PDA

View Full Version : What do new parents with jobs do after baby arrives?



underthecity
08-16-2008, 10:16 PM
My wife and I are gearing up for The New Baby which the stork will bring March 1.

I work full time, 530 to 3. Weekends, too, half the time.

She works full time, 830 to 530 and has been there seven years. She doesn't especially want to quit.

She'll have about three months maternity leave. After that ends, it's a big question mark as to what we're going to do.

We don't think (nor do we want to do this) that day care centers take infants that young. We can't afford an "au pair," and we don't know anyone right now who can watch the baby while we're at work. Her mother works full time, my parents . . . can't.

How have you guys at AW handled this situation? We have nearly a year to find the solution, but we need to be ready.

allen

joyce
08-16-2008, 10:40 PM
Oh how I feel for you! When my daughter was around 9 mos. I had to return to work. I also returned as a single mom, so trust me, I know your stress. I had no choice but to leave my daughter at a daycare. I searched and searched for a decent place to leave her. I personally believe that daycare is one of those things that you get what you pay for.

Perhaps your wife can talk with her employer and cut her work week by a day or something else. I would start searching out places to leave her, months before the event happens. I started putting out my feelers before I even knew I'd be rejoining the workforce.

Who knows, maybe after the baby comes your wife will change her mind about working. Once the baby is here all thought patterns change. What you think you might do now, will probably be totally different once the baby arrives.

Good luck in whatever you decide to do and congratulations once again.

Siddow
08-16-2008, 10:40 PM
Most day care centers will take infants at six weeks.

Do you have any friends with children in your area? You might want to start getting recommendations from them.

Can either of you alter your work schedule? I don't know what kind of day jobs you have, but is it something where you could do a half-day in office, the rest at home? A lot of centers will offer part-day care (with part-day rates!), so a center might be more palatable to you if the child will only be there for a few hours instead of all day.

Too, consider how your wife may change her mind and want to stay home. Look at your financial picture now and see how it can be done. My oldest was starting school when my second was coming along, so I wanted to leave my evening job anyway because of the oldest (I wouldn't see him if I stayed on my 3pm-10pm schedule), and the idea of day care for the newbie kinda wasn't appealing, so we figured out how to live on $40k a year less by doing simple things such as killing the cell phones, dropping pay channels from cable, selling my new car and driving my old one, not going out as much, etc.

dolores haze
08-16-2008, 10:45 PM
We don't think (nor do we want to do this) that day care centers take infants that young. We can't afford an "au pair," and we don't know anyone right now who can watch the baby while we're at work. Her mother works full time, my parents . . . can't.


There are day care centers that take infants - both my kids started daycare at 6 weeks old. Of course, you should thoroughly research the places that are available. Talk to all the parents you know. Word-of-mouth recommendations from other parents are the best.

If you really hate the idea of taking an infant to daycare (though in my experience it's much easier for an infant than a toddler), maybe you and your wife could work opposite shifts. It can be tough on a relationship, but guaruntees a parent is always home with the baby and without a loss of income.

Or one of you could go part-time (if finances allow) and you could just do part-time daycare. Or one of you could try to arrange a work from home job (though caring for an infant can be a full-time job in and of itself if the baby doesn't sleep much.)

Save as much money as you can while you are both still working full-time. The loss of income over three months of maternity leave can be significant.

Good luck!

WendyNYC
08-16-2008, 10:48 PM
Day care centers will take infants. Usually the ratio is 3 infants per worker max, depending on where you are. Maybe you can get a nanny just until your baby is a bit older if you are concerned about it. I have friends who have used au pairs and the rates are usually reasonable (but you have to have an extra bedroom for her, and sometimes they are quite young.)

ETA: By the way, I'm pleased that you as a dad are looking into child care, too, and not just leaving that task to your wife.

Joe270
08-16-2008, 10:50 PM
We don't think (nor do we want to do this) that day care centers take infants that young.

Daycare centers take infants at about six weeks of age. It sounds like you have no real alternative.

Breastfeeding is really important for the health of the child, and putting them on the bottle may shorten the time the child takes breast milk. There's gonna be time on the pump for your wife even if she does return to work. It just gets complicated with mother and child separated.

I would consider daycare far superior to a nanny. Children, even very young children, are social animals and they will enjoy interacting with other kids. They get well-exposed to the childhood illnesses before starting school, so they are less likely to miss school. They also are more socially indoctrinated and have less trouble 'assimilating' into the crowded school environment, having already learned acceptable behavior in groups (for the most part, some never get it). They also have the 'separation anxiety' out of the way before the first day of school.

