Back to Work - No Guilt!
Every new mother has to make that agonizing decision. Do I go back to work or stay home? Do I tell my employer I will be back on the job after six weeks, or do I tell her that I will take off several months? If I take off longer than six weeks, will my job still be there for me?
Many new moms have gone back to work after six weeks and sat crying at their desks most of the day. Leaving a newborn with mom or your sister is very hard; leaving the newborn with strangers at a day care is agonizing. But it is a decision hundreds of moms make every day, and they should not feel guilty about it at all.
While finding statistics on the actual number of new moms who decide to go back to work is hard, the fact that 81 million moms are working every day in America means that many moms are deciding they have to work.
In today's economy, most couples find that they need two incomes to make ends meet. That means there is often no decision whether or not the new mom will return to work. The only decision is when she goes back to her job. Employers in America usually still only offer six weeks paid time off for the mom. Therefore, many new moms take on the task of finding good childcare even before the baby is born. That makes good sense.
Women in the Workforce
Women with college degrees have doubled in the past twenty years, according to Leslie Morgan Steiner who writes for The Huffington Post (huffingtonpost.com). Women hold 51 percent of white collar jobs, and in the past 50 years women staying home dropped from 76 percent to 28 percent. That means a lot of moms are going back to work.
No More Guilt
Connie Hammer is the owner of Progressive Parent, LLC and is a parent coaching consultant. She states that it is not good to feel pressured about returning to work, and in a small-sample survey she conducted only 19 percent of moms said they felt totally confident about returning to work. Almost three-quarters of the moms who were placing the baby in daycare or nanny-care felt unease about the decision.
Moms have to go back to work. Babies will survive. That's a fact. A mom has to realize that though staying home may be the desired decision, it is also important to provide a good home in a supportive neighborhood with parents who are not worried about food, shelter, and clothing (those important Maslow's needs). Mom's income is as important as dad's. The best way for mom to feel better is to make sure the child is in good care.
Finding Childcare for the Newborn
Parents, together, should start shopping for childcare for the newborn before the baby arrives. Interview at least three daycare centers and in-home childcare providers. Some parents prefer daycare centers because they are larger and more people are around to watch their child, while some prefer the home-like environment of in-home childcare where more focus is put on the newborn.
There are pros and cons about each, but the most important consideration is how the environment makes the parents feel as soon as they walk in the door.
In summary, feeling guilt may be natural. Fears can be reduced by ensuring a loving situation exists when the newborn is away from mom.