Post # 1
Does anyone have information on being a stay at home mom? How did you decide that was the way to go or what information helped sway your decision one way or the other? We’re just starting to discuss it and I’m not sure where to start.
Post # 3
Something to consider when discussing finances is to look at the net cost of your staying home. Take your salary, minus the childcare costs, and that is the amount less that your household income will be. Will your child/children take more or less after school lessons? Will those be expensive lessons? Will you be able to spend your extra time at home bargain hunting and spending less money on items, or will you shop more because you have more time? Will you go absolutely insane with no other grown ups to talk to, or are you going to make a point of joining a play group?
Post # 4
The reason that I made up my mind early on to be a SAHM was because I do not want someone else raising my kids. My kids are not going into daycare. I dont want to miss all those special moments with my kids. On top of that, daycares are awful places, they should be called baby jail. No one is going to care about your kids like you do unless you have a family member to watch them during the day while you are at work, like grandma.
This is a conversation I had with my now husband before our first date and he agreed with me!
Post # 5
The main part of your decision is probably going to be based on your finances. If you can afford to only live on one salary then that is great.
I honestly don’t agree with the PP that daycare is “baby jail”. Your kids will become socialized and be able to adapt to different situations. I never went to daycare, was the youngest or only child in my family and was extremely shy as a child. I would get very anxious in new situations and I feel that if I had gone to daycare or at least been around other children I would have been able to adapt better. And grandparents aren’t always better. Depending on their age it might not even be feasible. Taking care of an infant is hard work. If you decide to go with daycare make sure to visit when children are there to see how they handle them. See how many children per adult there are, especially with infants.
Post # 6
I agree that daycare is not “baby jail”. I think by the time a child reaches 2-3 years old, they need to start socialization. Things like learning how to share, sit in group exercises etc, are all valuable lessons they learn in day care. Also, by age 4 it is really valuable to have them learn these things because it helps prepare them for kindergarten at age 5.
Post # 7
Yes finances are a really big part of this decision but I don’t think it is the most important. Personally I think you look at the other factors first and if you decide that its important to you then you figure out a way to make it work financially. Here are some of the issues that I would look at:
1. What are your daycare options? Do you have access/ can you afford a school that actually provides pre-school education and not just basic care? Do you have family that could care for them? Would you be working just to pay for daycare?
2. How would you feel about not working? Do you have access to things that will allow you to get out of the house and see other adults (hopefully without spending a lot since you only have one income)? Are you okay with putting your career on hold for a while?
3. What kinds of things could you do to get your child socialization time with other kids? Mommy day outs are expensive from what I’ve seen but libraries and churches often have things to consider.
I am lucky enough to have been home with my son for his first 3 months and I originally planned to stay home the first 6 months but our financial situation changed and I will be returning to work soon. I am sooo glad that I have had this time with him but it was much harder than I thought it would be. Since we are on one income we made cut backs on our gym memberships and I try not to go out to lunch or things like that, as a result I find myself staying home a lot! I start to go a little stir crazy after a few days and I’m kind of looking forward to going back to work so that I can be around other people. Granted I would normally have gone out to parks or something with him but we have had a record hot summer and that wasn’t an option. Also my son has an illness so we keep him out of public daycares. Luckily my MIL will take up his care when I return to work but I don’t know what we would have done if that wasn’t an option.
There are just so many factors to think about! I think you really have to go with what your gut tells you is right for your famiy.
I hope this helps a little.
Post # 8
Thanks for the responses! I think financially it is definitely option, although we haven’t sat down to crunch the numbers and it would take some adjustments. I think it sounds like a mix of being wonderful and a mix of driving myself stir crazy from being home with a baby all the time. I think that the right daycare can be great for socialization, but it should be at the right age. I also think there’s a lot of truth to weighing the amount I would earn against the amount we would pay out for daycare. Is what’s left over really worth it?
As the pp said, just so many things to think about. I appreciate any other advice!
Post # 9
Wow. Daycares are “awful places” and “baby jail”??? That’s an extremely judgemental thing to say. My mom has put her heart and soul into running a wonderful daycare for over 40 years. Some of her original children are now parents themselves who have enrolled their own children. They treat her like family and invite her to all their kid’s events (recitals, plays, etc.).
Daycare providers can be a wonderful extension of a child’s natural family. You just have to find the right place.
Post # 10
On my maternity leave it became perfectly clear to me that I could never be a full time SAHM. I was stir crazy. I had myself scheduled for events throughout each day because both of us were bored at home!
Post # 11
I didn’t do any physical research on this topic, lol, it was more a personal decision based on our lifestyle. My own mother was a stay-at-home mom, so maybe I’m just more comfortable with this choice. There are definitely times where I crave some stimulating adult interaction, but for me my place is at home instead of at a professional job. It’s a struggle financially, but we happily make it work. Good luck in your decision!
Post # 12
Everyone has made great points already…
Another question I would want to consider is if you want a career? And if so, would you be comfortable giving it up or putting it on the back burner for a few years?
Post # 13
Post # 14
Baby jail? That’s so lame. Some women have to go back to work. You’ve also insulted a lot of people who are child care providers.
Post # 15
Re: “baby jails:”
That is a really ignorant thing to say. I don’t know what your knowledge or experiences with day care are, but it’s like anything else – there are some terrible ones, some AMAZINGLY good ones, and a lot in between. Parents need to do a lot of research to decide what’s best for them and their families, but to make this kind of generalization shows a real ignorance about the range of day care out there.
I am a researcher specializing in the social science of maternal employment (including day care, obv) and I can tell you that the research suggests that neither maternal employment nor day care per se tend to be significant variables in determining children’s intellectual, physical, or emotional health. What matters more is that the care they’re getting is consistent, warm, stimulating, and safe, and that their parents feel good about the situation, whatever it is. Whether it’s having mom or dad stay home to be full-time caretakers, having one or both parents have part-time jobs, or working full time with kids in good care, all of these are good options for some families and terrible options for others.
It also cheeses me off when people refer to day care as “someone else raising your kid.” Children know who’s raising them, and it’s not their day care provider.
Post # 16
Another thing to consider beyond the salary/daycare cost tradeoff now is how your salary could be affected for the rest of your life if you leave the workforce now.