It was actually kind of sad for me, but on my daughter's first day of public school, she wanted to go in by herself. She was, after all, a 'big kid'. I had pictured her going into the school holding my hand.

You need to really investigate the daycare you want. The larger chain ones have a rep to uphold, so they are very strict with their employees. They have state mandated staffing requirements and seem to stick with the guidelines better than the small outfits. They are pop-inspected by the state, and they'll show you their inspection records fast. The one my kids went to in San Antonio kept their last two inspection reports posted right next to the sign in log. Infants are kept separate from other children.

I wouldn't consider small at-home type daycare for an infant just because there's no such separation. There are other factors, too, but that's the kicker for me.

Also, larger daycare centers, from my observation, come in three different 'categories'. There's the 'watch the kids play all day' type, the 'kids play some, learn some' type, and the 'kids learn a whole lot and play a tiny bit' type.

We chose the middle road type, and that has worked well enough for our kids. Both are in accelerated classes and making straight 'A's.

I hope this helps a touch. I'm sure others here at AW can offer more detailed help, too.

Joe270
08-16-2008, 10:56 PM
We have nearly a year to find the solution, but we need to be ready.


I forgot to add that that's not nearly as much time as you think. The better daycares often have a 6-9 month waiting list for infants.

Most also have priority placement for siblings which can bump you down the list, so you need to get on the list as soon as possible.

Jersey Chick
08-16-2008, 11:01 PM
One thing to consider is that the cost of daycare can equal almost a year's salary (depending of course on what you earn and what the daycare costs, of course :D) -

For a good day care, you'll want to start looking ASAP. Seriously. Don't wait until the baby's born - start looking before. There might be a waiting list, or whatever. The good ones fill up fast, for obvious reasons. Think about things like daycare provider/child ratio... If you find a center you like, talk to other parents with babies in that center, you know...

Nowadays, I think most (if not all) take babies from 6 weeks up to kindergarten age. But if day care really doesn't float your boat, working different hours might be the only way - my brother and his wife do this (she works in retail so her schedule was pretty flexible and, though she's working fewer hours, she earns more in commissions because nights and weekends are when most people are in the store) It can be rought, but it can be done.

Hope this helps a little! :D

Shadow_Ferret
08-16-2008, 11:10 PM
We found an in-home daycare provider. The one we liked best was a retired Montessori teacher. In-home is a LOT cheaper than a day care center. Just do your research and interview with them. If you don't feel comfortable with them, then I wouldn't drop my kid off with them daily.

underthecity
08-16-2008, 11:12 PM
Hope this helps a little!

Actually, it all helps a lot.

I wasn't aware day care centers took babies as young as six weeks. I always thought it was at least three to six months. It's why I asked.

It wouldn't work very well for me to take a different shift at my job. Actually, I would probably self destruct if I did that.

Regarding our financial situation, she really can't quit her job because it's nearly half our income. If she did quit, I would have to work seven day weeks until I died.

Thanks for all the advice! I'm looking forward to hearing how other parents have done it.

allen

astonwest
08-16-2008, 11:12 PM
Take my wife...please.
She loves babies...
:)

Maryn
08-16-2008, 11:35 PM
We had in-home daycare for The Kid. It cost substantially less than "professional" daycare and was more mom-ish, too. (I was the only one working, and Mr. Maryn was in school, so money was a huge issue.)

Nancy had a little boy, almost two, who loved our baby so much we joke that he was her first boyfriend. Gee, I wonder whether he's available now?

Maryn, remembering that her gut told her which places were warm and loving and which were more about being a business

rhymegirl
08-16-2008, 11:37 PM
If you want to know the truth, my husband and I felt that no one could take better care of our baby than me. We didn't trust anyone else to take care of him than ourselves.

So I quit my editor job and stayed home full-time with our son. We took a big cut in income but it was worth it.

Snowstorm
08-16-2008, 11:44 PM
You wrote your wife doesn't want to quit her job. How about you? If your job is one that you're not enthusiastic about, perhaps you can make even a bigger life change and start an at-home business. I know there's books on the topic in the library and on the Internet. I'm guessing they'll cover all things to consider. Just a thought.

Jersey Chick
08-17-2008, 12:01 AM
That's why I decided to stay home - the financial hit we took was relatively slight and I wasn't at all comfortable with the day care centers around us, and it got my husband into a trade, as opposed to the "job" he had when our daughter was born. So she gave him a real future as well. :)

She_wulf
08-17-2008, 12:10 AM
I was going to school full time and on AFDC when my oldest was born. Student loans cut all my funding except WIC for the first two months of classes. I had to borrow money just to get by.

