In the seven years that my sons were in child care—a period that began when my oldest was three months old and ended when my youngest hit kindergarten—I shelled out upwards of $80,000.
It was worth every penny.
Handing over that last check, I felt as if there should be champagne, or at least balloons falling from the ceiling. Because child care will remain one of the best investments I ever made.
Moms who work from home and use child care often get judged: Can’t she work around the baby’s schedule? Isn’t she throwing her money away? Isn't it a teeny bit selfish?!
For me, child care was never an indulgence but an investment in my business, no different from a decent computer and reliable Wi-Fi.
And it also made me a more relaxed mother. For his first five months, my youngest son was home with me as I launched my freelance career. I had to work—that wasn’t an option. But did I have to work with my baby in a swing, ticking like a metronome behind me?
That $80,000 sounds steep, but I wonder: How much less money might I have earned if I hadn’t spent it? It’s worth pondering…over a glass of champagne.
Denise Schipani blogs at Confessions of a Mean Mommy. She is the author of Mean Moms Rule: Why Doing the Hard Stuff Now Creates Good Kids Later.