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For many moms, the question about returning to work after having a baby is not a question of “if”, but rather “when”. Two incomes are required in most homes to pay the bills and enjoy a reasonable standard of living. But, even when the plan is in place to return to work, once a baby is born oftentimes a mother has second thoughts and isn’t sure if she is willing to have someone else care for her child for a good portion of the day.
HealthyChildren.org, the website for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), proposes some positive results of both parents working full-time outside the home.
The site states, “When both parents are occupied with their jobs for eight or more hours per day, there are obvious effects on the family. On the positive side, the family has an increased income and thus fewer financial stresses. Also, when both parents work, there is a potential for greater equality in the roles of husband and wife. Depending on the nature of the parents' work, as well as the family's values, fathers may assume more responsibility for child care and housework than has traditionally been the case. With their wives out in the workplace, men find it easier to define a greater role for themselves in child-raising.”
The AAP is not all positive on this subject though, going on to state, “Some parents feel terrible strain and fatigue as they try to juggle their responsibilities at home and at work.”
If a new mom has a question about whether or not she wants to go back to work, it is helpful to look at all the variables involved. Lisa Pecos, a parenting and natural healthcare writer, offers five concrete ideas to think about when making the decision to stay home or return to work full time in an article on BabyCareJournals.com:
• Closeness: Many new parents worry that going back to work will be detrimental to the bonding process and the overall child-parent relationship, or that it will hurt the child intellectually later in life.