Work-at-Home Mom = No Child-Care Costs? Not So Fast!
I follow the Working Mother magazine and thought this article was a great one for those thinking about working from home. I work from home and will be honest-I would LOVE a few hours break every once in awhile. Working from home may seem like the perfect dream, but it is very demanding, long hours.
This article, supported by Genworth, helps you focus on some serious questions about childcare and money, if you're considering working from home.
When we did the "mental math" on caring for our son the first few years of his life, it just made sense for me to stay at home and, eventually, work from home. At first glance, it didn't seem logical to give away half my salary for a full-time day care or preschool.
Fast-forward almost three years, and I found myself having second thoughts about whether I should go back to work. But we’ve found our “theory,” that child-care costs wouldn’t exist while I was an at-home mom, has slapped us in the face—hard!
My son attends a part-time preschool, because I think it’s useful for him to socialize and learn how to share. Plus, I need dedicated time to make calls and edit videos for my talk show or other clients. Even with him in preschool, I find myself in need of a babysitter when I have a business or networking meeting in the afternoons or evenings. Just this week, I needed the sitter for four hours while I spoke to a new media class at Kennesaw State University. That put a more than $50 dent in our weekly budget.
Private school seems to be an attractive option, particularly as food costs go up, not to mention the fact our county school board is under watch by the state of Georgia for alleged mismanagement. Needless to say, going back to work to earn a consistent income and invest in my retirement account looks more and more attractive.
In the fall, we’re considering sending our son to a cooperative part-time preschool three days a week, where the tuition is about $300 a month. He would have a dedicated 12 hours a week in which he’s cared for and learning. I would have more time to attend networking events, attend webinars and take on additional clients to grow my business. The goal is to increase my income to be more than double his preschool costs to make it worthwhile. I’ve also been using tools like Genworth Financial’s Easy Budget Calculator, will help us get a clearer look at our family’s budget.
I have a feeling that by the time our son gains his independence and moves into kindergarden and beyond, we may make another decision about his schooling and my workload. I’d love to make my pre-mommy income two years from now; that way, I can make more of a contribution to our family’s budget for vacations, savings and the college costs coming in 14 years. It happens sooner than you think.
Moms, how does your family calculate child-care costs?
Does it make sense for you to stay home while your children are small—then go back to working outside the home?
Joyce Brewer is the creator/host of MommyTalkShow.com, a video blog for Atlanta moms. The Emmy award-winning TV journalist walked away from the local TV news anchor desk after she got engaged, married and pregnant all in one year. She's the author of Use What You Know: A Business Idea Guide for Moms.