So I am in the same position as many mothers. DD is almost 5 months and I'm running low on funds. I am a consultant so I've been able to pick up some work here and there which helps. Unfortunately, marrying DH and filing separately killed me in taxes, which will virtually wipe out my savings when I pay the tax bill.
Being a consultant, it's a feast or famine situation. If I sign up with an agency, I am locked in for 2 + long days per week, but am guaranteed x number of dollars for showing up and doing the work. Unfortunately, pumping would be almost impossible, as I get no paid breaks and have no privacy ( i.e. hospital, prison). I was told that as a contractor, I don't get the legal protections for pumping on the job. So, if I chose to that, I would probably hand express on the fly for only comfort.
Then there's the choice of continuing to do what I'm doing now- just taking what comes in from the community and not contract with an agency. I have complete control over my schedule, work in my own office, and can easily pump or just work a half day at a time. The down side is that I have no idea when I'll get a referral and never know for sure how much I am going to make. The hourly is better, but there is no consistent income
I've reduced expenses on my end- even let go of the hospital grade pump to use my old PISA! Still in maternity wear because I'm too cheap to buy clothes. Wearing the same pair of shoes day in and day out that hurt my feet the least. All I have bought for myself is nursing shirts and bras (boobs got 2 cup sizes bigger nursing )
My DH and I have a deal. While I am on maternity leave, we keep finances separate. He pays for everything, except I pay "rent" for baby to make up for lost income when roommate left when baby was born. I buy groceries and pay for my own office expenses and gas. Once I go back to regular work, we will re-evaluate, merge finances and set up a budget.
DH is very proud I am exclusively BF ing and supports me in doing so for a year or longer. He knows I am going broke and is encouraging me to not sell out and contract with an agency before LO is a year old. Of course, he also does not want me to go into debt staying home, either.
I am tempted to just keep coasting along and tap into my business credit line that has a really good rate (7.25%). Marketing my services would cost money and would only make sense if I wanted to never go back to agency contracting.
So I am torn. I am completely debt free except for a student loan that is very reasonable (and not repaying right now due to maternity). I know exactly how much I'd make if I set up to start work after the first of the year (14 months off). I could pay off the debt in less than 6 months. The only unknowns would be the length of my commute and my ability to pump.
Has anyone else been through this? What did you work out? I am afraid I will NEVER want to leave DD and go back to work. I know that I absolutely refuse to give up exclusively BFing- no formula here! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!