The Working Mom’s (and Dad’s) Dilemma

Today, I received in my email inbox what was practically a cry for help. The author of the email (who will remain nameless) desperately needed some advice on whether to leave a lucrative, relatively stable job working for the federal government, in exchange for staying at home with her four beautiful children (including a newborn).

As a brand new mom myself, I could certainly understand her dilemma, which I have shared here  previously at

With just one month remaining in her maternity leave, she was at a crossroads. Even after months of fasting and prayer, and many discussions with her husband on whether they can afford (or even want to take) a financial hit in a downward-spiraling economy, she was still at a loss.

The issue was not even that she hated her job, but the fact that her company recently relocated to a city more than an hour and a half away from her home, which meant she had to endure a 3-hour commute each day of the work week. (That’s tough even if you absolutely love your job!)

“What’s a girl to do?” she asked.

Courtesy of StockVault

Courtesy of StockVault

On one hand:

  • A. You want to spend more quality time with your kids especially during those important formative years; and that long commute has you coming home nearly close to their bedtimes.
  • B. You want your children to  grow up understanding familial priorities. If mommy works so much, then how are they going to learn that from you or your spouse, you wonder.
  • C. Your spouse is great with the kids, but nobody does it better than mommy.

And on the other hand:

  • A. You’ve got a relatively stable (secure) job working for the federal gov’t.
  • B. You’re getting piz-aid!
  • C. You’ve got a relatively stable (secure) job working for the federal gov’t, you’re getting piz-aid, AND you still have that job after the nation faced a major recession and during a time when the jobless rate has reached an all-time 26-year high as of August.
Courtesy of Dreamstime

Courtesy of Dreamstime

Are you out of your mind to even consider walking away from your employer at this juncture in your life!?

The answer to that question is unequivocally “NO!” Absolutely not.

Everyone has different priorities in life. And for working moms (and dads), as we grow older and start understanding the importance our presence has in our children’s lives, we start to really question the significance of that solid paycheck . . . that big house we’ve been eyeing . . . that fancy car we’ve always wanted to drive . . .  or that “good life” that all our favorite rappers and singers talk about.

If you’ve made wise decisions prior to having kids — such as starting a home-based business, investing your dollars wisely or saving, instead of splurging –or have learned to simply live on less, then perhaps you’re a part of the fortunate ones who are able to stay at home with your kids for as long as you see fit.

On the other hand, there are a select group who believe that providing for a child’s future through financial means carries more weight in the long run than that quality time during the hours that most people consider their workday. And that’s fine too.

The point is that we all must strive to strike a balance — not just for our kids’ sake, but for ours as well. We’ve grown into a society that is bent on conquest. It’s time to turn back the clocks and simplify our lives, without sacrificing our overall financial, spiritual, and emotional well-being.

The choice is yours. Make it!

Keep the Discussion Going

Are you ready to throw in the towel at your current job because of other priorities, such as kids or because you despise your current profession and can’t take the dissatisfaction any longer?

What measures have you taken to relieve yourself gracefully from the situation (i.e. your dreadful job)? Are you accepting consulting work on the side, enough to satisfy at least a third of your current income or has promise for growth? Have you put into plan a business venture that you’re sure will get off the ground enough for you to generate some money and afford you the flexibility to give more time to your priorities (i.e. kids)?

Remember that nothing is impossible through faith. And if you believe in yourself and have the will power and stamina to go after your dreams, then don’t let anyone, anything, or any situation stop you. Read my story about going after your dreams and turning your passion into a career by clicking here.

About the Author

Emily Brown is the key contributor and creator of, a blog that delivers articles and posts about job industry trends; plus motivational, retrospective stories about career exploration and discovering one’s passion. A former business journalist at Bloomberg News, her work has also appeared in  The Wall Street Journal,  The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and others. Emily lives and works in Washington, DC. She can easily be reached at Feel free to drop her a line to say “hello,” seek advice, suggest an opportunity or story idea, or provide news of your own.



  • L. Dijon Anderson

    I am talking to my wife about this right now. If I was getting ‘piz-aid’ to the point that I could be poppin’ bottles, my wife would stay home. If we could sustain it making just enough, she might not! It is all about the priorities! That’s a tough one to call, especially if you are not in that boat!

    But man, I would like to be in a position to be poppin’ bottles, though!

    • Emily Brown

      Too funny Dijon. Thanks for reading and commenting. Perhaps one day you will be in the position to “pop bottles!”