I have my undergraduate in Mathematics Education, and I taught three years. I have now been in industry for close to 20 years and went back to school to get my MBA while working full time.
I suggest you teach first and then seek a program where you can work and earn your degree at night/weekend/summer. I suggest this for several reasons:
You might find that you like teaching a lot, but you might instead find that you don’t. Don’t lock yourself into an Master’s program in Education until you have some experience in Education.
If you do find you enjoy teaching and/or the education field in general, this will help you determine *which *master’s program you want to pursue. There are many different aspects of education. Education Technology, School Psychology, Math Education, Administration/Principal, etc.
I really think that once you’ve taught a few years you will have a much better idea of whether you want to stay in the classroom long term, pursue a specialty such as curriculum, diagnostics, etc-- or even go towards principal/assistant principal or other out of classroom roles.
Third, many districts pay scales will give you bumps as you achieve certain milestones (for example BA only, BA + 6, BA + 9, MS, MS + 6, etc) BUT in some cases you cannot count prior credit. So, for example if you started teaching, then after you are an employee earned 3, 6, 9 or more Master’s hours you would bump on the pay scale as you progress, but if you came in with a BA plus some hours you might only get credit for the BA… depends on how district contracts are written. Also, you may have an opportunity to receive assistance in tuition and reimbursement from your employer.
As for work/life balance-- you will always have that to contend with. Each choice has pros/cons and you just deal with them.
I am not sure what, specifically, is driving you to get a Master’s. You say it’s been a goal for a long time. Why?