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Checklist: Working Mom vs. Stay at Home Mom

Is heading back to work the right decision for you? Find out here.

Struggling to decide whether to return to work? Ask yourself these questions:

[  ] Can you work out a realistic budget, factoring in either the loss of your salary or the cost of childcare?

[  ] How will the loss of your salary and benefits affect your tax bracket and insurance coverage?

[  ] If you stay home, will you chafe at a 1950s-esque division of labor? (Think hard about this one.)

[  ] How does your partner feel about the matter?

[  ] Do you have parents or other family members or friends nearby who can help you care for baby?

[  ] Outside of work, do you have ample opportunities for adult interaction and social connections?

[  ] Will you be able to stay intellectually stimulated without work?

[  ] If you stay home now, will you want to return to work later? How will your career progress be affected?

[  ] Will you be able to function at work on a significantly reduced amount of sleep?

[  ] Do most your friends with children stay at home or work? How would you feel about choosing a different route?

[  ] Right now, is your work more about the money or the ambition?

[  ] What -- if any -- are your realistic options for childcare?

[ ] How much do you expect your partner to contribute to baby’s care?

-- Paula Kashtan

See More: 3rd Trimester , Mommy Life , Parenting Tools