I had been putting a portion of every paycheck into savings since I started working, with the idea that one of the uses for this money would be covering expenses if I decided to reduce my working hours while mothering a young child. I was pretty sure I did NOT want to be a SAHM. Sure enough, although I adored my baby and enjoyed being with him, by 12 weeks I was ready to have a part of the day with nobody on my lap, and I was eager to get back to my work. I went back part-time, 20 hours a week. This made my health insurance premiums much higher, so basically my income was covering childcare and health insurance and nothing else. My partner paid all the household bills, and I occasionally moved money from my savings to checking so I could buy clothes and other personal stuff. We ended up spending very little of my savings in this period, though--we have used it more for the occasional big expenses like home improvements.
My partner had insisted that we wait to have a child until he was established in a Real Job with a salary. (It did not offer health insurance, because the company was a little startup.) As it's turned out, that is the only Real Job he has ever had. It ended when our son was 18 months old. After that he worked as a contractor: income but no benefits.
I went back to full-time when our son was 4. At that point I was able to resume paying about half of the household bills. Since then I've been promoted a couple of times, as well as getting a merit increase every year, so that I now earn almost twice as much as I did before motherhood. For the past 3 years we've been living on my salary while my partner learns new programming languages and tries to establish himself as a freelance software engineer. I'm annoyed that his income is still basically zero--I'd like him to be contributing something--but I feel that we have enough money for the thrifty lifestyle we enjoy. Because he's not earning, I have gradually insisted that he take on more childcare and household responsibilities, and that's helped a lot to make me feel that things are more even between us.
After this baby is born, I plan to return to work full-time, and baby will go to a small home childcare (as our son did until age 2) for at least some of my working hours. Our son will continue being home with Daddy after school until I get home from work. I'd like to have my partner take care of the baby maybe one day a week, so that we pay less for childcare...but as long as he is actually working during our son's school days, theoretically working toward earning some money someday, I don't want to derail his career by filling some of that time with baby distractions. Maybe it's better to have baby in childcare for all of my working hours but insist that my partner take care of us in other ways, such as cooking (he currently has dinner ready when I come home every weeknight) and laundry, and that he spend SOME time with the kids when I'm home. I love my son so much, and he loves being with me so much, that it's been easy for my partner to wander off and leave the two of us together all the time, but eventually it wears on me to feel like I'm always the Parent On Duty whenever I'm home and I have to take the kid on all my errands.
I'm really glad I kept my job. I still enjoy my work, and it's been a great stable source of income and health care. Although I had hoped my partner would be a good "provider" for a longer time, I appreciate the way he took care of us financially when I was a new mom, and I'm glad that his current pursuit of his dream career isn't starving us. I also think it was a LOT easier for me to come back to the same job after a short leave, than it would be to start a new job at some point after becoming a mom.
It would be nice to be able to go part-time after this baby arrives, but my employer has changed the rules and benefits structure for part-timers such that it would be financially ridiculous now; unless my partner cared for the baby during all my working hours (which he doesn't want to do), we would deplete my savings rapidly. OTOH, I now have a private office, which will make pumping easier. Rather than reduce working hours, I'm going to put my focus on getting my partner to pick up even more of the tasks that are difficult for me to do because of my work schedule.