Contemplating the Stay At Home Option

January 7, 2012 at 8:15 PM 12 comments

As time passes I am more and more thankful and grateful for the opportunity to spend each and every day with my newborn son. If it had not been for the large layoffs at my former company I would be expected to return to work this week. Thankfully the fates aligned and rather than returning to an unfulfilling job I am currently staying home and enjoying the moments that make up my young son’s life.


I already have a new job lined up, but as the days pass I’m not certain that I’ll be able to return to the work. My son means the world to me and if my husband and I can manage life on one income I think I would like to stay home with him for at least the first year. Of course, I realize that the first year may become the first few years, especially if we have another child at any point along the way. Let’s face it a part of me knows that a year will easily turn into four or five.

I don’t know too many women who have made the switch to stay-at-home mom. Most of my peers return to work a few weeks or months after their children are born. Some do it because they like their jobs and some do it because they feel they have no other choice.

Although I have not always admitted it, even to myself, I have always wanted children. I worked in daycare for years and cried for a full week when I left that job to head off to college. After three years in the same center, those children were a part of me and I grew to love many of them as if they were my own.

Now that I have my own child I’m not certain that I can drop him off in someone else’s care. Being on the other side of the fence I watched many mothers cry as they waved goodbye to their little ones each morning. Over the next week or so I hope to post about my thoughts, feelings and financial factors in this matter. I need to make a decision on this within the next two months so I really need to stop avoiding the topic and search for an answer.

Entry filed under: baby, stay-at-home, work. Tags: .

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12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Andrea @SoOverDebt  |  January 7, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    If you can find a way to make it work financially, I definitely think you should stay home with your little one. When my son was little, I was always either working, in school, or both. I missed his first steps and SO many other events that I can never get back. Luckily my mom kept him, so I didn't have to put him in daycare, but I'll always feel bad about it nonetheless.

    You can always return to work if you need to. But you can never get back the chance to make memories like the ones you're building right now. I say go for it!

    Reply
  • 2. Mom of G  |  January 7, 2012 at 11:54 PM

    I'm with Andrea, if you can do it it you should. You will never regret your decision. I went back to work after 12 weeks of maternity leave. As time went by it became harder and harder to not be home with my little guy and left my job permanently less than a year later to be a SAHM. I did eventually get a part-time job but only did so after expressing to my employer that my son's "school" schedule was my work schedule.

    Reply
  • 3. Anonymous  |  January 8, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    I never regretted staying home with my two boys. No one will take care of them and love them like you do.

    Reply
  • 4. Annette  |  January 9, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    Make it work if you can. You are the only one who will take care of your child the way you do.

    Reply
  • 5. Anonymous  |  January 9, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    Please try to stay home if you can. I have worked with many moms who ended up taking a lot of time off because their kids caught all sorts of colds in the daycare where they were at. I was fortunate to have my mother-in-law come live with us during the week to take care of my kids so I didn't have that problem, although I would rather have stayed home with them myself. As it was I had to content myself with taking 18 weeks off after my baby was born. If this were Europe and I could have stayed home for a year I would have been THRILLED.

    Reply
  • 6. Maggie  |  January 9, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    Hey There, I am a Mom who has always worked. My kids are now 16 and 12. In the early years I was the main bread-winner, so the family was much better off for my working. We had wonderful pre-school daycare and pretty good after-school care.

    I always hoped that when my boys got too old for daycare, there could be a parent or grandparent in the house for them to touch base with. I am now fortuante that I have started off the new year with a job where I work remote, that is from home. While my boys have done Ok, my 12 YO has spent way too much time on his own the past 2 years. I am thrilled to be able to be at home for him, to make sure he dresses appropriately for the weather, eats health food before his sports practices and events, and see who he is hanging out with.

    Good luck with your choice. I don't regret the situation when my kids were younger, it was right for my family. Find what is right for your.

    Reply
  • 7. One Frugal Girl  |  January 9, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    I appreciate all of the comments on this post. The more I read them the more I want to stay home with my little one. I think everyone is right in saying that it's the one decision in life I won't regret making. Now I need to figure out how to make it happen.

    Reply
  • 8. Lauren  |  January 10, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    I'm a mom of an 11 month old, and I went back to work when she was 5 months old. Luckily I have a job that allows me to work from home a few days a week, so she only goes to daycare 3 days a week. I really like my schedule, and actually, the two days I'm in the office make almost seem like a break because taking care of a baby is HARD WORK!

    Maybe I'm strange, but I didn't cry on my first day back to work. And she really like going to daycare because there are other babies to play with and much cooler toys than the ones in our home ;)

    I might not feel the way if I had to be in the office 5 days a week with a one hour commute each way, but I really think part-time work or some work from home work is the way to go if at all possible. It seems like something you could look into since you seems to work in software/computers (I think).

    Reply
  • 9. CelloMom  |  January 10, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    I have two children, and both times I squeezed what I could out of the Federal Family Act, and worked 4days/wk for two years (squeezed the company for the additional year!). I loved my job.

    But when my youngest was two, I was laid off. It was the best thing they did for me since they hired me.

    Reply
  • 10. Jane  |  January 10, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    I am going back to work in less than a month. My daughter is 7 weeks old now. While I would love to stay home, I do like my job as a teacher. It is rewarding. My husband will watch our baby and frankly, he is probably even better at the day to day care than I am. He is very nurturing and I have no doubts about his ability to care for our daughter.

    Here is the new angle: Living on one salary means that we are only dependent on one salary. If I should loose my job there are two of us to look for work. We double our chances of finding work. Or we could maybe both work part time.If he was offered a great job, then I could stay home. I am not one hundred percent sure if this is actually financially sound, but I feel good knowing that we really don't need as much money to live well.

    We have done lots of things to save money now that we have a child. We use hand-me-downs almost exclusively. I have not bought our daughter any clothes. This can be a hard temptation to resist, but thankfully her cousins and our friends all had great tastes. We are using cloth diapers-which were also handed down. We love them! I love knowing that we are saving lots of money and she has been diaper rash free so far. They haven't been too much work at all. We are also breastfeeding and I plan to do that as long as I can.

    Reply
  • 11. One Frugal Girl  |  January 14, 2012 at 2:07 AM

    @lauren – A flexible schedule would be ideal. It sounds like you have the best of both worlds.

    @cellomom – I've been saying the same thing ever since I was let go! Had my employer not laid me off I would've returned to work after 10 weeks. Since they did I get a chance to step back and weigh my options.

    @Jane – I think it's great that you and your husband are trying to live off of one salary. I wish my husband and I had been more aggressive about that in the past. Although we saved a lot of money I know we could have done a lot better!

    Reply
  • 12. » Will I Ever Need to Work Again? One Frugal Girl  |  April 9, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    [...] the new position six months after the birth of my son, but from the moment I accepted the offer I struggled with my desire to stay home full time. A month or so before the new job was set to begin I reversed my [...]

    Reply

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