Many moms and dads wrestle with the decision of whether or not to return to work after a baby is born. Often, one parent's paycheck represents 50 percent or more of the family's income. Even downgrading expenses, such as eliminating child care, a work wardrobe, lunches, and commuting expenses doesn't compensate for lost income. But economics aren't the only factor affecting decisions whether or not parents stay home. Intensely competitive careers may motivate parents to return as quickly as possible to re-assert their hard-earned position. Many struggle with the less defined and loosely evaluated role of a stay-at-home parent. Self esteem, economics, and career tracks are all valid reasons for making this decision. If you're committed to the idea of one parent caring for your child at home, you may want to consider whether you or your spouse can remain home, or if you can job-share with your partner or another working parent. Part time employment may be a good alternative. Working from home is becoming another popular way of managing finances and spending time with your family at home.
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