Post # 1
Would you rather….
Work the same schedule as your SO (let’s say Mon-Fri 8am-5pm) and have your baby (infant) in daycare full time throughout the workweek. Baby spends more time in daycare but you have the whole family home for dinner every night
work opposite schedule of your SO (one person works 3pm-12am and the other 8am-5pm) so that your baby is only in daycare for about 4 hours a day max depending on the commute to/from work. This reduces the amount of time your child stays in daycare but you also give up family time in the evenings during the week.
Let’s assume affording full time day care for an infant is doable. It wouldn’t leave you with a whole lot of extra money for savings and you would need to tighten the budget but it’s possible. You both have weekends off.
Post # 2
I find that difficult to answer and I’ve thought about both scenarios. I think one practical element with the second scenario is: are you still paying for a full-time spot? Also, with the second scenario, how consistent would the child’s schedule be?
I’m headed back to work after maternity leave next week working two different part time jobs. My start times for work each day are all over the place. So, I’m considering dropping my son off at the same time every day even if I am not immediately driving to work. I will likely work from home. Yes, I could keep him at home with me, but then I feel like his week will be really chaotic as to when/where he naps and eats. I would rather help him establish a routine so that he feels like he has consistency in his life.
I’m also coming from the perspective of having worked in child care. I chose a place with people that I trust to care for the well-being of my son, in every way.
I guess I would be leaning towards spending more family time together.
Post # 3
As frustrating as it may be to work opposite schedules, I would choose that if it meant that our hypothetical child were with one of us for more hours a day and spent less time in daycare.
My DH and I have opposite schedules and lives any way — he’s a major night owl, and I am a day person. I work full time during weekdays, and he works nearly every weekend and some evenings and late nights as well as parts of many weekdays. We spend very little time together. I don’t like it, but I’ve had no choice but to get used to it.
Post # 4
Well, most daycares in this area charge by the day, not by the hour. So it doesn’t matter if your kid is there for four hours or from open to close – your costs are the same. So unless the argument is that the kid gets more time with each individual parent than they would necessarily get with family time and that is a benefit for you – I don’t see the benefit of such drastically different schedules and would rather have the time together. Because family time is also for the parents who need to keep connected in their own relationship, which is hard on completely opposite schedules.
You also pay for your full week even if your kid is sick or you decide to keep them home. So when your kid is sick there is less time you have to cover, but someone is still taking time off work unless you have a backup babysitter.
There are some daycares that let you do 3, 4, or 5 days a week at a prorated rate (but it has to he consistent – you can’t just pick different days every week or have it be 3 days one week and 4 the next). So if you had schedules like you could both work 4-10s with someone off Monday and someone off Friday so you only have to pay for 3 days a week, that could be beneficial. Or a slight staggering so one has drop off and one has pickup so the kid can sleep in a little (like one works 7-330 and the other works 830 – 500).
(I should also say I’m pretty pro-daycare, or at least not anti-daycare, in general, even for stay at home parents a day or two a week. Our kindergarten programs actually require a pre-K program for kids if they have never been in daycare. It gives them exposure both from an immunity standpoint and a diversity standpoint and helps build socialization skills in a way that is harder at home unless parents are super diligent and actively seeking it out for them.)
Post # 5
you would not be paying for a full time spot. It would be half the cost of a full time spot and the child’s daycare schedule would be mon-fri 2pm to 6pm with the possibility of being picked up a little before 6 from time to time. This would depend on traffic but most days the child would stay until 6pm. A regular routine at home would be established for the child in either scenario
Post # 6
My daughter has thrived in her daycare environment and when they adopted the Montessori theory, she thrived even more, the independent learning is right up her alley.
School has been good for her.
I know she misses me and lately she’s been reminding me of that (thanks, kiddo ❤️) but I believe school has helped her thrive in ways that we wouldn’t be able to do in a home environment.
I think I’m one of those parents that don’t carry much guilt about not having one of us home with her because I actually believe that she’s well adjusted in the school environment.
