Post # 1
I took a couple years off in between high school and university, and so I will be 26 and married when I graduate. Not a hugee deal, but I always wonder, as I am doing all this work for school and plan on working after, how do moms work but take care of their children at the same time?
Like how do they get to and from school? What happens durning summer break? What happens when they are sick and take a day off? Do you pay for daycare?
It just seems so hard to me to raise kids (like the actual logistics of getting them places and watching them) when you are busy at work. I am quite a while away from babies, as I won’t graduate till I am 26, but for some reason it just worries me. My mom was a stay at home mom, and I don’t seem to understand how women do both. I go to school to work after, I don’t want to waste it.
How do you do it?
Post # 3
Our daughter is in daycare full-time. We drop her off in the morning (7:30), and I get off early to pick her up (4:30-ish). After we get home (4:45-ish), I make dinner while she plays, and then we eat dinner (5:30) and play some more. My husband gets home about 6, and then we start bathtime at 6:30, and she’s usually conked out by 7:30.
If she’s sick, my husband or I take the day off work. Our daycare has a policy that we pay a month in advance, so we still have to pay, even if DD stays home sick. However, our daycare provider is really great about working with us, so even though it’s not policy, she’s given us a few free days when we’ve had to keep DD home longer than a week.
Most of the two-income families I know stagger drop-off/pick-up times around school/daycare. So maybe dad goes in early (like 6) and mom drops off the kid later in the morning (like 8), and then dad gets off early to pick-up the kid (like 3) and mom gets off late (like 5). Other families I know, one parent works only part-time, so there is always someone available. One family I know, the neighbors watch the kids from when mom and dad leave for work (7:30-ish), until the kids get on the bus 15-20 minutes later. After school, the kids go to an after school program until 5-ish, when their parents come pick them up. Summer breaks are often spent at local day camps (the YMCA and Boys & Girls Clubs often have these camps for cheap) or spent with a local relative (our best friends’ kids go to their grandparents house during summer days).
Working and having kids is a juggle, but it’s definitely doable. There’s plenty of options out there for working parents, and as you get closer to TTC, you’ll discover a fit that works for you and your family. Hope this helps!
Post # 4
I will be returning to work in Nov/Dec and the baby will be about 6-8 weeks old. My own mom put me in daycare when I was 6 weeks old as well.
From what I can remember, as a young kid, it sucked. I never liked daycare, and if I got hurt at school, it might take a long time for one of my parents to be able to get out of work and come get me. Once I got older, I liked it a lot because I was home alone often and the me-time was nice.
But, we both need to work. Not only to maintain our current lifestyle, but also, I feel like I’ve had to scratch and claw just to get where I am professionally (which is by no means CEO level or anything, but I do alright) and I’ll be damned if I give up now. A lot of women will talk about only taking a few years or so off, but the workforce can be really hard to get back into, and what was supposed to be temporary may turn permanent, especially in a bad economy.
So, we will do what a lot of working parents do- use daycares. Drop $300-500 a week, rush home in traffic to pick the kid up, feed her, spend a few hours with her before bed, get up early and drop her off and do the whole thing over and over, 5 days a week. When she gets sick, I’ll be calling in sick. If she gets hurt, I’ll have to leave work to go get her. It’s going to be hectic for sure- but people do it every day.
Post # 5
I’ve been thinking about this a lot, because DH and I are seriously deciding if we want to have kids, and I’ve come to the conclusion that we may need to get a nanny. Daycares seem to be almost as expensive (in my area) and much harder to come by, and there are a ton of penalties for dropping off too early or picking up too late and if the baby is sick then you have to stay home. I agree with @Tatum: that I’ve had to scratch and claw my way to where I am now in my career, so there is just NO way I’d be willing to scrap that at this point. In a perfect world I could take a few years off then come back where i left, but those days are over. There is too much competition and our country is so overeducated, there would be 100 people in line to take my spot the second I left.
So yeah, to answer your question I would probably lean towards hiring a full time nanny in order to have a little more flexibility after I was done with the regular maternity leave.
Post # 6
I am a working mother with 2 kids. I also have to organize pick ups with my FI’s schedule as well as overnight visits they have with my exhusband. So, yeah, it’s hectic. My girls go to daycare from about 9:30am til whenever my FI gets off work. I work a steady shift of 10:30am to 7pm and the daycare closes at 6:30pm so I can’t ever get them. But, add on to my stress that my FI isn’t able to drive due to a vision inpairment so I have to always work out who is getting him from work as well as who is getting the girls from daycare before they close. All while I’m trying to be productive at my job 45min away from all of them…..And we pay now abuot $585 a month for fulltime/2kids.
It’s doable…but you have to really want it.
Post # 7
I am due in december and i plan on returning to work 6-8 weeks after having my baby. I worked hard to be where i am professionally, and it would be really hard for me to justify all the education and hard work i did. I have no problem putting my little one in a nice private day care, and the one we picked out has really workable drop off and pick up times. We (me anf my hubby) will most likely alternate who drops off and picks up the baby on which day. I have to agree with many, it is probably going to be a change in lifestyle, but it is something that could be done, just need to take time and get used to it.
Post # 8
Daycare is just so expensive! To me its like, why am I working if most of my salary is going to daycare. I could just stay at home and be the same income wise. A couple years ago, I anted to be career-woman, and make money, a lot, and have nicer things. But now I want to slow down a bit and raise kids at the same time. Its hard to raise a family on one income tho.
