Should I go back to work or be a Stay-at-home mom?

[deleted account] ( 28 moms have responded )

Hi, I have a 2 month old daughter and am currently on maternity leave for the rest of the school year. I have a GREAT job teaching third grade at a wonderful school in an excellent district. I am debating whether I should request another year of maternity leave or return to work next year. I LOVE my job, but I also love my daughter and know that she'll only be little once! Money would be really tight if I stayed home another year, but we could survive. My husband is open to the idea.



What did you do and are you glad? Any advice?

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Leslie - posted on 02/17/2009

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I think you made a great decision! It sounds like it will all work out great.

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User - posted on 03/14/2009

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At the time of my sons' births we could not afford for me to stay home; however, a year after my second son was born we moved from Colorado to New Mexico in November.  I could not get a job right away and so I was a stay-at-home mom from November 2004 to August 2005.  At first I loved being home with my boys 21/2 and 7 months, but around February or March I discovered I was a better mom when I was a teacher too.  Does that make sense?  I felt I was missing something -- adult contact, interaction with students, and so I avidly started applying for teaching positions.  Staying home everyday all day just wasn't for me.  I needed that identity of being a career woman, a teacher and determined woman can do be both a mom and teacher.  Now, my oldest son attends school where I teach and in a couple years the youngest will too, which is wonderful!

User - posted on 03/14/2009

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At the time of my sons' births we could not afford for me to stay home; however, a year after my second son was born we moved from Colorado to New Mexico in November.  I could not get a job right away and so I was a stay-at-home mom from November 2004 to August 2005.  At first I loved being home with my boys 21/2 and 7 months, but around February or March I discovered I was a better mom when I was a teacher too.  Does that make sense?  I felt I was missing something -- adult contact, interaction with students, and so I avidly started applying for teaching positions.  Staying home everyday all day just wasn't for me.  I needed that identity of being a career woman, a teacher and determined woman can do be both a mom and teacher.  Now, my oldest son attends school where I teach and in a couple years the youngest will too, which is wonderful!

Barbara - posted on 03/08/2009

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That is wondeful that your district will guarantee you job!!!!  My district is not so friendly!!!  I and probably many other mothers in my district would be willing to take longer leaves if they were at least guaranteed a job when they returned!!! 

[deleted account]

I stayed at home after my first child was born for 2 years. I would have stayed home longer.. but my husband went to school. I stayed home after my second child was born for almost the same period of time...there is nothing like raising your own child. I loved being an at home mum. It also gave me time to help others too :)

Tiffany - posted on 03/08/2009

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You have to consider your personality and the economy. I would have loved (and still wish I could) to stay home but it just was not possible. Where I'm at they are considering cutting jobs due to the downturn in the economy.

Hesti - posted on 03/08/2009

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Quoting Colleen:

Should I go back to work or be a Stay-at-home mom?

Hi, I have a 2 month old daughter and am currently on maternity leave for the rest of the school year. I have a GREAT job teaching third grade at a wonderful school in an excellent district. I am debating whether I should request another year of maternity leave or return to work next year. I LOVE my job, but I also love my daughter and know that she'll only be little once! Money would be really tight if I stayed home another year, but we could survive. My husband is open to the idea.

What did you do and are you glad? Any advice?



Dear Colleen,



as a mom and a techer, I also love both my job and being a mom, I suggest you to listen to yoour heart... If it tells you to do both and you know that you could handle being a mom, a wife and a teacher, that means that you're ready to go to work. But if your heart still want to close to your baby, than stay home.... your job will always be there, but being with your baby and see how she grows, it won't be forever.



I can tell you through my own experience as a mother of four... I love my children with allamy heart but I know that I wouldn't be happy if I had to stay home.



 



/Hesti Herbst

[deleted account]

I took a year off from when my son was 8 mos until 18 mos. I was working only 60% the year he was born and my husband stayed home in the mornings.

I loved my year off, although transitioning back to work has been difficult. I'm still adjusting!! I enjoyed seeing my son grow and change, and I was able to take care of things at home fairly well. Around 14 months though, I was really aching to go back. I ended up teaching a summer enrichment program and my son starting going to a daycare at 18 months. By then, I really felt he was ready for it and pining for more contact with kids his age. He was begging to go to the park 3 or 4 times a day!! He is really happy at his daycare and loves having lots of friends to play with.

Do I think he would be adjusted and fine if I had opted to keep working? Yes! But I loved that year and plan on taking time off again when baby #2 comes.

Darci - posted on 03/02/2009

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Good for you & your family for deciding to stay home.  I taught full-time in a great school with a great kids for 3 years before I resigned from my position to stay home.  My daughter was born December 2005 and my son was born March 2007, and I have baby number 3 arriving in May.



