Just Labradors banner
1 - 20 of 71 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,697 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife was supposed to go back to work on Wednesday. Reid started day-care on Monday so we could have a couple practice days. It is a nice day-care within walking distance of our house - we really liked the place and people when we took the tour and have talked to several people in our neighborhood and they all had good things to say.

Apparently things change when it is actually time to hand over the kid. She dropped him off Monday morning around 10:00, picked him up at 3:30 Monday afternoon, called me at 3:31 and told me the day-care is "a depressing hell hole" and wanted to quit her job.

I talked her into not to quitting [immediately] so Tuesday morning she talked to her boss and extended her leave. That afternoon when she picked Reid up from day-care she told them he will not be coming back.

So now we have another 10 weeks to come up with a plan. Ranging from she quits and stays home to she goes back to work and we find full time care. We are looking at other day-cares, getting a nanny, sharing a nanny, working part time at her current company, looking for new part time work, working from home.......

On the one hand it would be nice for her to stay home and we can afford it, but we will save less and scale back on some things. On the other hand quitting a job is an expensive/risky decision even when the economy is good...... and taking a few years off will have a long term inpact on her career [which has brighter prospects down the road than my career].

I'm hoping she decides to work part time at her current company and then full time again once he gets older.

For those who have had to make this decision, any thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,782 Posts
I'm sorry I know this is a tough decision and many women have a really hard time going back after having a baby. Do you have any friends that stay at home with their kids that might want the extra income to watch Reid? It's a long shot but that's what we're doing and it has made it SOOO much easier for me to work full time. Our friend stays home with her two children who are now in school. We asked when we were thinking about having a baby if she had thought about baby sitting she was totally for it and loves watching Aubrey and the extra money helps them out too.

I think working part time at her current employer would probably be the best if they would let her but it's a decision for both of you I don't envy your having to make that decision.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,548 Posts
The very first day dropping them off at daycare is the hardest. But I guess it wouldn't help to tell her that, huh? That first day of walking away and leaving him in the hands of strangers seems so so bleak and terrible. But it's never as bad as that day and after a week, it's just part of your routine.

I can't help you with the decision making. I didn't have to make a decision - I was single, I had to go back to work, no choice! But it seems ideally, if she really can't get past the idea of full-time daycare, the thing to do would be part-time work at her current company. Then she wouldn't lose the ground in her career.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,257 Posts
Eileen out-earned me when she was working -- significantly.

She walked away from a lucrative career to raise our kids.

It was a decision we didn't even have to think long about; we knew it was right for us and for our kids.

She has gone back to work @ the kids' school as a teacher's aide. She makes a pittance, but still, it comes in handy for those extras at the end of the month. When our youngest, who is in second grade, becomes more independent and less reliant on Mom or elder sisters for after-school montoring (we're thinking about another 4-5 yrs), she intends to go back full time.

To what, we do not know.

We've taken a lot of this on faith. And thus far, we have been provided for.

You say you can manage it. I say: Go ahead. I do not judge others' decisions in this regard, but I/we felt strongly this way: Nobody. Not NOBODY. Can raise your kids better than you. There is no substitute for a parent.

Your wife will have many, many years (20? 30?) in the post-childbearing period to maximize her earnings and her career path. For now, IMHO, it should be about peejays with feeties and reading "Goodnight Moon."

Does it take sacrifice? Heh. A boatload. It is VERY hard not to be jealous when we see neighbors/friends/family w/the latest car/boat/vacation home.

Still, we consider it worth it.

I wish you luck on your decision.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,118 Posts
I don't have kids, so this isn't a decision I'll ever face. But I know it's a tough one and I wish you luck with it.

If your wife really isn't ready to go back to work, if she really cannot bear the notion of someone else having care of her child during the day at this point, sending her back to full time work will be miserable. For her. Also perhaps for her long-term career, since lousy performance due to disengagement can be harmful. I have a coworker with a small child, and I really think he should be a full-time stay-at-home parent since he spends the majority of his time on the phone during the day to his son's daycare. I kid you not, I think he calls them at least 6 times a day IF there's nothing wrong. If the kid has had an earache, stubbed his toe, etc., literally ANYTHING, that rate doubles. He's not productive, it's distracting to those around him, and the bosses have noticed. So sometimes taking a longer break is better for career progression in the longer term.

