full-time homemaker, these are the more common ones:

You really miss being with the kids

You are constantly worried at work about your kids and how they're faring with the nanny or at the daycare, and you can’t wait to get back home to spend some time with them. Your colleagues tell you it will get better, but it doesn't get any easier for you. If you decide to stop working for this reason, you might just be one of those who will never get tired of being a stay-at-home mom.

Your job is no longer satisfactory

Your job may become less satisfactory for any number of reasons, for instance, your career might not be progressing any longer or work may start becoming increasingly unbearable. Quitting your job for this reason won’t be due to you wanting to be a stay-at-home mom, but the kids could be the final push you need to leave a job that is not doing much for you anymore. You might find that you like being with your children at home and may decide to give your career a break for a while.

It's convenient

In some cases, the decision of whether you should leave your job or be a stay-at-home mom is not exactly yours to make. In such a situation, you may be forced to leave your job and stay at home if it makes better financial sense, for instance. It doesn't mean that you're particularly happy about the decision. If you fall into this category, you’ll likely regret not being able to work, especially if you love your job.

There’s no right answer

Every woman is different and there is no way to say conclusively that staying at home or sticking with your job is the best choice. Experts advise it is best to give it some time and not jump into a decision because a woman who thought she would feel better after quitting her job may end up hating being a stay-at-home mom.

Instead of wondering whether or not to quit work, the better question may be “how good a mom will I be?” It’s important not to let society push you into making a decision in either direction. It’s about you as much as it is about your family, so pay attention to your gut and you’ll somehow figure out the best way for both your happiness and your family’s.

Starting a business as a stay-at-home mom?

Staying at home may turn out to be your opportunity to start a dream business. One of the easiest and least capital-intensive to start is a blog. You can use a free web builder and get cheap hosting from Domains4Less, and you’ll be set to start sharing your thoughts with the world. There’s no limit to what you can write about; you can blog about matters related to your career and establish yourself as an authority. This might even help with getting a job when you’re ready to work again.

You may never need to get back into the workforce if you are able to build a solid business. You can draw inspiration from Katherine Zaleski who left a lucrative job as a journalist to co-found a business that helps mothers like her find remote jobs.