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Returning to work after baby?



"Working Mom's Survival Guide" helps new parents make that decision


You just got the news, a baby on the way. How wonderful. But the big question turns to “How do you know if you can afford to quit the job?” Paula Peters, in her book Working Mom’s Survival Guide addresses five factors to consider.

  • Your financial situation. Create a list of household incomes, including your partner’s and other contributing family members and compare it to your total household expenses. Add in baby-related expenses such as child care, diapers, clothes, and formula.

    READ MORE: Advice from working moms

  • Feelings after your baby arrives. Every woman will feel differently, some go to work and find they miss their baby, others think they don’t want to return to work, then realize that staying home is not for them. You won’t really know until the baby comes.
  • Medical benefits: If you are the main provider of medical benefits, leaving work may not be an option. You will incur higher than normal medical expenses over the next year — not just for you, but also for the baby.

  • Your enjoyment of work. Do you love or hate your job? If you’re pretty down about it, then staying home with your baby is going to look like a pretty attractive option, but if you’re enjoying your work, you may be more motivated to stick with your job.

  • Stress at home. If you and your husband already have stressful jobs, this is only going to be more heightened once the baby arrives. With one person at home, there is someone there to relieve the burden of doing chores.

    READ MORE: Overwhelmed by a hectic schedule?
What if you’re still not sure? Go back to work after your maternity leave. Try it out for a few weeks. See how you like it. The final word? Don’t stay home because you are feeling guilty about leaving your baby; work is an important source of self-esteem.