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Stay at Home Mom or Career?
September 25 2008
[ Non-fiction : Short Stories/ ]

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When people ask me what I consider to be “the best time of my life” my thoughts automatically wander to when my first child was born. Of course I had the new parent jitters at first, but as soon as we got to know each other and got our routine down, I was in heaven. The bond was instant and the joy I got from watching him continuously learning about his surroundings filled my heart. At the time, there was nothing that I wouldn’t have done to make sure that I got to stay home with him. I realized that if I put him in daycare his needs would probably be met, but observing his accomplishments on a daily basis would have very little impact on a stranger’s life. The impact that it had on me still shakes my very core. Amazing. Long story, short, I went on to have 2 more children before finally experiencing a failed marriage.

Now when you are young and in love, you think it will be forever and your decision to stay home with the children are heavily influenced by the dream. As a couple, you convince yourselves that staying home with the kids is the best for the kids. While this is true, the financial impacts after a divorce can be huge. I have heard many men, and perhaps women, complain about having to pay child support, etc., but when someone stops working to care for the kids, they lose out on their ability to get raises, promotions, and quite frankly, keep their skills sharp. In most cases, they are faced with going back into the work force in an entry level capacity while still having to maintain a household and all the expenses that come with it. I am happy to say that I had made it through the entry level stages and ended up working for a big corporation for over 6 years with quite a few nice raises.

I am now remarried and have a new baby that I have chosen to stay home with. Here are my questions: How many of you think the rewards are worth the risk? How many don’t want to give up the career even if they could, even for a few years? I miss working a lot, especially the social aspect and feelings of accomplishment. What have you decided to do, and why?

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Comments from Our Readers

  "I believe, that if you are financially secure and happy, staying at home is nice, but if you are struggling the baby will feel your anxiety. It's better to be doing what your feel is necessary. I, really, don't know, depends on individual circumstances. My wife enjoys being at home with the babies now, she will also be happy to go back to work once the year is up (Canadian maternity leave is one year). " - Stan, September 25 2008 - reply

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