Hi I have just joined Mumsnet and this is my forst post! I am a first time mum to my 6 month old little boy and I work in retail (head office) and never wanted to go back to work after having children. I have never been a career girl, it was just a job, my mum was a stay at home mum until my brother and I were at school and then she did part time hours to suit. I guess this was the example I was set and always wanted the same for my children. The cost of childcare would practically wipe out my wage so there is no real financial benefit for going back to work either. I guess in my mind I am feeling a little 'unique' nowadays as most people I know have gone back to their jobs full time and put their children in nurseries...am I alone in this? Are there many stay at home mums out there!???
There are lots. And I would think lots more who would love to be able to have a choice in the matter.
Most of the mums I know have gone back part time. Out of the 15 or so mums I socialise with regularly, three have decided to stay at home and probably 3 or 4 more would have liked to stay at home but can't afford to.
If it suits you to stay at home and it's what you want then of course you should do it.
Of course it's ok not to go back to work. It's also ok to go back to work as well. It's all about finding the solution that best suits you and your family. Lots of people don't go back: in my NCT group it was 50:50 with only one person returning full time. Amongst my uni friends 2 have stayed at home, and 4 have gone back part time and subsequently quit. No one is in full time work.
I'm seriously considering not going back to work. like you, the cost of a nursery would probably leave me with almost no extra income and so it's hard to justify handing my dd over to someone to go to work. The biggest struggle I'm having is trying to work out what / if any benefits I'd receive. It's a minefield...
It's fine either way - you should do what suits you and your family.
But do bear in mind the longer term benefits of going back to work even part time - apart from pension, etc, you keep your hand in and will be better equipped for future jobs - skills, experience, and keeping your confidence up. Stepping out of the job market for a few years can make it difficult to reenter it.
Of course, if you are certain that you wouldn't ever return to retail, this isn't an issue.