Childcare as an investment, not an expense 👶
There is no right or wrong when it comes to determining your work-life balance post-baby. We know all too well how difficult it may be to weigh up the pros and cons of working vs. staying at home, but one thing is certain - it’s important to do what feels right for you and your family.
There are a couple of things you should keep it mind when it comes to the financial aspect of working after having kids.
Childcare is notoriously expensive. When you look at the cost of hiring a nanny or sending a child to nursery, you may think there’s simply no point in doing so. Is there any financial incentive in returning to work whilst paying for childcare?
More often than not, families have to sit down and make calculations to determine whether or not it is worth for a woman to go back to work after having a child. You may have heard people say things like- if you aren’t earning x amount, it isn’t worth for you to go back to work. It is more worthwhile to stay home and take care of the kids. We don’t think such a situation is at all fair on the woman, who may be eager to both be a mother and to work.
Sometimes, it makes no financial sense for a woman to go back to work. When neither of your salaries can cover the cost of childcare, staying home may well be the only option. You need to make a rational decision based on both of your salaries.
If you are in the privileged position to be able to consider childcare, you should view it as an investment, not an expense. It may seem counterintuitive, but seeing the long-term benefits of returning to work, such as the steady increase in salary, makes the process of paying for childcare a little less painful.
Penalised for motherhood?
Did you know that women who leave the workforce are penalised for doing so?
This illuminating study by the Harvard Business Review distressingly reveals that women lose an average of 18% of their earning power when they take time off for an average 2.2 years. Penalties are especially draconian in business sectors, where women’s earning power dips to an average of 28% when they take time off work for 1.2 years. The more time you spend away from work, the more severe the penalty. Across a range of sectors, women lose a staggering 37% of their earning power when they spend three or more years out of the workforce. Harvard Business Review concludes that “the longer you spend out, the more severe the penalty becomes.” It’s quite the bitter pill to swallow!
Credit photo: Amanda Jordan - Unsplash