Why you should stay home with your baby

Mar 13, 2014, 5:37 PM | Updated: 5:37 pm
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Having a baby changes your life in more ways than you can imagine. Many women face the decision of how long they will stay on maternity leave, or whether to leave the workforce altogether. Women may not get the monetary benefits or public recognition they would in the workforce, but being a stay-at-home mom comes with rewards you can't get any other way. While there is no one answer for every family, here are a few reasons to stay home with your newborn baby.

1. There will never be a good time to quit. You might think the best time to quit will be after you buy a home, when your husband gets a better job or when you pay off a few bills. There will always be something you can spend your money on. Quit now and don't get used to the extra income.

2. Working can cost you. Staying home with your baby means skipping the commute. It also means saving costs on daycare. Will the majority of your money be spent on daycare, fuel for your car and takeout dinners? If this is the case, you may be able to stay home and spend time with your child with little financial hit.

3. You don't really need that. There are many things you can cut back on to shave your budget. You don't really need a big house. Your parents and grandparents raised more kids in smaller houses, and they (and you) turned out fine. You can cut out cable TV. There are many online options for viewing shows now and most people are paying a premium for a few things they like to watch on cable. Also, look for ways to reduce your phone bill. You may not use as many minutes or as much data as you're paying for.

4. There may be other options. Leaving the office behind doesn't mean you can't work. Many companies offer job sharing and telecommuting options. You can also look into starting your own business or doing contract work from home with your specific talents and skill set. There are a number of websites, like elance.com, that facilitate contract work where you can find clients looking for your services. Websites like etsy.com let you sell goods you make without an expensive brick and mortar storefront.

5. You'll have plenty of time for that later. Your child will only be little once. You have roughly five years to spend every minute with them, then they are off to school. After 18 years, they may be off to college and out of the house. You'll have years to build a career after your kids go to school or leave home. The average American spends 45 years in the workforce. If you take even up to 20 years off, it still leaves you 25 years of earning potential.

6. You are the best mother for your child. Your childcare provider may be great, but they will never be you. When you stay home, you are the one shaping how your child spends her day. You are the one to share in the joy of all those firsts. You are the one to give the magic kisses that make everything better. You are the one reaping all the benefits of parenthood. Here are some more reminders of the joy of parenting.

Megan Wallgren is a freelance writer and mother of four energetic children. She blogs about how to wear them out at kinetickids.blogspot.com.

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Why you should stay home with your baby