If you are like me, and many other moms, staying home with you’re new baby just isn’t financially realistic. Working with a newborn isn’t easy, but there’s nothing wrong with being a working mom.
There are a lot of things to consider before going back to work and you want to make sure you have everything in place when its time.
Preparing Yourself To Go Back To Work
When it came to going back to work, the hardest part for me was the thought of being away from my son for the first time. I also had to figure out how to shift my brain from mommy mode back into work mode, although sometimes I think my employees whine more than my baby does.
If you’re on maternity leave from work, you will want to make sure you talk to your HR department and your boss to confirm your return date and discuss any new accommodation you need for breastfeeding or pumping.
The most important thing to figure out when going back to work is who will take care of your baby?
Free Childcare Options
The best place to start when deciding who will watch your baby while you’re at work is family. A retired grandparent is usually a great option because you know them well and know that you can trust them with your baby, plus they are usually more than happy to watch their new grandchild for free.
Another free option may be friends. Whether it’s a friend who is a stay at home mom, or one who has a different work schedule, close friends are often happy to watch a little one for free, or close to it.
What About Daycare?
If you don’t have anyone who you know who can watch your baby when you go back to work, your other option is daycare. With all of the stories you hear, leaving your baby at daycare with someone you don’t know can be scary. That’s why it’s important to take all of the right steps to find the best daycare for you.
- Figure Out Your Scheduling Needs: Most daycares are open from 6:30am to 6:30pm Monday through Friday and only have a full time option. If you work those hours, then it works great, but if you don’t it can be hard to find other options. After a lot of looking, I was able to find a daycare that let us pay per day if we used them 1-3 days.
- What’s Your Budget: The cost of daycare can vary quite a bit depending on what they offer, but the average cost of full time daycare is around $1000 per month.
- The Montessori Method: You will see some daycares advertise that they practice the Montessori method. This is the belief that children are naturally eager to learn so they are placed in an environment that allows them the freedom to choose their own activities. This allows children to discover things on their own in a supervised environment.
- Other Education: Some daycares will offer additional educational activities. The daycare that we ended up choosing starts teaching sign language in the infant room.
- Security & Safety: Making sure your child is safe and secure is most likely at the top of your list when determining who will be watching them when you go back to work. These days many daycares have cameras that are available for you to view or they can send pictures and videos of your child on demand throughout the day. Keep an eye out for these types of things so your mind can be at ease.
Once you find a daycare that you like, or maybe a few, call and schedule a tour. Going for a tour during the day allows you to see how the teachers interact with the children who are currently there and also gives you an opportunity to ask any additional questions you have.
Nannies and Babysitters
Nannies are a great option if you can afford them, especially if you don’t work a regular 9-5 job. You can find people with a lot of experience with children and your baby will get one on one attention and development all day. A lot of nannies are also trained in infant CPR and may have other medical experience as well. They do tend to be pretty pricy though because they are working for you full time.
If you need someone to take care of the baby while you have a night out, or you need a little extra help on the weekends, you can probably find a high school or college student to babysit. Babysitters are generally pretty inexpensive but usually don’t have a ton of experience or medical expertise.
Long Term Plan
Whatever childcare option you go with, you’ll want to make sure it will last long term and it’s always good to have a backup plan. The last thing you want is to go back to work and then have your childcare plans fall apart.
We got a family member to watch our son most days but we also found a daycare that we can take him to if that person can’t watch him on a weekday and we also found some friends who can help us out in a bind on the weekends.
Work From Home
If you’re struggling to leave your baby with someone else, you can always work from home. There are plenty of work from home opportunities that offer a wide range of flexibility and pay. Some have set hours where you clock in and clock out, but many of those require you to have a quiet place to work. These types of jobs will typically give you a traditional paycheck so you can start making money right away.
In my opinion the better option with a baby would be starting your own business. It’s easier than you think and believe it or not you can do it without any upfront cost. I was able to start my blog while I was on maternity leave and going back to work was just a temporary plan while my blog grew into a fulltime business.
If you think this might be a good option for you also, check out Wealthy Affiliate to learn how to get your own blog started completely free.