Motherhood Monday

Motherhood Monday: Guilt! To Work or Not to Work after the baby is born?

The closer I get to my due date, the more I think about leaving the baby when my maternity leave it up! With my first two children, I worked at a different organization but I only worked part-time. I worked 20 hours a week and still was able to take 12 weeks (paid!) off. Going back to work wasn’t an issue then because I wasn’t away from my babies for very long.

Well fast forward 5-7 years later and here comes baby #3. I work a full-time j.o.b. and just the thought of leaving him for 8 hours or more (commute time) a day doesn’t sit well with me. I get 12 weeks again (unpaid uggh!) and I am thankful I get that amount of time with the new baby, but I still feel guilty for leaving him after that. Especially, when I didn’t have to with the first 2 children. I then think about all the other moms that go back to work after maternity leave and the kids adjust just fine. Then I also think about….it’s a baby… a little baby… and being away so long all day makes me miss milestones, teachable moments, etc. I just feel some-kind of-way.

Now, I will say this. I NEVER wanted or desired to be a stay-at-home mother. There is nothing wrong with a stay-at-home-mom by choice. When I was younger, that just wasn’t a dream of mine. I always saw myself in a career (TV, media, or something else major) making power moves! But I also saw myself married with kids (2 KIDS!).

As we grow, we learn everything we want to do doesn’t always happen the way we want to or when we want to. So, now do I want to be a stay at home mom? No. Not really. But I want to stay at home! Does that make sense? Having a job is a blessing and I am grateful for mine, but working at a job that is NOT a CAREER and there is not passion or growth in it…is for the birds. So, when I say I want to stay at home, I mean I would love to stay at home with my new baby – be there for my other two kids when school is out and MAKE MONEY FROM HOME. I still want a career or to do something because that is JUST WHO I AM. But what? That is the question.

And some might ask, why don’t you just not go back after the baby is born? Well, financially that isn’t an option today. My money is needed in our household. Oh, if it was only that easy to walk away. I will say, my husband knows my heart and really wants to take me off my job and I know in his heart is working towards that…..but still….my baby #3 will be here NEXT MONTH!

So…………..have you ever felt guilty about going back to work after your baby is born? Or are you cool with it? Have you been blessed to stay home by choice, but then felt “I GOTTA GET OUTTA HERE!”





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  • Mimi
    January 14, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    I stay home with my children but I don’t consider myself a SAHM. I have bigger goals and essentially between nap times and school pick up I am on my computer hustling trying to make money while still being here for my children.

    I don’t ever think I could be home and just tend to cooking, cleaning and caring for kids all day. I am very thankful to be in this position but I think when people say they can’t stay at home its because they think that is the only goal. My goal is to make money and be flexible enough to be around for my children.

    God knows your heart and when I decided to quit my job when I got pregnant with my youngest we didn’t know what the journey would be. We just knew we didn’t want me absent like I was with my first because I was working so hard trying to climb the corporate ladder and my poor son missed so much valuable time with his mother and I missed so much time with him. I still feel guilty to this day. I was so focused on what wasn’t important and I can’t get those moments back now.

    I pray that God grants you the ability to be there for your children and your family financially and physically. It will all work out!

    I can’t believe there is only a month left!

    • Bernetta
      January 14, 2013 at 2:19 pm

      Thanks Mimi!! You feel me! Exactly! Thanks for your comment!

  • Erika
    January 14, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Bernetta, I knew I wanted to stay home after I had my first son. I started preparing for it by paying down/off bills and trying to live off of one income. I also bought this book about how to live on less than 2 incomes. After I did the budget, for continuing to work and pay for childcare and staying at home and not paying for childcare and other work related expenses, the difference was so little that it was a very easy decision. Before I couldn’t imagine how we would be able to maintain our household without my check. What I have gained by being at home is invaluable. I’m sure you know by now that they really do grow fast and before you know it they are not going to want mom around. I know that I will have time to do the things that I want to accomplish later, but at this time in my life I feel this is God’s plan for me and my family. I know it’s not an easy decision, but I know you will make the one that is right for you and your family.

  • Karen
    January 14, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    I don’t have kids yet but I see the dilemma. I guess every family has unique needs so the reality of being able to stay at home varies. I think I will want to stay at home for the first couple of months before I entrust my little one to anyone else.

    Congratulations on your little one and I am sure when the time comes the right doors will open!


  • ToshaDevon
    January 14, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    It wasn’t an option for me with my first child…I was in GRAD SCHOOL and working full time…so I had to send her to daycare. I didn’t feel bad, because I knew I was bettering OUR LIVES for the future. Now if I had a child now it would be a little different. I’d get to stay out for at least 6 months because I have the time built up at my job. However, I’d still go back to work after the 6 months because I have a career that I love…not that I don’t love my child, but I also love my SANITY…honestly I look at going to work as a Break (judge me) for me and my daughter. She gets to go to school (she’s 12 now) and do things with her friends and I get to have Mommytime at work! I would love to be OFF in the Summers though, however, that’s not how my job works. But I thank God I have a GREAT SUPPORT SYSTEM…my Mom, Sisters and other family members all help out. It’s what works for my family of 2.5. You’ve still got one month to go Bernetta…and God is still in the Blessing Buisness…you never know!!!

