I have done both. In my opinion, staying at home is the best thing for the kids. Nannies, babysitters, grandparents etc, while wonderful and hopefully reliable (but not always) are not the mom or dad. Before I get flamed to hell, let me explain 🙂
I have three children. My oldest son was in YMCA daycare and also grandparent watched him while I finished school. I had to get some sort of education, so I felt I didnt have a choice. I also worked part time. He was incredibly clumsy and always seemed to be knocking something. So I spent some time leaving school and work to care for him. Going back to work after is tough-very tough. The guilt is gut-wrenching.
My middle son had a wonderful nanny as I went back to work at 2 months. I worked part time still until my kids were in pre-school and my exh was with him as he he worked shiftwork.
My daughter was very clingy and I returned to work full time when she was two. She has had some ongoing issues that I have posted about here and I am now working from home (and have for the last 2 years) setting aside worknig for the biggest firm in my field in Canada to be there for my kids.
The difference in the relationship with my children is astounding. I have a lot more time for them (working all day, rushing a dinner, rushing homework and then tucking into bed) leave little time for quality time. While I know not everyone can do this, stayin home is wonderful. There are so many ways to earn income from home part time while raising kids that to me, having quality moments nad raising your children the way you want takes presidence over money, if you can make it work.
I am a very high-energy individual and yes, I got bored sometimes. But I sold Tupperware, MaryKay, and a bunch of other stuff to get the heck out of the house and earn some free money.
When I was working full time people always would go “Oh my gosh ,how do you do it…work and have three kids and be a single mom?” And the answer (in my head was) I was bareyl holding it together. The kids had rushed meals even though I love to cook, I was exhausted by the time Igot home, I barely saw them off to school in the morning and ya, good luck me assistin with homework.
While they are older now, they still need me and Icouldn’t imagine ever working for someone else again. I am a huge believer in doing what you love and earning a living at it. I love finding people jobs that they love, and also selling whatever under the sun…so I happily earn six figures almost working part time, from home…and still bein home to offer up rides to the teenagers, playdates for my D, home-cooked meals (we just canned jam last night) and those special quiet moments.
I wish I had done this a realllll long time ago. I always struggled with some guilt/remorse for leaving my kids-except for the days the little buggers really annoyed me, then I was happy to go to work 😉