General Question

skfinkel's avatar

How many months do you think is the optimum time to stay home after the birth of a baby?

Asked by skfinkel (13511points) April 11th, 2008

Whatever you answered, is this answer different from what you thought before you had a child? (if you have had a child).

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11 Answers

mcbealer's avatar

Hindsight is always 20/20. You will have to decide this for yourself based on your family dynamics, employment prospectus, and financial situation. I would say, stay at home as long as you can. -a Mom in MD

gooch's avatar

18 years nobody can raise your child better than you. My wife and I decided one of us would stay home to raise the children before we made her. She decided to quit her regular job and raise her. It has worked out great. Our thought was “why have a kid to send it off and let someone else get to raise it?” After all kids cost these days we are not sharing any of if. Call us greedy if you want!

babiturtle36's avatar

My best friend just had a baby March 13, she is taking off 8–10 weeks. She wants the baby to be able to hold its head up.

mzgator's avatar

I can not and would not attempt to speak for anyone else or their financial status or career attitude in regard to staying home for an extended period of time or not in order to raise a child. I will say that my choice to stay home and be a full time mom was the greatest decision we ever made. We have had to sacrifice at times, but all was worth it.

I think either the husband or wife or a combination of the two should stay with the baby as long as feasibly possible. No one will love and nurture your child the way his or her parent will.

hairypalm's avatar

My wife is a stay at home mom, she use to have3 jobs. (sugar mamma) then we had three like jellyfish.

FlutherMother's avatar

I went back to work after all three of my boys, but when my husband was promoted and we relocated to another office out of state (away from both sets of grandparents), I stayed home – my youngest was four at the time. Despite having times when I feel that I am undervalued by society because I am not in my high-powered suits, I would not change a thing.

However, I always say to reserve judgement until after the baby is born and to not close any doors in the meantime. I have a friend who outright quit her job thinking she was going to be the best stay home mommy. It was the worst year in her life. Her job was gone and she was miserable. She is much happier working (and, believe me, a happy mom is a happy baby). Back when I was working, a manager in my department was one of those work-80-hours-a-week women who openly was very disdainful of women who had to skip out right at 5pm because they had to get kids. You should have heard how nasty she was whenever her secretary asked for days off because of those funny school holidays (like Columbus Day). She had a late-life suprise preganancy and swore that she was coming back to work after two weeks regardless of what the doctor said! Guess what she is doing now??? That’s right – she ended up taking the full FMLA and then quitting because she just couldn’t part with her baby. I talked to her last 4 years ago and she was still home and doing fertility treatments for another child!

cwilbur's avatar

There’s a complicated tradeoff between staying home with the baby, earning money, and remaining sane. Exactly what the best answer is depends on the people involved and their temperaments.

I know a trio of gay men who are raising twin infants. They each took their paternity leave in sequence, so that each one was a full-time stay-at-home dad for two or three months. Then, as two of them have fairly flexible schedules, they arranged their work schedules so that one of them is at home almost all the time. And for the one or two days a week that they can’t all be home, one of them has a nearby mother and grandmother who are only too happy to watch the kids for a day. It seems to be working really well for them, at least; if any of them stayed home full-time, he’d be climbing the walls within about a week.

scamp's avatar

It was a struggle financially, but I stayed home with my daughter until she started going to school. Those first formative years are very important, and I didn’t want to intrust that to strangers. I worked part time until she was in third grade. Then we moved, and the new school was failing her, so I closed my business and homeschooled her.

eno_detah's avatar

Many smart answers above. Another approach would be asking yourself what the most valuable way is you might contribute to your child’s future. In other words, if you are more valuable to your child out earning money so that they can get the things (education, health care, or even basics like food & shelter) they need, then you should work. On the other hand, if those ‘things’ are under control and the best way you can help them grow is to be there to talk, help with homework, keep them playing and imaginative, etc, then stay home with them.

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