My mom raised me on her own which meant that she pretty much worked 6-7 days a week and a lot of the time she worked late. I did not see her much. My husband’s parents are your typical old school married couple, he worked and she stayed home with the kids. So when my husband and I started talking about having kids, hell when we met, we talked about what we wanted for our future. We knew from the get go that if we could, I would stay home for a bit to be with the kids. My husband’s job has always been demanding, he commutes about 2 hours + a day, has long hours and travels monthly. I wanted my kids to be with 1 parent on a daily basis as they wouldn’t see him much except on weekends.
Luckily, my husband got a new job that paid him more in 2011 and shortly after that I found out my company would be closing its door so we decided it might be the right time to try and start a family. It happened pretty quick, we were lucky. However I don’t think I ever realized what the ripple effect on my earning potential would be after staying home for 5+ years.
I did some research on why or how other women decide to stay home when they become mothers and found a recent article in Redbook in which they conducted a poll where 36% said they wanted to, 15% said it was because childcare was too expensive while 7% said their career wasn’t family friendly and 6% said it was because their partner wanted them to.
I have talked a lot to my other mom friends and we all have similar reasons why we stayed home, either work wasn’t supportive, the cost of childcare didn’t make it profitable to keep working or because they simply wanted to. I find that it is always more than 1 reason why couples make this decision.
Now looking back do I wish I would have kept my foot in the game, yes? Why? Because while I have enjoyed my time at home with my babies(in between the stints of insanity of course) I NOW do realize how difficult it will be to go back to work. Not only because it will be a change for the whole family but because it will be a struggle to find an ok paying job that will pay for my monthly bills and childcare. I think if I would have kept working part time while staying home, I could have stayed on my game and it might be easier to jump back in.
So there you have it, that is my advice. Do you think I am off base?