My oldest started day care at around four or five months. It was a friend of a friend who was on welfare too. Needless to say that lasted maybe two months. She was unreliable (still sleeping when I dropped Morgan off) and her house was a constant mess to the point of real danger. I begged and pleaded with my case worker to get my child into a day care program which finally happened, but in the meantime I actually took Morgan to school with me. (Believe me, my teachers were not thrilled)

Once I got over the AFDC hurdles they put up for "self-initiated" moms it was easier.

By the time my youngest arrived (two and a half years later - birth control "oops") it was "easy" to find a daycare about three blocks from school where I would walk to during breaks and nurse her. That was optimal.

BUT...if I would have had to pay for child care, there would have been no way in any universe, real or conceptual that I could have managed it.

Weekly rates for infants in 1991 were around $600, toddlers were over $400. Considering I made less than 400 a week when I did work at the time it wasn't worth it. ...and they wonder why it was so hard to break the welfare cycle....

I have a friend now that pays over 800 a week for a school/day care center run by a church.

Side note, opinion alert...(I almost put an exclamation point on there to reflect my indignation at the thought of a church charging that much for daycare facilities, but refrained because it is simply my opinion that churches of all institutions should be less expensive because of donations and volunteers, etc.)
end rant

So...yes, check out child care centers. But also DO check out the costs of child care centers. Connect with other parents (grandparents, etc.) and find out if any of them have group settings/flex time options that are affordable which also make you feel comfortable. See if there is a day care center or day care funding/option through either of your two jobs. Some companies provide day care. They are rare, but worth the convenience of proximity and funding through work benefit programs.

Is there an option for paternity leave/family leave for your work? I've heard of some parent duos having the wife leave work for the first three months, then the father for the next three...Option?

Amy

JLCwrites
08-17-2008, 12:26 AM
There are many parents who take their children to daycare, and it seems like you can't afford to have one parent stay home, but I should warn you, it will be emotionally difficult. (Based on my experiences with parents.) I've known parents to ask day care providers to keep their child's accomplishments a secret. (Ie.. first steps, first words etc..) So they could experience those accomplishments as a 'first time' at home. I have also worked with parents who just felt guilty every time they left their baby. Babies in daycares will get sick more often because of exposure to other children, and daycare is very expensive.

There are also sacrifices to make by staying at home. The obvious is $$, but also social networks, the desire for adult conversation, and at times you might feel overwhelmed.

One thing is for certain, any decision you make will require a change in your lifestyle. As others have mentioned above, if you have to go the daycare route, put yourself on the list now. If you find a better situation down the road, you may lose a deposit but at least you will know you have something set up. Also, keep an eye on 'turn over'. How often does that daycare hire for new teachers? What are their qualifications? Babies and children thrive on consistency, and they will bond with their daycare provider. (Don't worry, they will bond with you and your wife too!) If there is a large turn-over rate, then that puts the children through transitions, and could cause them extra stress.

If you have any more questions, let me know. I've worked in early childhood, and school age education for 14 years. (and I am a mom!) :)

Stew21
08-17-2008, 12:57 AM
Daycares typically take children at 6 weeks of age.
Weekdays - your wife drops the kiddo to daycare - since she leaves for work later. You pick kiddo up because you get off work earlier.
You will adjust to this.
Daycare is not cheap. I have two kids in daycare - I pay just over $900/mo. Next week I will have one in just afterschool care and one in full time. This will save me over $200/mo over what I was paying.
Truly the cost of daycare and gas ate close to half of my take home pay.
You have to weigh the costs.

There are other pros and cons of daycare. (sickness and socialization are big ones you'll hear about). You'll hear a lot on both sides. Just remember you have to do what is right for your family - your needs and choose a daycare you are comfortable with if you go that route.
For us, I carry our family's insurance. I have to work. Besides, we need my husband's income, so he has to work. In order to have insurance I work - daycare and gas eat half my check, but that's the price we pay because we need that half check I'm left with to get by.
Children change everything - including your morning, afternoon and evening routines. You will adjust. :)

Silver King
08-17-2008, 02:43 AM
...I have a friend now that pays over 800 a week for a school/day care center run by a church...
Eight hundred per week? That sounds like an exorbitant amount. Who the heck can afford forty grand per year for daycare?

I was fortunate my wife was able to stay home when our children were younger. She also had a small business on the side and made a decent income as well.

When our daughter was pregnant last year, she had her heart set on my wife caring for the child while she worked as a school teacher. She just assumed that would be the case, without ever asking until after her daughter was born. Here's a hint to young parents: Don't expect your folks to fall in love with the idea of raising your kids part time while you pursue your careers. They have a life too, ya know. Geez...

Robert Toy
08-17-2008, 03:12 AM
My wife and I are gearing up for The New Baby which the stork will bring March 1.

