Scaling Back Career for Baby

In a recent post on her New York Times' Motherlode blog, Lisa Belkin turned a question she received over to her readers. Here's a snippet of Anna's letter to the readers:

I used to secretly look down on stay-at-home moms. I’m not proud of being so judgmental, but opting out seemed like the easy road to me, an excuse to avoid the 9-to-5. If I asked someone I just met at a party what she did for a living and her answer was “I stay at home with the kids,” I’d mentally check out of the conversation. Surely I had nothing in common with this person....Then my husband and I decided to have a baby.

...I returned to work last week, and I already feel like I am missing so much at home. When I lock eyes with my daughter during a feeding or rock her to sleep in the glider, it feels right — like this is what I was born to do. I know it’s not logical or even true, but I feel like I am the only one in the world who can take care of her properly...

What is the right thing for me to do?

Almost 400 readers responded in the comments, including some attorneys. The dialogue is quite interesting with a wide range of advice, opinions, and thoughts for Anna--and for any of us who have faced returning to work, leaving a new baby at home.

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