Step 2 Do the math
Weigh your salary against the costs of returning to work to determine how much you’re really giving up
- Day care
- Commuting (tolls, gas, public transportation)
- Dry cleaning
- Incidental spending money
- Work clothing
- Housecleaning service
Step 3 What is it like in reality
Sometimes expectations don’t match reality. Making decisions to stay at home with baby when your little one is 1 week old and sleeping all day is probably the most rational decision. If you know a stay at home mum, chat to them about their day and the challenges they face. Encourage them to share the good and the bad.
Step 4 What impact will it have on your career
Some careers require a minimum amount of ‘on the job’ hours for registration with a particular body for example the medical profession. Consider what your requirements are before you make the jump and how easy it will be to re-enter if the registration lapses.
Step 5 What other options can you consider?
-Can you share care with your partner?
-Can you draw on relatives for support?
-Do you have the necessary skills to freelance your job from home?
-Can you negotiate better terms from your contract?
-Can you extend your leave?
If you have done the math and you have realistic expectations about being a stay-at-home-mum then it all comes down to you and your partner. It is not an easy choice to either stay at home or go back to work. Take the time, do your research and follow your heart. Where there is happy parents there are happy children.