I am torn about whether or not to return to work after this baby. I'll be a mom of 3 kids - 2 in daycare and 1 in kindergarten, paying for after school care.... and limited funds to pay for it all. I assumed that my long-term daycare provider (and dear friend) would be able to take the baby and my littlest chickadee for the same rate she has always extended us.
I spoke with her yesterday and she said she raised her rates. It would still be manageable, but when factoring in my 20 mile drive to her house one way -- not sure if it's worth it. She is an excellent preschool teacher and nurturer. Very creative, fun and in tune with little ones.
I also talked to a girl who has babysat for us a few times. She is available to nanny for us for a flat rate a day for all 3 kids to include cleaning, driving, school work, etc. When doing the math, she would be less cost overall for 3 kids because we wouldn't need to pay for after school care for our oldest chickadee. But, the kids wouldn't get the social interaction and stimulation of the home daycare/preschool setting. But less driving for me and time shaved off the day by having someone in our home.
I might be able to come up with a compromise or a blend of the two. But I'm still not sure. I'm so torn. In one way, I like working out of the home and having that outlet for my creativity and self-actualization for my professional side. Having a 4 day work week and a fairly easy position, great benefits and amenities are nice. Then again, my boss is definitely annoying and moody and I can't stand his presence most days. The company structure is weird and the marketing tactics are lame for the most part. I'm 1 of 3 Caucasians/native-English speakers there; which is fine and can be interesting, but sometimes awkward.
I just don't know if I should take a year off from working to be a stay at home mom/freelancer. Or try to work out a flexible working schedule with my current workplace and just continue to be a working mom. Or try to find another part time job on my maternity leave. I could just go back to work, get the benefits, take it easy, not take it too seriously, and try it for a few months. Pay off the medical bills, try to juggle it all, get my bearings on being a mom of 3, then make a decision. I just don't know. I change my mind every other day.
I sometimes get utterly annoyed with daycare. I often get completely annoyed with working. I do not like keeping up a home and being domestic. I get depressed when I spend too much time at home with the kids without a break. I like a good balance. Going to work actually allows me to get my personal things done and keep my head straight. But geez - if I'm going to spend over half of what I make in salary for childcare, is it really worth it? But even a little $ in the pocket is better than none, right? My income helps with all the extras, investing for retirement, kids' college funds, paying extra principal on our mortgage & car loan, etc. I like having that extra cushion. I don't like worrying about not having enough money if something were to happen.
I wish I had a crystal ball or a Magic 8 ball to tell me what I should do. I certainly pray, but I don't feel like I'm getting a clear answer. I guess I should wait to see how my new little baby is and how our growing family is affected by it.
Can anyone else relate to these torn feelings? What would you do if you were in this situation?