First of all, I know this can be controversial. I'm just asking for opinions because I can't seem to decide what to do. There are valid arguments from both sides, and everyone of course should do what's best for them. So, here goes. With my first child, I almost died after she was born. My employer expected me to come back at 6 weeks, and when I wasn't able to due to the fact that I wasn't well enough, I was let go. It was extremely hard for me emotionally. I suffered with anxiety and depression not only related to my health, but also related to the blow of losing my job. I decided since I already lost my job, I would stay home for a while. Once my daughter was a year old, I started working outside the home again. It was difficult to get employers to consider me again, but I finally found something decent-although not making nearly as much as I was before. Fast forward a few years, I am 3/4 of the way through my maternity leave with baby #2. Thankfully heathwise things have been good so far. I also work for a larger company and have FMLA protection for twelve weeks. I enjoy my job, and I don't especially want to leave it. BUT, after paying for daycare for two kids, I wouldn't be bringing any money home. NONE. The advantages are that I would still have retiremment and my own health insurance (instead of being on hubby's). It will also be easier to continue building my resume and hopefully to get a truly awesome job in the future. I just can't get past a few things tho. It seems like there is so little time to spend with the kids when they'll be going to bed practically as soon as I'd get home from work. We might have an hour or two in between. They wont get one on one attention like they'd get at home, and I can't stand the idea of the baby crying and somebody being too busy to pick him up. Not to mention the more frequent illness and your boss getting ticked because you need to take off. At the same time, staying home is a real challenge for my mental health. I feel isolated and it's difficult to get out and about. I also had a lot of anxiety and depression before, but there were some other things going on then too, so who knows. I feel painfully inadequate as a stay at home mom. I feel like I don't provide enough enrichment. I'm not sure if this is valid or me being too hard on myself. I wish I could work part time, but ironically where I live I haven't found any part time childcare options I can afford. Daycares charge full time prices regardless (which i could only afford if also working full time), and i don't want to use an individual because I've had issues in the past. So, here I am. I feel like I'm between a rock and a hard place. I dont want to quit my job, but I don't want to leave the kids either. Anyone who can give some magical insight, I'd appreciate it.