0-1 YEAR OLD
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 condent 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.