This is the stress and anxiety most of us face in this two income world we live in these days. As if it wasn’t enough we gave birth and we’re trying to keep this little thing alive, now we have to decide on if it’s worth it to return to work for your new family. I hope I can help you decide through this discussion when it is best for you to be going back to work after having baby.
This is Your decision
Everyone’s family is different. My ex never wanted me to work after children, however, he didn’t make enough for everything we needed for our family and he was unwilling to get a second job so me not working was not his decision. That put a lot of pressure on me to make sure the baby was taken care of while I was working. After my first I knew I would be going back to work because I could bring her with me. After my second, I decided to go to work out of the house part-time alternating with my ex’s days off and my mom was able to watch the babies for those hours my ex was at work as well.
My third I was working for myself and it only took me out of the house part-time. Her dad was able to watch the kids when I had an appointment and I was able to make my own schedule. After my fourth I found myself living with my parents and I had to start completely over with my life. I worked full time outside the house so I could get a stable paycheck. I had to search for daycare for the two younger ones. My mom was able to help, but I felt I needed to give her as little responsibility as possible so she could still feel like grandma instead of a second mom.
You can see that even in my life my family was completely different every time I had to make the decision to go back to work. I am going to touch on this but ultimately I want you to know that it is always your choice if you want to go back to work. Only you know how much money you need and how much sacrifice you want to make.
Can you afford it?
This is the biggest question. If you choose not to go back to work and you and baby starve then it’s really not the best decision. If you don’t have one already, create a budget. Your first step should be to make sure you won’t be hemorrhaging money if you choose not to go back. I have watched and listened to Dave Ramsey for forever and I love him because he keeps it simple. He has so many free tools on his site. He also has a YouTube channel, podcast, and radio show. It’s a wonderful resource to have to keep you focused and prioritize the things that matter so you don’t feel overwhelmed.
What would you be willing to cut if your budget is slightly over? Eating out is generally a bigger chunk of your budget when you start to work because you are exhausted from the balance of work and baby and the last thing you want to think about is making dinner for the next 30-60 minutes. You spend more on gas when you work outside the home, not to mention day care or babysitters if you are not on opposite schedules with your darling support partner.
What would your schedule be like if you went back to work? Can you work nights and your darling support work days? Do you both have to work days? Could you work revolving days? Would you want to work a different profession than you had been working before baby came? For example, if you were an administrative assistant you could wait tables at night and make just as much and you wouldn’t have to pay for day care. Do you want to go back full time because your salary outweighs daycare?
Figure out your situation and your schedule. You may have to get creative. Just because everyone around you puts their kids in day care doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Remember this can absolutely be a temporary situation. No one says you have to wait tables the rest of your life, when your baby gets to school aged your life will be completely different. If you choose something that isn’t for you, you can always change it up. You don’t owe anyone anything except for you and your family. You owe them the best life you can give.
Daycare, Babysitter, Nanny?
So you chose to go back to work. OK, now what happens with baby? If dad can’t watch the little joy while you are working, what happens? Is daycare an option? Some require a certain amount of hours. Some allow for 2-3 days a week. If you and dad have a regular schedule this is a great option to consider. Maybe a nanny would be a good option if you both work well paying jobs, the extra help would be great and when you get home you can have quality time with baby.
What if your schedule is not regular or you need someone who is there for you after the day care specific hours of 7am-6pm? Depending on how much time you will actually need them for weekly, could you get a family member to watch them? Do you have a friend or her teenager (depending on how small your child is and how long you are dependent on the sitter, this could be a cheap option). Care.com has a wide variety of babysitters that have schedules that vary.
I had a time in my life when I had a friend’s daughter come over before bed time for my 3 and 5 year olds. The only thing she had to do was entertain for a bit and put them to bed. I worked from 7pm-3am so she would sleep over at my house and I would take her home in the morning after some breakfast. It worked out really well for her to make some decent money and I didn’t have to commit to a nanny or a service.
Start something from home
If you have any discipline at all to commit to a job outside the home, why not try to commit the same amount of hours inside the home to a job that will bring decent income. Be careful with some of these. The ones that say “you can make a million dollars in 1 minute” are not real, don’t waste your time or energy. There are some great things out there that you can do if you commit.
- I have done Mary Kay and liked it, the business side was not for me though. My cousin is still in it and I order from her every 3 months if you are interested, I will link you up.
- I am in Melaleuca and LOVE their chemical free, biodegradable product, they have new member specials all the time and I could help you through the process if you’d like to try.
- Wealthy Affliliate is how I got going in blogging after a while of trying to do it on my own. They have a free trial and it is worth it to check out if affiliate marketing is something you may like to do.
These options and more are great if you want to set your own schedule and make some decent money.
Don’t wait to try these until you have to get back to work. Try them a couple weeks to a month before to see what you are actually willing to do and if a work at home option will fit your life.
If your baby is happy,
you made the right decision
Just because your friends are doing it,
doesn’t mean it’s right for you
It’s your life,
Tell us what your dilemmas are in the comments.
Peace and Balance,