New Mom Secret: I Can't Afford Childcare & So I Work With My Baby

It's hard being a new mom (or even an experienced mom to a new baby) and sometimes we do things we know we shouldn't, despite what all the experts say. But this is a safe place to share your secrets (PM me)—we'll never tell.

This Week's Secret:


My daughter is 4 months old but I had to go back to work when she was 4 weeks old. We never really had a good plan for daycare because we hadn't planned on me going back to work, but things happened at the end of my pregnancy, and now we can't afford childcare and I can't afford not to work. I have been working my tail off all from home and basically ignoring my baby. It's really awful and I can't keep it up much longer. -- Anonymous

I was in a similar position after my son (my second child) was born and I know how awful it is to have to start working when you have a newborn. I was writing stories at 2 a.m. when my son was 4 days old, and even though it was great to work from home, it was still incredibly stressful. That said, there are some things you can do.

Your baby is 4 months now, so maybe there is a group of other moms who are in similar positions who might like to do an exchange. It probably won't solve all of your problems and you will have more than one baby on some days, but at least it would give you some unencumbered time to work and not feel guilty.

There are also nanny shares, which cost more overall, but reduce the cost for each family. You may find that more affordable. The other solution I always found was to work only when my husband was home so we traded the baby off. It took time away from us together as a family, but it kept our childcare costs low.

It's a hard position to be in, but there are ways around it.

Do you have any advice for this mom?

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