I know we all refer to our classroom children as "our kids" - but my question is for people with children at home of their own. My husband and I are expecting on 9/10. We are overjoyed, this is a long-awaited and much anticipated child for us. We are older for first time parents and based on what we went through to conceive this child, realize that this may be the only shot we get at parenthood. We are trying to make the decision of what to do when the baby is born in terms of work. In my dream life, I would be a stay at home parent and homeschool my child(ren?) but in reality, it is not financially possible for us to live on my husband's income, even though we live modestly and have no debt but a very modest mortgage and student loans (about 5 years left at current rate of pay). We could afford to do it for one year though, with my accrued sick days covering about half of the lost income and careful budgeting covering the rest. I am seriously debating taking an entire year off on childcare leave. We live in Minnesota, and I have a much harder time with the thought of taking a 3-month old to daycare in the dea of -10 December than I do a 1-year-old in September. Also, the type-A part of me thinks it would be really hard to come back to a classroom that someone else has not only been running, but started. Finally, the deepest part of my heart wants all the time with my child I can possibly have. The drawbacks of this plan are obvious. I would completely wipe out my sick days. My tenure and salary are guaranteed, but my exact job and location are not upon return. And finally, I am really scared that if I do this, I will never want to come back. What would you do? What have you done?