At a point in history, women didn’t wk outside the home. Men did all the work while women stayed home and looked after the kids. With time, the women’s rights movement took off and women began demanding the right to work outside of the home. Today, women working outside the home isn’t a radical act, but a part of everyday life. Still, there are some women who choose to not work outside the home. Others leave the workforce after having a child. In each case, the deciding factor seems to be family. The phenomenon of women leaving work for family isn’t a new concept. Women tend to bear the bigger chunk of responsibilities in domestic life and many find it difficult to strike the balance between the two. It might even seem like a better option: you get to pay more attention to the home, watch your kids grow up and even become closer your spouse. Is it for everyone, though? A few factors to consider.

• You become financially dependant on another person: Unless you have some venture that generates income passively or a large inheritance to fall back on, giving up career for family essentially means that you are putting your finanaces in the hands of someone else. Before making the shift, it is important to have a fianancial fall –back in case of unfirseen circumstances. What is the marriage fails? What if the other spouse loses their job or business? What if the breadwinner passes on? What if sudden and taxing expenses come up? All these need to be considered.

• Maintaining your emotional and physical independence: One of the biggest complaints among women who leave the workforce for a family is that they feel that they are no longer respected within the home. Some husbands begin subtly implying that the woman has become ‘kept’. Some women no longer have a say in the family expenses. Remember, not having an income of your own can leave you emotionally vulnerable and it is best to communicate with your spouse before hand.• Managing

• Managing finances: While you may no longer be working, it doesn’t mean you won’t spend any money. Keep in mind that the family income has been reduced and as such, restructuring the family budget is important so as to adequately adjust to the change. Live within your means while still making some time and money for your own enjoyment.

• Keeping one foot in the workforce: While you might be giving up work, it’s not advisable to completely remove yourself from the working world. Many women who try to get back into the workforce often find that their skills have become outdated and find themselves hut out. While looking after the family, take an online course, start a small business, read and update your skills. That way, the potential transition back into the workforce will be easier.

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The decision on whether to leave the workforce is a tricky one that varies from woman to woman. Regardless of the decision taken, the right information and prior planning go a long way.

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