Twinkle Twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are… I have that bloody nursery rhyme going round and round in my head. It’s like the song is on repeat, playing over and over. Kill me now!
It is just after 10pm and baby-girl and husbae are fast asleep – exhausted from daycare and work respectively.
This is probably going to be the only time that I will have to myself to put my thoughts in writing. Even though I am tired as, I want to take this opportunity to just write. It’s vital.
Firstly, can we just ask ourselves – where has the year gone? We’re already staring at Christmas dead in the eye and the New Year is just around the corner. It feels like I blinked and 2016 is gone – a true sign of ageing. Naturally, like you, I have been reflecting on 2016. How has your year been?
Imagine we are all checking for 2017 and 2016 S comes out – some Apple humor there.
2016 was unique for me, because I spent the first half of the year being a stay at home mother and the second half of the year as a working mother. Two equally challenging jobs, but both so different. Looking back, I am tremendously proud that I managed to make the transition. Of course, I didn’t do it all on my own – I had a lot of help from my support network which I will forever be grateful for.
It hasn’t always been easy. The struggle of getting a routine together and sticking to it, making sound business decisions on very limited sleep, and consuming copious amounts of coffee.
In order for the transition to work, some things had to change. We had to modify our behavior, routine and adapt to the changing situation. It was necessary.
To put this blog post into context I went back to work after 9 months at home with our gorgeous little girl. Thankfully, there wasn’t any financial pressure so I could have stayed at home longer (in fact husbae encouraged it) but I was itching to get back to work. Again, I know how lucky I was. I had the choice to return to work when I was ready – this is not the reality for a lot of women/couples out there.
After being a stay at home mother, the task of returning back to work full time can seem a little daunting. You know you can do it but for some reason you still have doubts. It is at times like these that those naysayers have a platform to basically judge you for returning to the workforce – “What is the rush? The baby needs her mother! It’s just too soon”.
With hormones swirling through my body, these comments shook me. They upset me because part of me thought maybe I was running away from being a mother, or selfishly honoring my career goals – or worse, both. Thoughts like these made me lose balance for a moment, but I quickly regrouped. I kept my end goal in mind: to be the best role model I could be for our little girl and lead by example. Each day she sees me (frantically) armor up and get ready for another working day, and hopefully by seeing this from a young age she too will value independence, perseverance, having a strong work ethic, and doing something you love.
Below I share the reasons why I think it is important to head back to work after having a baby:
- Remember, You Had A Purpose Before You Had A Baby – I found this quote by Michele Borba interesting, “if a child is a woman’s only goal, everyone suffers, including the child.” Not to mention the thousands of dollars you invested in your career (university, TAFE etc.) and the endless hours you spent mastering your chosen profession. Just like that, are you prepared to let it go?
- Financial Freedom – In some marriages a spouse may die at a young age, lose their ability to earn money through an injury or illness, or worse still, just get an upgrade and leave for someone else. Now, if you are not working and generating some kind of income, where does that leave you?
- Variety Is the Spice Of Life – I remember when I was a stay at home mum. After about 5 months I literally felt like the four walls were closing in on me. I was doing the same thing over and over and even though I tried to make time to watch the news every day, I found my conversation topic range became smaller and smaller. I missed work because being at work gave me so much exposure to people from all walks of life, cultural backgrounds, sexual orientation and, hell, tax brackets etc. All which makes for a more enriching experience and exciting stories to share with your partner! Juicy.
- Relationship Goals – When you are at home all the time, you may become a little bit nutty. For instance, you might obsess over a used glass (without a coaster) on the dining table that hasn’t been placed in the dishwasher. How does one just drink a beverage and leave the empty cup there? I am just going to leave it there. Day 4 the glass is still there. Wage war until the white flag is raised. They will surrender and place the cup in the dishwasher!
You see what I mean? Madness.
Having a focus outside of your home will make you appreciate each other just like when you first met and, as a bonus, you can carry the financial load together.
Now, I know this blog post may be polarizing and that I may hear from women who are happily stay at home mothers who may not necessarily agree with what I am saying. With that in mind, I want to be clear on one thing. Even though I talk about reasons why I think you should go back to work after a baby, there is no “one timeframe fits all” when it comes to going back to work. There is no one right way to rejoin the workforce either.
You, as a mother and as a woman, will make the decision about when or even IF you will go back to work.
As Bobby Brown once said, it’s your prerogative.
Dress – McFayden Trends, Belt – Country Road, Strappy Heels – Target