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Working mums vs Stay-at-home mums

Most mums would happily work part time if it was possible. Since our employment laws have yet to evolve, mums in Nigeria have to choose between working and staying at home. The debate of working mums vs stay at home mums cannot be exhaustively discussed in one blog post. This post is about why mums chose to work.

Things have long changed from the way they were decades ago. Many of us do not have families living close to us to help us with childcare like it was in the good old days. These arguments surface whenever there is news about an unfortunate family whose nanny absconded with the children (kidnap for ransom).  You find people asking questions such as “why can’t women just stay home and raise their children instead of chasing careers?”, “your career and your children which is more important?” on social media.

The school of thought that mums should raise their children themselves and not leave their child/children in a nursey or with a nanny while they dance off to God knows where along with the guilting of working mothers is really absurd.

Argument in favour of mums returning to work after maternity leave or mums finding work after having their baby;

1.   Returning to work will ensure you keep your job and career. You will be unemployable if you have been absent from the employment scene from the time your first child was born to the time your last child sets off to boarding school. Some people would argue that you can “start business” failing to consider that not everyone is wired for entrepreneurship.

2.   Returning to work means that if your husband is no longer able to provide for you for any reason (ill health, loss of business, redundancy, divorce or death) you and your children will not be homeless.

3.   Single mothers have to work because they are the sole providers for themselves and their children.

4.   By working you will be contributing to your family’s finances. Two sources of income in the present economy will ease a lot of financial strains.

5.   When your kids are grown you then have all the years of experience to soar in your career. You will not be beginning a graduate entry role job which is the level you will likely be starting at if you are lucky enough to get a job.

6.   Working means that your brain gets a break from nappies and children. You get to interact with other adults. Your children will benefit from a well-rounded mother and husband will benefit from a well-rounded wife.

This is not criticizing stay at home mums. Maybe your family is wealthy and you have chosen to stay at home to raise your kids or maybe you’re just from an average family but still put your career on hold to raise your kids, it’s alright. It is your choice. You made the best decision for your family as every family is different. Just as a working mom made the best decision for her family and decided to keep working.

To be honest most women would rather stay at home to raise their kids, but the financial risk is too great. It is really hard juggling work and children so working moms need all the encouragement they can get. The secret to a successful, sane working mum is fantastic childcare. Weather you choose to go with a professonal nanny or a nursery/crèche that offers wrap around care.