Racing back to work after a baby? Staying at home with no thought of re-entering the traditional workforce? Trying to balance the two? The decisions you make about your life after having a child can be financial, emotional, circumstantial and usually a combination. But what happens when you make the wrong decision? Mamamia reader Tina needs some help:
“I have a five year old daughter that has just started prep. I have been back working since she was 11 months old, first starting 2 days a week gradually increasing to five days a week which has been for the past 17 months. Due to reasons I’m only starting to get into with my therapist, I have suffered from a GAD (Generalised Anxiety Disorder) since my daughter was 14 months old and have been on anti-depressants since. I have attempted to come of medication a few times, but have always gone back up on my dose as my anxiety got the best of me. Which brings me to my dilemma.
I haven’t been enjoying my job as much as I used to and last Sunday whilst brushing my daughter’s hair and thinking about making her lunch and all of the things I had awaiting for me this week, I had an anxiety attack which progressively got worse over the next few days. After speaking with a dear friend, she finally admitted to me that I hadn’t been myself since going back to work full time.
After many discussions with my husband (who is extremely supportive of me in every way), we came to the decision for me to quit my job and be a stay at home mum. Whilst doing this, I can also help him with his accounts (as he has his own business) and he can concentrate on doing the part of the business that he does best.
I however am feeling extremely guilty about not being able to handle working full-time and being a mum. I feel I should be able to handle it as so many other women do but then I also have extreme envy that I miss out on seeing my daughter run to the front door to greet me at the end of the day like she does with my husband when he gets home from work. As my friend said to me, “you only have the one child and you only get one chance at your and her life”. Financially we would be OK, obviously tightening the belt on things, so why is it so difficult to accept that it’s an easy decision to make?”
Note: Wouldn’t it be great if this didn’t turn into a bun-fight about working versus stay at home mums. Let’s try and speak about what we actually went through rather than what we believe people SHOULD do. Tina needs our help, she needs our constructive advice on how we made peace with our decisions. Whatever they were and are. Best foot forward and over to you……