Post # 1
We aren’t even TTC but I am trying to work out some of the issues I have with having kids. I was reading this book called The Mommy Trap which is about how in a lot of families, they agree to split the child-rearing up evenly, and the mom ends up doing most of it and missing her career, and how to encourage male involvement so that doesn’t happen. This is not about people who agree to have one person stay home with kids and both are happy. I realized that one of my big hang-ups about having kids is concerns of childcare. I keep reading all these studies about how childcare isn’t as good, etc. Recently FH and I were trying to hire someone to do housecleaning and odd jobs around the house and we had a nightmare finding someone, so much so that we gave up. My concern is if we can’t find someone who is good enough to clean our house, how will we find someone who is good enough to take care of our child, when that is obviously much more important? My fear is we won’t find anyone and I’ll be stuck giving up my career, which I don’t want to do. FH says that when the time comes, childcare will work itself out. Am I being paranoid? I would love to hear how the moms on this board deal with childcare?
Post # 3
We are just pregnant and are trying to work it out ourselves. We’re due in late March. My husband is a teacher, so my goal is that my maternity leave will go for about 10 weeks, then my step mom will fill in the 2 weeks until my husband is off for the summer. In the fall we’ll have to figure out paid daycare, and we’re hoping to go with in-home care instead of a day care center. But we don’t have it figured out yet.
Post # 4
It will work itself out. I was SURE that I would return to work, but the second that baby came out, I changed my mind. Everything i planned got thrown out the window and I couldnt leave her.
I would say to have a plan before you get pregnant. Think about that plan a few months in, start looking for childcare mid-pregnancy, and also have a plan B for if you decide you just cant return to work.
Everything will work itself out. I promise.
Post # 5
If I could, I would stay home all day with MB. I adore her! It’s weird because before she was born I would NEVER have thought that I would be the type of person to want to stay home. Gotta love maternal instincts, huh?
I don’t think childcare just works itself out. It does take effort! But I’ll also say that usually the struggle isn’t finding the right person. It’s finding the right person at the right price. If you are really worried about it, then I would suggest you make an effort to start saving money NOW so that you have a childcare fund. You’re not even pregnant yet, so you have plent of time to try to save some money up. A good babysitter here costs around $20/hr. A good Nanny costs around $500-$800 per week. A good daycare is about $800-$1000 per month. (I’m in the LA area, and these are NEWBORN [0-12month] fees.)
Even if you only saved $50/month starting this month, that may greatly help when the time comes for childcare.
Post # 6
After reading dumping’s blog and how my FSIL is with her kids, I don’t think I could leave my baby. Fiance is very supportive of whatever I do but he does believe that during the first few years it’s important for one parent to be there and I agree! I’m willing to take the professional hit b/c I don’t look at it too much like a sacrafice.
If you can, hire a nanny and split it with your neighbor’s or friend’s.
Post # 7
You get friends/family members to watch your baby/child. I loved my job before/while I was pregnant. But once I had baby, I loved being with him more. So when the time comes you’ll have a better idea on what you want to do.
Post # 8
That book sounds interesting! I’m looking it up on Amazon right now. This is something I have also given thought to. A big part of me would like to be a stay-at-home mom because I think it does benefit your child, and I also don’t know that it would make sense financially to work only to give the vast majority of my income to a nanny. In my field, I don’t expect to make much more than $40,000 a year, and an in-home nanny is more than half of that. To me, it makes more sense financially to find a way to cut back and stay at home.
Still, I am nervous about becoming 100% identified as a mother. A career has value and importance to me for a number of reasons. While I know I wouldn’t regret staying home with our children, I also have a feeling that if I decided to return to a fulfilling career, I wouldn’t regret that either, as I would be setting a good example for our children and I would be a more well-rounded person.
In an ideal world, I’d have a job that was low-pressure and not full-time, where I could work from home sometimes and go to work like two days a week. I’m not sure where to find this ideal world, though!
Post # 9
Can I recommend the book Equally Shared Parenting (by Marc and Amy Vachon, who also run a website talking about their ideas). It’s a pretty inspirational look at a variety of couples who do succeed in splitting childcare equally, often without any paid childcare in the mix. They suggest a lot of strategies for making the intention of sharing childcare actually work well in practice, such as ensuring that both parents (not just the mom, or breastfeeding partner) have time ALONE with the child early on so that they are forced to become comfortable acting as primary caretaker. I have a lot of the same fears about having kids, and I found this book really helpful in showing me ways that it doesn’t have to turn out that way.
