The Smart Woman’s Guide to Staying At Home

Dispels the Five Fears that Keep Mothers Working

1. No one will respect me.

A working woman, proud of her job, unconsciously projects confidence, winning respect regardless of her title. Respect does not arise from your job description, but from whether you feel you are living a worthy life. You are the same person whether you earn a wage or not, so you are always deserving of respect. Have no fear of that.

2. We can’t survive on one income.

Working mothers, by and large, are expensive. Childcare is not the only cost eroding your pay cheque. Tea breaks, meals out, commuting, daily doses of retail therapy, work clothes and laddered tights all add up. Assess your costs. You just may be too expensive to send to work.

Once at home, opportunities to save money appear. The need for a holiday abroad becomes less pressing. There is time to compare prices, get several quotes for building work, or even do it yourself. A small investment of time inevitably benefits your bank balance.

3. I don’t want to throw away my training.

Putting your work experience to good use is up to you, working or not. Keep your passions alive and you just may just find yourself retraining for a new career, starting a business or launching a national charity. Many women at home have done just that. You can too.

4. Working makes me a better role model for my children

Research from the Wharton School of Business concludes that parents who are content with their work and social lives have children exhibiting fewer behavioural problems, ranging from tantrums to criminal activity. So if you are a working mum and you are happy about it, you are already an effective parent. If you are working and you are not happy, you may be a more effective mother by leaving work. The key is your personal happiness. Isn’t that a relief to know?

5. I’ll be lonely

Social isolation, potentially leading to boredom and depression, can be a real problem. Many people advocate coffee mornings for staving off loneliness. However, the more intellectual and creative pursuits you have, the more you attract like-minded friends. So get out, join in local groups, but invest time in your unique talents too. These keep your identity strong, your schedule full and your heart joyful. If you can do that, your time at home will be satisfactory indeed.

Melissa Hill is the author of The Smart Woman’s Guide to Staying at Home (Vermilion, paperback, £9.99), and editor of the e-newsletter Smart Woman. After the birth of her first child, Melissa gave up her successful City career to be at home full-time. She can be contacted through her website,