There are many reasons why moms go back to work after baby is born, a lot of those times the reasons stem from being on auto-pilot mode and doing things just because others do it or to keep up with the status-quo.
The family and the children end up ‘suffering’ tremendously in ways most are not aware of. That is why it is very important to search for the answer to this question ONLY inside of oneself and ask very honestly: “Why am I going back to work after baby is born?”
A very popular reason for going back to work is to make more money. Families say they could never live on one income, never. They have to have two-incomes in order to pay the bills.
As I was reading a Lifehacker article today “10 things you do to save money that end up costing you more,” I immediately thought about the fact that going back to work after baby is born is one of those things.
I was one of those women. Like hundreds of other women, I asked the same question: Should I go back to work after my baby is born? Considering just that one reason, the one to make more money to make ends meet (not considering other more important ones), most of the time it is not worth it.
If you decide to go back to work, you can’t just think about your paycheck as an entity in and of itself without thinking about the big picture.
Yes, you will have two paychecks coming in, yours and your significant other’s paycheck, but getting that second paycheck will affect how other areas of your life function. So, whatever extra money you make, you will pretty much spend it on things that you do not need, that don’t bring you happiness, that take time away from your family, that take the opportunity away for you to start your own business…
This might not be true for everyone, but for most of the people that claim that they have to go back to work to make ends meet, pay the mortgage, rent, etc it does apply, and going back-to-work and getting that extra paycheck will mean:
- Your child will have to be taken care of by somebody. Usually it means you are either paying for daycare, hourly babysitter, or nanny. If you are getting the best in child care your area has to offer, this will probably cost between $600 and $1000 or more per month very easily, this will already be a pretty big chunk of your paycheck. If you have parents that are willing to do the the everyday care, you don’t have to pay for this amount but you have to deal with other things (to be discussed later). If you work for a place where they encourage and have the infrastructure to accomodate children and you’re allowed to take your child to work, you are very fortunate and will probably not even be reading this article.
- You will end up eating out more often. After the routine sets in, there will be several times during the month, where everyone will be absolutely exhausted, with no energy and no time to even think about preparing and cooking food, and then cleaning up everything afterwards. Those are the times where eating out (or ordering in) will come in handy. Eating out more often, will not only cost you a couple of hundred dollars more per month, it will cost you the most important asset that you have, which is your health.
- You will be a lot more stressed out. Waking up early in the morning, getting everything ready, dropping child off at daycare, working all day, coming back home to a tired child, having to cook or order dinner, give your child suitable undivided attention, feeding child and yourselves, exercising?, spending a little quality time with your significant other, preparing everything for the next day. Stress will cost you your health and can cost the closeness to your family as well. Whatever you put attention on the most is what is going to grow. If work comes first and family second, you do the ‘math.’
- Transportation costs can also add up depending where you work.
- You will be more and more dependent on that paycheck to finance things you don’t really need, and if your dream is to create passive income for your future, have your own business, or work from home it will take away the precious time you will need to plan and work towards that.
- And most important of all, it will mean you won’t get to know your children as much as you could. It will cost you the closeness to your children that is THE foundation of everything in their lives and of your relationship with them. Yes, it is hard to be with your children all day–in the beginning it is. Waking up everyday and having a routine that is harmonious enough that you know the details of why your child does what he does, has a tantrum when he does, needs the things he does and when he does. When I took Jack out of daycare and started to stay at home, it was very very weird and hard. It was like I didn’t not know him at all and our connection was pretty distant compared to what it is now. And the worrisome fact, is that I didn’t notice that until I took him out of daycare.
So, even if you make a pretty handsome income that will cover the extra expenses of actually earning a second paycheck, there are still the non-money things that need to be seriously considered.
By staying at home, you will not have many expenses (that would have to come out of your paycheck) and will have LOTS more time to lead and have a wonderful quality of life. This is true even if staying at home will not allow you to have a Starbucks coffee everyday or get your nails done every two weeks.
It will cost you extra money to earn a second paycheck and it will cost you your health, a good quality of life, and a connection with your family that you can never recover once the time has passed.