Coming Home – Part 3: Ponder

[Coming home is a 4-part series directed toward working moms who feel called to be at home but feel like they “have” to work, primarily due to finances.  This is the third post in the series.  Read Part 1 , Part 2, or Part 4.]

The second step in coming home is to ponder.  Ponder the reasons you want to come home – really challenge yourself – and what life will (realistically) be like when you get there.

First, think about the reasons.  I’ve come up with a list of reasons that (in my opinion, obviously) are great reasons to come home.

  • You feel you’re missing out on too much.
  • You feel your relationship with your child is affected negatively.
  • Your child has health needs and is best served by having you home.
  • Your husband wants you to be home.
  • You feel called.
  • You can’t balance family & work in a healthy, positive way – you feel like you are living in chaos, overwhelmed, or there aren’t enough hours in the day.
  • You don’t feel like you are able to be a blessing to your family at home.
  • Your child isn’t reaping social or other benefits from childcare, but rather it is a source of stress or anxiety for them.

Also spend some time pondering the following:

  • What will your days look like?
  • What type of schedule will you keep?
  • How will you ensure that you get some social time for yourself – and how much of this do you actually need? (varies for each person)
  • What things do you dream about doing with your kids that are impossible when you work?
  • In what ways will your family be blessed?
  • What things might be difficult for you?
  • Identify possible solutions to the items you identified in the previous question.
  • How will things be different in your family with you at home?
  • Can you identify any negative results of this decision for your family?  (you are not allowed to answer “money”)
  • In what ways will this be better for your children?
  • Can you identify any ways that this won’t be better for your children?
  • If so, what are some possible ways you can address those items?

Finally, plan two (kid-free) coffee dates.  One with a stay-at-home mom friend, and one with a working mom friend.  Choose friends who you know will be both uplifing and realistic.  Friends who won’t try to convince you to either go home or stay at work.  Just friends who love you.  Talk honestly and listen openly.  Hear about the good days, the challenging days, and learn about strategies that work for their families.

See where your heart is drawn.  And by all means, keep on with the previous step.

Readers, what have I missed?  What are some other good reasons (or terrible reasons!) to choose to go home?  And what other things should a woman consider or contemplate in the midst of her decision-making?

[I also have a couple more things to add, which I am allowed to do, because this is my blog.  🙂  First, I would caution you not to make this decision on your maternity leave – a tip I stole from the book Mommy Wars.  Those first couple of months are such a time of horomones, sleeplessness, and radical adjustment that it’s a really poor time to make decisions.  Decide before the baby comes, or reconsider the possibility of staying home after you go back to work.  On a related note, do not decide to stay home solely because you are “tired.”  Be assured that babies don’t sleep more with stay-at-home moms than they do with working moms, and even when you’re exhausted you will still have to be on your toes and conjure up the energy to engage your little one all day.  If you’re tired because you’re up doing housework until 1:00 am because you feel there aren’t enough hours in the day, that’s a different issue.  I just felt the need to say that because it’s a trap my brain let me fall into at one time.  That’s all.]

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