Some women like the idea of being a stay-at-home mom after your baby is born. While this may be an easy decision for some women, it’s often a challenge for others, as there are many different things to first consider. If you’re expecting a baby and would like to be home with your child, here are five things you should determine first to know if it’s the right decision for you and your family.
1. Can you afford it?
The very first thing you need to consider is if it’s something you can afford. The cost of living continues to rise, and many couples have found that each person has to work in order to cover their expenses. Before your baby is born, it’s important to look hard at your finances and determine if you can afford to stay home with your baby. Look at your current budget and see how it will change by adding in the cost of a new baby along with the cost of childcare. Then, look to see if there are things you can do now to make it easier to stay home, such as paying off a car to avoid a car payment or paying off debt to eliminate monthly expenses.
After looking at your budget, you may find that making changes now will allow you to stay home, or you may find that you can stay home as long as you work part time. Preparing yourself head of time will help you determine if staying home is something you can actually afford to do.
2. What policies and perks could you lose?
Aside from knowing if you can afford it, it’s important for you to also look at what policies may change or become lost if you opt to leave your job. For instance, if you are receiving insurance through your employer, you’ll either need to opt for private insurance or see if you can be added to your spouse’s policy. You’ll also want to do the same for retirement savings plans and any other perks you may be getting through your employer. For instance, if you have a company car with company-paid insurance, you’ll need to plan for another vehicle and additional insurance. According to Mercury Insurance, “Shopping for insurance policies early will help you save money,” and with a new baby on the way, saving money will be important.
3. Can you handle it?
Being a stay-at-home mom is not for everyone, so don’t feel obligated to stay home with your child if you would rather be a working mother. At the same time, you may WANT to be a stay-at-home mom, but you may find that it’s not something you can handle. Being a stay-at-home mom requires a lot of work and a lot of patience, and it’s often exhausting and overwhelming. If you don’t think it’s something you’ll be able to handle successfully, then maybe it’s not the right choice for you.
4. What is the long-term plan?
Being a stay-at-home mom can come in many forms, so it’s a good idea to determine what your long-term plan will be. For instance, do you want to stay home only for the first year of your child’s life, or do you want to stay home until they graduate high school? There are a lot of things you’ll need to factor, such as cost, but having an idea of your long-term plan can help you take the right steps. For instance, if you want to go back to work sooner rather than later, then it’s a good idea to keep contacts with people in your industry or take some classes to stay current with latest trends. This way, your time out of the workforce won’t hinder your chances at finding a job when you’re ready to go back.
5. How will you handle the change?
Before you become a stay-at-home mom, it’s important for you to have an open dialogue with your spouse about the change that will take place. Often stress can occur between the working parent and the stay-at-home parent, and you don’t want your relationship to suffer because of this change. Be sure you are both aware of the expectations of each other and communicate any pros and cons to help you both make a decision you’re comfortable with.
Being a stay-at-home parent is not always the right choice for everyone, so before you have your heart set on turning in your letter of resignation, be sure to consider all this first.
Amila Gamage Wickramarachchi is the founder of this blog where she shares her parenting and lifestyle experiences. She is an engineer and a trainer who works in the construction industry. She is the founder of Sihela Consultants.(www.sihelaconsultants.com)