E.G. asks from West Springfield, MA on July 14, 2010
SAHM And Struggling or FT Daycare and Withdrawal?
I am torn and sure I am not the first mother to feel the same way about making this decision but I need some sound advice.
My daughter is 5 weeks old (shes our first). Before I had her, I was OK with putting her in daycare while I go back to work, put a deposit on a spot for the Center across the street from our home. But .. Now that she is here and I cannot bear to do the same! The thought of leaving her with a bunch of strangers for 8-9 hours a day makes me cry. I want to stay at home with her for the first year or two but doing so would mean 1 income - downsizing our home and our lifestyle and to me, she's worth it!
My parents (who live 2 hours away) offered for us to come stay with them in their home for as long as I would like to stay home with her. We would be surrounded with family and more help (I have no help where we live, my husbands family is almost non existent). However, the jobs are scarce where they live and we wouldn't want to move their without a local job to support us.
There are so many factors to weigh and we have to make a decision before my maternity leave is over. What should we do?
Move back with parents for a year or two (relationship isn't bad- its more of a pride thing) save $ & stay at home with her?
Try to find a small apartment, reduce our expenses so I can stay home with her?
OR just suck it up - go back to work FT and put her in daycare where these strange women will witness alot of her "firsts"?
I need a biased opinion ..... HELP!
L.S. answers from Hartford on July 15, 2010
Stay in a small apartment and downsize. It's worth every single thing you would give up. We are 5 people... 3 little girls and my husband and I. We moved into a 2 bedroom apt so i can stay home with my girls. We gave up a 4 bedroom house in a great neighborhood. The only thing really miss is having a yard.
1 mom found this helpful
A.E. answers from Hartford on July 15, 2010
This country stinks for mothers! Most developed countries allow for a year of maternitity leave but the united states is like in the bottom five in the entire WORLD for family leave benefits. The only way that is going to change is if women like us make some noise to the politicians!
That being said, I was able to work part time until my DD was 9 months. This worked out well. Any way you can do that?
B.C. answers from Los Angeles on July 14, 2010
I'm sorry for your having to make such a decision.
I worked long hours so my wife could be a SAHM. We lived in smaller homes and had older cars, shopped only the sales and ate hamburger and chicken leg quarters instead of steak and bonelesskinless chicken breasts. We downsized our lifestyle as we upsized our family.
There are lots of posts on mamapedia on how to save money. Look them up for good ideas.
Years from now you won't remember the adult toys you didn't get, but you will remember the first time your child hugged you, walked for the first time, rolled over, and smiled at you. You'll enjoy the warm fuzzy feeling of them falling asleep in your arms as you rock them. Or the special feeling a woman gets while nursing her baby.
I remember the shiny sparkle of joy in my wife's eyes as she told me about those special moments. I determined I would do all I could so she could have those special moments. I worked like a dog, and stayed with a job I grew to hate, so my wife stayed home with our kids.
You didn't say how much money you need to save to make it work or any of the financial details. I know you don't have much of a growing season in New Hampshire. But you can have a garden and you can do other things.
Stay at home if you can. You'll never be able to relive those moments.
Good luck to you and yours.
11 moms found this helpful
J.C. answers from Sacramento on July 14, 2010
Twelve yrs ago at the birth our 1st child, my husband and I decided it was best for me to go bk to work after 12 wks of maternity leave. It was hard but I found a terrific caregiver, I put our baby, then later growing into toddler, in an in-home child care setting. I thoroughly checked out and chose a terrific, ex-business woman ,changed to stay at home Mom of 1, as our caregiver after visiting 6-7 homes and meeting many care givers. My husband and I were very career driven at the time, but looking back on our decision it was not the right one. I missed so many milestones with my baby and later little girl. ,Over the last 6-7 yrs, after me changing jobs working in a less stressful field, PT only now, I deeply regret our decision. I saw my baby daugher later toddler, become very attached to her FT caregiver and it ripped out my heart, although I knew she was well cared for and loved by her care-giver now I know so regretfully it was not the right decision for us. I missed out on everything just so we could have a nice home, 2 cars and material things that now mean so little. Our daughter began PT preschool at 3 when I chose to change my job to work PT (which was much better for all of us) but those 1st 3 very critical yrs in her life with my child age gone. We are very blessed that our daughter has been a wonderful child and now awesome young teenager, but if you can live a lesser lifestyle for the sake of your baby or child definitely do so. You will never regret it. Good luck to you mom. hope this helps.
