Every mom has been there. We look at our precious newborn, and then we look at the checkbook. “We really need my salary.” “But I can’t leave the baby!” “Can we make it on one income?” All are valid questions that every family has to answer for themselves. If you’re facing that decision, you’re not alone. I worked part-time that first year after our first baby was born, until we paid off both cars, and had a little more breathing room. Since then I have been able to stay home with our children.
-First, you should think about your family’s budget and needs. Do you have large amounts of debt you’d like to pay off? Are there certain parts of your lifestyle that you wouldn’t want to give up? Will you lose your health benefits if you don’t return to work?
-Next, think about childcare. For working parents, that is a huge expense. Do you have family who can watch your children, or will you need to rely on a daycare or nanny? Will you be allowed to miss work if you have a sick child that cannot go to daycare?
-Think about the costs you would NOT have if you decided to stay home. Less gas, no commute time, no lunches out or having to buy work clothes, and less wear and tear on your vehicle. All of these are ways you would save money by staying at home.
Keep in mind that whatever you decide, it’s your decision. Don’t let well-meaning friends and family sway you. Only you know what is best for your family at this time in your life, and once you make the decision, remember that you can always re-evaluate as needed and see if it’s still the right thing for your family.