By Michelle Maffei for SheKnows.com
You've just spent the past few years as a stay-at-home mom and your kids are now old enough to go to school full-time. Are you considering going back to work but are nervous about how this decision will affect your family? Check out these ten reasons to go back to work after being a stay-at-home mom and let go of any mommy guilt that might be holding you back.
Contributing to the household finances is important
Even after your childcare and commuting expenses, do you come out a significant amount ahead? Going back to work after baby will not only add to your bank account, but fulfill your need to contribute to the household finances.
My children are in preschool or older
The need to stay home during your kids' school day lessens as they get older. When your kids start preschool, it may be a good time to head back to work, even if it's only part time.
I miss my professional identity
Stay-at-home-moms commonly feel like they lose their identity. Going back to work will let you fulfill the craving to flex your mind and exercise your professional talents.
Working from home is too isolating
Some moms would jump at the chance to telecommute, but if working from home is too isolating, heading into the workplace is a logical choice.
I don't mind a commute
For many, the ride to and from work is the only time to decompress. The longer the commute, the more time to sort things out without any distractions of homework or bickering.
>>Make the most of your alone time with 10 tips to stress less on your daily commute.
I have reliable childcare
Being able to trust the people who are caring for your most precious cargo is an important factor for any stay-at-home mom deciding to return to work.
Adult interaction is imperative
For many, the idea of getting a short break from baby talk with your infant or gossip about who is dating who at your teen's school is reason enough to head for the workforce.
>>Feeling alone at home with your kiddos? Check out these tips for coping with new mom isolation.
My partner will share in the household responsibilities
Your partner will need to be able to cover kid-duty if you need to work overtime or your kids are sick. Also, splitting up the household chores with the rest of your family is vital once you return to the workforce.
I handle stress well
Juggling work and home will likely up the stress factor, but your ability to handle day-to-day challenges may make this a non-issue for you.
My career will dwindle if I take too long of a break
Some employers view long gaps in employment as a need for your talents to be updated. Use your experience and your knowledge of your career field to determine how long is too long for you to put your career on hold.
Whatever you decide, get rid of mommy guilt and take pride in the fact that you are doing what is best for you and your family. "It is important to understand your motivations about going back to work and to then trust the choices you make," offers psychotherapist Sharon Gilchrest O'Neill, Ed.S., LMFT, and author of A Short Guide to a Happy Marriage. "Ultimately, if you are happier back at work, you will be happier at home, and more at peace with your spouse and children day-in and day-out." Remember to take pride in the fact that you are someone who can juggle both work and family and enjoy your success!
READ MORE ABOUT MAKING CAREER CHOICES:
- Stay at home with baby or go back to work?
- Stay at home vs. work at home vs. work outside the home
- Work at home moms and child care
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