Here are a few steps for a Mum to work through in order to decided whether she should go back to work or who should go back to work.
I would encourage the majority of Mums to definitely find some kind of work, once the children are back at school, and possibly earlier. The reason being, that it helps with their sense of identity, and maintains the balance within the relationship, stopping them from becoming too dependent on the husband. Some Mums can manage this whilst being at home – those are the ones who were ‘born to be a stay at home mum’, but actually they are few & far between. If you are one of those Mums, great, ignore everything I say here, because you are perfect as you are!
The ‘Fun Creation Equation’ works really well with this problem:-
Step 1 – For Mum to have a think on what she values in life and how it has changed since having children. What would she love to do with no limits?
Step 2 – What does the partner & children value? How mature is the child, what can they handle in terms of nursery/child minder? How can what the Mum would love, be sold to the rest of the family, so that it would work for them too?
Step 3 – Check out the influence of the word ‘should’. Is there pressure to stay at home, because the Mum ‘should want to’ or because the Dad thinks it’s ‘the right thing for the children? Is there pressure to go back to work because ‘she should. Challenge the assumptions – are they really true? Most ‘all or nothing’ types of statements can easily be proved to be impossible to be totally true.
Step 4 – is to get clarity on the reality of the financial situation, so that rather than having myths about the financial problem, the family knows what is needed and what could be changed, to reduce the need. Then do some research into what is available – maybe a different type of job, or different hours.
Check out my blog in a couple of days on Decision Making the easy way – to add the final piece to the process.
Please do contact me if you are having trouble with making this sort of decision.