Young Parents (Singapore) - - CONTENTS -

Are you cut out to be a stay-ath­ome mum?

Now that Baby has ar­rived, you’re con­sid­er­ing stop­ping work and fo­cus­ing on your fam­ily. To help you de­cide, DR RICHARD C. WOOLF­SON poses these eight ques­tions.

How would I feel if I be­came a stay-at-home mum?

There are many women who are con­tent as a full-time par­ent. Yet that doesn’t mean you will feel the same way.

Try to imag­ine what life would be like – you would have all day with Baby (which prob­a­bly seems de­light­ful), but it could be end­lessly de­mand­ing on you phys­i­cally and emo­tion­ally. If you feel a warm glow in­side, then it might be right for you.

Will I miss the com­pan­ion­ship of work col­leagues?

If you en­joy the hus­tle and bus­tle of an of­fice or work­place en­vi­ron­ment, you could feel lonely and iso­lated when it’s just you and Baby to­gether all day. You could start re­sent­ing your lit­tle one.

You won’t be able to feel the sat­is­fac­tion or in­tel­lec­tual stim­u­la­tion that your job gives you. Ask your­self if you are pre­pared to give that up.

Do I have friends who are also stay-at-home mums?

Hav­ing a large cir­cle of friends who also have ba­bies the same age as yours pro­vides so­cial sup­port, and gives you a chance to share wor­ries, swop sto­ries and learn from one an­other. These friend­ships can en­hance the par­ent­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for you.

Do I have good or­gan­i­sa­tional skills?

The chal­lenges of man­ag­ing a daily sched­ule of feed­ing, chang­ing, bathing and other tasks can tax the pa­tience and sap the strength of any par­ent. Hav­ing a rou­tine will help you cope through­out the day.

If you need two in­comes to bal­ance your fam­ily fi­nances, you may not be able to be­come a stay-ath­ome mum.

Can I pro­vide enough stim­u­la­tion for Baby?

Sim­ply be­ing at home with your child isn’t enough to stim­u­late him – it de­pends on how you use that time to­gether. Some par­ents are condent that they can pro­vide enough ac­tiv­i­ties for their chil­dren, while oth­ers pre­fer to out­source it to a trained early-child­hood carer.

Is my hus­band sup­port­ive?

Stay­ing at home to bring up Baby doesn’t re­move all re­spon­si­bil­ity from your hus­band – he still has to play his part. Be­ing a full-time mum is much more re­ward­ing when your spouse re­mains in­volved with his kid even though he is away dur­ing the day.

Do we need two in­comes to bal­ance our fam­ily nances?

If you need two salaries to cover the cost of the mort­gage, util­i­ties, food, and so on, you may not be able to be­come a stay-at-home mum, even if you wanted to be one. As­sess your bud­get care­fully.

Can I re­turn to my job when my child goes to school?

At some point, most stay-at-home mums will de­cide to re­turn to work, usu­ally when their kid at­tends preschool or school. Some ca­reers are eas­ier to re­turn to than oth­ers.

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