One of the toughest questions we face as new moms- and one we hear most often: should I return to work after maternity leave? We were talking with our mom friends and a new mom wanted to know if anyone was a stay-at-home-mom past the maternity leave duration, and if so, did they recommend it? Of course, it’s not really an easy yes or no answer, as it depends on so many factors. We thought we’d help out by giving you some tips to help you decide if you should return to work after maternity leave or decide to stay home a little longer (or maybe even a lot longer!)
Should You Return to Work After Maternity Leave or Stay Home Longer?
Having kids is a joy that parents cherish. If you have a baby, this child quickly becomes the center of your world and you would do anything for them. One struggle that many mothers go through after having a child is whether to extend their maternity leave and become stay at home mom or to go back to work on time as anticipated. This can be a very difficult decision to make. If you’re struggling with this situation yourself, then here are a few things you should consider before making your decision.
Consider Your Finances
To date, you and your spouse have most likely lived on two incomes. This has allowed you to be more financially successfully, helping you to purchase your first home or first new car. Although material belongings will never hold a candle to the love you have for your child, you do need to consider your finances before deciding to whether to return to work after maternity leave or stay home.
Will you and your spouse be able to make your mortgage payment if you stay at home? Will you have enough money in your budget for necessities such as groceries and clothes for your rapidly growing child? If your financial situation is secure enough that you and your spouse can live on a single income, then staying at home might be the right choice for you.
The Cost of Working
If you’re thinking about going back to work after your six week maternity leave is up, you’ll need to make sure you know the cost of going back to work. Now that you have a child to care for, you’ll need to find a caregiver to help watch your child throughout the day. This can be very costly for parents, with childcare costs amounting to hundreds of dollars each month.
Is It Right For Your Child?
When making your decision, you’ll also have to decide what’s right for your child. Staying at home allows you to build a strong bond with your child, something that can last throughout your lifetime. By staying at home, you’ll be able to offer your child a secure relationship, demonstrating each day to your child that you’re there for them. You’ll be there to kiss every scrape and hug away every frown.
Is It Right For You?
Alternatively, you’ll also need to take yourself in consideration when making your decision to return to work after maternity leave or stay home. Which will make you happier? If you feel as if one of the choices simply isn’t right for you, then steer clear from that decision. If you’re miserable in the role you’ve chosen for yourself, then your relationship with your family could suffer.
Related: Tips For Stay At Home Moms Going Back To School
In the end, it’s your choice whether you’ll return to work after maternity leave or stay home with the kids. If you’re thinking about making this choice, then be sure to sit down with your husband and go over the logistics of your decision. That way, you and your spouse can make an educated decision that will be the best answer for your family.
Did you return to work after maternity leave or decide to stay home longer with the kids? Do you think you made the right choice, either way?
16 thoughts on “Should I Return to Work After Maternity Leave?”
I feel like for many parents these days, considerations of finances come first, and often make returning to work less of a choice than they would like it to be.
In the case of my first son, I felt super guilty because I was DYING to go back to work at the end of my nine week maternity leave. I love my children to death, but I was happy to want to see him at the end of the day, rather than thrusting him at his father at the stroke of six.
Nope. I didn’t return to work, but my job was also requesting more of me upon my return. An extra 30 minute commute that I was not willing to give and more hands-on which would leave me short of my actual task. I don’t regret it one day, except I miss the paycheck.
A friend of mine is going through exactly this right now. I’ll be sharing with her.
It was so hard to go back to work after being on maternity leave. I would have loved to extend it a little longer.
Great tips. We struggled with me going back to work after my son was born. Thank goodness we were able to work it out that I could stay home. We struggled for sure with money, but it was worth it for us.
I have been a stay at home mom for all of mine and I love it. It is the right choice for me.
I returned to work. But that didn’t last long. I needed to be with my baby
I think finances are always something to consider. Leaving your child to go back to work can be really hard.
Having two incomes definitely helps more and more in this increasingly difficult economic climate. There are a lot of ways to bring in income nowadays though. Everyone’s situation is different.
I went back after maternity leave just one day per week. It didn’t make sense for me to pay for daycare once my son came along.
I always feel guilty even going shopping or to an event I wouldn’t be able to go to work! But I know that’s different for everyone! I’m glad I can stay home!
I was lucky enough to be able to stay home for the first year with my daughter. I highly recommend it but it is usually highly dependent on finances.
I think it all depends on the person. My Stepdaughter went back when she was suppose to. I think she was ready to get back to work.
I stayed home with my first daughter for a bit longer since she had medical problems. After my second daughter, I just stayed home. It is good to have options because so many people don’t.
I went back to work after I had my first son….to give my 2 weeks notice. Best decision I ever made.