Tuesday, January 3, 2006
Parent to Parent: Work After Baby
It's every parents' greatest joy -- the birth of a baby. The first few months are usually spent bonding, but when it's time to go back to work, Dr. Sally says many parents have a difficult decision to make.
WSVN--To work or not to work?
It's a question most new parents, especially new moms, like ingrid whalen have thought about.
Ingird Whalen: "If I could afford it I would love to stay home until he's at least 2."
But Ingrid's husband, Matt, was called to active military duty, so staying home wasn't an option.
Plus, she didn't want to let the birth of her son andrew alter her own goals.
Ingrid Whalen: "I wanted to continue my career. I didn't want to lose what I've gained in the last 7 years."
Stacy Linkin faced the same decision... Back to work after baby or stay home with her sons, Noah and Toby?
Stacy Linkin: "We found that based on my salary -- the majority of my income would have gone to day care, and so we felt that better I stay home with him."
There is no right or wrong choice when deciding whether to go back to work after baby.
But 7's parenting expert Dr. Sally goldberg says if you're considering staying home, don't make the decision alone.
Dr. Sally Goldberg: "You can think of staying at home or not staying at home as a shared family decision. The dad might be able to chip in one way and the mom in another."
First, figure out if you can afford to be a one income family.
Then if you decide to stay home, enjoy the flexibility of your decision.
That means interact with your child, but don't overschedule or overplan the day.
Do seek support, since staying home can be lonely and overwhelming.
Dr. Sally: "There are informal groups something that we call today--play dates, and parents and their young children get together."
If you choose to go back to work, Dr. Sally says don't feel guilty.
Make sure you have a good caregiver or someone you trust to be with your baby.
If possible, choose a family member.
If not, get to know that person and ask them to provide plenty of one on one time with your child.
Dr. Sally: "Have some kind of friendship and happy feeling. This kind of parent-teacher partnership provides alot of security for your child."
When you're not at the office, try to set aside daily personal time for your child.
Ingrid knows she might miss some of drews firsts, but cherishes the moments she has.
Stacy misses work and adult conversations once in a while.
But in the end, both these women are happy with their decisions... Afterall, mom knows best.
Stacy Linkin: "I just think it is whatever makes you happiest and whatever makes you feel good about yourself because that reflects in your family."
Ingrid whalen: "If they're happy then they will give that happiness back to their child."
Lynn Martinez: "Dr. Sally says the first three years will have a lasting effect on the rest of your child's life so whether you work or stay home, make sure you're happy with whoever is caring for your child.
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