The main reason I went back to work FT after dd was born was my MIL was watching her for free for us. If we had to pay for daycare, I don't know if it would have been worth it. After ds was born, MIL couldn't watch 2, so I would have had to pay for FT daycare for 2, which I figured out after daycare costs, not figuring the tax ramifications (with dh working only, we manage to just get in under the lowest bracket, with both working, we end up in the 28% tax bracket) I would have brought home a whopping $3/hr. (My hourly rate was around $13 when I left my job.)
We did have to put our credit cards in credit counseling (which is almost paid off- whoopee!!) and put our student loans on forbearance, but we managed. We are always broke, but we managed. I just took out more student loans to finish my schooling and I will be ready to rejoin the workforce as a teacher when my youngest is just about 2. I haven't decided if I will go back FT then, or just try to find temp sub jobs, it depends on how much daycare will cost then (ds will be 4 and and dd will be 6 and in school).
So, before going back FT, look into exactly how much you will make (remember costs for gas, clothes, lunches, etc.) and see if it's worth it. Before I decided to go back to school, I was going to start a home daycare. In my area, going rate is about $3/hr per child and you can have 4 kids for pay, 6 kids total (including your own). Is that something you could do? It's hard work, but you'd be able to stay home and get paid for it.
I know how hard it can get. It will get better.
Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04