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What to do when you don’t want to return to work

 You may have had a high flying career involving travel, maybe in sales schmoozing clients at corporate functions, maybe as a sales rep travelling interstate, maybe in a role which was 60+ hours a week. You were determined life wasn’t going to change, that everything would just around baby, but then baby arrives and you literally want the world to stop spinning and look after this little miracle and forget your old life.  As a parent today we have employer, societal and family expectations in the mix as well as financial obligations, career progression and your own philosophy on how you want to bring up your baby.
Step 1 Recognise your feelings
We may feel guilty if we do OR if we don’t, but remember that the choice is yours, and there is an option that’s right for you.

Step 2 Do the math
Weigh your salary against the costs of returning to work to determine how much you’re really giving up

  • Day care
  • Commuting (tolls, gas, public transportation)
  • Lunches
  • Dry cleaning
  • Incidental spending money
  • Work clothing
  • Housecleaning service
  • Superannuation

Step 3 What is it like in reality

Sometimes expectations don’t match reality. Making decisions to stay at home with baby when your little one is 1 week old and sleeping all day is probably the most rational decision. If you know a stay at home mum, chat to them about their day and the challenges they face. Encourage them to share the good and the bad.

Step 4 What impact will it have on your career

Some careers require a minimum amount of ‘on the job’ hours for registration with a particular body for example the medical profession. Consider what your requirements are before you make the jump and how easy it will be to re-enter if the registration lapses.

Step 5 What other options can you consider?

-Can you share care with your partner?

-Can you draw on relatives for support?

-Do you have the necessary skills to freelance your job from home?

-Can you negotiate better terms from your contract?

-Can you extend your leave?

If you have done the math and you have realistic expectations about being a stay-at-home-mum then it all comes down to you and your partner. It is not an easy choice to either stay at home or go back to work. Take the time, do your research and follow your heart. Where there is happy parents there are happy children.

About Rebecca

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Hi I'm Bec and this is my my blog Daycare Decisions. I am a mum of 2, passionate about early education, nature play and a parents' transition back to the workforce after having a baby.

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