By Cheryl Gochnauer
When is it time for a stay-at-home mom to return to work?
I can hear the wheels turning in your heads right now:
“After those all-important first three years…”.
“When they start school…”.
“Not until they go to college…”.
It’s pretty easy to figure out if it’s too soon. A Homebodies reader put it succinctly in a recent letter, recalling the first time she tried to go back to work, after being home a year:
“My three year-old hugged me as I left for my second day at a jewelry store and said, ‘Don’t go too far. I worry about you.’ I promptly threw up where I stood in the driveway, started to cry, and went to the store and told them I quit. ‘Nuff said.”
Something tells me this particular mom wasn’t quite ready.
It’s a smart family that sets goals when Mom first comes home. And its perfectly natural to make tentative plans to resume our outside careers sometime in the future. But make sure that date is very flexible. Who knows what will happen between then and now?
Communication is the key. Keep those conversations going with your spouse and your kids, periodically re-evaluating what the family’s hoping to accomplish by having Mom home. Touching base like that on a regular basis, you’re less likely to run into conflict with your spouse over the issue of when you’re going back to work.
When the time comes to ease back into your career, you’ll know. Having the support of your family at this juncture is just as important as receiving their support when you make the transition to home.
As the proverb says, “for everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” Enjoy this season, and discover the purpose and fulfillment of being an at-home mom, without the pressure of a looming “get back to work” deadline.