Re-Entering the Working World: when, why, how..?

back-to-work

I’ve tried to start this post several times and keep deleting and beginning again. This is evidence of how jumbled the thoughts are in my head. I’m conflicted. I don’t want this post to sound negative, and any (positive) advice from those in a similar situation would be welcome.

For the past two years I’ve been blessed with the ability to stay home with my Little One. I’ve witnessed all her growth and changes and learning. I’m extremely grateful for my hard-working husband. I’m also very, very TIRED. People may not realize that being home also means I have a 30 pound (adorable) human hanging off me 90% of the day, following me into the bathroom, undoing any progress I make trying to clean the house…etc.  

I was once one of “those people” who thought stay-at-home moms had it made. In a way, we do, but if we’re not careful we also lose part of who we are/were. Do we ever go back to some version of the person we used to be? I’m struggling with the idea of wanting to work on myself while simultaneously feeling guilty about what that means for my Little One. After two years, the thought of someone else being in control (of what happens to her during the day) terrifies me. I also know that she will go to pre-school in another year whether or not I go back to work. Part of me struggles with the idea that because we don’t (financially) need me to have a career, if I do go back to work, would I essentially be choosing NOT to be with her? Cue the guilt card.

Another conflicting thought is that I want to be a strong role model. I realize that being home for her and taking care of her is setting a good example, but I also want her to learn to be hard-working and independent when she grows up. When I met my hubby I was working and putting myself through school to finish a degree I’d started years earlier. I never pictured myself as a stay-at-home mom because I’d always had a job and I never thought we would be able to afford it. I left my previous job when she was born because it involved shift work that didn’t coordinate with hubby’s crazy schedule and we didn’t live near available family. Now we do…I fear there may not be a “right” answer.

Little One has been doing well at her weekly structured play group. I don’t want our positive experience (at home) together thus far to end up holding her back by keeping her from interacting with other kids more often. Perhaps a few days a week at a structured daycare, mixed with a little family help, would actually be beneficial to her, and to me. I want to be a whole, happy mom (and wife)…

How do you know when or if it is the right time to go back to work? 

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