Before you had your baby, you may have had every intention of being a happy working mom. As we all know, having a baby changes everything. Your work seems so much less important than it used to, at least in the first year of your baby’s life.
If you are torn about whether to work or stay home, make a list of the pros and cons. Here are a few we came up with that may or may not apply to you.
Staying Home – Pros
- Substantially higher quantity of time spent with your baby. Can be there for him always, whether he’s well or sick.
- Less hurried life; less balls in the air.
- Your child may have a greater appreciation for you when he grows up, for the sacrifices you have made.
Staying Home – Cons
- Substantially reduced income. May have to buy a smaller house or sell your car to afford to stay home. Must keep a tight budget.
- You may miss out on the daily adult interaction and intellectual stimulation of working.
- May succumb to full time mom burnout.
- Family income is not reduced or in jeopardy. You can afford to buy your children nicer things and/or send them to college without loans.
- Your child may have a greater respect and pride for what you do as she grows up.
- Daily adult interaction and intellectual stimulation. Your sense of ambition and accomplishment is being fulfilled.
- You may miss out on some events in your child’s life, such as first steps, field trips, etc…
- You will be more rushed in your life, with less time to relax.
- You may feel torn or conflicted between your job and being there for your children.
Now make your own list. Some of those listed above may be on your list; some may not. After you have made your list, if you decide that you would rather stay home, look at your budget. Can you make it work? SmartMomma has some tips to help tighten your financial belt.
- Make a budget and post it. Write down everything you spend as you spend it for each category in your budget. Most importantly, stick to it!
- Buy used cars, rather than new. Have one very dependable car and one that just gets you from point A to point B.
- Refinance your home if rates are low. This can equal a lower house payment.
- Consolidate high interest credit cards into one payment. Consider a home equity line, where you can write off the interest on your taxes. Cut up your credit cards!
- Before you quit working, save some emergency money for unexpected expenses that may arise, such as doctor/hospital bills, car repairs, etc…
- Trade babysitting with your neighbors or friends to reduce child care expenses.
- Work part time from home when your child is sleeping or at a play group.
- Buy your household products and groceries in bulk from a wholesale club.
- Purchase the basic car, health, and life insurance that will cover you for emergencies.
Keep in mind that it is not always cut and dry between working 40 hours a week outside the home and staying home full time with your kids. There are many options for moms, such as flex time, telecommuting (working from home), working part time, and working for a company with an in-house daycare. Don’t be afraid to ask your boss if your company offers any of these options.
If your company is not flexible, you should not rule out starting your own home business where you are your own boss. Whether it’s an eBay Business or a home daycare, you can make it work.