If you ask anyone on leaving your job now, the answer would be a vehement “No”; of course, you do not leave your job in recession and a very bad job market as we are seeing this year. But the dilemma on joining back work or not remains the same for a young mother.
I am a member of the IIT women’s forum and this questions was recently there, this is a post which expands on the answer I gave there to a young mom who wants to stay at home with her new born but also is worried whether it would be a good decision to quit her good paying job when the advice all around advices against it. If you are a mom planning on leaving work now and have plans on re-entering the workforce a few years from now here is some advice I have for you:

Why do you want to leave your job?
Is it because of these reasons:
a) You feel the baby is too young to be sent to a daycare and / or you have no other support
b) You just feel too emotional these days and leaving your baby to go back to work increases your guilt
c) You are already too tired just recovering from the delivery, feeding the baby and other chores around the house
d) Your focus has completely changed, going back to work does not excite you anymore
e) Or it could be a different case if your child has special needs and your attention and staying at home would be more beneficial to his/her upbringing

Or there could be other reasons why you now want to be stay at home mom and of course the final decision must always be based on your situation and want; but the first step before taking any step in haste is to question yourself thoroughly. List the reasons which motivate you to leave your job now (as I did above) and then evaluate the answers. It is very important to do an analysis which is not independent of the topics discussed in this article but consider all angles, keeping in mind your current financial situation, mental satisfaction, spousal understanding and how you want your career to progress from here on.

Understand your limitations and circumstances
Check your financial situation and if you can live off well with one income then you can of course take a decision towards thinking on leaving your job and taking on the more responsible and exciting job of being with your kids.
If you are earning very well and cannot afford to let go of your current lifestyle then there are options like, having parents stay over with you to take care of the baby till he/she is ready for the daycare or a stay at home / part-time nanny is a possibility – quite a few of my friends have chosen the nanny as the best possible option because they get some help around the house and it is not so tiring for them when they get back home after work. The house is more organized and they even pay extra for some help with cooking. But of course, finding the right person to look for your child is another tough quest.

How much time can you take off?
If you feel you need more time with the baby it is a good idea to first extensively question all the leave options with your employer. Apart from the maternity leave can you use other family medical leaves or vacation time or any leave without pay, once you know that you can have 4-6 months off or more you can decide better on whether to join back to work thereafter or not. Post delivery a mother goes through an emotional roller coaster, so perhaps giving yourself some time before you take a decision might be a good idea.

Will you be happy being a stay-at-home mom?
The first couple of months are emotional and physically tiring for the new mother and it is best to give yourself the time to evaluate how you like being a full-time stay-at-home mother before making the decision on quitting your job as soon as you have the bundle of joy in your arms and the only someone who can make you feel like a pool of bubbling and overflowing love and emotions.

Would you be getting back to Work?
The reason for making up your mind upfront is that when you are ready to jump back in you are not caught unawares and the transition would be much easier. There are quite a few things that you could do now that will satisfy your need to be in touch with the world while being a stay-at-home mom and also stay in touch with the current technology and skills in your area of expertise.

There are some other very relevant articles on this blog listed below which you might helpful. It is strongly suggested to read these before you make a final decision on leaving the workforce. You will also gain some befitting advice on how you can use your time valuably and smartly when out of work so that rejoining would not to be tough on you as it is on most others who scramble for action only when the situation arises.