9 moms found this helpful
B.C. answers from Dallas on July 14, 2010
If you can find a way to stay at home with her, then that's what I would do. Living with family can get into a sticky situation though. If your spouse can find a job in your family's town, and you guys got a small appt, then that seems to make the most sense to me. That way, you'll have the extra support, but not driving each other nuts. Congrats on the little one! They are so precious!
6 moms found this helpful
H.H. answers from Los Angeles on July 14, 2010
Don't agonize. You're heart is not misleading you. You are the mom, you carried this child in your body, gave birth to it, its very food comes from your body. God made it this way, its natural that you take care of this child. Its unnatural to give over the most precious moments of the day for someone else to enjoy. I'm fortunate to stay home and live comfortably. But I'll tell you, when I was pregnant, my husband wanted me to go back to work because he fell in love with a big house he wanted to buy. I told him, " I'd rather live in a two bedroom apartment, drive our cars until they fall apart, and never own another pair of designer jeans than to give my baby over to someone else to raise." We have not regretted our choice. And since you don't fall in love with your child until after they are born, my husband sees how right I was and tells me everyday how glad he is that its me who stays home with our daughter.
5 moms found this helpful
A.S. answers from Boca Raton on July 14, 2010
I regret EVERY moment that I worked when my children were that age (and they are 16 & 13 now).
She needs you. You only get one chance with your children.
Set your priorities - pray hard for guidance from God on the priorities - and make your decisions accordingly. If you are going in the direction that your heart calls you, you might have lean times but you won't have regret.
Good luck and lots of hugs.
5 moms found this helpful
I.G. answers from Seattle on July 14, 2010
Move back in with your parents and watch you baby growing up! She is only this little once - you can always get another job, another house...
I had to work FT after my DD was born. I wish I didn't have to.
While she is growing up just fine and now really likes her daycare, I will never get that time with her back. Thinking about it makes me sad, even now!
4 moms found this helpful
J.C. answers from Providence on July 15, 2010
OMG everyone goes through this. It sounds like you need a job to support your family. As long as you choose a nice center she will do GREAT. You will cry the entire first day, most of the second, some of the third, ..... She will be happy as a clam as long as her needs are met. You will see though your baby developing friendships and watching her caregivers love her. You'll get to know and appreicate them as well. They won't be strangers for long. It takes a village to raise a child, you can't do it alone.... The more people who love your child the better. When she's a little older you'll see her run in happy to learn and play there. She will be social, well adjusted, independent, and surprise you ever day with new things that she learned. Good luck!!!
4 moms found this helpful
J.R. answers from Miami on July 14, 2010
Dear E., I can soooo relate to what you are going through. I was in the exact same situation. Before I had my LO 21 months ago, I had planned to go back to my two jobs within 6 weeks. He was born, and I could not do it. I decided that he is only little once, and I can put my career on hold. My superiors were upset with me at the last minute let down -- and rightly so. I knew they would be and took that into account. I said he is worth it.
21 months later -- My Lo is so happy and joyful. I am so delighted with my decision, even though it was hard and even though it has set my career back.
Nonetheless, being a mother changes everything. Things that used to be important, no longer are.
However, I am going back to work part time teaching in the Fall. Both bosses accepted me back.
I am proud of myself and my choices.
While my financial situation is different than yours, it sounds like you have the loving support of your family, which I would pay a million bucks in a minute.
I hope my story helps you.
4 moms found this helpful