How Long Do I Intend to Stay Home?

I received an email this afternoon asking me how long I intend to stay home after the baby is born. The honest answer is that I’m not quite sure. My employer will provide me with a severance package that is set to begin right around the time the baby is born. (That’s one nice thing about having my termination date and due date being so close together.)

My severance will be be taxed like a bonus, which means I’ll probably see less than half of it after the tax man takes his share, but we should receive much of that back after filing our taxes in April. I also plan to save up as much of my accrued vacation as possible. I still plan to take my summer vacation, but otherwise I’m going to hold onto those days so I can cash them out when I leave the company. Depending on when the baby arrives I may also qualify for a few weeks of short term disability, but this isn’t guaranteed.

Between my savings, my cashed out vacation and my short term disability I imagine I can stay home anywhere from nine months to a year without significant impact to our overall finances, but this doesn’t really answer the question of how long I intend to stay home.

Rather than setting a specific goal for myself to return to work I’ve decided to see how things go. Some of my friends and coworkers said they couldn’t wait to return to the working world, while others have said years at home wouldn’t have been enough for them.

Since I’ve never stayed at home with a newborn I don’t know if I’ll be happy or find myself going a little stir crazy. It’s nice to have the option of staying home for awhile if things go well and if they don’t there is always the possibility of finding a part time job or even a volunteer opportunity. I figure that would get me out of the house for just a little while without forcing me to start a full time job within that first year.

Of course, I’m not ruling out the possibility of looking for full time work sooner either. I plan to keep my eye on job postings and if the right opportunity falls into my lap and I’m ready to go back before the year is over than I’m not opposed to moving in that direction either.

I really want to try my best to take things as they come. I tend to be a worrier and a planner, but I don’t want to try to dictate the next year of my life. This is a very unique opportunity, (not everyone gets the chance to stay home with a little one), and I want to make certain that I savor the moments without expecting too much of them.

4 thoughts on “How Long Do I Intend to Stay Home?”

  1. I think your approach to your time off with the little one is perfect – keep your options open and see what feels right.

    When I first got pregnant I read a book called "In Defense of Working Mothers" and the bottom line was, whether a woman chooses to work or stay at home, what's best for the baby is that the mom is happy with her decision. A happy mom makes a happy baby and that's what's most important!

  2. Hi OFG, I just read this post. And I say, wow! How time flies! And you’ve now spent years nurturing and seeing your little ones grow! You are indeed blessed.

  3. Hi OFG, I just read this post. And I say, wow! How time flies! You’ve now spent years nurturing and seeing your little ones grow! You are indeed blessed.

    When I do get to finally stay home with my little ones, I will take the same approach as you did. I too am a planner and I usually like to be in control. But it feels exhilirating just taking things as they come.

    • I love that you stumbled upon this post! Can you believe I’ve been out of the workforce for 9 years! I can’t. I’m glad you left a comment, because I re-read this post and smiled when I reached the end of it.


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