If you found yourself asking this question soon after having a child, this week's show is a must-listen for you. You are not alone. Motherhood is undoubtedly a wonderful experience but it is also challenging. It is challenging in a way a woman has never been challenged before. It's something you can only really understand once you become a mom. Your whole life changes and your new role means that there are adjustments to be made in your mind, body and spirit. To further complicate this transition, it seems like everyone has an opinion or judgment about motherhood, parenting styles and the many choices each new mom and family are faced with. From choosing a birth experience and either cloth or disposable diapers to breastfeeding and vaccination options, friends, family, total strangers and Internet “experts” have advice that can leave moms feeling pressured to meet unrealistic expectations.
One of the first and most important decisions to be made is whether to stay at home to raise your child or return to work and arrange child care by someone else be it a partner, relative or paid daycare. According to CNN, 29% of mothers in the US stay at home to raise their children. There are many factors to consider when making this very personal choice. Finances may play a large part in making this choice since the average weekly cost of child care has risen over 70% between 1985 and 2011 according to the census bureau. Besides finances, however, a lot more is at stake here. How does your choice effect your mental health, sense of self, and marital relationship both in the short and long term? What does staying at home with a newborn, toddler or older child look like on a daily basis? What does your schedule look like as a working mom? Do you feel valued for your hard work and sacrifice? Is it worthwhile for you to work at a job that only covers childcare costs? What are the signs that indicate it is time to seek support if you're struggling? Is there a right or wrong choice? The answers to these questions are as unique as each woman and family.
Tune in to this great discussion about the psychological and emotional impact of choosing whether to be a stay-at-home or working mom. Dr. Renee Bibeault, MD is dedicated to supporting women through this transition by offering reassurance and education regarding the many resources available to them.
Here are some other great resources for moms:
Tips for SAHM's
Thinking of becoming a WAHM (work-at-home mom)?
Resources for working moms
Dr. Adeola Mead, ND is the Natural Choice Network's Healthy Living Content Coordinator. She is a Bastyr University graduate and Seattle based naturopathic physician. Dr. Mead is passionate about using natural medicine education as a powerful healing tool for both individuals and communities.
Are women defined by their work choices? Join us to explore this delicate subject and how it impacts women’s psychological and mental well-being
Listen to broadcast 05/27/14
Dr. Renee Bibeault, Psychiatry for Women