Motherhood series: to work or to stay at home? Pt 2

Thank you for being so empathetic about my having to make the difficult decision about whether I should return to work or stay at home in part 1 of this motherhood series. I loved reading all your comments; it touches me to know that you are so supportive and non-judgmental.

While I understand that the decision for any mum to stay at home or return to work is a very personal one that each family has to evaluate and decide for themselves based on their own circumstances, I wanted to hear from individual mothers about their personal story. It was an honour to share Julie's story last month. Today, Melinda shares her experience as a part time working mum of 20 month old Millie.

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Melinda and Millie
I'm a working Mum. Not by choice, but by need. 
That's not to say I don't love my job, but if I had my way I would much rather be a stay-at-home Mum. I'm grateful that I have the flexibility of working part-time. Five days a fortnight. Just enough to assist with our mortgage and 'keep my foot in the door' so to speak. We considered many things upon my return to work, the main things being our financial security, my career options and most importantly Millie's care and well being. Financially, me returning to work after having Millie was the best decision for our family. 
I'm grateful that I only have to work part-time but it still requires a great deal of planning and organising. Currently, Millie attends daycare one day a week and spends the other days with either my husband or my Mum. We have a good work/life balance and I honestly think Millie's attendance at daycare has done her a world of good, socially. 

I try to be as organised as possible on the days that I work in order to reduce the stress and mayhem that often accompanies those days. I prepare lunches and pack bags the night before. I make and freeze meals on the weekend for use on work nights and I get up early to organise myself before Millie rises. It definitely takes some getting use too - some days are still a struggle - but I manage it the best that I can. 
I really do admire those wonderful women who can juggle a full-time job and a family. Me, I just couldn't do it, and I hope I never have too. 

Motherhood is.....one of life's greatest challenges and greatest joys, all rolled into one.

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Thanks Melinda for your input and for being so open and honest about it all. I think you're doing a great job of juggling work and home life. Sweet Millie is so lucky to have a great mama like you!

28 Responses to Motherhood series: to work or to stay at home? Pt 2

Anouka said...

Great to read that Melinda has found a good work-life balance! I can imagine that motherhood must is a challenge. Still thinking whether I should give it a go one day or not.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Oooo Millie is precious!!! It's nice that she has her mum and hubby to help her with care.

Midnight Cowgirl said...

I enjoy getting to read different perspectives of the debate :)

Iliska Dreams said...

Love hearing how other Mums balance their lives

ensembledeux said...

This is a great read! :)

www.ensembledeux.blogspot.com

M @ onthesamepage.com said...

I don' t have kids yet, but it does seem that to run a household it requires a lot of planning and foresight... something that I've luckily had the opportunity to have more time and attention towards recently. Sometimes I wonder if it's all too orchestrated... or really just what needs to happen to run smoothly...

My Garden Diaries said...

Such a beautiful post and her little one is a doll! She is doing a fantastic job and has a great balance for her little girl! I always admire how much women do for their families and this is a wonderful example! Nicole xoxo

Stacy @ Sweethearts + Sweet Tarts said...

I think bei g organized is important for all moms, working or not. At times, I wish I'd work a day or two a week but I am so happy being home!

burntfeather said...

Gosh what a hard decision, sounds like the mum's you have features so far have made sound and sensible decisions - maybe through their mother's intuition :)

Beauty Box said...

I love reading this series! I can totally understand the feelings of indecision and being pulled in different directions. Being a SAHM, I wonder if my brain would rot from lack of intellectual engagement with non-mums and dwindle into a someone who's not kept up with the times. I think my personal situation (I can work from home but it's very minimal at the moment) made the decision for me so I'm grateful for that.

Jane said...

i don't have children yet but it's something i think about as we are trying to start a family. i quit my job back in july and we're doing just fine with one income coming in. we do have to hold off on buying our own place, etc. because saving takes a bit longer now and we do have to make some sacrifices but nothing too big. but i think about the future and wonder about financial security for my family when our family grows. it scares me because i have no idea but then i catch myself and say that i'll worry about it when i have to. this is a great series trishie!

Jessica said...

What an adorable little one. While I do not have any children I find these posts very interesting to read.

Amy @ Elephant Eats said...

If I had my choice, I'd be a stay-at-home mom for sure. Everyone has such different needs and desires though. I know that financially it won't be possible for me when I have my baby. I can't even imagine how hard it will be to juggle work and home...i'm so bad at multi-tasking :(

Ez Vina said...

Yes, I always hard to decide whether to continue working or SAHM after you giving birth, but for me I coose to work. Part of it bcoz I need to for financial reason. Now that my youngest son is 5y, things are getting so much smoother ;)

Rose said...

Wonderful and motivating story from a great mum!

orchid Miyako said...

Dearest trishie;
Oh, I so love to read the quote (right?)
"Motherhood is.....one of life's greatest challenges and greatest joys, all rolled into one."

I admire your efforts as a mother and straightforwardness in this post. Surely it must be really hard to make balance!!!
I remember my mother worked hard for me and late brother to help our family financially.
Personally, I have hormone problem and even fertility treatment didn't work. After several years I gave up, so I don't know how difficult it is to raise children. Just remember the feeling of jealous for the mothers p;)
Reading your wonderful blog, I AM sure you ARE a wonderful mother♡♡♡
I had been sort of crying until I started teaching English at home, haha. I've had fun seeing lovely young students at home.

Take Care and hang in there young Mom♡♡♡

Sending you Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

Lady of the Manor said...

It is a big decision and interesting to hear the different perspectives. I was able to do a little of both when my kids were small. I stayed home but substitute taught some. As they were a little older, I went back to teaching. It is a delicate balance and you have to figure out what works best for your family.

Sam said...

It was great reading Melinda's story, I truly admire her, she's an inspiration for all working mums to balance it all and do what is best for her family.

MaysaAndSunshine said...

Great post, you are so right about how this decision is personal and varies from family to family. After being on a maternity leave for 6 weeks, I felt I would be a better mom if I worked. Not that I didn't love my daughter. I was more sane having a break from baby duties. As far as financial situation, we have more flexibility with dual incomes. If one of us lose a job at least one still has income. We didnt have much saved as far as emergency saving to where one person can stay at home.

Our Neck of the Woods said...

I love these adorable photos! I'm glad she is able to juggle it all. I love hearing from moms about how they make it work!

Tante Mali said...

Dear Melinda,
oh yes, this is an old story ... older than me :)))!!! Do it, like you think it's the best!!!!
Thank you - wonderful to have you around!
All the best
Elisabeth

Sharon D said...

Oh, this is such a beautiful post ♥ I enjoyed reading it so much.

monique said...

How lovely! Millie is gorgeous :)

jamie @ [kreyv] said...

Working moms are amazing! I worked for just six months when Stella was a baby, and it was super hard! I'm so thankful I get to stay home with her, now!

trishie said...

I think planning and being organized is definitely key to running a household, Muhsien

trishie said...

Lucky you, Ez!

Arni @ Travel Gourmande said...

This is something I am contemplating on now that I am expecting our first and will start maternity leave this week. I love my job and the opportunity to grow in something I am passionate in. Yet I have always imagined spending at least the first year as a full time Mom. Still torn but I enjoyed reading this two part post.

Tina Bradley said...

Little Millie is a doll! :) So glad to see you've featured this topic, again. The right decision will vary from person to person. Sharing others' decisions always allows for added information and assessment--which always helps in the decision process. :) T. http://tickledpinkwoman.blogspot.com