Maternity & childcare

Hi all! I am pregnant with my first and my husband and I are so thrilled. What is the most concern is that we lack a support system. My family lives in Italy and his... Well, his mother seems like she would rather get a mani/pedi than babysit. We've see how little she has helped with our niece who is now 5 and was her daughter's daughter. Finances are very tight for us so we cannot afford to have me quit my job to raise our child, which would be my very first preference - I will get literally 7 WEEKS of maternity leave and these will be unpaid, so the only thing I'll get is that my job will be there when I get back.
It breaks my heart to even think to go back to work and leave my child. Life has turned out differently from what we anticipated.
My husband and I are very much alone in this, and when we hear of other couples whose parents watch their kids all day literally 9am-5pm while they work (mostly Italian grandparents seem to be like this) it is amazing and we wish they knew what they had.
If only I could stay home for 5-6years, not only would I be the one raising my child but we wouldn't be squandering needed money on nannies or childcare. I would be interested in hearing your experiences with this kind of struggle, given we live in a country where maternity leave is seen as an inconvenience by most employers 😞 What are your plans for childcare in the first 5 years of life?