So, I would keep the same shift schedules, keep her in school, and have more family time together. If she wasn’t doing well and I thought she would benefit more from being home instead, I would evaluate other options
Eta, she’s three. I started calling it school when Montessori started which is why I call it both daycare and school in my post
Post # 7
I’d be concerned about the night-shift parent getting enough sleep. Most little ones I know are awake pretty early in the mornings and although they nap, it may not be enough sleep day to day for an adult long term.
Post # 8
I would rather more time together because money and all that is endless and a dime a dozen. Time is one thing you don’t get more of and my husband and family are more important. Dh and I have already discussed this prior to having a kid because we both prefer family time. But we have also considered Dh being part time stay at home dad because I make more money and would prefer my future child stay with one of us in the early years until 2, but at least until 1. I worked at a daycare and I know how important it is to socialize babies so it wouldn’t be a forever thing. We’re good at budgeting and don’t live outside of our means so if we get more time as a family and pay for childcare so be it. It’s a choice to have a child and create that extra finance for yourself.
Post # 9
- Wedding: September 2017 - Pearson Convention Centre
I would rather spend more family time togetherness our child would spend more time in daycare, either way theybwoukd be in daycare and this way family time is number one priority
Post # 10
On the basis of family quality time I would 100% work the same schedule and do full day daycare. This will give you time with your partner at home for hanging out as well as backup when you need to get things done (shop, cook, eat, shower, go to happy hour occasionally). Plus 2-6 sounds like a rough daycare slot to hit when you think of how frequently naps change during the first year. You’re already going through the tough part of finding a caring daycare and getting baby adjusted. I think the split schedules would impact your weekends significantly also.
My DH has a slightly different schedule because he works 4-10s. Our kids are in daycare FT, even when DH is home once a week. He does the chores and takes care of things to free up our nights and weekends. I feel it adds to our quality time as a family because we can focus on the kids nights and weekends.
Post # 11
Thank you for the replies so far everyone! It’s great to hear your thoughts! I don’t have any children but my fiancé and I want to start trying soon after we’re married next year. He has the option of working a schedule similar to mine (8-5) or the late night schedule (3pm-12am). We don’t have much family support in our area so unfortunately daycare will be a must. I really hate to think of my hypothetical infant child being in day care full time but I also don’t want to lose out on family time and seeing my SO during the week. I’ve called around to daycares in my area to get a realistic idea on pricing to make sure we budget accordingly. I know it might seem like I’m going a bit overboard since we wont actually have a baby for another two years- if we’re lucky enough to get pregnant that quickly! I just like to be well prepared. This is important stuff haha
I would love to hear more thoughts and opinions on the topic so please keep them coming 🙂
Post # 12
Currently dh and I work semi-opposite shifts. I would absolutely pick “family” time over less daycare. Having that together time (more so as husband and wife IMO) is better for a family than spending a few less bucks. I also dont belive daycare is bad for kids. Its great socialization, learning, etc.
Post # 13
I’d rather have more time to spend with my baby. They’re only that little once, and it really does go by so quickly.
Post # 14
In doing some more thinking, I would definitely work the same shift as my partner for the same reasons as others have said.
In addition, being at daycare from 2-6pm, I think would be really difficult on the child. Most of the fun planned activities would be done in the morning, some in the afternoon. Plus, depending on when the centre opens, he or she could have several different teachers in that short time. The first teacher’s shift would likely end around 4pm, the next 5pm, etc.
In my area, you pay for the spot, not for the time, so you would still be paying full price anyways.
Post # 15
I would rather we both worked the same schedule and had family time in the evenings and at the weekend.
I think daycare can be good for children, so I wouldn’t want to be on opposite shifts from my partner in order to reduce the amount of daycare. Daycare can broaden horizons more so than just parental contact, they can learn new things, have experiences they wouldn’t of otherwise had and interact with other kids. Being on the same shifts means both parents are there when the child is home and the child gets the best of their parents as usually there is more stress parenting alone.