How to have children and a career and stay sane(ish)

Huge childcare costs. Reduced earning power. Diminished status. Discrimination. Christine Armstrong, author of The Mother of All Jobs, reveals the truth about returning to work after having a baby.

by Christine Armstrong

When I became a mother, it never occurred to me that I would want to give up my job. But the truth is, combining work and small kids is hard – and when I tried it, I found myself desolate with misery.

Whatever your emotions about your baby and returning to work, most people feel they have very limited choices for practical reasons. Some have to go back at a certain point to keep the household solvent and others, who want to go back, find that the cost of childcare (especially for multiple children) means it makes absolutely no sense to do so.

Broadly, there are three approaches I see:

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