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Q&A: Nervous About Going Back To Work?

I love my job and always planned to go back to work after my baby was born. But now that he’s here, I am not sure I can do it.

It’s normal to feel conflicted, guilty, worried (okay, neurotic!) about leaving your infant in someone else’s care while you work. It’s also normal to change your mind — after all, you made the decision to go back to work before you met, and fell head over heels for, your little one.

While the financial implications of working vs. staying home loom large, you also need to think about your marriage, your support network, your career path, and your own personality and needs. Does your partner want you to work, or stay home? Is he prepared to carry a bigger financial load? Will you chafe at a 1950s-esque division of labor? (Think hard about that one.) Do you have parents or other family members or friends nearby who can help you care for baby? If you stay home now, will you want to return to your career later?

It’s a lot to mull over, but it’s not an irreversible decision. Whether you return to work or stay home with your son, you can continue to monitor your feelings and your situation and make a change later if need be.

By Paula Kashtan