I'm not sure if this is the right place to put this, but here goes:

I'm a fundraiser in the nonprofit sector and have been for my entire career (10+ years). I've reached a great point in my career, and my last move landed me at a very highly-regarded research organization. I started when my daughter was about 10 months and am currently pregnant with baby number 2, due in mid-May.

We're very excited for #2, but recently discovered that while our daughter's daycare tuition will go down now that she's 2, the tuition for infants has gone up. So my entire after-tax salary would basically be going to daycare. It's a depressing thought and certainly brings up the question of whether it makes sense to continue to work since I also have a 30-40 min commute either way and there are times of year when my work is very demanding and hard on our family schedule, putting a lot of pressure on my husband who has a demanding job as well.

My problem is that I worry that any moves further up the ladder later on for me could mean a good bit of travel and other challenges. I know that the costs of care for infants and younger kids are not permanent and will go down significantly in 5 years or less, but in the meantime I feel stuck.

I worry that taking time off would mean a backslide in terms of career progression, though I think I'd like to try and do some freelancing (grand writing/research) on the side to keep up professional skills and contacts.

We could make my staying home work and my husband worries about our kids and my sanity with how stressful my job can be at times, but I just don't know how to make a leap that would allow for balance between the "professional me" and the "mom me."

Anyone else have a similar experience? And make it work? I'd love to hear!