There are as many good reasons to continue to work after having children as there are for staying home. But if you are a young mom wondering if you should continue to work; or if you are a stay-home mom considering a return to the work force, here are five reasons why work is good for moms.
More options in work schedules
In today's environment, you have more options to choose from in terms of work schedules. Many companies have incorporated flexible work policies into their management practices. Don't be afraid to investigate the availability of these options, and push for a schedule that suits your lifestyle. Flexible schedules can include flex time (varying your start and end times), job-share, part-time and telecommuting privileges.
Work flexibility for men
Men are catching on to work flexibility. If you fear that you will appear less dedicated if you opt to telecommute for example, let it be known that men seek work/life balance too. Before our business unit closed, most of the men I worked with exercised their telecommuting capability pretty regularly. And it wasn't unusual for one of the dads with teens at home to leave work early to take his kids to the orthodontist. (Now, that's modern!)
Sometimes you just manage your time better when you work. You know your time is limited, so you are less likely to squander it away on procrastination (a terrible habit of mine). A "better-get-it-done-now" attitude kicks in, and you get more done. (Downside: you may also be more tired.)
You hone political skill. You know how you can choose your friends but not your family? You can't choose your co-workers either. But even if it seems you don't have much in common, you still have to work together towards a common goal. Which means - yep, you have to get along. It's a great opportunity to gain an appreciation for people who have a completely different skill set than you but bring value to the project. That's a good thing.
You can still be a good, attentive parent and work. It's not uncommon for working moms to feel guilt. After all, when kids are young, it seems like you have to get them up at abnormal hours if they go to daycare before you go to work. But you really have to give yourself credit. Are you really neglecting your kids by providing financial stability? Modeling time-management skills? Considering their needs (their soccer schedules, grades, need for downtime, etc.) even though you work? If you are doing all of those things (and you probably are!) you are being a good parent.
For ideas on getting out the door, peacefully, on your way to work:
For ways working moms model life skills for children: