Stay at Home Mom?

A new mother is torn. What would you advise her to do?

See More

Comments (110)

(110) Suzanne, June 12, 2012 4:28 PM

You don't get these years back

I think, if at all possible, the mother should stay home.

(109) miriam, November 4, 2011 2:52 PM

Keep working, but with a fabulous nanny at home

Rebbetzin Tzippora Heller says she always taught outside the home but spent a significant amount of her earnings on fabulous at home child-care, someone who was more like a bubby than a babysitter. As someone who now stays at home, which is incredible for my kids, I do think it's a mistake, though, as the financial pressure on my husband is overwhelming. Unfortunately, in most situations today, one income is simply not enough.

(108) Jane, March 8, 2011 2:31 AM

explore your feelings and reasons

I think that this mother has to really understand what's going on with her inside. Is she torn, because her husband is pressuring her to stay home? because he thinks she should, so the issue is not really her child, but her marriage? If she stayed at home and weren't at peace, internally, with it, then that would still not be good for her child; she might make her child "pay", in terms of anger toward the child, or making him feel guilty. Parents forget how flexible children are. They adapt; she is a loving mother, happy to see her child at the end of the day, I take it the father is too, and the daycare is a good place. Maybe there is something going on in the day care center that is making her child unhappy. But she should explore all of these questions, and most of all, needs to be at peace with her decision or the child will suffer, no matter what the decision is.

(107) Bette, January 14, 2011 6:19 PM

Stay st home

The ultimate reward of a loving mother is raising a healthy, happy and well-adjusted child. The time shared nurturing your child can't be quanitified; the positive lessons and memories endure forever. No amount of money even comes close!

(106) Anonymous, January 12, 2011 6:30 PM

Thanks Lori for bringing up this topic. The lady who asked for your advice, isn't the only one asking that question. When the field you have been educated in has made cutbacks, and not in demand, staying at home isn't always an option. I'm finding this stay at home time is an opportunity to study at home, thank goodness for those options that are available now.

(105) Yehudis, January 11, 2011 4:25 AM

Personal Desicion

I have been trough this same issue a number of times, almost every time i give birth i keep asking what should i do this time. Baruj Hashem, i have 4 kids, the oldest is 6 and i´m expecting for next month BS´D. It is really a personal desicion and a very difficult one. You have to be very honest about your ability to stay all day long with kids at home which is not easy for someone who has worked and who happens to love her work. It could be very frustrating and overwhelming to become a stay at home mom. I asked a rabbi a few months ago about this same issue and he answered me that the problem is not really for the kids,who will eventually get use to daycare,the problem is the mother´s feelings. If you feel guilty or other similar feeling that´s something you have to consider cause you don´t want to regret it in a few years. I am a preeschool teacher and with my first and second children i was studyng in university, so i went for a few hours a day to study and then came back to be with the kids. I always tried to leave them with my mother in law or my mother but it was not always possible, so i used to hire a babysitter. With my third child, i worked from 9 to 1 since she was 6 months old ,and even tough i liked de job , it was very difficult to leave her. When i got pregnant with my fourth i worked till the end of the pregnancy and then when he was born i left. On this pregnancy i decided that i´ll work only a few hours a week and i found a job to do at home, so i won´t get frustrated. I´m finishing my pregnancy and right now i´ve discovered that i don´t want to work out of the house for a few years . BS´D i´ll stay at home untill all of them attend preeschool at least. But again it is very personal, you have to be very honest with yourself and don´t be afraid of taking a wrong decision, you can try one and the other for a few months or years and then come back to work. Should Hashem grant you lots of najes from your baby and clarity to take the right decisions.

(104) Rachel, January 11, 2011 1:15 AM

Suprised

I'm honestly very surprised by many of these comments. Staying at home vs going to work is not at all a black and white decision. It is one that each individual family needs to make on their own based on their own needs. Who are we to judge a woman for choosing to go to work if she feels that is the best course of action for her family? And how can one have the audacity to make blanket statements about the children or husbands of stay at home moms? I am empathetic to this women because I understand how difficult this decision can be to make. I wish her a lot of hatzalacha making this decision and I hope she is never made to feel inferior by anyone for the path she chooses!

(103) MLS, January 10, 2011 5:01 PM

Not an easy decision/why are people so judgmental and rude??

I am a little surprised and bothered by some of the comments here. Is it a problem-or something unusual- for mothers to ask other mothers advice? I do not think the purpose of this video was for people to bash one another and the decisions women make-whether to stay at home or go to work. Maybe to some people this is such an easy decision, especially if they have a number of children and have been through this decision before. If you can stay at home to raise your children before going to school-do it! Thats what I am doing with my twins, and I am quite bothered that certain people are already labeling MY sweet children as the RUDE, selfish, immature, and needier children as opposed to the ones who went to daycare right away. How can someone say that without meeting every stay at home mother out there and their kids? How can you say I am a bad and LAZY mother for staying home with my kids? And are you saying my husband and all the other "poor fellows" out there are not a part of the decision for stay at home moms to stay at home??? . "This "good for the child" lines who spin are sweet little lies you tell yourselves to make you feel better about being LAZY." I find this truly appalling and saddened that people forget about being dan lkaf zchus and so easily label people and assume they know whats best for everyone-even those they've never met. Back to the video and the mother's question and need for advice-everything needs to be carefully looked at and evaluated. Why is the child SO unhappy? Is it just a matter of adjusting? Are there things going on in the daycares that the mother doesn't realize? Maybe scheduling some play dates at home can help the baby adjust easier. Would the mother be happy staying at home even though she loves her job? How financially dependent are they on her income? These decisions need to be discussed and made between husband and wife so that everyone is as happy as they can be with whatever they ultimately decide to do

(102) Kabbes, January 10, 2011 4:57 AM

L.S.

L.S., I have to laugh. Not exactly at you but many years ago how housewives use to get on my nerves. Housewives do need to respect the working woman's time, for it's sparse. You call the stay at home mom's lazy, well, I know plenty of working moms that are totally lazy in the workforce. More and more women are choosing to stay at home. I commend them for it. It's not easy to start a new trend. The working woman, had the same rough road trailblazing years ago, to get out into the workforce. Mom's being taken seriously, proving they were capable of juggling between career and family. Many now had working moms, and would rather chose a different way of life than their mother's had chosen. Let the young people have the freedom to do a new thing in their generation. Many don't want to bring home the bacon and fry it also. It doesn't mean they are lazy! Just because someone shows up to work, doesn't mean they are productive workers. Laziness can go on in both places, home and the workforce. For the women that choose to marry and support Orthodox men who study Torah all day, that was their choice to do so. Working women don't have alot in common with the stay at home mom, except they are both mothers. Challenges are diverse in comparison. Working women needs friendship with other working women, and the same with the stay at home mom, needs the friendship support of other stay at home moms. Your thoughts about stay at home moms, wouldn't be of any help to stay at home moms. That's a perfect example why each group needs those in their own group. Women who are frustrated supporting their husbands, needs a group of friends who's doing the same thing.

(101) Beckala, January 9, 2011 9:47 PM

A little of each

I'm a SAHM of 3 and when old enough they go to pre-school to get their group socialization. Poor Jonathan was 4 in preschool and sat on the teeter-toter saying 'help' because he didn't know how to ask someone to play with him (we did play dates, but that's different) I'm glad I sent him at 4. I also do a lot of volunteer work that keeps me busy when I'm able to get away.

(100) Anonymous, January 9, 2011 7:56 AM

STAY HOME - TRAIN help the CHILDREN

They are only young once ........... give them your very best and lay the foundation for their future ! '' The future belongs to only yhose who have prepared for it '' [ I was not raised Jewish }

(99) Anonymous, January 9, 2011 6:03 AM

I don't really ahve any expirence but...

This summer I ran a daycamp. There was one kid who never went to school but his mom wanted him to go to camp. He was very shy and dint enjoy coming to camp, probably b/c he didnt know how to act around other kids.My personal opinion is work half day so mom can get work done while son has interactions with other children which will help him when he is ready for school, unless you think teh kid will outgrow it. I think kids should not be home with a babysitter.I once babysat kids who's Mom was at work all day and kids did not liekl this. If they were with other kids, they could at least "share the burden and feel each other's pain" It will also help teh kid learn skills and not just what a babysitter teaches. The kid should go to a daycare that does projects and does lots of fun activities. Should also have small staff-child ratio. Maybe teh kid is unhappy because he is not getting enough attention from his teacher or his mother b/c she's working. Therefore he should go to playgroup to learn socila skills and be home half a day because a Mom can give a child attention no one else can

(98) Chana Yosefa, January 9, 2011 3:33 AM

If Mom's not happy, no one's happy.

I always worked, at first from home, then part-time, then full-time. After a few false starts, I luckily found a wonderful family in my building who became a second family to my son. He was an easy baby, then a difficult (ADHD) child and I was always the one being called to school when he was in trouble, which was quite often. I could not afford to stay home, and it was not really an option. The best compromise was when I lived on a kibbutz when my son was 2-1/2 to four years old. I'd see him during the work day because the children would go on "teul" and visit their parents. Most days my work ended in the early afternoon and so there was plenty of time with him. He learned to speak Hebrew quickly and even translated for his parents! I knew he was in good hands. Back in the States it was never so easy. So, if you find good child care, and love your work, fine. Or, if you can work part-time, fine. I know parenting is the hardest job of all, whether or not you work outside the home. Follow your gut instincts. What is best for you?

(97) Michal, January 8, 2011 8:31 PM

Happiness of the mum vs. the child

It sounds strange for me that the child cannot settle into the childcare at all- it IS hardest at around 1 year to get them used to a new situation but it should be feasible within a few weeks. It took my own child abround 6 weeks to really feel happy there but now she loves it there! If the child is not happy then I would check the childcare first: Are there too many kids? Is it too noisy/ are the carers overhelmed? If the mother feels guilty, this can also influence the child- they feel when we feel bad. Since they need the money and the mother loves her job, I think it is best to work on the childcare options and determine why the child suffers rather than just give up the idea and stay at home- there's nothing worse than a mum who is unhappy.

(96) L.S., January 7, 2011 9:13 PM

And finances DO count!

For those of you spouting off that finances are of no concern, why is yeshiva day school tuition so high then? Glatt kosher meat and kosher dairy? Why do so many Orthodox men choose to be in Yeshiva full time if it is so important for women to waste their brains wiping tushies? WHY HAS NO ONE ADDRESSED KOLLEL FAMILIES YET?!?!?!?!?!?! Would someone PLEASE explain to me how somehow those kids do OK in daycare all day? Finances DO count! We have to eat, pay bills, and not be welfare recipients. And why are you all so arrogantly sure that working moms love their kids *less* than stay at home moms do?! That is so arrogant of you to say and simply not true. There are many working moms who love their kids and work to give them food, shelter, and an education, and there are many stay at home moms who are alcoholics and do not play with their kids. Not ALL working moms are selfish people and it upsets me that there is this assumption here. You do not know how much someone loves or doesn't love their kids and to proudly claim you do is beyond chutzpah.

(95) L.S., January 7, 2011 9:05 PM

Yup, meant every word I said--GO TO WORK!

Having worked as a teacher (briefly, different discussion for a different forum) I can tell you that I definitely saw the difrrerence between kids of stay home moms and working moms. The children of stay at home moms cry more, are more selfish, immature, needy, and RUDE. The children of working moms are mature, articulate, smarter, more confident. For all of you "woe is me, I clean" working moms have clean houses AND they work! At the end of the day, they do after 6 pm what it takes you all day to do! What entitles you to sit home all day while your husband slaves away?! Kids are NOT a 24/7 job. They are in SCHOOL for EIGHT hours a day, have after school activities, and when they are YOUNG, they take LONG NAPS and SLEEP 10 hours a night. I have WORKED and have also TAKEN CARE OF KIDS and to say that being a professional is easier than taking care of kids is laughable. If you can get pregnant or adopt, you are capable of being a mom. Being a professional requires exams, many years of school, and high level thinking beyond ABC, 1-2-3, etc. I HAVE TAKEN CARE OF KIDS and TAKING CARE OF KIDS IS A PIECE OF CAKE, except for the boredom issue. What thinking adult wants to play with playdough, crayons, and glue all day?! And why should a woman with a high level of education waste it doing tasks a high School drop-out could do: changing diapers, sweeping the floor, cooking chicken? I would rather work and pay someone $12/hr to do menial work and actually USE my education and degree. I am so sick of women ( I AM a woman btw) using their kids as an excuse for everything from their being too lazy to get a job, their overweight problems, cutting other people in lines, etc. And like I said before, ALL the "stay at home moms" in my community where I grew up spent ALL DAY clothes shopping, exercising, and eating and left their kids with nannies, anyways except for the one who stayed at home to become an alcoholic!

(94) Jason, January 7, 2011 6:38 PM

Mywife says to me

My wife says to me all the time, if she went to work she would have to pay for someone to watch the kids. Plus the schools would just take it. On top of that if the job was on the books we would lose some government benefits (we make just below the line for a lot of things) so it's not worth it. The mother who said know that she works they have to pay full tuition. That's a classic example of why our schools are a penny wise and a pound foolish. Who would work hard so they can pay more. She should quit if you don't have anything more in your pocket at the end of the day why put up with work (unless you like work but I don't know anyone who goes to work to be fulfilled-unless not starving to death is your definition of fulfillment)

(93) Aileen, January 7, 2011 5:28 AM

Stay at home!

(92) Rivky, January 7, 2011 4:59 AM

Mommies who love their kids do not 'SPOIL' their children.

Since when does loving your children create spoiled brats?? If you have a baby, your responsibiliy is the child. Learn to love to love your loved ones. and take care of them.

(91) Anonymous, January 7, 2011 3:03 AM

Do what your heart tells you to do

I have been primarily a full time mother to my four children, except for about three years. I am a highly trained scientist with a PhD. I felt that I wanted to be the one singing, reading, playing and disciplining my kids and no one could replace my touch. The children are my greatest work of art and every day I mold them to be the wonderful people they will become. DO NOT let money guide your life. We don't have any fancy things at all. I shop at Walmart and JCPenny, and money is short, but the kids grow up and when they are in school full time, I will resume my career, at a less demanding, lower paying level.. but that is ok. I will never have fancy jewelry, and my son's bar mitzva will not have fancy benchers or kippahs, but he has a day school education (on a scholarship). Good luck on choosing what works the best for you.

(90) Anonymous, January 7, 2011 1:04 AM

Stay at home or work from home part time

My children are 27, 25, 19. I was blessed by Hashem to be able to stay at home with my children. Thanks to my lovely husband I either stayed home or when my kids were of school age, I worked at their school. Of course there were sacrifices. We did not have a great big house, or shopped at expensive stores, or had lots of material things. Instead of material things, my home was the place were all my children's friends came to play after school as well as Shabbat. My home was the comfort place for many Jewish children. Now that my children are all grown up I thank my husband and Hashem for letting me be with my children. They grew up so fast. Now is my time to work and do things for myself. My family is the most important thing in my life. Being home while my kids were young was PRICELESS.

(89) Anonymous, January 7, 2011 12:40 AM

To LS, who never knew of a caring stay at home mom.

The entire family should come first. One of the parents should stay home, when it is at all possible. Despite all I say next, the special moments make it so worth it! LS, you must be a male, or a full time working woman. Anyone who has stayed home all day, every day, has tons more work than at a job. I've worked as an accountant 60 hrs a week. Now, I'm a full time mom (that's on call 168 hrs a week with no breaks), years in a row. There's constant cleaning; the child, the stuff they keep taking out all day, the potty accidents...(in their clothes or poo in the carpet), throw-up, fun activities that make some mess, food preparation, food spilled/ thrown on the walls or floor/spit-up, tons of soiled clothes. The "easy" cleaning equipment doesn't take care of this on it's own. Also, there's the nursing, teething, boo-boos, teaching about everything, traveling (doctors, activities, classes, clubs). There's help with homework/projects/sports/club activities each is involved in. No child is better off else where, then 1:1 time with a parent who cares more, then anyone else on earth, about them. Re: poor dad, why'd he participate in getting her pregnant? Just to give her 3 extra jobs? Children=both parents needing to do more. She works more than before; dad can too if needed. He gets dinner & loving & doesn't need to clean up. He gets to eat/sleep all night/shower regularly, and use the toilet without a child in the bathroom with him. And more kids=much more work. In the 40's, women mainly worked because the men were risking their lives in WWII, or because their husband may have been wounded or killed. Many women before that had other family live with them and worked in walking distance from/or at home (seamstress). Teachers can tell the difference in the kids who had a parent at home helping the child, and one that didn't. My kids and most of their classmates (in advanced classes) had stay at home moms or dads. They're caring and bright.

(88) Aliza, January 6, 2011 10:52 PM

Nurture your child - but find the balance

first of all i'd like to dispute Mrs. LS, number 77 - children of stay at home moms are brats? spoiled? self obsorbed? underdeveloped??? quite on the contrary. Here where i live it is common to leave kids at home until age 3. i know so, so many children of a 3 year stay at home. They are sweet, sociable, developed, and what stands out most, nurtured. they were not tossed out of bed at 7am. They sleep natural. They feel stable and protected, and ready to leave when it is time. Mom has so many opportunities to teach them, concentrate on their development. My son is 2.5 and he is the exact opposite of that untrue descriptoion. The most well behaved, sharing (AND he's an only child!), smiley, smart, boy - and i'm not saying this cause i'm his mother :). Of course a balance must be found, and financial stress is a big factor that can make the days long and stressful, and a mother must find outlets for her own talents and nurture herself, in the evenings or even on the side of her child. i do needlepoint when we go out to the park and it nurtures me. A job from home is also better than outside, in some ways. As long as the child experiences his home as his fortress, where he will come back also in later years. As a teenager he will prefer his parents advice, feel secure to come home, versus out with friends all day and they are his society.

(87) Rebecca, January 6, 2011 10:31 PM

does she have a choice?

As for me, i did not have a choice about staying home. I took the longest maternity leaves possible (a few months each) and then had to return because my husband was either unemployed or making so little we could not pay the bills. The bottom line is, can she survive if she quits? If so, make the sacrifice for the sake of her child who is obviously having trouble coping with childcare. I know for a fact that it's not easy to find high-quality and affordable daycare. I went through 4 child care people in one year; it was awful. I don't think children are damaged by having happily working parents, but if the parents are so stressed that they can't enjoy their family life, something has to give. A child is small for such a short time. Consider that.

(86) Anonymous, January 6, 2011 7:52 PM

I'm in this situation now

The title of this blog hit home for me. My baby girl is 6 wks old and I have a son. I work full time 30 min from home and went right back to work after my son. This time around I took an extra month but am due to go back soon. Frankly, I don't mind working but i didn't have kids so they could be raised by a sitter 8 hrs a day. However, reality is 1- most places aren't looking for part time 2-jobs are hard to come by 3- we rely on this income- I would never add extra stress to my husband so i could stay home- but I really want to!!!

(85) Anonymous, January 6, 2011 7:49 PM

do what makes you happy

The answer is very simple; do what your heart says. you know the answer inside you. go where the feeling of love is. everything else will be all right as long as you are true to your heart. i raised my 3 children at home. 2 are mentally retarded. everything is possible. just believe.

(84) Dina, January 6, 2011 7:16 PM

older vs. younger kids

Referring to Lori's comment about 'not being able to tell the difference between her older vs. younger kids - I want to say that the beginning years of motherhood are so much a learning ground. When you stayed home with your older children you strengthened your mothering skills and intuition and your younger children benefited from that even though you weren't fully a stay at home mom at that point. If you child - is miserable at babysitting and playgroup - it is cruel to continuously send them there and not stay home. Especially if you as a mother are not 'in touch' with your mothering skills. I would tell this young mother to stay home- take a years sabbatical and plan on returning the following year or only work once a week. This way she can strengthen her child's trust and learn to understand her child better so she can find proper care for her child in the future and the child will be happy.

(83) Anonymous, January 6, 2011 6:26 PM

Is it fair to stay at home & then request a scholorship from the Yeshiva?

I stayed at home for 16 years with my children. I was forced to request scholorships from my children's yeshivos. Now that they are older and I am working I am able to pay full tuition. Was it fair of me? I struggle with this.

(82) Zoe, January 6, 2011 5:14 PM

Needed, address book of several daycare and babysitters

This mother is having a hard time adjusting to being a mother and decisions that have to be made. She has been able to talk it over with several other adult people she knows. Her child is having a tough time adjusting also, sad, her child can't talk it out with others. The tears are unspoken words. Since both the mother and child is in need of adjusting, request a leave of absence from your workplace and take that time to adjust and decide what is best for the family. You need the space to think this over without feeling pressure to make a decision on the spot. Others have mention the gradual separation an hour at a time, family members, and looking into other options of daycare facilities that may be more suited for your child, if needed in the future. I remember being left at a preschool and the teacher was mean spirited and yes I cried for my mom, wanting to be away from that woman. Look into a daycare where the people running it are more like you. My mother was a stay at home mom and she wasn't mean spirited. So the first time left with a mother figure so to speak that was so opposite than my mom, was a giant in my eyes. What more for a 1yr old that can't verbalize what he thinks. I was able to say I want my mom, and they called her. The last time I ever had to do that for I never went back there. If you decide to stay at home, you still need some time away from your children. Whether it's a few hours a week or for a date night with your husband. Either way you decide, you need to have compatible caretaker's for your child, a phone call away.

(81) Tali, January 6, 2011 4:19 PM

Staying at home can be a gift

First of all, I resent the person who states that those of us who stay at home are lazy. I am a stay at home Mom who also keeps books for my husband's business. I keep our home clean, cook fresh meals every night, take care of our child, and do all of things that I would be too tired to do if I worked a separate job all day. In another life, I was a legal secretary. I work harder now than I ever have in my life! Staying at home has provided me with the gift of watching my daughter grow. She is not unsocialized, spoiled, bratty or underdeveloped. LS, you obviously have no idea what those of us who stay home do all day. Staying at home can be the most UNSELFISH thing we do; it's a job in itself. And my husband likes coming home to a happy child, a clean home, and a home cooked meal, so no need to feel badly for him. Whether to stay at home or work outside the home is a personal choice. Neither is inherently right or wrong. The choice one makes with regard to this issue must be made according to the circumstances of the individual's household. Let's not demonize either group.

(80) Anonymous, January 6, 2011 3:48 PM

compromise

she is working because: finacial resons she needs some time with adults she loves what she is doing it is very meaning full to her she can compromise. she can work part time out of home ie 3 time a week and stay home the rest. some women feel that for them to be the absolute bet mom they can be they need to "air out" and see adults their peers from time to time. working part time out of the home does that. finacialy it wont be such a sacrifice (cut in income but not completly) and her son will learn that mommy can't be with me all day but she is with me and will come back to get me at the end of the day because this is temprorary. some youg children cry when they see their parent leave even when they are older such as 3-4 years old. as long as they know that mommy is comming back and she loves me very much then every thing will fall into place

(79) SZ, January 6, 2011 2:55 PM

Why is mom best?

I completely disagree with those who say that noone will do better job then mom. If mom is very tired, stressed, and irritable being at home, then it's definitely worse then a babysitter who is loving and patient. Also do we consider what the husband wants? I'm surprised it wasn't mentioned at all, if he prefers that she works that's another thing to consider.

(78) Debbie, January 6, 2011 5:14 AM

They don't stay little for long.

You may not have this opportunity again. You have to weigh all the pros & cons, but in the end, your children have to come first. And you should get as much enjoyment from the kids at each stage while being there to fulfill their needs. There will be time later on to make money.

(77) L.S., January 6, 2011 2:31 AM

WORK! I feel sorry for the husbands of "stay at home moms"

People need to get their facts straight. For years, Jewish women had very large families and were the breadwinners while their husbands were immersed in Torah study. Women for years worked during a time when homemaking was a more difficult task. The farmer's wife worked along side the farmer! The children of "stay at home moms" tend to be more spoiled, self-absorbed, bratty, and underdeveloped. The children of working moms know restraint, respect, discipline, and are more confident and articulate. All of you "stay at home moms" over-burden your husbands, putting ALL the fiancial pressure on the poor fellows. This "good for the child" lines who spin are sweet little lies you tell yourselves to make you feel better about being LAZY. I do not respect your selfish choices and feel sorry for your husbands who work themselves to the bone while you remain idle.

(76) Anonymous, January 6, 2011 2:15 AM

stay at home

I recently had my 5th child. i have always worked full time. i wish i was zoche to stay at home with my children. unfortunately in todays economy with yeshiva tuition it is impossible not to have two incomes, and as my children get older our expenses only increase. my advice to someone who loves her job but wants to stay home, is to compromise maybe she can work part time. That would be my ideal.

(75) Anonymous, January 5, 2011 11:47 PM

Every situation is different

The most important thing is to keep the marriage together. If not working outside the home causes such a financial burden, the marriage falls apart. And if staying at causes the mother to be greatly depressed and unhappy, the child and husband will be unhappy as well, and the marriage could fall apart, as well. This mother needs to try several options, which could take some time b/c children need time to adjust to new things, to determine what will work best for her situation. Each of the ideas stated need to be tried: a home-business or teaching online, a family member babysitting part-time with either daycare, in-home daycare, or the mom covering the rest of the day. The mom has to decide if her child can "get over it" as independence from Mom is a childhood milestone, or if her child cannot handle this and really needs her at this time in order to be a well-adjusted, thriving child. I am a stay-at-home mom of 2. My oldest is extremely extroverted and loves going to preschool. She doesn't miss me at all. My youngest is introverted, fearful of new people and situations, and can't stand iF I leave the room to even go to the bathroom. My two different kids have different needs. And if my husband said we can't survive without more income, we would take this advice and try different work situations to see what is best for the family. This could just be Hashem's way of saying that her old job is the old 'you', "But now you are married, have a child, and I have something else in mind for you to do that's more important right now," whether it's staying at home, working outside just part-time, working an online business or starting up something entrepreneurial of which only SHE has the foresight.

(74) shoshana, January 5, 2011 10:47 PM

personal choice

There is no generalazation for whats good for each mother. One suggestion I have is: this woman can perhaps, work part time. This way she brings in money to her home, but can still spend some time with her son. She can also ask advice fromm mothers in different situations, speak to women who stay at home and speak to mothers who work. Validate both sides and decide from there. I do have strong advice: don't let anyone tell you whats good for YOUR child or ALL children. Don't let anyone pressure you in to soemthing taht may not work out for you. Which ever decision you make your child will turn out fine.

(73) Anonymous, January 5, 2011 7:25 PM

Balance the two; maybe work p/t or stay home and watch 1-2 other children

Maybe she could find a p/t job, say maybe a few hours a day or stay home and work from home doing something like watch other young children.

(72) Lin, January 5, 2011 4:51 PM

Work part-time

I would advise the woman to try to job share or find a part time situation. Being at home full time when you love your job can be stressful and make the mom resentful of having to do so. Being away full time isn't working for her son. Splitting the difference will keep the mom fulfilled and energized, bring money in and allow her to be a happier mom when she is with her son.

(71) Marcia, January 5, 2011 4:00 PM

Stay at Home

In the grand scheme of things, is it more important to be a good Mother or a good employee? Your children are only young for a short time. Stay at home, you won't regret it.

(70) Anonymous, January 5, 2011 3:57 PM

2nd Job

Clearly the child need's it's mother. If the money so so important tell the husband to get another job, or if possible maybe she can work from home if not at the job she has now a different one.

(69) Debra, January 5, 2011 10:53 AM

remember Dad

Whatever decision is made needs Dads involvement. Is his voice being heard?

(68) Jack Shiffman, January 5, 2011 7:10 AM

A definite conundrum.

Apparently the child has a very close attachment to the mother which is probably the reason for the unhappiness at day care. Possibly a close relative could care for the child for a short while until the child becomes accostomed to be without the mother. Then try day care again.

(67) Big Max, January 5, 2011 6:40 AM

TRY IT MY WAY--THE OLD FASHION WAY

My wife and I decided when we were blessed with children she would quit work to stay home to be a mom. How did it work out ? You tell me. Last week we celebrated two birthdays,my son is now 64 years old ,my daughter is 60. Since they had their own families the moms didn't go to work till after the kids graduated college. We and our children are of the opinion thats the way to properly raise and get to know your children. We have discused this issue and feel we made the right decision and even the grandchildren agree. At least once a week they all check up on us. And after 66 years of wedded bliss we know we made the right decision. Try it , it may work for you as well.

(66) Anonymous, January 5, 2011 6:34 AM

stay at home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

well, i should say that she has her hole life to work ad her kid needs his mom, nobody can take a moms place,so there ,let your husband get a second job. i also have kids i have 5 2 girls and tripelet boysss i live in mexico and its not easyyyy but the time you spend withh your boy nobody can replace so stay at home

(65) Anonymous, January 5, 2011 3:39 AM

It's not either/ or -- explore all options!

There are lots of needs to be juggled, and she needs to try and meet as many as possible as well as possible. Solutions that worked for other families won't necessarily work for hers. NEEDS 1)She needs to be growing, learning, contributing as a person rather than just being "mom". 2)The baby needs the vast majority of his waking hours to be in a place where he feels safe and comfortable. 3)Their financial needs are needs too! 4)Her husband needs to be a full-fledged member of the decision-making team, especially since any of her choices probably has unpleasant ramifications on their financial situation. Ideas: If she's tried many different daycare situations, maybe she could try a babysitter in her home. More expensive, but more likely to be comfortable for a child who is very attached. If he's still miserable with a babysitter, maybe she could work less hours -- or work during nighttime hours -- she'll keep up her connection to the working world, keep up her skills, help with finances, but still be able to be with him for hours each day. As you suggested, maybe she can work FROM home, do away with the "babysitter's cut" as well as being able to be with the baby. Being a stay at home mom does mean that you'll physically be there for your child but it doesn't necessarily mean you are emotionally there for them. If you are emotionally feeling stifled and bored, chances are you don't have that much to give to your children. Therefore, if she does decide to become a full fledged stay at home mom, she should do her best to find ways to stay connected to people in her field, keep up her skills so that re-entry won't be too difficult when she's ready for it. Also, she should be sure to create opportunities for herself to keep learning, growing and stimulating herself (books, learning partners, etc).

(64) sherri, January 5, 2011 2:01 AM

I am aghast at people who write things like whatever makes mom happiest or most content. That kind of self centered thinking is absolutely antithetical to being a good parent. Feel free to follow your whims when you are single and childless, but if you decide to bring a life in this world then don't be saying I like my job better than you. Honestly, I am shocked Lori, that you are even asking the question....I refuse to believe that if your child cried being left off at daycare, let alone crying the entire day, you would even for one second question what to do. It's obviously not an either or situation. One can get adult stimulation when hubby comes home and kids are off to bed...you can read, talk to friends, catch a class...enjoy your husband's company. If you can't be without constant adult stimulation, do everyone a favor and don't have children!!

(63) sonia, January 5, 2011 1:14 AM

Isn't there a medium situation?

My sister in law quit her job and became a full time mom. But her daughter bacame a little tyrant, far too self-centered in her childhood. when she was old enough to go to school, and there were money issues in the familiy... there was a crisis and no good job in sight, no job to earn 50% of what she was earning. Maybe the woman Lori tells us could work a few hours, not disconnect herself from the working workl. maybe she could work at home, with a pc online. The wailing of the little boy at day center looks too much he's reacting to mother's guilt. Women work, and have worked for centuries. Our bobes had 7 children AND worked, in or out the house, or both. So tjere was no much of prime time for every baby-except the firstborn. I should insist on a middle time job, and quality time -and firmness too- when you take the child home.

(62) Karen, January 5, 2011 12:25 AM

nights

I worked nights & my husband worked days. It forced him to be more "hands on" and keeped the kids at home. I was sleeping when Daddy watched & they were all sleeping when I was at work. There was a bit of a problem when the oldest went to school. The youngest had never been without his brother! It's always something!

(61) Anonymous, January 5, 2011 12:18 AM

YOU"LL NEVER REGRET IT!

I know that money is an issue, but it should never out weigh the family's good. I have never heard anyone regret staying home and being there for their young children. Faith is believing that HaShem will pop up another great job for you when the time comes, honoring you for the sacrifice you are making now. Your child crying now is proof that the family needs some change -- young children need their mommy. And what an honor to be the one there for them. Finances are fleeting but family is forever.

(60) Anonymous, January 5, 2011 12:07 AM

Autism makes a difference

My son has high functioning autism. I have stayed home to be with him since he gets out of school very early. Also, he has therapy and a doctor for medication. I could not see giving this to someone else to do. I have helped him with his speech and normal activities of daily living. His teacher actually thanked me for spending time with him. She can't even get some kids parents to sit down & do homework with them. The field that I worked in was drying up. Also, I am going back to school part-time. Quite simply, the time that I spend with my son not only helps him to do better. It makes him a much happier kid.

(59) Rochel, January 4, 2011 10:44 PM

STAY HOME, WORKING IS SELFISH

your child needs you and so does your husband. stay home and create a beautiful home for your family with the warmth that only you can create. your husband needs you to be his helpmate, not a rag that comes home after a long day's work. I am sure that after you consider how much it costs you to work, you will not be missing that much money. there is the cost of daycare, gas, supplies, car maintinence, work clothes, lunches, etc... that will no longer be an issue. also, you can get creative, make a few sacrifices financially and bless yourself and your family with a mom and wife who is really taking care of their needs ( and yours ). You can always work when your youngest starts school, but only part time. Being a wife and mom is a full time job in itself and no one can, or should have to, do it all. It is unfortunate that the feminist movement has taken away our precious and priceless role in the home.

(58) Frits., January 4, 2011 10:37 PM

stay home as a career

If you are a professional Mum by caring for your children en teach them about commitment, giving love, motivation to achieve by doing interesting things so that they learn by playing, showing mutual love in between husband and wife, respect, discipline and whatever it takes to be a wholesome person, then you have the most highly respected profession one can choose. Only if you make something interesting, it is interesting, otherwise any job is boring. Long live the dedicated mothers who are pillars of our society.

(57) Raisy, January 4, 2011 10:34 PM

Pele Yo'eitz

According to the sefer, Pele Yo'eitz, by Rav Eliezer Papo, it is forbidden to leave infants to cry. To paraphrase: One who delays attending [to the child's needs] because she/he is busy with other things will have to give a din v'cheshbon to the One Above...'

(56) SK, January 4, 2011 10:34 PM

compromise

If at all possible, try to work only half a day away from home. Getting dressed and Going out for a while, with good day care accomodations, is great for a Mom, who then comes home and still has plenty of time to spend with her child/ren. Depending on the type of work, this could really be the best of both worlds.

(55) Ellen Lehrman Schwarz, January 4, 2011 9:43 PM

no easy answer

There is no one answer for everyone. How old is the child? Perhaps he is too young. Lori says the mother has tried several daycare situations. How long does the child stay before she switches him to another center? The constant upheaval may be part of the problem. Can the mother work part-time, thus shortening the child's stay in daycare? Can he be picked up after lunch by a sitter? Can he stay home with the sitter? Baruch HaShem, this woman probably has more choices than full time work & daycare vs no work/no daycare.

(54) michelle, January 4, 2011 9:14 PM

you don't know how great it is to stay at home till you've tried it

Sure she has fear of change....and fear of less income but in fact with faith and trust in God the amount of money the family needs will be there for them. If the mother works outside the home: Daycare costs money, stress ruins health and marriage, transportation costs money, getting more help at home costs money. By staying home she'll break even! Her work will still be there in 2, 3 or 4 years when her child is old enough to go happily to daycare or school.

(53) Meira, January 4, 2011 8:41 PM

There is time for everything

It’s well known that children's development (including physical, emotional, mental and so on) accelerate first years of their life and it is unique and needs individual approach at that time. If you miss this period of time- you (at best) would work harder and longer to compensate it later. That’s why, I think, Mom has to take care of her kids for the first three years of their life, unless there is someone in their own family, who can di it better than she. No money can build up child’s self-esteem, cognitive capacities and gifts as well as health better than constant love and nurturing obtained from his/her family for the first three years of child’s life. But then he or she should be exposed to different social activities on a constant basic and find his or her role in the society: speech, moral code, self- discovery can be developed through social interactions only; otherwise all benefits of loving surroundings will be turned into selfishness. That, of cause, doesn’t mean that parents already are out of game, but they have to begin thinking about time, when children will be left on their own and start think of their own “empty nest” syndrome that inevitable come as the result of that. So, there is time to keep a child in a loving environment and there is time to let him go out of it.

(52) momma, January 4, 2011 8:34 PM

Home is where the heart is

Priorities. God, husband, children, others, self. Look up scriptures on teaching your own children. Proverbs is a book about how children should listen to the teachings of their parents. Focus on God, then your husband, then your children, then others, and you will have peace and harmony in your home. Don't send your kid off to daycare where they can be abused, even sexually, taught things of the world, and become disconnected from you. Don't send them off to public school where they will be brainwashed. Homeschool them. Teach them scripture, teach them what is most important. They will appreciate how much you invested your time in them, and they will appreciate that you chose them over living more comfortably. Your husband will, too, if he also has his priorities straight.

(51) Anonymous, January 4, 2011 8:11 PM

happy mother = happy family! there is no "right" answer for everyone! working full time with great daycare is perfect for some families and home full time is for others...do what is right for YOU and your family, not what is the fad.

(50) Yael, January 4, 2011 8:06 PM

Give It a Chance

I never thought that I wanted to stay at home with my kids. I never particularly liked babysitting and did it for the money. When my first son was born, I was out of the house part time. I stayed at home this year because I was let go from my job and was unable to find another. I have to tell you, I love it! I never imagined how wonderful it could be. I now have two sons, and I spend the day with them! I have time for intellectual and social pursuits at night when they are sleeping, but the days are dedicated to my kids. In response to L.S., I know a number of moms who are staying at home with their kids, including one who runs a daycare in her home in order to do so. These women are not shopping for jewlery all day, or drinking alcohol to make the time pass. Some work from home, and some don't need to. But they are focused on their kids. I don't think that daycare is a bad option, and I'm sure that it can "produce" happy children. But it can never give you back the time with your kids. Also, I can't imagine daycare being a good option for a child who really is unhappy there. If this isn't an instance of "needing time to adjust", then the child's happiness needs to be a priority. One thing I learned this year is that there are different ways of making money and finding fulfillment. Ask around your community and get ideas from other women, especially, who are always trying to find ways to balance work and family. Keep your mind open to new ideas.

(49) Anonymous, January 4, 2011 6:54 PM

STAY HOME

IT IS PEACEFUL TO EVERY ONE TO STAY HOME .HAPPIER. TRY TO FIND AJOB AT HOME. HAVEBABY SITTING JOB AT HOME

(48) Rachel, January 4, 2011 6:44 PM

Loved being at home, needed to work

I'm surprised at the commenters who think that women (and why is it always about the women, not including men's choices to work or stay home) who work outside are less caring or don't love their kids as much. I would have preferred to stay home (and I don't understand people who are "bored" or "unconnected" at home; surely you can have friends over or meet them outside your home). HOWEVER: Finances are an issue. While my children were very little, I worked the evening shift (5:30-12:30) at a law firm; we had a lovely sitter for the gap period (about 2-3 hours a day) and then my husband was home by 7 and he had the kids in the evening. With day school tuitions on the horizon (when our non-religious friends were all saving already for college), it was the only way to be able to put some money away AND still be the primary caregivers for our own children. Best of luck to everyone facing this dilemma.

(47) L.S., January 4, 2011 6:41 PM

Go to Work! Staying home is selfish

Before anyone blasts my comment, please READ the WHOLE thing. If she quits her job to stay home, ALL the financial burden is unfairly placed on him, and so staying at home is a SELFISH act because doesn't the dad get to spend time with the child? He won't if he is working all the time to make up for lost income. I always feel sorry for the husbands of "stay at home moms" ALL, yes, EACH and EVERY "stay at home mom" I personally know spends more time on the house, jewelry, shopping, lunch with friends, and gym, than they do with their own children. I know of TWO mothers who actually stay at home and don't go shopping all day...one spends 9-3 drinking alcohol to make the day go by while her kids are in school all day. The other one told me that the only reason why she had her 3rd child was because her oldest 2 were in school all day and she was bored at home by herself. As for Proverbs 31...that was an era where cooking, cleaning, laundry were all arduos. With the help of a washing maching, oven, vacuum cleaner, etc housework is a piece of cake and with two incomes if it is too much, the couple can hire help. The "traditional family" is a lie. PRIOR to the 1950's, women made up a significant portion of the labor force in the 1940's, and at the turn of the century, a vast majority of immigrant workers were WOMEN. Yes, WOMEN WORKED BEFORE THE 1950's AND RAISED LARGE FAMILIES WITH GOOD KIDS! There is NOWHERE in the Torah that says a woman MUST stay home and in many Kollel families, the woman is the breadwinner while the husband sits and learns all day, the kids in daycare and they are FINE. Studies after studies have shown that children with employed mothers have higher IQs, higher levels of self confidence, and are more independent. On a final note, I think staying at home leaves a lot of women feeling emotionally drained and intellectually frustrated and having a part time job allows for a bit of a break so that the children are not co-dependent.

(46) Anonymous, January 4, 2011 6:36 PM

daycare and emotional satisfaction

I would say it is worth it to explore whether a good daycare situation is possible before making a decision. Also, take emotional satisfaction into account: will working or being home make you more satisfied? Self-fulfillment is prerequisite to good mothering, and if you feel that you gave up your job for your child, it could result in subconcious resentment - unless you do indeed find stay-at-home mothering as rewarding as the job you gave up. Is there a way to take a leave of absence and try stay-at-home in a temporary way before making a long-term commitment?

(45) Anonymous, January 4, 2011 6:11 PM

she has a gift

I was a war baby, left on my own often while mum had to work while being evacuated, and then left at a nursery from 18 months - I can only remember my mother working, I seemed to bring myself up, my father was not always around either, working nights and sleeping during the day. It would have been wonderful, I might have been a more confident person had I grown up with my mother around a bit more but I have no regrets, I know she loved me and perhaps finding myself more capable in the long run. These days, its not financial gain that makes a family, its closeness and "cutting the cloth accordingly" that makes for a stronger and more jointed family unit - there is so much one can do from home and not knowing the work this lady does I am sure she could teach, or with the technology available perhaps still enjoy working with her present company, or why, may I ask have a family at all if work is more desirable?

(44) Anonymous, January 4, 2011 5:45 PM

Do what will make you a happier mother

A happier and confident mother will have a happier and confident child. Then, her well being is also very important. What makes you happier? A excel devoted motherhood, that makes your self proud and joyful to be at home, or a life with a good motherhood and a besides professional success that will bring important energy suplays to home, in the form of a psychologically and monetary self -assures. The second essential question is when? The time is now?a few months later? years later? The answer is: self awareness.

(43) Monica, January 4, 2011 5:33 PM

Torn

Because you can even ask the question should I stay home or go to work means that you have the option. If going to work (no matter how rewarding) is affecting your marriage, your baby, your parenting and your life--don't you think it may be a sign? It isn't as though you will never be able to work again if you stay at home. But you will never be able to see those "firsts" if you don't. No one loves your baby more than you so why would you ever give the most precious thing in your life to someone (no matter how wonderful) that isn't you? My husband and I both work part-time so that we can each stay at home with our boys on alternating days. Could this be an option for you? It is a difficult decision to stay at home but if you weigh the rewards of your children's love, hugs, kisses, laughter etc. no money in the world could compensate for that.

(42) Anonymous, January 4, 2011 5:27 PM

unmentioned suggestions

She loves her job, perhaps Dad should stay at home? A less drastic suggestion would be for Dan to take his child to day care, since the child may be picking up on Mom's ambivalence. Sometimes a working Mom provides for neccestities. I was divorced when my children were 3.5 and 2 years old. It was hard to leave them and go back to work, but I was able to find a day care with lots of activities and spoke to them about going to school and what fun they would have and so they looked forward to playing with their friends as well as learning new things. When the choice is between staying at home and providing healthy food for your children and a roof over their head it limits your options.

(41) Ronni, January 4, 2011 5:23 PM

Where Is The Baby Happy?

I think it all boils down to where the baby will be happy. If you have excellent loving childcare then a job can be ok but otherwise think about how short those baby days last. I'd do whatever I could to stay at home with them and give them the love and nurturing that they can't get elsewhere.

(40) judith, January 4, 2011 5:08 PM

stay with the child!

if you think yes/no, it means that it's not “absolutely a no must”, it means you have a choice (choice is luxure, even if you need little more money you are not starving but you baby does) so start with a 1 year, or 2 years stay home plan, maybe in 8 months your child will get more autonomy, then he will make little friends and will start loving to go to play with the other children at school? He might not be yet use to be with other sweet nice children. If he cries all day at school PLEASE STAY WITH HIM, please stay with your child!!

(39) Anonymous, January 4, 2011 4:55 PM

Stay at Home Mom

Lori, As a mother who has always attended college or worked since my now-grown children were babies, I would wholeheartedly recommend that the lady in question stay at home. It seems as though she could do so, if she made financial sacrifices. In my case, I could not afford to stay at home, and I had a government job where my status was not yet permanent, and staying at home would have caused me to jeopardize earning career status. If I had the choice, I would have remained at home, because working and then tending to a family was just too stressful and exhausting, and it took a toll on our Shalom Bayis. I had difficult day care situations, as well. Children are only small once, and I say, enjoy your children and go back to work when they are in school all day. That is my suggestion. Thanks for reading, Chanah

(38) Norma Steinberg, January 4, 2011 4:52 PM

I would never change

Lori dear, I have recently arrived at the age of 90 years young. When my son was born in 1948, I decided to devote my time to his care and training. I was fortunate that my mother was able to assist when needed. As he developed, we attended concerts, visited museums, and traveled to sojourn with family and friends To this day, I have never regretted my decision. When he married, we purchased a home in which we still live today. I have been so grateful to Hashem for this opportunity to be with them, to assist in the upbringing of my grandchilden with whom, to this day, I have a close relationship. I have recently become a great grandmother and continue to feel the closeness that surrounds us. I would never change. Norma

(37) Anonymous, January 4, 2011 4:48 PM

Happy mother=happy kids

Whatever she feels will make her happy! Babies will cry at separating from mom but that too shall pass and especially if they need the money - she needs to calmly explaing every am to the child that it is time to say good-bye but that she will be back at the end of the day and talk about what they will do then - baby understands and feels her calm about the situation.

(36) rachel, January 4, 2011 4:45 PM

child crying all day?

If the child is crying all day at daycare- take him out at once! No good will come out of this.Your child is extrememly unhappy and even if it means stopping to work, in the end, what is truly important? I had a child that was extremely unhappy in a playgroup and I felt like I turned gray overnight. You will know when you make the right decision because you will feel at ease with yourself. I understand you need $$$ for financial reasons, but loving this particular job should not be a factor in your decision making. Jobs come and go. Your children do not. If you stay the same way that you are you will run yourself down with the stress of having an unhappy child. Are you going to lose your house? not have food on the table? what is at risk here if you stop working? Also- is there someone who can watch your child for one or two days ( a relative or neighbor- someone who is familiar with the child) so that you can think this one out and figure out a real plan?

(35) Susan, January 4, 2011 4:37 PM

Stay home

I worked for nearly 15 years as an assistant to the lead teacher in day care kindergarten. I had the luxury of taking my kids to work with me. (I had three, very spread apart in age) I had the best time of my life then with the kids but, even better once I quit that job to stay home. Several years later, my youngest daughter suffered greatly in middle school when I got a full time position and devoted too much time to a job that we desperately needed. She was going through a rough time in school with bullies, couldn't bring herself to tell me, and tried to take her own life. We got the help she needed, I quit that job. They are not little forever, stay with him as much as possible, if you can do a part time thing, it could be the best of both worlds. It used to break my heart to see the young ones come in crying their hearts out being away from mom and they were not ready. Start the separation process slow, you will need to get him ready for being away from you at some points of course, but for now, it is too darn much on him. I like what number 27 has to say. Money was tight, but who cares when you can see your children grow up. It truly is the best satisfaction one can ever hope for.

(34) Anonymous, January 4, 2011 4:37 PM

i have done both and Thank Hash-m for where He has brought me! I now work in an office and feel i have the best of both worlds. i work 10-2 each day and can reenergize to have the patience and love that my young children need and deserve. if i were to be home all day with my young children (and this is the way I would be im not speaking for everyone!) I would definatly not have the same patience and love to give my children,. Daven that Hash-m sends your way a compromize where you and your family can thrive and benefit from your way of life. Remember THE GOAL IS HAPPINESS (money helps but cant supply Happiness!!!!)

(33) Graciela Gerber, January 4, 2011 4:30 PM

I stayed at home

When my husband started the seminary in Manhattan we were living in NJ money was very limited we were living with money we brought from Germany. I did not know many people in our neighbourhood, I was alone with my son. Going out was going to dinner to my mother in law or to my cousins house. For five years I stayed at home, since I had has a carrier before my children were born, I did not resent one second of spending time with, first my son and then, both he and his sister. Going out of the house in winter was a production, but once I had a couple of friends, I did it. All I can say is that I would not change those years for all the money in the world. Once we moved to Houston, life became easier, my husband had a real job !! Still stay home until my last child started nursery school and I could teach at the same school. Now I am a full time nanny for my grandson while my daughter finishes her master. I enjoy it as much !!

(32) Julie Crawshaw, January 4, 2011 3:39 PM

Stay at home and work from home

Dear Lori, There are more stay-at-home work opportunities today than there have ever been before. Many companies are outsourcing work, so in addition to starting, say, an eBay or other Interner-based business, your friend might well be able to sell her skills to the very business for which she is now working. Yes, in some ways, it's easier to put in yur eight hours at the office and then go home. But young children do take naps, and can often be more comfortable playing by themselves when their mothers are nearby. It's not a perfect solution, but as one who has "been there and done that" I can tell you that you can make it work. All the best, Julie

(31) Teshuva, January 4, 2011 3:16 PM

Stay Home

Shalom, I have been a woman in the home for 37 yrs. I have cared for my 8 children, my dad when he was dying from cancer and now have my mil living with us . No one mentioned HaShem. I would look at Psalm 113:9 which says He makes the barren woman abide in the house As a joyful mother of children. Praise the LORD! Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of pottage, have we not too as women today? Abraham was chosen because he would teach his household the ways of Adonai. Did not the Proverbs 31 woman work within her home? What about the woman of Psalm 128: Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine Within your house, Your children like olive plants Around your table. Much has been lost since the home lost it's "heart" as women forsook it! Did not HaShem provide in the desert? He does today for I can truly say He has for my family and the riches have been more than money or "fame" can provide.