I am going to be doing a BA in business and a teaching degree. So maybe I can work it out and not work everyday or something. I don’t know what I want. I guess I don’t want to be worky worky and pay all this and have this hectic lifestyle, but still want enough money to enjoy life.
Post # 9
My kid is only three and a half months old, so I’m not sure exactly what we’ll do when he’s older, but I’ve been back at work since he was 9 weeks old, and you make it work. Yes, it’s hectic sometimes, and yes, I don’t see my kid very much (awake) during the week… but I’ve also found that I use my time at home a lot better than I used to, or thought I would. If I was home all day long with DS, I know I’d get tired and frustrated and snippy with him a lot more easily- whereas when I only see him before and after work, I’m more than happy to just focus on interacting with him for that time, and I can handle whatever he throws at me (crying fit? poop explosion? no problem as long as I don’t have to deal with it all day long). I also find that DH and I are more efficient in other ways, since we have to be- we still manage to cook dinner, do laundry, etc., it just means we cut down on our “screwing around on the Internet” time. I also think that, as long as I’ve gotten at least SOME sleep, I’m more productive at work because I have more motivation to get my act together, get my work done, and get home.
Logistically, DS currently spends a long time at daycare since DH does both drop-off and pick-up most days… but I LOVE his daycare, and he’s too young to remember anything, so it doesn’t bother me. Luckily, DH and I both have a fair amount of flexibility in our jobs (he can work whenever he wants as long as he puts in 80 hours every 2 weeks, and I can often work from home), so we manage ok if DS is sick or has an appointment or something. We dont’ have family living nearby, but my mom or DH’s aunt will come up and stay with us if for some reason DS can’t be in daycare when we have to work (i.e. if he’s sick or if daycare is closed for a holiday).
Post # 10
@MissHighHeel: The working just to pay for daycare thing was what I struggled with.
Since my current position has no room for advancement I’ll be leaving it and working from home. I don’t have a problem giving it up since I don’t feel like I’ll be giving up a huge opportunity career-wise but if it had a great salary or room for growth then I’d probably go the daycare route.
It’s good to know what you want when interviewing for jobs – you can negotiate a lot more during the interview process than you can once you already have a job. What level of teaching do you specialize in? Some high schools have daycares on site.
Post # 11
I think you just make it work.
Our current plan is a combination of everything you listed. I work a half day from home on Fridays as it is, and I have weekends off, so our baby will stay with me on those days. DH is going to change his schedule so that he’s home for 2 of my workdays during the wk. MIL is going to take baby 1 day. And so he’ll be in daycare or with a nanny 1 other day during the wk. But at least 6/7 days during the week he’ll be with a parent or grandparent. There are some changes probably coming down the road, after his first year, where our schedules won’t be quite as flexible and won’t allow so much time to be at home with him, but we’ll figure it out when we get there– 1 day…. er, year… at a time.
Down the road– Summers– for us, we’re lucky bc my dad is a teacher, so munchkin(s) will probably be spending 4-6 wks during the summer with grandpa, and in camps/day care where their school schedules (my dad’s and our kids’) don’t overlap. And school– well, we’re years from that for now, but probably between taking the bus to school, and me using a flexible schdule (working from home in the afternoon? working earlier/getting off earlier? working fewer hours (30 rather than 40 hrs per week?) and kids’ schedules (after-school programs? a day-care or mommy car-pool?) we’ll make it work.
And your other question– about when the kid is sick– FMLA allows you to take X # of days off unpaid (but with full job security) to spend with your child if they’re sick or for adopting/birthing a new child. So in a year in which you give birth or adopt a child, you’ll probably use the time you are allowed up on maternity/parental leave. But after that, you can use FMLA time to stay home with a sick child.
Anyway, point is, when the time comes, you’ll find a way to make it all work.
Post # 12
When my daughter was younger our parents helped us out a lot which we are so thankful for, then she started pre-school 1/2 day and DH lost his job, so he took over and I work for now 🙁
Post # 13
We don’t have kids right now, but assume that we’ll get a nanny. We both work shifts that aren’t really conducive to regular day care hours (like, graveyard shifts, and being on call weekends and evenings) so that’s kind of always been the plan. We know several people in our same line of work that share a nanny with another coworker. She lives with one couple, and the other drops their kid off at their house when needed.
Post # 14
We pay my MIL to nanny. Even then, we wouldn’t be able to be sane AT ALL without a housekeeper. We make enough $ that this still makes the most sense for us. I had just finished a weekend masters when I got pregnant (@30), so I wasn’t about to take a few years off from my career path. DS is really an easy baby (for MIL at least), but even when we toured DCP, I didn’t feel uneasy about it. (There was only 1/3 I liked, though, so maybe try out a few to see the ‘vibe’.)
Post # 15
I dont know what just happened to my post.. sorry!!
Post # 16
No kids yet, but I do struggle with how we will handle logistics. I loathe the idea of putting my child in daycare – only because I think I would be so sad to miss so many ‘firsts’ and all that together time. I have wanted to have a baby since forever and I don’t think I could stand to leave my little one at 6 weeks (although I understand, MANY moms have no choice).
I don’t know how FI and I would financially be able to handle only one of us working with a baby. It would be very difficult. Conceivably, I could have a family member help out, but like I said, I hate the idea of not being at home for the first year or two.
I debate looking for work from home jobs, but moms that do this, how do you manage? I feel like i wouldn’t necessarily get work done. Do you have a mother’s helper around?
We still have a few years to figure this out before we TTC but I want to kind of get a game plan in place sooner rather than later…