As some of you may already know if you follow me on instagram, I recently decided to leave my job as a writer/editor and embrace full-time mom life for a while. I’m really happy about this step; this time goes by so ridiculously fast and I’m excited about being with my kids all the time while they’re so little, but I agonized over the decision. Ultimately I decided that it’s the best thing for my family right now, but if you’re on the fence (or think that might be something that you’re interested in doing in the future) here are a few things to consider:
Finances obviously have a huge impact on the decision to stay at home or not. Many women who can survive on their partner’s income still enjoy the financial freedom (and the long list of other intangible benefits) that come with working. But for some women (especially moms of two or more similar aged children) the costs of childcare can outweigh the benefits of working.
When I became pregnant with my oldest son Mason I was pretty astounded by the price of daycares in Northern VA. I ended up negotiating a reasonable rate with a part-time nanny (and splitting childcare duties with my husband on the two days we worked from home- not an easy task). But when I became pregnant with my second son Myles I knew that we would be putting a significant portion of our budget to childcare and that a daycare center for two babies would be incredibly expensive. We moved further out to a less expensive area and I planned to continue using a nanny, but when my plans fell through I had trouble finding a replacement or a daycare that fit our needs. Thankfully we are in a position right now where we can live on my husband’s income, so I felt like it was probably better to just leave work and take care of them myself instead of settling for childcare I wasn’t thrilled about and spending lots of money on it in the process.
If you’re in a position where you want or need to continue working, I recommend that you start looking for childcare as early as possible (seriously, like early in your pregnancy) to secure the best quality care in your budget. Seek out recommendations from family, friends, and co-workers. You may also want to consider flexible arrangements like nanny shares along with more traditional daycare centers and in-home daycares.
Another thing to consider is how much you love your job. If you truly love it or you’re on the track for a career that you’re excited about, you may not be happy staying home. I was happy with my job, but I was also comfortable walking away from it for a while. You may need to do some soul searching but just know that whatever you decide is ok.
In another post I’ll discuss some resources that have been helpful for me. I’d love to hear your thoughts- how do you feel about stay-at-home mom life? If you’re currently (or were previously) a stay-at-home mom or a working mom, what helped me you make that decision? And do you have any tips for others?
Wishing you lots of self-care,