I am looking for advice.
I am a FTM who is a teacher making a decent salary with excellent benefits. We live an hour from any family and the family we have is not able to be involved in childcare if we lived closer anyway.
My income matches DH's but his insurance is terribly more expensive than mine, so we've always been on mine. (Think 250 extra a month premium and 10,000 more a year for out of pocket cap.). Our salaries combined are healthy after taxes, but individually are very tight for Midwest living.
I never considered wanting to take a year leave of absence until we went through infertility and IVF but now it's a constant desire. I crunch the numbers every day to try to see if there's something I'm missing that can be cut out. The reality is this: we can pay next year's bills on EXACTLY what DH makes. Anything more will require dipping into the emergency fund.
So we've been trying to bank my paychecks and see what the day to day looks like on DH's salary. Predictably, life happened and this month we had a 900 plumbing expense- which was actually less than it would have been because DH did all the work himself. That of course came from the emergency fund.
Financially it doesn't make sense for me to quit becAuse my salary more than covers the cost of daycare. Some days I can reconcile myself to the idea of this. Other days, like when I've had spotting scares, it's all I can do to beg God to let money be the biggest of my worries and I'm right back in SAHM mode.
If I take a LOA I am supposed to be guaranteed A job but not necessarily MY job. So that's another thing I've considered. But always on the flip side of that is what is staying at home worth to me to be with her next year?
If I had a local care option I could probably sub a day or two a week at a neighboring district but it would have to be free or it would negate the point of subbing at all.
I've also debated pulling money from savings to pay off the last of our student loans and free up monthly bill money but then I worry about having a depleted account in case of emergency like medical expenses.
You can probably tell from reAding this that, financially, the obvious answer is working. But my heart is just torn about finding a way to make this work.
I know it's a long post but I wanted to give enough info to hopefully paint a clear picture. Any ideas or insight?