I work full time, 530 to 3. Weekends, too, half the time.

She works full time, 830 to 530 and has been there seven years. She doesn't especially want to quit.

She'll have about three months maternity leave. After that ends, it's a big question mark as to what we're going to do.

We don't think (nor do we want to do this) that day care centers take infants that young. We can't afford an "au pair," and we don't know anyone right now who can watch the baby while we're at work. Her mother works full time, my parents . . . can't.

How have you guys at AW handled this situation? We have nearly a year to find the solution, but we need to be ready.

allen
Allen,

Depending on the size of the company your wife works for, you could try and make a pitch for an in-house day care center that the moms can visit during their breaks/lunch.

First pitch would be the company pays all, fall back the employees pay a reasonable fee to the company (the amount would take into account that employee attendance and productivity would increase).

It’s a win-win situation, with the moms not far from the wee ones.

Oh what a fantastic bit of publicity they could get for being so “employee friendly and caring”…blah, blah, blah. You could even volunteer to write the piece that would go in the local newspaper...;)

IF you do consider it, please make sure you take into account your state’s daycare regulations and licensing requirements, as well as any potential liability issues (either a waiver or insurance).

Lots of luck!

p.s. Need a PowerPoint presentation? :D

rhymegirl
08-17-2008, 04:06 AM
When our daughter was pregnant last year, she had her heart set on my wife caring for the child while she worked as a school teacher. She just assumed that would be the case, without ever asking until after her daughter was born. Here's a hint to young parents: Don't expect your folks to fall in love with the idea of raising your kids part time while you pursue your careers. They have a life too, ya know. Geez...

It's funny but the way it's looking so far I might never be a grandmother. All of my kids are going to college in the fall, pursuing careers. None are dating anyone. My youngest son swears he does not want to get married/have any kids.

Silver King
08-17-2008, 04:45 AM
It's funny but the way it's looking so far I might never be a grandmother. All of my kids are going to college in the fall, pursuing careers. None are dating anyone. My youngest son swears he does not want to get married/have any kids.
We were thrilled to be grandparents, only we didn't expect to be tapped as daycare providers. We love our granddaughter more than I can say, but it came as a shock to us that we were expected to care for her while our daughter pursued her ambitions.

If we really tried, could we adjust to caring for that child? Of course we can. But that's the job of the parents, not ours.

Southern_girl29
08-17-2008, 04:47 AM
We have been very lucky. My aunt, who lives across the street from me, keeps two or three children in her home. She didn't want to charge me anything, but I talked her into taking something, so it has been cheaper than regular daycare. She kept my daughter all day until Tessa started preschool, and then after preschool was out for the day, Tessa went to her house. I wish everyone could have an arrangement like this. It benefits all involved.

I definitely think an in-home daycare is better than the centers, if you can find the right one. You just have to be very comfortable with who you pick. If you're uneasy for any reason, find someone else.

astonwest
08-17-2008, 05:05 AM
We were thrilled to be grandparents, only we didn't expect to be tapped as daycare providers. We love our granddaughter more than I can say, but it came as a shock to us that we were expected to care for her while our daughter pursued her ambitions.

If we really tried, could we adjust to caring for that child? Of course we can. But that's the job of the parents, not ours.Exactly.

My dad re-married and his daughter-in-law ended up moving in with her two kids (and one more on the way) after her divorce. Unfortunately, she basically expects the grandparents to be pseudo-parents while she does what she wants to do (in work and in play), and it really puts a strain on things...

That seems to be a prevalent thought process in today's society. I'm not sure why...

rhymegirl
08-17-2008, 06:16 AM
We were thrilled to be grandparents, only we didn't expect to be tapped as daycare providers. We love our granddaughter more than I can say, but it came as a shock to us that we were expected to care for her while our daughter pursued her ambitions.

If we really tried, could we adjust to caring for that child? Of course we can. But that's the job of the parents, not ours.

I agree with you. Believe me.

I think I've said many times on AW that at this point in my life I'm happy to be able to pursue the things I never had a chance to do while I was raising my children. And they know that.

emeraldcite
08-17-2008, 06:50 AM
With our first child, my wife and I worked opposite shifts. We didn't have any family nearby, so we didn't have much of a choice.

A good friend of mine found a woman who does sitting in her home. She was recommended, had a child about the same age, and worked with their budget. They met a few times, did some play dates with the two babies, and got a feel for her. They are very happy with their situation.