  • MushyMamma(Daphne)
    January 14, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Oh such as catch 22. I have always been used to workign and help provide for my child, however when my maternity leave was up I just couldn’t bring myself to leave my baby so I was a stay at home mom for 18months. I enjoyed every minute, however I missed my income and the extra luxuries it provided for my family so I got a full-time job.
    After about a year, I quickly regretted it. My job was just that a job no room for advancement and not a place I really wanted to be. I felt guilty for being away from my young son he was still under 3 and I only had about two and half hours with him a day. After whisking him off to daycare in money and screeching up right before closing to pick him up after sitting in traffic. After a couple of really deep conversations with my husband he encouraged me and supported my decision to quick my job. I just wanted/needed more time for my son, however now my son looked forward to his days with his little friends so I just kept him home with me all day occasionally but always picked him up a couple hours early when he did go to school. I know I don’t want to be a fulltime SAHM but I want the flexibility to stay home with my child at any moment.

  • Tia
    January 14, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    I always knew I would stay home with my kids. I also have dreams of being successful in a career as a writer. Before I became a SAHM I worked in sales and I knew there was no way I could keep those hours and still be there for my kids. I am so glad I made the choice (and we as a family make the sacrifice) to stay home. I don’t ever feel like I need to get away because I do work on other things. My life isn’t solely focused on cooking, cleaning and play dates. All of those things are important but if that’s all I did I would drive myself crazy. Congrats on your new addition and it will all work out either way you choose!

  • A Haute Mommy
    January 14, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    I completely understand. I live being a stay at home mom. With my first I left school my last semester of undergrad because I just had her. Being at home with her was most important to me so a year later I went back to finish that last semester and back to work. It was hard. I felt guilty and it hurt to leave her. I only lasted 4 months and that was it for me. I was back being a single mom and pregnant with my second child. Since then I’ve been a stay at home mom. Now that I am pregnant with my third I’m battling going to work. I could have already finished my masters degree but I sacrifice for my girls. I have practicum and internship left to complete. I can see it but I’m not sure if now is the time to achieve it because I don’t want to leave my son. I was here for my girls and I want the same for him. It’s a hard decision.

  • acollins
    January 14, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    Being an at home mom has advantages and disadvantages. After the children has grown and on their own you have instill morals and values, took them to school picked them up, you were at home when they arrived from school, etc. the question is, ” Now what?”

    Working in the college system for so many years, I noticed mothers whose children are a now grown and off to college and out of the house, now they themselves want to begin a career. Some find it very challenging beginning new careers and competing with younger students in the classroom. Also, when they finish college and/or training, they now are competing with younger college graduates when seeking employment. This results in these stay at home mom having low self confidence which can lead to depression. Now, I am not saying all stay at home mom experiences this, but many do. Unless, you go into a health field or any high demand field you may have a better chance of employment, but again, you are competing with younger recent graduates.

    Also, if you did have a career before staying at home, when looking for employment, the employer looks at your work history how long have you been out of work. That is something you want to consider.

    In today society where it sometimes takes 2 or more persons to maintain a household and you thinking you want to be a stay at home mom, you really want to make sure you have plans for “Now what?”.

  • Jamillah - Soukle
    January 14, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Your concerns are very valid. We as women have thought about and even dreaded heading back into the workforce. I am scared of the thought in my planning being that I work 40-50 hours a week not including my 2 hour commute to and from.

    However, I have seen you in action and you are an awesome mother. Whatever you decide will work out great for your family. 🙂

  • Rose's Daughter
    January 14, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    I wanted to, but since I got laid off unexpectedly in my 3rd trimester and my husband had gotten laid off the beginning of that same year, we couldn’t afford it. I made the sacrifice and worked nights so that Pookah didn’t go to daycare until he was 9 months. But if I have another, I will seriously consider not working outside the home. Because these years go by so quickly! I hate to miss a single moment!

  • kita
    January 14, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    I never wanted to be a stay at home mom it was not a choice with my first I worked but I had people to take care of him between my mother and friends I did not have to put my son in a daycare which I hate. When my mom died and I had to take off so much they decided to let me go and I have been home ever since. I stay looking for a job but I have not found one that will pay me enough to put my kids in daycare and enough to pay that 500 something a month school loan that I will have to pay once I find a job. I would love a job that is flexible because these kids have so many days off from school that it’s ridiculous I feel for the parents who have nowhere for their kids to go but that’s a whole other story.

