I was working at the University of British Columbia and enjoying my career as a senior administrator when I became pregnant with my first child. I was in my mid-30s and had given my career top priority. My plan was to return to work immediately after my maternity leave.
I wasted no time in applying for childcare spots for my unborn child. Day care can be expensive depending on where you live. In-home daycares can be regulated or unregulated if you can find a sitter you trust. For some lucky few, retired parents lend a hand, often charge next to nothing. Employing live-in or live-out nannies are options for some. I admire parents who are able to schedule work and childcare around each other, whether that’s night/day or weekday/weekend shifts or something in between.
Costs and Savings
However, affordability is the consideration factor. My take-home pay after childcare expenses would leave very little to make it worthwhile for me to work out of the home. Consider your family’s financial commitments and study your family’s budget for the past year. Will it still be beneficial or necessary to work when you factor in your childcare expenses?
I have fond memories of growing up, because I was raised by both of my grandmothers, so it was important that my child be raised by family. Some parents ascribe to the belief that a child development suffers when they are absent. Wherever you stand on this issue, there are pros and cons on both sides. You and your partner will need to review what your parenting priorities are.
Mom and Dad
It should be said that Mom and Dad’s needs should be considered too. I am referring to you and your partner. The choice you make together should bring both of you closest to your happiness, hopes and dreams. We have all heard of parents who make pay too high a price for the sake of their children only to end up with a broken family.
Creativity and the Big Picture
I considered asking my employer about telecommuting. If that was not possible, I was prepared to accept modification of my position and responsibilities if I wanted to work and stay at home on a partial basis. You may consider proposing some creative ideas that are mutually beneficial to you and your employer.
There were other points to consider, of course, because each family unit is unique and life is ever-changing. No matter how well we plan things out, changes are often in store. So rest easy whatever your decision ends up to be and remember to roll with the punches. That was my first parenting lesson! Good luck!