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July 21, 2014
Careers vs. Babies
 
According to Pew Research, the number of stay-at-home moms is at 29 percent, up from a historically low 23 percent back in 1999.

Pew also found that stay-at-home moms tend to be younger, are less likely to be educated, and more likely to live in poverty than their working counterparts.

Of course, there are still some stay-at-home moms that fit the image of "stay-at-home mom," meaning they are married with a working husband, but it only accounts for 20 percent of all moms.

While some moms have the option of staying home or going back to work, many do not. Moms may be single, they may have a partner or husband who isn't working, or they may simply need the additional income that working provides. It's not always a matter of which is more important, it's a matter of what needs to happen in order to survive.

I fall somewhere in the middle as a work-from-home mom.

I'm able to take my kids to the park, feed them lunch, and play with them, but bring in an income during the early hours of the morning, the all-too-precious nap times, and late into the evenings.

Studies show that one in five new grads will be freelance workers by 2020. Freelancing and working from home are on the rise — and many see why.

It provides you the benefits of earning an income while allowing you not to miss any time with your kids. It's the best of both worlds (for me, that is).

Perhaps you had a child and decided to put him or her up for adoption.

Reuniting with the baby you put up for adoption will be a crucial time in your life and you will need to learn balance.

Find the Right Balance
Whether you decide to work from home, return to the office, or reunite with your adopted child, balance will be a big part of your life.

You can't devote 60+ hours per week to your job like you may have done in your pre-baby days, but it also may not be realistic for you to spend all of your waking hours with your kids, either.

Life is all about balance, and when juggling a career and a baby, you've got to learn to master it.

Among the ways:
  1. Think quality, not quantity. Time with your kids is precious, no matter how much or how little of it you have. Make your time together count. Laugh with your kids, tell stories, hold them, go for a leisurely walk, or make ice cream sundaes. Fill your kids up with memories and love when you're with them — then when you're at work, focus on working. Which leads to the next point...
  2. Avoid multitasking. Work on one task at a time and whatever task that is, only do that. Trying to answer emails while your kids want your attention or checking in at work while at the park will only lead to accomplishing everything halfway.
  3. Prioritize your time. Set a schedule each week and try to stick to it. A friend of mine is an accountant and she leaves the office every day no later than 5 pm. Dinner is eaten by 6 pm, her husband does the dishes while she bathes the kids, and then they play — completely disconnected from technology, chores, and the worries of the day. Downtime is scheduled once the kids are in bed.
Even if you have to return to work for financial reasons, it still can be incredibly hard to return knowing you have a little baby that needs you. Instead of dreading the inevitable, find a way to make it work.

Balance your time and your priorities, learn to say no, and cherish each and every moment you have with your new bundle of joy.

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Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer living in Glendale, AZ with her husband and two daughters. She's passionate about writing, traveling, cooking and spending time with her family. Her writing topics include food and nutrition, travel, personal finance and small business. Sites she writes for include ripoffreport.com and those discussing college degrees.
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