Employment also gives meaning to our lives and has an impact on our well being. A wide array of studies and theorists have argued how a meaningful engagement to a career directly affects the person’s sense of pride and self worth. It provides us with an identity. I say I am a social worker. My cousin says I am a police officer. My aunt says I am a nurse. So strong is this sense of identity that when people retire they still retain their career title. However, what happens when we have to face a moment in time where we cannot practice the thing that seems to define us the most. I do not know what may happen. I can tell you what sometimes happens. Sometimes, people become disengaged and some even depressed. This inevitably affects our behaviours within the family. I have also come across a study by Healthychildren.com that children of gainfully employed parents tend to view the world as less threatening. They connect with the pride of the parents and generally develop more motivation towards work in the future.
I think I told you before that making a choice will not be easy. We can consider both sides rationally and debate at length which is more productive or more destructive. However, I find that ultimately this decision can only be made by reviewing your life circumstances at the particular time. I have met enough people to say that different options apply to different people. What is good for the goose is not always good for the gander. I would like, however, to end this long blog with a set of important aspects to take care of.
 If you return to work, make sure that your childcare of choice is of good standard. You must be fully satisfied that your child is in safe hands and that s/he will receive the best quality care and attention as possible.
 If you return to work, you may always consider options which are more one-to-one. Consider seeking the support of grandparents or professional childminders. Childminders offer a great opportunity for you to get someone to your house and watch over your kids.
 If you are using a one-to-one arrangement, make sure to find a solid agreement with the person caring for your child. You are the parent and the carer must follow your lead in the upbringing of your child.
 If you decide to stay at home make sure you are ok with it. In the event that you feel that this option is not helping you in your emotional wellbeing, seek support. There are professionals who can help you access services to make your choice more viable.
 Make sure to do a transition for your child if you are going to use a childcare facility. Children thrive more if they are given the chance to adjust to changes in life. There is no need to rush.

– Steve Libreri is a social worker and parent coach within Willingness. He offers parent coaching and social work sessions. He can be contacted on steve@willingness.com.mt.