Ok, I'm new to this board, although I have lurked here some
This is what I tell people.
If you already have a good flexible job- that is golden- think thrice about giving that up. Perhaps pursue a part time option. It doesn't hurt to ask. I did and got it. Can you take a years leave of absence? Can you reduce your hours to 30 and work 6 hour days, so you can be home earlier? Can you go in earlier and stagger your hours with DHs- that way you each get some one on one time with the kids each day. Is your job one that can have a several year layoff and still be relevant? Or is it a fast changing type of job?
Next, if you really want to be a sahp, do it. BUT before you quit your job, live on your DH's salary for at least 6 months and see how you can handle it. Save your entire post tax salary. At the end of six months, you will have a nice amount of savings in addition to the knowledge that you are able to live within your DH's means. Before you quit, make sure you and your DH have other savings that could be used to pay for your day to day costs for 6 months.
Think about the financial places you want to be. In 5 years, ten twenty.... How much have you saved for retirement? How much do you think you will need. Do you and your DH intend to pay for some or all of your children's college? Have you started to save for that? Would DH's salary allow you to save for retirement and college?
How steady is DH's job?
With two young children know that you will be tired at the end of the day no matter if you work out of the house or as a sahp and you light not be able to have a nice dinner on the table each night.
You have good affordable daycare you like and a flexible job you like. That is quite a bit to give up. See if you can tweak it, instead of giving it all up.
How much does DH do with the household chores currently? Will he expect you to pick up some of his current load? Should he be doing more now?
I was having this same debate with myself several months ago while on maternity leave with baby #3. I got great advice from some of the frequent posters on this board am still working (and glad I am). My situation was similar--could afford to, but would have to adjust a few things, love my job, very flexible, love our dc, DH who would worry more than I would. I am not sure if it will help at all, but I'll tell you my experience.
After a lot of thought and discussion, I realized it was not that I wanted to stop working, it was just that I did not want the baby to be in day care (or otherwise away from me) 35+ hours a week during the early months and was afraid I would not have enough time to give all of my children the attention they needed. The deciding factors for me were the fact that my boys did not want to give up day care, and the realization that I would not want to go the rest of my life without an occupation outside of the house, and if I gave up this job, there was no job I could imagine that I would like as much or more. We decided to just address the concerns of the baby being in the day care all week and the time for all of the kids. We went to 4 day work weeks (so the kids are only in day care 3 days) and started outsourcing what we could, doing meal prep, etc, after bedtime and during naptime.
In hindsight, I am glad I did not quit my job. I have come to really appreciate the flexibility, the job security, the comfort of knowing we have two incomes, and the fulfillment I get from it. On the homefront, we did have a few stumbles with my middle child during the transition/adjustment to not being the baby, but I can't say they would have been helped if I had not been at work, because I think continuing the normal day care routine actually helped quite a bit. What I would do differently if I could go back is that I would not be afraid to ask for a longer leave of absence. I would ask for 6 months of leave, followed by 6 months of part-time.
Good luck with your decision.
Thank you all so much for the sound advice.
You really do have it good! :-)
I could have stayed home by the time we had our 2nd child, but I chose to continue working because if I quit and then tried to get back into my field, it would be at a considerably lower salary and benefit package. I've got it really good where I am now, and even though I have days where I wish I could chuck it all and stay home, I know I'm romanticizing it. In reality I would spend my days with fewer grown-ups to talk to, and I'd be scrubbing my own floors and toilets which I cannot stress enough how much I hate doing!!!
Disability (for you or for you husband 40% of people end up disabled - my neighbor's husband is disabled - she a SAHM with no income right now.)
Divorce (my friend is a divorce lawyer and people are very surprised that their husband does not have to support them when they divorce when they have been a SAHM for 20 years)
I'm a wohm (have been for almost 19 years).