When I had my first baby, my husband was expecting that I would return to work within a few months. I wanted to be a stay-at-home-mom, but I knew that we really couldn't afford it and figured I would have to go back to work at least part-time.
Then fate threw us a curveball. At six-days-old, Maggie was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis and her CF specialist advised us to keep her out of daycare for at least 6 months. She needed to be kept away from respiratory germs. It didn't take much thought for us to decide that Maggie would never see the inside of a daycare. And just like that, I was a stay-at-home-mom.
But after a few months and cutting back on everything, we knew I needed to make some sort of an income. These days, I'm a work-at-home-mom. If you're reluctant to head back to work now that you're cuddling your new baby, there are options that will allow you to snuggle and pay the mortgage.
Work From Home
There are plenty of opportunities available for people who wish to work from home. The best benefit of working from home is that you can set your own hours. You get to work around your baby's schedule. If you're married, you can work at night when your spouse is home. You could even have a grandparent come to your house for a few hours once or twice a week, or swap child-watching days with a friend. From freelance writing and web design to data entry and sales, there are options for just about every career. Visit Virtual Vocations to check out some opportunities.
Take Baby to Work
The newest trend for working parents is to take their baby to the office with them. The Parenting in the Workplace Institute strives to help companies across the country create environments in which babies are welcome. They provide research and assistance to implement such programs, and your company may be willing to try it out with you.
Work Part-Time or Job Share
Another option is, of course, to work part-time or to share a full-time job with another parent. In either case, you will need help. You can put your baby in daycare part-time or you can enlist the help of family and friends. Grandparents are usually willing to help and if you are lucky enough to have two sets of able grandparents available, they can each devote a day or two to caring for your baby. Another option is to swap days with another parent. You can care for her child on the days that she works and she can do the same for you.
Whether you decide to stay at home or go back to work, there are options available that will allow you spend lots of time with your baby. It may take some digging, researching, and convincing, but you will find a way to make it all work for your family.