If she can go back part time and everyone is happy with that arrangement, than I think that could be the perfect solution. Another friend of mine is doing exactly that and it's working out really well for her.

If you can afford it and staying home full time is the right choice for her, than you really are fortunate.

However, I have to take minor issue with one of Dan's statements. Perhaps no one can raise a child better than parents (certainly in most cases!), but the implication that if one sends one's children to daycare one is automatically forfeiting parenting is problematic at best. Maybe I'm misreading the implied statement here, so I don't want to sound like I'm starting an argument. But I consider myself to have been raised by my parents, who were wonderful, caring, fully engaged, and completely committed to parenting. But both my parents had to work full time and so I was also in daycare, school, etc. from infancy onwards. Maybe I don't have the perspective, but I think I turned out OK. No matter what the choice - stay home full time or work and send kids to daycare - it involves sacrifice, and different choices are right for different families.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,211 Posts
OH. :( It is so hard to leave them. I quit my job two days before I was due to return after I had my oldest back in 97.

I can't help with your decision, because I'm a big advocate of staying home with your children. ;)

But have you looked at www.sittercity.com??

If I had to go back to work- I think sharing a nanny would be my first option. Or having someone come into my home and look after my kids.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,693 Posts
Oh, Maple! I well remember the 1st days I dropped off my Daughter at day care - and she's 22 now - I cried all the way to work - cried at work - cried when I picked her up...It just took time to get over leaving her. However, that said, would I have quit if I could have? HELL YES - but I was a single mom and didn't have that choice. What a difficult thing for you both!

Do let her know that Reid doesn't really notice one way or another that she's there/not there yet. As long as someone is tending to his needs - immediately - they're pretty easy going at this age.

Additionally, don't know if it's any help at all - but I put Court in daycare as opposed to home care w/ just 1 care giver (nanny, home day care...etc...) because if that 1 person was having a bad day...there was no one else to be sunny for my child. In a day care setting, if one caregiver is grumpy due to personal issues, chances are the other care givers are not having a bad day at the same time.

GOOD LUCK!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
192 Posts
Oh man... That first day of drop off from being home with babe is the worst. The first few weeks are horrible leaving your child with a stranger and your not the one home with them. A few times at drop off I thought I was going to lose my cookies. I remember those feelings very well!! But I can tell you this, as the weeks and months go on, the easier it gets. Like someone said, it just becomes a apart of your routine. I didn't have a choice, I have to work so Connor had to go to daycare.

Maybe starting off in someone's home your wife would feel better?? Connor was in home daycare until he was about 18 months. I felt better with him getting more one on one care. But we weren't having luck with home daycares and at 18 months I decided I was ready for him to start daycare and be around other children.

If you guys can afford for her not to work then maybe I say go for it. If I didn't have to work I would still at least have to get something part time. I love Connor more than life, but I am not one to sit at home all day long. I also think its good for them to be around other kids so I would want Connor going somewhere at least part time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,206 Posts
I have no opinion... but I can imagine it's not an easy decision to make. Hope everything works out well whatever you and your wife decide.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,114 Posts
No kids here, but even without them it isn't hard to see that you never get this time back. Your kid never gets this time back. If you can afford for your kid not to spend a third of his life reaching milestones in front of strangers, even nice strangers, then that's a whole lot more important than what happens with a career.

And that doesn't even start to deal with the resentment your wife may end up feeling if she feels that she can't stay home if she wants to because you don't want to scale back on some stuff. This may not even sound fair to you, but what you're looking at as a rational decision about what's best for the future, she's seeing as a mommy who doesn't want to leave, and that's going to trump everything you say.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44,122 Posts
Yikes, Mape, that's a tough one. I don't understand though, when you went to see the place and talk to the people, it was great...and then once you actually dropped him off it turned into a hellhole?

I wish you all the luck in the world. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,130 Posts
If you guys can afford for her not to work then maybe I say go for it. If I didn't have to work I would still at least have to get something part time. I love Connor more than life, but I am not one to sit at home all day long. I also think its good for them to be around other kids so I would want Connor going somewhere at least part time.
I agree with this completely. We were lucky, my Mom watched Makenna full time until she was 6 months old. After that she went to school 2 days a week. When my Mom got sick she went full time. Makenna loves school and is much more advanced than her friends on the street that don't go to school. If she can work part time with her current employer that would be ideal. It is really hard to get back into the work force once you leave. Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,678 Posts
I was a Nanny and pretty much raised the kids while I was there. I swore that when I had kids I would never let someone else take care of my kids. So we scraped by with one salary so I could be there 24/7. I dont regret it. Although at the same time looking back I wish I could have continued a career. So I guess if I did it over again, I'd try to work part time some how. So I could do a little of both. There is no one decision that is right for everybody. Being a stay at home mom is not for everyone and being a career woman is not for everyone either.

