In our house DH is the one working and in school, I do various crap to make up the difference. DH works full time, 40hrs, and he's in school full time, in his last bit of a mechanical engineering degree, and it's the hardest part. He's taking 4 classes, for a total of 16 credit hours, but 3 of the 4 also have seperate lab time as well, which isn't part of the credits he gets, so he's in class close to 20 hours a week, not to mention homework time.
Because of this, I simply cannot work much. We have a 2 year old and a 5 month old, that would cost us minimum of $300 in daycare a week. Which means I would need a job that would bring in minimum of $500 a week, after taxes. There are few of those around here that I am qualified for.
SO, I do a couple of different things. First, I work at CVS part time. VERY part time. I actually only bring in the very bare minimum that we need...two weeks ago I only worked one 5 hour shift. But, because it's so part time, it's not super difficult to work my schedule around DH's. I have basically given my boss the exact times that DH is not in school or working and said that's the only time I can work. And it's not been hard to work around that. The only exception is our stock days...DH has to work that day and I also have to work that day to make it worth it to the store to keep me around. So, for that day each week, we have my MIL and FIL come out. They live about an hour away and love to hang out with their grandkids, so having a weekly time for them to babysit keeps them from trying to come out at inopportune times (which there are a lot of with our schedule.) We do not pay them, they would probably be out anyway if I wasn't working at all.
I also own a photography business, though it's slow to get moving. When I have to shoot a wedding or portrait session, I cobble something together. I have 3 siblings, 2 of them living right close by, in addition to the ILs and my parents. So, between all of them, I can almost always find someone to watch the kids for that, especially since the portrait sessions are usually just an hour or two. Again, I don't pay, I am usually just swapping care anyway, I watch their kids for free when they need.
I also do some craft fair/baby and kids shows to sell some baby crafts and ring slings. For those, I usually have at least one of the two young ones with me. I also have a teenager and she is usually ok to watch the other one. She gets very overwhelmed with both the little ones, but she's fully capable of handling one with no problems.
So, for the most part, it's either something cobbled together for a once in a while thing, or just worked around DH's schedule.
What I like about the arrangements-
free. We really can't afford to pay for care. We just can't.
The kids are always with family, who are all trustworthy. All told, there are 9 individual family members, between siblings and their spouses, who we can and have called on. Ultimately, if I have gone thorugh 9 people and none of them is available, I probably need to just call in.
Often, care is right in my house.
Some of the cons-
Because I am not paying, some of the more difficult times are harder to get someone to cover. If I have a wedding that starts really early or ends really late, we have to sometimes scramble to rearrange DH's schedule (thankfully his work is totally flexible) to cover the reallly early or late shift.
There is basically NO other time for us to get a babysitter. Grocery shopping is sometimes done at midnight because it's so hard to have an incredibly active 2 yr old and a baby in the store, alone, but DH isn't home to watch them and I can't ask someone to babysit again, when they just stayed with them till 11pm the night before, you know?
Sometimes they can't watch the girls at the house, and I end up with a "commute." Last week I had an eye appointment (have been without my glasses for over a year because of insurance challenges, so I couldn't wait any longer.) The eye dr is right by my house, but I couldn't find ANYONE who could watch the girls at my house. So, I drove a half hour to my sister's cake shop, dropped the girls off there, drove a half hour back for the half hour appointment, then drove half an hour back down to pick them up and half an hour back home. If I hadn't REALLY needed the glasses I would have changed it to a time when MIL could have come out.