Congrats and good luck! :)

maestrowork
08-17-2008, 06:58 AM
I don't know about daycare here in the US, but when I was growing up, I was a daycare baby. My parents worked full-time, sometimes double shifts. There was no way one could stay home to take care of the kids. But they made sure at least one of them was home during the evening. In fact, the family who ran the daycare center is still family friends with us now. They literally saw me grow up from a few weeks old to an overgrown teenage boy now.

And yes, try in-home day care. The lady who owned my first house worked as an in-home daycare person until she decided to move to Florida. She took care of infants as well -- not sure how young, but I think at least under 1 year old because she had formulas and diapers in the house when I was looking.

Priene
08-17-2008, 08:40 AM
Not much to add here, except that most battle plans don't survive first contact with the enemy. It's possible to hive a baby out at six weeks, perhaps, but you're not going to know how you or your wife feels about that until the little one is lying there in front of you.

SherryTex
08-17-2008, 02:41 PM
If you attend church, it's a great place to start looking...1) at families that have small children --ask the question...do you work at home or...because all parents work...some just get paid different compensation, and those that do use daycare have done some of the reconisance for you, and 2) some churches have job banks or a list of people looking for work --and it helps with the vetting process.

If not, start asking at work --others have kids, ergo, others have daycare if they work and it's not school time.

Others have already mentioned that feelings change as pregnacy continues --and that plans sometimes get shunted for decisions that weren't orriginally in the cards.

I know that I had NO intention of not working. I was a special educator, I had a masters. I was doing good work with kids. The day care was right across the street from my school. I went to check it out. There was a four month old baby boy who saw me and kicked and smiled like I was the greatest thing in the world. I was a stranger feasting on this little guy's smiles.

At seven months pregnant, the response was immediate and unexpected. I didn't want some other stranger getting MY son's smiles. I called my husband sobbing that instant..."I don't care if we can't afford it...I'm not..." and I couldn't finish. Now I don't sob. So when I do...well, been at home since 1993, hording smiles.

underthecity
08-17-2008, 05:21 PM
$600 a week for daycare???

We can't afford that. That's literally her weekly paycheck, not even that much. Dear God.

I know she would love to quit her job and be a stay-at-home mom. And believe me, I'd like that, too. But that's what my mom did when we were growing up.

And I don't want another life like that. Money was always tight. There was no "extra money" to do things. My dad's job paid pretty average and we were comfortable, but nowadays we have satellite, cellphones, high-speed internet, DVDs, etc. And right now, I can't tell you how we can give any of those things up.



You wrote your wife doesn't want to quit her job. How about you? If your job is one that you're not enthusiastic about, perhaps you can make even a bigger life change and start an at-home business. I know there's books on the topic in the library and on the Internet. I'm guessing they'll cover all things to consider. Just a thought.

Ideally, I would love to quit my job and work from home. Love to. In a perfect world, I would have finished my novel, be in the process of selling it, get a nice advance, and live off that while I write the sequel and my wife continues to work and I be the stay-at-home Dad, writing in between diaper changes and during baby naps. Other writers can do it, why couldn't I?

But, it's not a perfect world and neither is my novel as one particular beta reader brutally pointed out, making me question my own abilities as a writer, making me question if I can actually write. Anything.

I tried the work-at-home thing once during a nine-month period of unemployment. I tried to be a freelance business writer. I posted a long post in the Freelance Writers forum some months ago. It resurfaces sometimes. Please go check it out and see why my trying that again simply is not an option.

And regarding Church, Sherry Tex, thanks for the input. It's a possibility if we decide to go back to church, but I posted a thread in TIO a few weeks back about my feelings about church. At the moment, it's still up in the air.

We're still discussing it, and I appreciate everyone's input.

allen

WendyNYC
08-17-2008, 05:32 PM
$600 a week for daycare???

We can't afford that. That's literally her weekly paycheck, not even that much. Dear God.

allen

I don't mean to pick on you, or anyone else, but it's not fair to think about childcare coming out of HER paycheck. It's coming out of the whole family budget, right?

I know, I know, semantics, but I hear far too often about mothers feeling the need to quit because child care costs were weighed against her current earnings. If she wants to quit, that's a different story.

I'll get off my soapbox now.

Siddow
08-17-2008, 05:49 PM
Day cares in my area run $100-150 week, per child. Check out the ones in your area, Allen.

Wendy, I think it makes sense to compare the cost of daycare against one person's income, because you only need one person to stay home with the baby, right? So if that one income just goes to day care, it actually costs MORE for that person to work (when you add in lunch, gas, work clothes, etc.) than it would to stay home.

Allen, can your wife do any sort of work-at-home to bring in extra money? I have a friend who sells Mary Kay and brings in about $1k a month, working about seven hours a week. If your wife is the type, she could do parties in the evening when you're home.

