Do I use my time effectively when I'm with Baby?
Simply being with your baby isn’t enough to make him brighter and smarter – it’s how you use that time together. For example, holding him in your arms while you watch TV will have a different effect from spending that time to stimulate him, strengthening your bonds and boosting his general development.
For this, you don’t need to give up your career to enhance his progress; you just need to use the time more purposefully.
How would I feel as a stay-at-home mum?
Many mothers are extremely happy in such a role, but it doesn’t mean you’ll feel the same. Weigh your options carefully.
You could be with Junior all day, which may seem delightful, but you won’t have the day-to-day stimulation that your job gives. You might miss the problem-solving challenges at work, as well as the contact with your colleagues.
What will you and your family gain from your new role? And have you considered the potential loss if you quit your job?
Are you happy with your current babycare arrangements?
One of the great advantages of being a stay-at-home mum is that you know exactly what your baby experiences and how he develops each day, what he eats, how he’s stimulated, how much he plays and so on.
That may seem like a very attractive position for you to be in, since you don’t know the details of his day while you’re at work.
However, if you’re satisfied with the current day-care arrangements – that it’s of an acceptable standard, and he is receiving lots of stimulation and attention from properly qualified and experienced staff – perhaps there’s no need to make changes. After all, suitable arrangements are already in place.
Is there room for compromise?
In some instances, there may be, so that you don’t have to be a stay-at-home mum or a full-time employee. If you want the best of both worlds, consider switching to part-time work or job-sharing.
Such an arrangement is often harder to achieve than full-time work or parenting because of employment practicalities. Yet, as more parents seek better work-life balance, flexibility in the workplace is becoming more common.
Likewise, childcare facilities are more flexible in the placements they offer. You should explore all these possibilities before you decide on what you want next.
Will your little one suffer because you’re not there every day?
“In an ideal world, a child would be nurtured and cared for by a stay-at-home parent, but that option may not be possible in real life,” acknowledges Alfred Tan, CEO of Singapore Children’s Society.
Nevertheless, parenting is a journey – a long journey in which you should focus on key milestones.
“Being with your baby on weekends and public holidays are moments where you create those milestones in his life,” Alfred advises.
“Spend them wisely – and generously, with all your heart and time – and you will have your child, always.”
(This story first appeared on Young Parents / Additional reporting: Natalya Molok)