For most new moms, the decision on what to do next after their baby arrives maybe one of the toughest decisions they'll ever have to make. Whether a new or an old mom at this phase, a mother has to adjust to life with a baby for the first time or adjust to having another baby.
You may be finding it difficult to have more time for yourself presently, you are probably sleep-deprived, constantly nursing your baby into the night, you are also trying to put your kids on a schedule that works for the entire family, and probably, still partly responsible for keeping the entire family fed and cleaned.
Raising a baby is quite tasking, so it's normal for many questions to cross your mind at this point. Questions like:
Do I stay home to raise my child for the first year or the first few years of his/her life?
Do I quit my job and opt to do business instead?
Will my decisions make me happy or ruin all I have worked hard to build?
Family, marriage, business/career and motherhood—can I make it work and find a balance?
Can I trust my baby with a total stranger?
Should I decide to go back to work?
Is quitting the best decision for my family and I right now?
Will my (our) finances suffer if I quit working?
What business options are the best fit or sustainable? And these be something (or options) I should be considering?
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It is a series of never-ending questions! So, things may look really hazy at this point. You are in a dilemma and unsure of what next to do. Mom’s guilt may be heightened at this point too, because you don't want to be considered selfish or self-centred should your decision be tilted towards going back to your job.
So, when it comes to career or business after having a baby, there are different kinds of moms.
#1. Moms who have been working for years but have now decided to stay home and raise their kids.
#2. Moms who had to quit their jobs and stay home not because they wanted to, but because they couldn't shake off the guilt of leaving their baby in the care of another, be it a certified baby creche, nanny or even family support.
#3. Moms who transitioned from career to doing businesses that would help them stay close to their kids and have flexible work time that allows them to be available for their family.
"You may be finding it difficult to have more time for yourself presently, you are probably sleep-deprived, constantly nursing your baby into the night, ..."
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#4. Moms who go back to work after maternity leave and finds someone to care for their baby while they are at work.
#5. Moms who have switched careers/industries to jobs that allow them to work from home or have skills that can enable them to work and earn from home.
"Do what makes you happy and make your family happy too because it's your life at the end of the day and you alone know what would give you and your family peace, so work on creating that balance."
While these mothers may have made different decisions and taken different routes in life, one thing stands true, they love their kids fiercely and have made that decision for the good of their family.
So, if you find yourself in this situation and need clarity on what next to do, what you can do is:
Talk to experienced moms about this. I find that talking with someone who has been in the same situation that you are currently at can help you find clarity and navigate your way through the journey.
Make your decision
Know that making a decision based on the opinion of others or based on "others moms are doing it" may leave you feeling unhappy and miserable.
Know your options
Know your options and weigh them carefully. Regardless of your decision whether you go back to work, stay home, start a business or work remotely, it's important to know what you are getting into and prepare yourself for whatever challenges may come your way.
Do what makes you happy
Do what makes you happy and make your family happy too because it's your life at the end of the day and you alone know what would give you and your family peace, so work on creating that balance.
Pray about it
Pray about it. Not to go off religious on you, but if you are the religious type and believe there's someone steering the affairs of the universe, then praying will help you find clarity, peace and hopefully direct your feet on the right path, all you need to do is just have a little faith.
This maybe a callous decision to make, mama, but if it gives you any peace, know that it's okay to feel whatever way you are feeling right now, so ditch that mom guilt, explore your options, be flexible with your plans - if it works it works. If it doesn't work, try something else. Above all, know that whatever is the decision, you are a great mom, and you are already doing right by your little one(s).
So go out there, mama, conquer the world and don't forget to keep dazzling!
Have you ever found yourself in such a situation before? What did you do to navigate this phase? What advice or tips will you give a mom in a similar situation?
Do leave a comment in the comments section as it could be a sign a mom needs or have been waiting for.
Mrs. Chidimma Juliet Oladipupo is a mother of two, social media strategist and content creator with a bachelor's degree in Sociology. She is passionate about using social media for good, getting her voice heard and connecting with others.
She is the founder of THE MOM CONVERSATION® —a motherhood
blog on Instagram dedicated to highlighting the truth and realities of motherhood. It's also a space she holds conversations and inspires mothers to share their true stories and journeys about motherhood without filters.
When Chidimma is not writing, researching, reading or creating contents for brands and businesses, she spends time with her kids, brainstorming, bouncing off ideas or have random conversations with her husband.