Finally, my understanding is that the data on the effect of non-family childcare on kids is pretty mixed – you shouldn’t be getting the idea that leaving your kids in daycare is going to screw them up, although you are right to be thinking about the quality of the daycare/nanny/whatever that you choose.
Post # 10
Just wanted to throw this out there, both my parents worked full time so I was watched by a babysitter before I went to school and was in daycare after school and I turned out completely fine!
Post # 11
@guitargirl: You’re SO NOT being paranoid…having the same kind of discussions you & FI are having was how Mr. & I tried to come up with our post-baby plan, years before we were even engaged. Thanks for posting this, by the way…it’s been preying on my mind even more, now that we’re preggers.
Due to the intensity of being an inner-city high school teacher, I didn’t want to sacrifice the quality of my parenting for the quality of my teaching & vice-versa. I originally proffered the idea of NOT having children to my then BF, now hubby…he said that would be a deal breaker. At the time, we came up with a plan that I would take my vacation time & state allotted maternity leave (about 12 weeks altogether), and then he would take over as PCG by converting to a SAHD who writes. But now, after watching MANY friends (there are a total of 9 babies & toddlers/7 sets of parents in our group of friends) evolve into parents, we are realizing that the tasks of setting sleep schedules, feeding, play dates, & bonding time, as well as the necessities of changing, bathing, cleaning up after, teaching/disciplining a child is a LOT more intensive than we imagined. It looks like I may be taking off/trying to work part-time for at least a semester after the kid arrives ALONG with Mr. being a SAHD and writer…we’re trying to figure out the financials & using our last 14 months of saving for the wedding as experience for saving for the kid.
@PixelMePretty: What if you don’t live close to family? What if your friends aren’t interested or don’t feel qualified to care for your child (especially newborns/babies)? Mr. & I will face the first problem when the kid arrives next spring…BIL & SIL are dealing with the second right now.
@daniellemybelle: That ideal job is in consulting or start-up networking (as in you work for a company that helps entrepeneurs hook up with investors at events)…this is the job my BM has & it allows her to work 2 full days in office, 2 part days at home, & one “extra” day off a week. Or part-time teaching (keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to get one of these positions at my school next year).
@MightySapphire: thanks for posting the LA area prices…Mr. & I will be looking into these options intently over the next eight months. If I may, can I PM you for some of your sources so I don’t start my research cold?
Post # 12
@MrsSaltWaterTaffy: Ditto! I’m college educated (Masters degree) and everything!
Post # 13
@ms.pascua: I have thought about teaching but I don’t know how fulfilled I would be by teaching. As for consulting, that would be a great gig, and in my field it is definitely something that is in demand. I would probably want to start consulting while we are TTC so I don’t have to stress about building a personal business while I am a new mom.
Post # 14
I stayed home the first year and half and I wouldnt change it for the world – but thats me. I couldnt imagine missing that time with my son. not everyone is able to stay at home though so you definitely need to figure out what works for you financially and emotionally. Sometimes though you dont always end up doing what you planned lol I sure didnt! good luck!
Post # 15
@daniellemybelle: Yeah, teaching is not for everyone…if you’re not into it, don’t. Consulting sounds like the ideal situation (I’m so jealous that it works for your field…not too many schools want to consult teachers for some reason) & I wish you much luck!
Post # 16
I went back to work after 5 months. If it makes you feel any better, I too, had a LOT Of anxiety about childcare. After many visits to different daycares I found out how much some (not all) are doing to help out mothers. For instance many childcare providers now have camaras set up in the daycare that are connected to a website that only the parents of the children can go to and check up on their children without any of the providers knowing. This can be done at anytime from your work or home. It just gave me a sense of peace knowing I can “spy” on how my child is being treated.
I love my child more then anything, but I CANNOT stay at home all day, everyday. As hard as I tried. I have to be doing something. I really do envy mothers who can find complete fufillment in staying home with their children all the time. Its definitely not for everyone. D
I know, its a scary decision! But don’t stress yourself out too much now. Once your preggers you will be doing it a 1000x more!!!!