WendyNYC
08-17-2008, 06:18 PM
Wendy, I think it makes sense to compare the cost of daycare against one person's income, because you only need one person to stay home with the baby, right? So if that one income just goes to day care, it actually costs MORE for that person to work (when you add in lunch, gas, work clothes, etc.) than it would to stay home.

.

Yes, but you have to consider future earnings potential. I just don't like the idea of only thinking about one's person's income in the cases where both parents want to remain in the workforce.

underthecity
08-17-2008, 06:21 PM
I don't mean to pick on you, or anyone else, but it's not fair to think about childcare coming out of HER paycheck. It's coming out of the whole family budget, right?


We have a combined income. I could have easily said "$600 is nearly my weekly income without any overtime." It was just fewer words to use her paycheck as an example.

Siddow, my wife likes to attend the "home parties," but as I know her, she would never want to "do" the parties, whether Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, etc. I remember my mom used to organize Tupperware parties in the early 80s and it was a big, big hassle for her as I watched from the sidelines.

allen

aruna
08-17-2008, 06:29 PM
In Germany there is a system called "Day-mother". She could be a neihbour or a friend or someone you find through an ad... but make sure it is someone you trust. She is a stay-at-home mother by choice (yes, some women love to stay home with babies) and she will take another child for a small amount of money - for her, pocket-money. I started having a day-mother when my son was 18 months; reluctantly, as I woul dhave prefered to stay at home. I thought she was so lucky! Her son and mine were about the same age and it wasn't much of a hassle for her. She lived in the same house, in fact, she was my landlady. It worked beautifully. I wouldn't every give away a baby under two to a day care centre, though.
That said, mym other went to work almost imediately after my birth and left me in the care of her siste4r-in-law, who also had a small baby. I think this is the way it works in traditional societies, where families live close by each other. It's hard in modern societies, though.
If you don;t know anyone suitable, maybe your wife could join some kind of birh preparation group and get to know the mons to be, and maybe among them is someone she trusts, who would be happy to look after the babyn and yet not charge the earth?

Jersey Chick
08-17-2008, 06:41 PM
Allen, before you start freaking out about the cost, check out what's around you. You've seen there's a variation from place to place, so you never know.

If it does come down to being expensive enough that it eats your wife's paycheck (or the equivalent of yours ;)) that's when you have to decide because, let's face it - one way or the other, you're losing that income, right?

And you really don't know how you will feel about daycare, like Priene said, until the baby is here. I was determined I was going back to work after my maternity leave. But after my daughter was born, the last thing I wanted to do was leave her. And on the other hand, a friend of mine was the exact opposite. She took her 6 weeks with her son, and then went back w/o hesitation. So it all depends on you and your wife and how you feel as well. And, no matter what you decide works for you, don't let anyone make you feel bad about which path you choose. You guys have to do what works for your family. :D

nerds
08-17-2008, 06:55 PM
I stayed home with my son, which was all I wanted to do. Those were the happiest years of my life, when I was an at-home mom. We cut back on lots of things so we could afford my staying home, for us it was the right choice. I think just by not going out to dinner the way we had pre-child used to almost pay for things in itself. :) But as Jersey says, it's all very personal choice and certainly financial as well.

Maybe consider aruna's suggestion, get some connections well-established before your baby arrives, and perhaps you too will find a nice day-mother.

kdnxdr
08-17-2008, 07:21 PM
I apologize, I didn't read all the posts in this thread. Please disregard any repeated info.

I have been a preschool teacher for over 20 years, just to let you know that I have some background on the subject.

There's a couple of different options that you have to consider:

1) If you look for a childcare center you need to DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Research, research, research. Often, in a community, there is one center that parents-in-the-know prefer over all other centers. They usually have a waiting list. It's to your advantage to go ahead and get on that waiting list if you really think that's where you want your child. Often, those lists are whittled down rather quickly, even if they say it is a year long wait. People move, find something else or their needs change. That way, if you have your child somewhere else and it doesn't work out satisfactorily, you have the other center as a real option. You could even get on several waiting lists, like a 1st, 2nd, 3rd option. Usually there is a non-refundable place holding fee, but it's worth to know that you have good options waiting in the wing, should the need arise.

2) Most states, counties, cities have what's known as a ChildCare Resource and Referral Service that assists people moving into the area or anyone that is in need of good, reputable care. They often have pertinent information like hours, fees, type of care. You can locate them through several agencies, your local Family Services, the Chamber of Commerce, etc.

3) Sometimes, the best bargains are the large corporate centers where they have a very high standard of care and you get much more for your money than a smaller center. Often times, large hospital systems and universities have their own care centers that take people outside the system to fill vacancies.