I really missed teaching the first couple months that I stayed home.  But as my children have gotten older, I realize more and more that we made the right decision, for our family, for me to stay home.  My kids love having me home, and I love being with them when they are growing, changing, and learning so much everyday.



I LOVE teaching, and I miss it.  However, I do get to be in a classroom occassionally when I substitute teach... middle school or high school math only (or it's work and I do that at home).  I have about 3 different people who are willing to watch my kids for me when I substitute teach, and my husband works as an engineer for the railroad, so his "schedule" is a little random.  He is home at least half of the time that I am scheduled to teach, so the kids get great daddy time those days.  I am looking forward to going back to teaching full-time when ALL of my kids are in school.  But substitute teaching definitely has it's benefits for our family right now.



Hope you enjoy another year at home!  Best of luck.

Nancy - posted on 03/01/2009

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I think you have to go with what you feel and what will work for your family. 



I was fortunate enough to have my mother-in-law watch my children when they were infants and toddlers.  Even though I missed being with them it wasn't an option for me to stay home at that time financially. 



For me it became more difficult when they became preschool/school aged and I couldn't be there for them with all the special activities that they had going (I taught 2nd grade) so usually I had special things going at the same time.  I left teaching when my oldest reached third grade and I haven't regretted it for a moment!

Anna Marie - posted on 03/01/2009

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Congratulations on making such an exciting decision! I am definitely jealous! I was able to take 8 months off when I had ds, but returned to work the next school year. We decided that I am going to work for these couple years until we have a 2nd child, and then we will be in an even better financial situation and I will be staying home. So, I definitely understand the dilemma you are/were facing. I love what I do, but love being a mommy more - similar to what you mentioned. Best of luck, and enjoy this precious time!

User - posted on 02/21/2009

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If you can survive financially staying home...do it.  We have 30+ years in our careers to teach, but our own children, are only with us for 18 years (or so).....seize the moment, even if it's for only 2 years, take it. 



I wish I was in a position to do that...at least until they were all in school.

Soula - posted on 02/17/2009

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Stay at home so that you enjoy this year of rapid changes in your baby. One year is not that long a time, really, and you can always return to work after that.

User - posted on 02/17/2009

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YEA!!! Colleen I am sooo happy for you! You have joined the ranks of stay-at-hom-mom and now I have someone else to have playdates with! lol Glad you were able to make a decision and have a husband who is understanding! that is awesome! Congrats!

[deleted account]

Thank youy so much for your advice everyone! It is really neat to hear from others who have been in my position.

I have decided to take another year of maternity leave for the 2009-2010 school year. I am guarenteed "a" job when I return for the next school year, but it probably won't be the same grade and school. I've decided that's a small price to pay. I am so blessed to have a husband who is willing to make some sacrifices so that I can care for our daughter.

User - posted on 02/16/2009

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No one can tell you what's right for your family. I stayed at home with my three older kids. We had a "surprise" kiddo who came after our baby was starting Kindergarten and I had already planned on going back to work full time. I was absolutely pained to leave Walker with a sitter. He is now three and has continued to stay with his babysitter over the past years. I have to say, out of all of our kids, he is by far the best adjusted, most outgoing and easy going child. I don't feel like there is anything missing that I had with the other kids. He is very close to me. I used to be very judgemental of people who left their young children. Now I know that you just have to do what's right for you. I think the trick is to just make the best decision you can and don't look back or question it. That way, now matter what the decision, you give your child a feeling of security because they know you can handle the situation.

Coletha - posted on 02/16/2009

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I had my baby at 18. I was a college student, and a stay-at-home mom. I was there when she said her first words and took her first steps. When she turned 2 1/2 I got my first real job (I was 20 at the time). We struggled financially, but I had help from my family. I don't regret that time and I would do it again. Stay home...there will always be jobs...even in our current economy, teachers get shuffled around, laid-off, called back....God will still provide.

Leslie - posted on 02/16/2009

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If you take another year's leave, do you have a guarantee of a job to return to?

I think ultimately if you can afford it and you want to stay home you should, your baby will appreciate it and you'll love it. That being said, with today's economy, I'd be inclined to check on your return rights before doing this. I'm not trying to be a downer, I just know how fast a situation can change.

Amanda - posted on 02/14/2009

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Hi there.  I am a teacher with two girls, Chloe 4 years old and Lily 19 months.  I worked full time before having them as a fourth grade teacher.  When I had my first, I knew I did not and just could not work full time.  I did not want someone else raising my daughter, so I went to my principal and asked if she would hire me as a part time reading teacher.  She thought that was a great idea and that is what I did.  I worked 2 1/2 days a week and it was great.  As soon as I needed a break from work , I got to stay home and as soon as I needed a break from my daughter,  it was time to go to work.  That only lasted three years and then I still did not want to work full time, so I found someone to job share a fourth grade position with me.  She works Mon., Tue., and every other Wed. and I work Thurs., Fri., and everyother Wed.  It really is so prefect.  There are lots of moms that do that where I work.  You have the best of both worlds.  If you can't do these things, then I would NOT go back to work for as long as you can.  You can always sub. if you need too, but being able to be home with your baby is so important for you and her.  There is nothing more rewarding to be at home.  So I say STAY HOME, if you can.  It really is the BEST.

