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Your cute bundle of joy has arrived. You barely have time to think--you're so caught up in the daily grind of feeding, burping, diapering, putting the baby to sleep, and maybe napping a bit yourself.
After the first few (exhausting!) months, it's time to get back to work. In India, we're usually allowed 3 months of paid maternity leave. If you're the ambitious type, you're probably raring to go to office and pick up from where you left. But is your infant ready?
So much has been written about a baby's separation anxiety and the pros and cons of daycare. Plus, if you're breastfeeding, you also have pumping to consider. It's all very confusing.
Will your baby grow up to be an independent toddler if you put her in daycare? Or, will she be continuously falling sick from exposure to germs carried by other children?
The other option is to hire a nanny. Here again, there are several questions.
If you do not have a family member who can stay at home to supervise the nanny, what should you do? Should you trust the nanny with your precious baby?
Will the nanny care for the baby in the same way as you do? Will the nanny be honest and not try to steal you out of house and home?
Can you, in all honesty, leave your 3-month-old, who is still totally dependent on you, behind with a complete stranger?
You must also think about the financial aspect of this choice. How much do you earn and how much will the nanny charge? At the end of the day, does it make sense to spend money on a babysitter? Or is it better and probably more satisfying to do it yourself?
These questions are not easy to answer. You must consider your drive to work as well, and not just the paycheck at the end of the day.
After having spent all your life either studying or working--and thus, leaving the house every day--can you cope with staying at home for the most part of the day?
There's no single solution because every woman, every family, and every situation is different.
However, it is important to remember that you must do what gives you peace of mind and not what your family members expect you to do. Your sanity is in your hands--don't let anyone cheat you out of it!