I will say that too many times my husband has pressured me to make decisions I might not have made had I been single and I despised him for it. So my only advice is to offer support to your wife but understand she should ultimately decide what is best for her. She'll be a happier person and really really really appreciate your understanding.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,727 Posts
Well....been there and done that.

The first thing is, there is no right decision.

When Char was first born MJ had to go right back to work. We found a nice daycare lady in town who we liked and did that for the first 6 month's. When we moved back to VT MJ stayed at home for the next 3 years.

For us it felt right. Money was tight but we could do it. After a while though I liked it less......There is a dynamic of only one person working in the family that is less fun than you would think.

Just last summer MJ decided she wanted to go back to work. We found a daycare lady down the street. We love her. We looked at the "centers" and didn't like them. Our lady fits our needs perfectly......I guess that's the most important thing......and could be the hardest to find unfortunately.

It was great that MJ was able to stay home for the time she did......but in the end she was not happy with it. She craved adult conversation after a while. She did not feel the satisfaction or accomplishment. She does working.

We have money now......these days that's a good thing....having two paychecks.

The biggest change is in Charlotte.....she has really taken to being with the other kids. She has learned so much and has gained many social skills she does not get with just the two of us. Playdates and things like that sound good but were always lacking for us. She goes to preschool two days a week with several of the daycare kids.

She loves it.

So from my point of view......happy wife, happy daughter and happy checkbook.

So for us, it changed over time what worked best.

My advice would be......

Don't let anyone tell you what's best. Choose what works for your family.

Don't settle for childcare you don't feel comfortable with......maybe you'll need to travel farther.

Don't think that you can't change your mind later.

Not much help I know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
356 Posts
My wife quitting her job was a very hard decision (more for me than her) but the best decision we've made. Dallas is hardly sick and is a very happy baby... It's been tough financially but we're doing alright. Shannon just recently started working as a nanny to bring in some spending money which has helped out quite a bit. Good luck!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
So my only advice is to offer support to your wife but understand she should ultimately decide what is best for her. She'll be a happier person and really really really appreciate your understanding.
I agree with this. She probably knows in her heart of hearts what she feels is the right thing to do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,481 Posts
What made our decision is money is just money. Your children are only little once, and it really does go by in the blink of an eye. We didn't have to think too long or too hard about me being a stay at home mom, and I think it was one of the best decisions we've ever made.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,425 Posts
My sister was a wreck for the first week or two.. but honestly, my nephew LOVES daycare.. he looks forward to going and playing with the other kids ..

I don't know.. both my parents worked my entire life.. i never felt like i was missing out on anything.. if anything i think having a mom who worked and who was a great mother made me proud and strive to accomplish what i wanted.

I don't know.. i couldn't handle being home 24/7 with a kid.. working would make me a better mother (i'm guessing) but only the two of you know for sure what's right for you.. i admire SAHM.. because i could never do it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,697 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
...I don't understand though, when you went to see the place and talk to the people, it was great...and then once you actually dropped him off it turned into a hellhole?

...
The place didn't change any, I think it is one thing going to check out places before the kid is born and a whole different thing once you have a real live baby. Your perspective changes.


Thanks everyone for all the input. We'll make the decision together, though it will be more her decision than mine. If she wants to stay home that is fine, if she wants to go back to work that is fine too. I offered to stay home and she vetoed that. We have a couple months to think about it.

Cutting back will be harder for her than for me. I don't spend much on stuff other than cars [and the ones we have now are relatively new and low mileage so no new purchases on the horizon]. She spends a lot on clothes, restaurants, furniture, vacations.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,306 Posts
It is hard...I would have killed to stay home but that wasn't an option. Looking back now it all worked out just fine.

I do remember dropping off DS and the day care had a window next to the door and he was standing there with his face pressed against the window waving a pitiful little wave along with a sad face.

I was a blubbering idiot all the way to work.....

He graduates next month and I will be that same blubbering idiot....
 
1 - 20 of 71 Posts
Top