Having children is a major life upheaval. It affects all areas of your life from your career, your social life and your love life. But, when it comes to your career, how do you decide when the time is right to start working again? There really is no single solution. It all depends on your personal circumstances.
For some people, it is their financial situation which dictates how soon they return to work. If you have a limited budget and a newborn child to support then this may be the only option. However, other people return to work for more psychological reasons. It can be very difficult to turn off the routine of going to work. For many, a career is part of who they are. They may have spent many years establishing a successful career and may feel that taking a break will be to the detriment of their future.
However, some people feel that by returning to work too quickly they will miss out on important stages in their child’s development. They don’t want their child to miss out on the nurturing that they can give as a parent.
In the first instance you should talk to you partner or relatives about your decision. It may be that your partner is happy to continue working so you can be a stay-at-home parent, or vice versa. Close friends can also be a valuable source of support – these are the people who know you best. It might also be worth having a chat with your boss and seeing whether it’s necessary for you to return to work straight away or whether you could shorten your hours so you can spend more time at home.
There are lots of avenues of support if you need help with your decision, but only you will know what’s best for your family. So, take some time to think about it. Weigh up the financial and practical concerns against the emotional and personal considerations to help arrive at your decision.