(30) Anonymous, January 4, 2011 3:13 PM

our greatest investment

we work hard so we can have things, most (not all woman) work for the extras. The extra cloth, vocaction, and our savings. Our children should be our investments. Lets invest in our children. best of luck.

(29) Sigahl, January 4, 2011 2:58 PM

Have it all by working part time

I highly recommend doing what I have been doing for the past 11 years - working 3 days a week. I have a career that I enjoy and am good at, I make money, but I also have the benefit of having days at home to enjoy the benefits of being a stay at home mom. It isn't always easy to find this kind of solution, but if you are a professional that is wanted in her field, it isn't too hard to convince an employer that this is a win win situation. They pay me less than they would if I worked full time yet I give 110% and I am happy at work because I don't feel guilty about leaving my kids since it's just part time. I get to stay in the workforce and up to date, but can also spend lot's of time with my children - plus have a bit of "me time" which always makes for happier moms. I will also say that this solution seems to be best for kids as well - they need lots of time with mom and dad, but time with other little ones in a loving setting is fun and exciting for them.

(28) ruth housman, January 4, 2011 2:50 PM

Torn!

The issue of staying at home was a great source of discontent when the Women's Movement took hold here in the US. Some women felt a great need for the independence of self assertion, and the need to get into the work world, feeling isolated and apart, and also it seemed the "ethic" of the times. Other women felt a great homing and nesting need, and the desire to be right there with their children in the early years, to watch those precious little steps first hand, daily. There was no one answer fits all, and certainly economics played and does play a crucial role in such decisions. Some families simply have no choice, given finances. I think the word "torn" as in between a rock and a hard place, the Scylla and Charybdis of life, is what we endure, in life, in all areas of our personal and collective stories. Decisions are hard to make, and most of them do require, as you say, this weighting, and often it's an ethical and angst-ridden process, of figuring out what's right, for us, for the other, for family and society as a whole. Where is G_d in all this? I say, G_d wants us to use our gray matter to explore the gray matters, and that angst will tell us how to act, even in doubt, and that is what is expected. To think about matters of love. Torn is also about the holes in the fabric of our lives, and to consider those tears, or rips in the fabric, as we do rip our fabric for a death, is to let the light come in, and to feel, to deeply feel, the love.

(27) Gerda Huisman, January 4, 2011 2:37 PM

I am 72 and hope I acquired some wisdom. My husband and I raised 4 children. I was a stay at home mom.Later I ran a successful business with my husband and we travelled a lot. What gave me the most satisfaction? Staying at home with the children. It was the best time of my life. Money was tight, but who cares when you can see your children grow up, have lots of fun with them and enjoy them to the fullest.

(26) Marie, January 4, 2011 2:21 PM

Stay at home

I have four children. I had to take some to daycare, and I was blessed to be able to stay at home with some. One went to daycare from 2 months until school age. The difference with her and her siblings are that I have had to work harder to establish and maintain that strong mother-child bond as there were other persons that she bonded with during the daytime (as expected). Additionally those who stayed home until school age were very advanced in comparison to their peers, as we were able to read together and learn lots of things together. They learnt values I wanted them to learn from early and I got the chance to explore my own talents and abilities, like writing, setting up our own business and ministry. I also just completed a child psychology course. Staying at home help me to help my school aged children even better with their homework and practices and helped me to be a better wife, mother and person generally.

(25) Anonymous, January 4, 2011 2:01 PM

She can be the one running the day care

If this mother chooses to stay at home, which is an excellent choice to make for her family, one possible home based business option is to be the one running the day care instead of dropping her son off at day care. There are, Baruch Hashem, many other at home choices for her if she investigates. I'm assuming that she has checked and that there is no family member that can care for her son. That would definitely be less stressful for him than daycare. In response to Lori's comment that she see no difference between her older kids and younger who did not have a full time at home mom, I think it is not an equal comparison. The younger ones had the older siblings to bridge between you and them and were not alone with strangers. In response to Lucy's comments, there are many ways to socialize a child, There are play groups, play grounds and play dates at gan. A woman doesn't have to become a full time employee to socialize her children.

(24) Mati, January 4, 2011 2:01 PM

Stay at home

I'm sure one reason why you don't see the difference is because you had the help of the older kids. The older kids had nobody else but you and your husband (when he returned from work or whatever). They were two separate environments with two separate conditions so the "your presence or not your presence" factor cannot be the determining "rule setter" for why they appeared "the same.". You should alway chose the birth parent over the guidance of another.

(23) Anita, January 4, 2011 1:35 PM

Why having children while prefering work?

I agree wholeheartedly with Sarah. Every child's wellbeing should be a first priority. Every child needs 100% love and care by a parent, especially the first years in their lives. Honestly, how can one sacrifice the wellbeing of ones child for a work? Work we can do all of our lives later, but our children are small and need our complete attention during the first 5 years at least. We know today that the lack of a parent's genuine love and care in a child's first years is the corner stone for a problematic adult life later for that child. A child has a full right to feel welcomed, loved and cared for full time without compromises. Money? Well, one has to live on less for a few years, that's all. Parent's wellbeing? Better having given support to a small child for a few years, than having to support a grown up 'child' for decades, struggling with internal deficiencies. Stay home with your child!

(22) Mom of 6, January 4, 2011 1:27 PM

Stay!

I stayed at home with my first 4 and when they entered school I went to work. 13 years later I had #5 and could not imagine leaving him. I am selfish and wanted to be the one there for all of the firsts. His first smile, his first word, his first steps, etc... You never get a chance to go back and get those firsts. Sure it was a financial strain, but daycare and doctor visits for the illnesses associated with daycare would have been too. So now I am a stay at home Mom again with #5 and 6 and now I am homeschooling as well. I saw the disservice public schools did for my older 4 and we are thrilled to have a 6 year old reading at a 5th grade level. You have to pray and decide what is right for you and your family.

(21) Jessica, January 4, 2011 1:26 PM

Do what makes most sense for Mom, kids adapt well

It is very hard to stay home all day. There is little adult interaction and stimulation and of course there is no income. Sometimes that sacrifice is not worth it for Mom because she feels grumpy and isolated. If work helps Mom feel fulfilled and supports the family, then Mom just needs to find better childcare...perhaps an in home sitter or a different daycare. I don't think Moms who aren't cut out to be at home should be guilted into it. There is tremendous pressure for mothers to stay at home and I think it's not always the right fit for each mother.

(20) gale, January 4, 2011 1:09 PM

I am a stay at home mom of three boys all under the age of 8. We gave up a lot to do this and have no regrets. Follow your gut instinct. Do what you have to do to still stand proud on your own two feet and feel proud of your decision every day. They are only young and need your full attention for a short while. My heart is with you.

(19) Gloria, January 4, 2011 1:02 PM

Decision has to be between you and your husband

I don't think there can be a wrong decision, but obviously there has to be a decision. My oldest child had medical issues so I could not return to work during his early years. I really had no choice, and we dealt with less income. It is amazing what you don't need if you are not working. On the other hand many of my friends worked when their children were young and the extra income did offer extra opportunities, as well as the extra socialization for their children. So Lori, my answer is a non-answer. I do not know.

(18) Johnny, January 4, 2011 12:12 PM

This may be a option

Is there a way for her to change her sheudule around so that she goes to work when the father is home, like at night or something?

(17) Sarah, January 4, 2011 6:54 AM

Shame on Aish

How could this decision be such a difficult one for a mom? The question boils down to, what are people's priorities? Who cares if she enjoys her work and she gets extra money to buy extra clothes, cars and vacations. It doesn't look like her baby is happy with her decision. How could a mom choose a minimum wage worker to take care of her own child over herself? Why do people have children if they're going to stick them in a daycare all day? Lori needs to stand up for the best interest of children- it doesn't matter what someone's circumstances are- babies are babies and they need their parents to take care of them. And fathers need to step up and become MEN- support your families..stop pushing the responsibility on everyone else

(16) Lucy, January 4, 2011 6:36 AM

is it worth it?