Gina - posted on 02/13/2009

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She is sooo beautiful. If you can, even if money is tight, do it. I was able to stay home with both my children when my second was born. It was the hardest job I had ever had, however, I wasn't teaching yet, and I had two. Being that you have already micro-managed a life and 20 some other children, raising one that you love a whole lot more would be a piece of cake.



If it were me, I would start subbing next fall for say two days a week to start. One, because you and the baby can use some time apart after a while, two, I think it's important for babies to build bonds with other care givers, and three, coming from not working for 8 years, even getting a job somewhere I had experience before was difficult.



You daughter is so lucky that you have the opportunity to stay home and then to be a teacher as they are growing up. My father was a teacher and he was always around and able to do so much with us because of his schedule.



Again your baby is one of the most beautiful babies I have ever seen, I can't imaginen you being able to be away from herf or even a second, and I have some good looking kids,so that's saying something.

Patricia - posted on 02/13/2009

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If you can swingit I say go for it...I was only able to manage 6 months with both my kids and it was really hard leaving them to go to work. My husband stayed home with my daughter for 6 months as well which was great but had started a new job just before our son was born so wasn't able to do the same for him. I think we both missed out so I say go for it if your husband can swing it and you are guaranteed a job even if it isn't in the same school. Good luck and enjoy your beautiful daughter.

Shannon - posted on 02/13/2009

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I thought for sure once my mat leave was over I would want to go back to work full time, so I signed a contract for a full time grade 7 class. It was the first time I taught this grade so I was working during the day and then marking and planning when my daughter went to bed and on weekends I would go to the school. Now that I broke my ankle and have been off work for 3 months I have realized that I think I made a mistake! I love staying at home with her and doing 'mom' things! I've kept my nanny and now I am slowly getting back to work by subbing. This is the ultimate solution I think. You can work as much as you want (at least in my district!!), if you don't want too then you can say no, there is no marking, planning, dealing with parents, report cards.... I LOVE IT! So, I still get my adult time at work and then get my mom time staying at home. I am looking forward to another mat leave starting in September and then I'm not going back until both kids are in school. This is based on financial reasons for my husband and I. I hope that whatever you do you enjoy your decision too the fullest! Good luck!

Dawn - posted on 02/13/2009

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Hi. I do agree with Kelly, it depends on your personality. I love my children dearly, but I'm not a stay-at-home mom (even though I went through 5 years of infertility treatments!). I need adult interaction and to get outside the house. I would also consider how difficult it will be to get back into teaching in your area should you decide to take a few years off and go back. Where I live, there was no way I would have gotten hired anywhere. I had about 10 years experience, and we're inundated with new college grads, so if I wanted the job I HAD to stay. One other thing to consider is the stability of your husband's job. With the current economy, it's nice to be a teacher with a job that can't be taken away at a second's notice like many other jobs can.

Babies do grow up way too fast, and once gone, those years will never return. Pray about it and God will tell you what you're supposed to do. :)

Valerie - posted on 02/13/2009

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You can always go back and teach later. Don't miss this precious time. It is so short. God knows what you need and He will provide.

Kelly - posted on 02/13/2009

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I think if you can survive on it without the income, go ahead and do it. My personality needs a job. I knew I would always work, part or full time. Before becoming amom, I was a workaholic. What a change. I felt like I wanted to stay home forever when he was that little. I had to go back when he was 4 months old. It was horrible. But now that he's 15 months old, I'm really happy he's in a home care. He is with other kids, and is learning so many social skills. I knew I wasn't good at teaching that (you will be, you work with 3rd graders!), so I am happy I went back to work. It really depends on your personality, I think. My sister-in-law wanted to stay at home because she thought it was the right thing to do, but the truth is, she couldn't handle the job (she's very high maintenance) and wasn't into teaching the kids. So, she is back at work for financial reason, and in her case, the KIDS are benefitting from it. It's weird.



Good luck! I know it's a hard decision, but if your husband supports you, don't miss out on these moments. I can't believe my baby is already a little boy. I look back at his baby pics all the time. It went so fast.



 

User - posted on 02/12/2009

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That baby is precious. I resigned after I had my first child in 1997. I took a year leave of absence first. I stayed at home for 9 years. We would have had more, but I think we were blessed in many, many ways. We had everything we needed and more. I loved my time at home and I am now enjoying my third year back with my own kids in tow....every morning! I loved my job, too. But now I would not trade that time for anything.

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