4) Contacting any University or Technical School in your immediate area is also a good source of info, again the quality of caregivers is usually tops. They in turn could recommend a grad student in the field of Early Child Development that might be that affordable nanny that would work just right. (Disclaimer: I don't have my degree, it's required, by the state, that care providers have a minimum of training hours per year, including CPR, to maintain employment in the field. There's some people with a degree that should have gone into hair dressing and I wouldn't let them watch my pet rock.)

5) Check references, ask lots of questions. There are alot of good parenting magazines and parent education resources that help parents make these kind of decisions.

6) Just because a center is small doesn't make it bad. Just because a center has all the bells and whistles doesn't make it good. Look for accredited centers and see what they're are like. Even if you can't afford it, visit some of the good ones to get an idea of what that whole world is about, it's a trip. I absolutely love my profession and think it's the most important job a person could do, give a human being a wonderful start in life.

7) Subscribe to Parenting Magazine, there is a cheap one through the Scholastic Book Club service (I don't work for them, they just have good stuff, including a free web site that offers oodles of information on this and other parenting subjects.

8) Work out a schedule between you and your wife where you have a plan between you as to sharing the care and transportation of your child nomatter where you find care. Then find a care situation that fits. It's tricky to do the transportation especially if you live in a large urban area.

9) Discuss "sick policy" with whomever your careprovider might be, alot of centers and individuals that do care in there home, have policies that require you have back-up care for when you're child has a fever or any other illness.

I hope some of this info helps. If so, I would be happy to help, just PM me. Maybe I can help you with my computer to find something in your area.

It will work out.

kid

Oh yeah,

If working part-time ( some employers offer flex-time and other possibilities) would be an option, there are employers that give you benefits if you work 20 hours plus. Maybe a change of jobs? Some large companies offer their own care centers "in-house" and you have your child right there with you so you can see him/her on breaks and lunches and your available if the need arises.

Often times, there are governmental programs to assisit with childcare costs for people who are working or going to school. Good, trustworthy childcare is a critical need of this country. There are more programs than people are aware of to help them afford the care they need.
I even know of a large hospital system that qualifies their care providers through their training program but the providers are a network of homecare centers that are restricted as to who many children they can care for at one time. There is good quality, affordable care out there, you just have to find it and there are resources for that. Childcare Resource and Referral is one of the best places to start as well as any university that offers a degree in the field. One more thing, incorporating and supporting the parents/family of the child is paramount in good quality care, we are service providers to support the well-being of the whole family, not surplanters. :)

rhymegirl
08-17-2008, 07:27 PM
I have a girlfriend who solved her daycare dilemma by starting her own daycare business in her home.

She converted her basement into a daycare center. That way she could be home with her own children and take care of a few more and get paid for it.

I think there are lots of different solutions if a woman wants to stay home. I did freelance writing/worked out a deal with my former employer to work from home. But I made my own hours of course, even if that meant writing at night. No, it wasn't a lot of money, but it was something.

What some couples do is have one parent stay home with the baby during the day while the other parent works full-time. Then when the other person comes home, the one who's taken care of the baby during the day goes off to a part-time night job. That is what my sister and her husband did. That way they didn't have to pay anybody to take care of their child and they split the responsibilities.

I also hired babysitters or mother's helpers to come into my home to help me out when I had a writing project to do or when I was sick and needed some help. It's much less expensive than daycare since you get to decide how much you're willing to pay.

Unique
08-17-2008, 07:35 PM
Allen, can your wife do any sort of work-at-home to bring in extra money?


Allen, can you do any sort of work so your wife can keep her job?

I've been the mom and the dad. I swear my son loves cars so much because he used to ride with me on my paper route both before and after he was born.

Who stays home? Maybe you should let the baby decide. It was my understanding that infant child care was more expensive than toddler care because they were so 'high maintenance'.

Dunno why that is - but they told me it was so.

Fraulein
08-17-2008, 08:13 PM
The good grandparents will babysit for you on Friday and Saturday nights. ;)

That's what my mom was doing last night- babysitting my nephew- while we were out babysitting a pool table and bar stools. :D

kdnxdr
08-17-2008, 08:16 PM
I'm a good grandparent and I don't do Friday and Saturday nights.

Good negotiations respect the lives of all who are involved, in the best interest of the whole family.

If I weighed the dilemma out, the equation would look something like this:


Best Interest of the Child vs Pool Table/Barstools

maestrowork
08-17-2008, 08:23 PM
I agree with others -- check out your area daycares before you freak out about the cost. I seriously doubt the lady who owned my first house got $600 a week, per child (she had about 6 under her care). She would be living in a mansion instead of a modest little house.

