As to whether or not a mom should take a break after having a baby, that’s a matter of personal choice. There are some career-minded moms who may want to get right back in the career saddle as soon as they can.
If that’s how you feel, then go for it.
That being said, listen to your heart. If you feel the need to be home with your child after giving birth, do all you can to make that happen. As you try to decide what to do, here are some thoughts on the subject.
Don’t Cave in to Cultural or Career Pressures When Deciding
Sadly, our country is not progressive when it comes to taking a break from work after having a baby. We are the only remaining developed country that doesn’t require paid leave for moms according to this Huffington Post article.
We lag behind much of the world in other basic workers’ rights, too, including wages. It’s quite possible this largely accounts for the alarming amount of healthy American adults dropping out of the workforce.
The common complaint is that the upcoming generations are unmotivated or lazy. The real truth may be that younger generations see significantly less incentive to enter the traditional workforce than their parents did.
More countries are starting to recognize that dads need a break, too, when it comes to maternity leave.
We have much work to do as a culture in taking care of families at their most vulnerable moment. Having a baby is a huge life change that requires proper attention. It is both wonderful and the ultimate of responsibility.
Too often, American company cultures reflects the same unconcern that our laws communicate to those who desperately need time with their new child.
Always remember if you need a break with your baby, that is not your culture’s decision and it’s not your workplace’s decision either. It’s a personal choice that no one should have a say in unless it is your immediate family deciding.
Hopefully, we’ll smarten up as a culture soon. Until that happens, guiltlessly go against the grain on this one if you can.
If You Can’t Afford to Take Maternity Leave
Unfortunately, this can be a real problem unique to our country among developed nations.
First, see if there are ways you can cut your expenses as a family so you can stay home for as long as you need. If this isn’t an option see if there is anything else you can do.
You could see if your church can assist you during this time or try raising money through a crowdfunding campaign to better fund the time you need with your baby.
More and more people are willing to help with a cause like that because they recognize the value. Your local media may even run a story on your situation to raise awareness.
One final recommendation is to see if you can work remotely in your current job. This will give you the flexibility and rest you need to take care of your family without hurting your finances.
If you can’t do that with your current job, consider finding one that allows you such flexibility. The opportunity to work from home is growing like crazy these days. Many find that such a lifestyle makes them way more productive at home and at work.
Regardless of what you decide regarding maternity leave, your choice should reflect what is best for your family. Your new child is way more valuable than any career so congratulations on your new addition!