It has always been my priority to be home with my children, since before I had a kid. I am now an only parent of an only child. He is now 13. When he was born, I wasn't working, his dad worked, but never steady. When my son was 1 1/2 I had to get a job, so I got a job at a day care so I could take my son with me. I wan't leaving him with strangers to raise. Shortly after my son turned 2, I left his dad, moved to Grants Pass, and went to college. He was in the day care at my school for less than 17 hrs. per week. He was 2.5 anyway, so it was preschool and he got to socialize. I didn't get welfare, but financial aid, food stamps and Hud. We were very poor, but I was getting an education and raising my own son. By the time I graduated, he was in school. I now work as a life skills trainer for adults with developmental disabilities and I sub for the teachers' assistants. I mostly work while my son is in school. I don't get any assistance, though some would be nice. When my son is an adult, I will be looking for full-time work. But for now, it is more important for me to be home with my son, know who his friends are and what he is doing, than to own my own home and all those things that you can do with full time income.
So, my avice is to be home with your sweet baby. Watch her grow, right before your eyes. See her first step, hear her first word. Some ways to stay active and social are:
work from home part time
telecommute where you work now, but part time
So, what does hubby think about it? That is important also. Hopefully, he would be honored to work and support you and his dd, while you hold down the fort and raise the dd. SAHM is an important job, even though it doesn't pay your bills. And it costs alot to send kids to day care. Kids get sick, especially at dc centers, so you or hubby would be taking more sick days. If you are already home, no one has to miss work when dd is sick. You all will be healthier if you are home cooking your meals rather than nuked food or restaurant food.
You can still get a sitter once in awhile so you can go have some time to yourself. Maybe trade with another mom, taking turns watching each other's kids so you could go take a nap, shop, spa, whatever you feel you need to do without dd. You may have to make some sacrifices, but it is worth it in the end, when they are towering over you and you feel sad because they are all grown up and you miss them being little, not sad that you missed them when they were little. The sacrifices aren't much anyway when you consider the cost of child care, bottles (if you are at home you can nurse for free), taxes, gas (no gas to stay home with dd), clothes, lunches (if you eat out, or save time packing them in the morning if you bring them), getting to watch your child grow-priceless.
I know I rambled, sorry. I hope this helps. Best wishes to your new family. :)