Ive found that staying at home and working from home is very hard - I struggled to find a job that would pay well enough to be able to take my son out to day care and it still be worthwhile for me, pay wise, not even thinking about guilt on taking my son out. He is at home now with me, and I try to work from home - its hard and I feel like my son is not socialising like he should be, he is scared of other kids and I feel he needs to be out in care with them for some point in the day. Loving them doesnt mean being with them all the time, it means doing whats best for them and their development bc they cant tell us - mummy I want to play with friends not you all day! If I could afford it, my son would be in daycare for some of the day and the rest with me. A balance. It needs to be whatevers right for parents and baby :)

(15) Anonymous, January 3, 2011 12:53 PM

Work from Home

I could imagine it must be a difficult decision to make between being home with your baby or working. Perhaps this woman should find out if her job will allow her to work remotely. This way she could still hold on to her job without sacrificing her time with her kid. Working remotely is becoming more popular these days. I would love to work from home if I could. Maybe she could stay at home and offer to watch other people's children too. Some women have their own playgroup in their homes.Not only will she be earning some income but her baby will have playmates.

(14) Beri, January 3, 2011 8:03 AM

Stay home!

Actually, I wouldn't tell someone else what to do, as it's very personal and involves different circumstances for each person. But I chose to stay home with my daughter for 10 years, and just started working this year. No one can replace a mother. No one. And my daughter is a shining star, so far ahead of her classmates in just about every way. Also, those years cannot be re-done. Those slow walks to gan, hand in hand. Naps together, rubbing noses. I loved every minute of being home with her. Being a mother is the best job I've ever had. B'hatzlacha!

(13) Rena, January 3, 2011 3:14 AM

mixed feelings

I am a stay at home mom and find it very fulfilling, my youngest is in preschool now so I work part time and that enables me to still be available for my kids at all times needed. I feel very blessed that this is my natural disposition but recognize that it is not so for everybody and think some children are better off with their mothers working, yet I know that my relationship with my children at this point (they are still young) is far more qualitative. Financially I have had to sacrifice somewhat but it really doesn't seem like a sacrifice when I see the benefits of my choice. We have a finite amount of energy, if a large percentage is being expended outside the home, it is hard for me to imagine that someone who is working can give the same quality care to those who need us at home. However I largely agree that a happy mom is essential to the equation and if mom isn't happy at home it is a sure recipe for unhappy kids. You mention that the baby is not happy in day care, I think this is the largest part of the decision. I believe that the mom in this instance should take some time off and make sure the baby is happy first. The first three years of life are crucial to the development of that child for life and we as parents have the responsibility to make every effort possible to make those years secure and happy ones.

(12) Yael, January 3, 2011 3:03 AM

This is a really tough decision that requires one to be really honest with themselves, about the needs of one's child(ren), real financial needs (what do you NEED to live and what can you do w/out), feelings of one's spouse (what are his values? ) and what kind of support is available to you in terms of childcare should you decide to work. I personally feel that being an at home mom is the ideal choice if you can swing it. However, today it has unfortunately become a luxury that only few can afford, literally. I feel very lucky to have been able to be home with my first 2 children for the first few years of their lives. They were challenging and sometimes lonely times (I felt like I was the only young mom around during the day) yet, the most rewarding and happy times and I think my kids are definitely better off because of that decision. However, just around the time of the birth of my third child, my husband lost his job and I decided that if I could get a job in my field, I should be helping out in that way. But, I took that decision very seriously and made sure to find a babysitting situation that was comfortable to both my children and me. It took some work, making calls,getting references, meeting different people, but ultimately I found a very nice (Jewish) woman who babysits in her home for a reasonable rate and my child went from crying the first few days (as with any new experience) to now loving it.) The bottom line is, moms need to take their primary job as "Mom" seriously (we can't afford not to) before contemplating any other. We owe it to our kids. Taking on a job outside the home is'nt impossible but it has to be done with lots of thought and with the realization that our kids are our main responsibility. Maybe you just need a better babysitting situation to make the whole picture better or perhaps a part-time job, or maybe it just isn't the right time to work. Either way, lots of luck with this important decision, it's not an easy one.

(11) Anonymous, January 3, 2011 2:10 AM

She should ask her husband

She should ask her husband -- if she doesn't work, it puts everythng on him. I'm surpirsed you did not emphasize that.

(10) Marina Rivera del Aguila, January 3, 2011 2:02 AM

Borne a child? Care for it! Don't wish to do it, don't have a child.

I had three daughters and cared for them all the way. Sometimes my ego would pop up and I would soothe it by telling myself: "You've been a statue; now it's your time to me a pedestal!"And, I wish you could see (and live with) those statues...

(9) Observer, January 2, 2011 10:16 PM

The wrong question

The issue is not stay at home vs working. If she can find work she can do at home that meets that meets her needs both financial and personal) she should look into that. She should also look into the possibility of telecommuting part time. Otherwise, the real problem may be that she is looking at the wrong type of childcare and / or that her stress if what is really upsetting the child. A one year old needs an unstructured setting with a very high staff to child ratio, also with fairly stable staffing. It needs to be the kind of place where each child is fed at his or her own schedule not at "lunchtime" or whatever. And, if she decides to keep working outside the home, she needs to ditch the guilt. Leave the child cheerfully and without angst, and when you pick up the kid do so cheerfully and enthusiastically. No "poor baby" or apologetics. Just keep an eye on things. For instance, the baby is often wet when you pick her up, that's a bad sign. same if the child is hungry but there is uneaten food.

(8) SusanE, January 2, 2011 7:45 PM

What?

If anyones child was crying most of the day from someone hurting him or frightening him you would shame the mother for not putting a stop to it.. To the child who is crying daily for his mother, the outcome is the same. He doesn't have a mother who will meet his needs unconditionally. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What would I do for my child who needed to be home for another few years? I would find a nanny, work from home or sell the house to be home with my child, to be sure he wasn't frightened, and that his needs were being met..

(7) Anonymous, January 2, 2011 3:14 PM

work for the sake of your kids

Someone once told me that when you need to work it helps to have in mind that you are doing it for your family. I think about this everyday when I go to work and leave my kids. It is hard, but thank G-d I have a great babysitter. If I could stay home I would, but since I can't, having in mind that it is for my kids is a sanity saver.

(6) , January 2, 2011 2:25 PM

I am a working mom. In my opinion 1 year olds should not go to daycare. A babysitter if you can get one, is the best things if you can't be there yourself and even btr the kid's grandparents.

(5) Anonymous, January 2, 2011 2:12 PM

Mom should decide what makes her happiest

I believe that mom should decide what she wants to do more. When my children were babies I worked, and my kids were very happy. I had a babysitter who came to our house to be with the baby and she played with the baby, read books, cooked - with more patience then I could, even though I'm the mom. If her baby is very unhappy in the daycare maybe she should look into another daycare or find someone to come to her house. Especially if she loves her job another thing to think about - will she be able to pick up with the same job in a few years or not. So really I think that it's best for the children when mom is happy.

(4) Kent, January 2, 2011 1:34 PM

to stay or to go

With so many issues at stake, keep sending the child to day care. The child will adjust.

(3) rachel, January 2, 2011 9:52 AM

stay home

I am a stay at home mom and I love every minute of it. I see it as a unique job to help a child develop into a secure well adjusted individual. You child has only one mother ,yet a job can be done by by other workers. If you feel your kids need their mother and you have the patience to stay at home, do so. Before you look around they grow up and you will have much more time to do other things. If you have the opportunity to stay home, why give it up? As far as finances go, it wont hurt the family to have less. Kids prefer a warm loving environment better than lotsof stuff from parents that have no time for them. Many of my neighbors work and their kids get sent to daycare and over the years one often can tell the difference. I have noticed that mothers who have less time for their kids or suffer a lot of stress from their jobs, have kids that lack self confidence . Even as a mom at home I do some odd jobs from home to bring in a little extra as long as it doesn't interfere with my parenting.

(2) Anonymous, January 2, 2011 9:32 AM

Happy Mommy

Children need a happy Mommy. If Mommy is happy at home then great. If Mommy needs to work to feel happy whether it is for financial security or for intellectual stimulation then it makes sense for Mommy to work. Level of contentment should trump all other considerations. Hatzlacha!

(1) Eti Silver, January 2, 2011 7:48 AM

Staying at home & making a living

I was home for many years as a licensed daycare provider. My children benefited from my love and caring, and they had playmates to play with while I had parnassah from this. I had singing time, playtime, craft time, and reading. In this way one can have parnassah and stay home at the same time. After they grew up I went out to work as an RN. Very worth the effort to stay home and get a little income but alot of fun for you and the kids.

 

Submit Your Comment:

  • Display my name?

  • Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.


  • * required field 2000
Submit Comment
stub

Receive Weekly Spirituality Emails

Sign up to our Spirituality Jewsletter.

Our privacy policy