That said, daycare is not for everyone, especially a young infant. I personally don't know if I can give up my baby to a stranger for 8-10 hours a day. I probably couldn't live with the guilt and worries. But a lot of single parents have no alternatives, and they seem to be doing pretty well.

Cranky
08-17-2008, 08:31 PM
I've done both extremes, sending my older two off to daycare at six weeks (gah, I hated that, and I LOVED their daycare!) and staying home with the kids. The daycare was pretty expensive, but we lived in a pretty high cost of living area.

I've stayed home since just before the oldest of my younger two were born. I can't imagine how much it would cost to have all four in some form of childcare. *shudders*

We tried (briefly) doing the opposing shifts thing, with me taking a part-time gig after DH got home, but it really didn't work out for us. I'm happy being at home with the kiddos. If I missed having a career outside the home, it'd be a different story, I'm sure.

Good childcare providers can be found, and for a reasonable price, but you really should start looking now. Interview everyone carefully, inspect the premises, find out what qualifications the providers have, etc. See if you're allowed to drop-in unexpectedly or not. This was a major point for me, personally. If a daycare provider didn't want me doing that, I didn't want them watching my children, period. Some places have valid reasons for not wanting that (structured lessons, maybe, for a preschool), but I was uncomfortable with that.

Just another thing to consider. :)

Fraulein
08-17-2008, 08:40 PM
I'm a good grandparent and I don't do Friday and Saturday nights.

Good negotiations respect the lives of all who are involved, in the best interest of the whole family.

If I weighed the dilemma out, the equation would look something like this:


Best Interest of the Child vs Pool Table/BarstoolsNote the wink smilie from my post.

Jersey Chick
08-17-2008, 09:23 PM
Well, to be fair, when it comes to child care, it isn't always about the best interests of the child vs pool table/bar stools. Sometimes both parents have to work. To simply equate needing the pay and/or the benefits with wanting grown up toys is not only unfair, but can be insulting as well.

In my case, my husband joined a union shortly after my daughter was born. If he hadn't, I would have had to keep working because my job was what provided us with health insurance. Yes, a good portion of my pay check would have gone directly to day care, but at least my daughter's checkups and immunizations would have been covered. It was only because of union bennies that I was able to quit working and stay home.

sassandgroove
08-17-2008, 10:07 PM
Thanks everyone. Part of why we don't have a kid yet is because of this situation.

I have thought about the option of taking care of other kids a long with my own.

squibnocket
08-18-2008, 02:09 AM
This is a great discussion and I'm so glad you brought it up.

I'm due in Feb and have just started looking into daycare. Fees in my area range dramatically from around $1200 to well over $2400 per month. The waiting lists for infants is quite long at some of the day care centers. My DH and I are going through sticker shock right now.

I wanted to add that I work from home. Many in our extended circle are telling me how lucky I am to do so because I can take care of the baby and not have to get day care. Ummm ... how, exactly, does that work? The assumption that I somehow have more "free" time than a mom that works outside of home is really maddening. Sure, I have a little more freedom in my daily schedule but I do have to meet deadlines and, you know, work.

My next step is to look at part-time au pair and day care options instead of full-time care.

Good luck to you!

tjwriter
08-18-2008, 03:07 AM
We were thrilled to be grandparents, only we didn't expect to be tapped as daycare providers. We love our granddaughter more than I can say, but it came as a shock to us that we were expected to care for her while our daughter pursued her ambitions.

If we really tried, could we adjust to caring for that child? Of course we can. But that's the job of the parents, not ours.

My mom actually quit her job two years before the first grandchild arrived because she didn't like it anymore and she wanted to be ready to babysit when the first child arrived. It's nice, but I know that most people aren't that lucky.


This is a great discussion and I'm so glad you brought it up.

I'm due in Feb and have just started looking into daycare. Fees in my area range dramatically from around $1200 to well over $2400 per month. The waiting lists for infants is quite long at some of the day care centers. My DH and I are going through sticker shock right now.

I wanted to add that I work from home. Many in our extended circle are telling me how lucky I am to do so because I can take care of the baby and not have to get day care. Ummm ... how, exactly, does that work? The assumption that I somehow have more "free" time than a mom that works outside of home is really maddening. Sure, I have a little more freedom in my daily schedule but I do have to meet deadlines and, you know, work.

My next step is to look at part-time au pair and day care options instead of full-time care.

Good luck to you!

I think there are several parents that work from home with their kids who are members here.

I think the biggest thing is doing the research and analysis of all the options. For instance, how much will you save in commuting costs, etc. from not working if daycare is really expensive. Finding a good in-home daycare can sometimes be a real bargain.

Good luck.