  • Mylah Sai
    January 14, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    Bernetta. Bernetta. Bernetta. You and I are in the same boat (once again – see, I told you that we are twins separated at birth lol). Friend, I understand how you feel. The feeling and urge to be there for our babies is so strong and so natural. I returned to work after Micah was six weeks old and took the remaining six weeks off over the course of his first year. Fast-forward, he’s two now and is in preschool almost 10 hours a day. I’m not going to lie. IT SUCKS!! Yes, he’s learning so much and I’m so proud of him, but I want to be with him, teaching him, watching him play, etc. See, I work full-time in a non-career job and then esthetician school at night (from 5:30 to 10:30 – Monday through Thursday). The only time I get to see him is when I drop him off to school in the morning and when I stroke his already sleeping forehead after school. It is indeed heart breaking. I’m going to pray for you dear sister. It’s a gap that only God can fill for us. I’m praying that he will reveal a way for you to be able to stay at home with your munchkins and provide the financial income you and your family need. My husband is in the same predicament as yours; he wants for me to be able to stay at home, but when we calculate everything, we just can’t afford it. It’s my hope that after I graduate from school, I can start working part-time at least. Hang in there and let’s stay in touch! Love your #BMLGirl, Mylah Sai (P.S. It’s funny because I just posted about this same thing last week.

  • Renae
    January 14, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    It’s definitely a hard choice especially when you feel that your household needs your income. I always wanted to be a stay at home mom, but finanically “LIFE” happened. I prayed about it both times and both times God made a way for me to stay at home, it didn’t happen exactly as I would have planned for it, but it all worked out. I will add it wasn’t easy at all, and at times financially I didn’t know how we were going to make it, but we did. It was important to me that I be able to stay at home with them during their first couple of years and I’m thankful that things happened the way that they did.
    Now, I’ve been back to work for a little over a year, the environment I work in is very family friendly, I’m a contractor so my boss is really flexible with anytime off I need, and besides I only work about 7 miles away from our house and from my daughters school so it all works out. I’m able to leave and go eat lunch with my oldest and I can run home and get things done if I need to. I’ve done it both stay at home and work fulltime and for me you just have to do what is best for your family situation.
    If you can find something where you can stay at home and work from home making a decent income then go for it.
    But, you should not feel guilty about going to work outside of your home to help provide financially for your family.

  • Bernetta
    January 14, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    LADIES LADIES LADIES LADIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I want to thank each and every one of you for your input!! I have read every comment at least twice!! I do take my blog (and post) seriously and I love reading your thoughts, it means alot to me. Today meant alot because you ladies WROTE ALOT TO ME! You really wrote what you went through/going through and might possibly have to deal with. Your encouraging words just made me feel better about whatever decision I have to/need to make!! Thanks again ladies, I APPRECIATE YOU ALL!

  • Cam | Bibs and Baubles
    January 15, 2013 at 12:22 am

    Where do I start? I have been there and I am STILL there. I fight this thing everyday. I didn’t want to go back after my first at all but it wasn’t in the cards financially. Since having my baby girl last year, I’m struggling again. I have the exact same challenge as you. I still feel the need to be building a business or something while still being there for my babies. That would be the perfect life! I feel like an ingrate to say that out loud just because I have a job that people work so hard toward. Heck, I worked hard for it. (tv producer) However, jobs come and go. It happens every day but that time I’m missing with my babies, I’ll never get back. Oh, the struggle is REAL!

  • YUMMommy
    January 15, 2013 at 1:33 am

    For me having kids and the option to stay at home has been a blessing. It’s given me the time to follow my dream of writing and freelancing. I get to work and spend time with my kids. And when my work takes me outside the home, they get to come with me!

    I think at the end of the day if you desire to be more present in your kids’ lives then maybe sitting down to figure out what it is you really want to do and then outlining a plan or way you can do that from home might be the solution.

  • Rachel @ The Philosophers Wife
    January 15, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    I had to work part-time for a while after my daughter was born. I hated it and felt guilty the whole time. Now I am blessed to be able to stay home! 🙂

  • Melanie @ bear rabbit bear
    January 16, 2013 at 3:11 am

    It’s always such a tough decision!

  • Cheap Is The *New* Classy
    January 16, 2013 at 4:00 am

    I went right back to work after my daughter was born, but now that she is 15 I work from home, and I LOVE it!


  • Tori D.
    January 16, 2013 at 4:24 am

    I don’t have kids, but I have friends who hated coming/going back to work and some who worked for a few weeks then left! lol It’s the nature of the beast. I hope you get this figured out love!

  • Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz
    January 16, 2013 at 11:59 am

    I totally understand. I never wanted to be a stay at home mom and then I kind of had to stay home for 4 years and it was ok because my little girl needed the extra attention. But after that I felt like I had to get I job outside the home or I would go crazy. I am working from home now and it is great but hard too. It’s a tough balance. 🙂

  • Katherine Phillips
    January 17, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Going back to work with my daughter was so hard. I mean i went back 8 months after she was born but still hard. She was becoming more mobile and starting to speak. With my son I didn’t feel bad until later. He wasn’t as tiny but I still didn’t want to kids anything. When he was smaller and I went back to work it was at a daycare and I didn’t miss as much.