I for one, searched high and low for any advice/research on this with very little to show for it. During my maternity leave, I contemplated not going back to work and tried to find advice indicating either way, whether I should or not. I don't have the financial resources to not work for the rest of my kid's childhood, but I can for a period, and I wanted to make sure I stayed home during the most "crucial" period, if that makes any sense.
Frankly, I never realized I would even have this 'conversation' in my head about whether to stay at home or not. My mom always worked a full-time job outside of the home and that's what I considered to be totally normal and what I would obviously do too. But now that I have Judah, I wonder...I wonder what's best for him?
I'm happy to work. I'm happy to stay home with him if it would truly benefit him. I'm NOT happy to stay home with him if it doesn't really benefit him that much because in order to stay home, I'm giving up (a) a lot of sanity and (b) a whole lot of financial stability.
So I wanted (and still want) to know--does the kid need you most as a baby? As a toddler? As a young child? When is the really crucial, counts-a-lot period?
I was really disappointed in the dirth of data out there. I thought I could just google "child development, stay at home" and good stuff would come out. Turns out, this is a highly explosive super-charged politically nuclear topic that is far from cut and dry.
I hate how the media turns everything into a cat fight. I've found that in real life, women on both sides of the spectrum are truly compassionate and generous to each other.
Being a mom is the most challenging, heart-rending, brain-bending, back-breaking work possible and real moms know this and are incredibly supportive of other moms--on both sides of the aisle.
So if you have any views on this,