In our Moms Money Mic series, we hand over the podium to people with controversial views about money and parenthood. These views are theirs, not ours, but we look forward to opening up the floor for discussion.
Last time, we introduced you to the diaper-free movement that’s sweeping the nation. This time, two writers share their differing views on whether it makes sense—emotionally and financially—to go back to work after having kids.
Why I Could Only Be a Stay-at-Home Mom
Four years ago I became a mom and gave up everything about the life I led before.Do I miss that life? Occasionally. Do I regret my choice? Never. These past four years as a stay-at-home mom have been the most rewarding of my life.
Despite the Great Career I Had, I Always Knew I Would Quit If I Had Children
I was raised by a stay-at-home mom, as was my husband. I really never thought of being a mom in any other way. But, we live in California where taxes are high, home prices are through the roof and public schools are frightening. The thought of giving up my salary was scary for both my husband and me. But once I got pregnant, I knew that was what I wanted.
More than that, it was what I had to have. There was no way I could let someone else raise my children. The money wasn’t worth it to me. Another huge consideration was the price of childcare. Any decent nanny or daycare facility came with a high price tag. My salary minus what we would need to pay wasn’t enough to convince me to give up those days with my kids.
Why I Could Only Be a Working Mom
To work or not to work—a tough choice for mothers.Nearly three years ago, when I found out I had a little person inside me, I had the usual 10,000 questions: How am I going to do this? How will I make time? How much weight I am going to gain? But then: What about work? Is this it?
I Felt Like Giving Up My Job Would Mean Losing My Identity
I wanted to be an example for my daughter, and for her to see a strong and independent person when she looked at me. I didn’t want to be selfish, but I was determined to strike the fine balance of caring for my child (even if it meant delegating to another person at times), and also remaining myself so she could learn life skills from me.
In the end, I was on maternity leave for six weeks, and then returned to work. I’m not saying everyone should do as I did. It’s a personal choice, as is everything else. But, I’m hoping this story encourages women facing a similar decision. For me, there was no question.