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Working Mothers - Page 5

post #81 of 222

au pairs not in it for the $

No, thats the beauty of it. They are in it for the cultural exchange, to develop relationships with Americans, to travel, to learn the language, to explore the world before choosing a career and many other wonderful reasons. I feel proud to share my AP style to others if for no other reason that to bust some of the myths about Americans that exist around the world. And our au pairs have not felt cheated or underpaid. In fact, they have said it has been one of the best years of their lives.

Other costs include room and board, but since we almost never eat out and I make all our meals, it is a nominal expense and we are fortunate to have a third bedroom in our home for the au pair.
post #82 of 222
Quote:
Originally posted by Betsy
Au pairs make $139.05 per 45-hour week.
Is that after taxes?

All the ads for Au Pairs here are for $245.oo per week.

I have thought of hiring one to live at my moms, she has an extra room. But i still can not afford even $150.00 per week.

Do you know if you can share them with another family?
post #83 of 222
Having an au pair is much cheaper than hiring a nanny, but I don't know that I'd want an au pair taking care of an infant. As Betsy noted, au pairs are largely here for the cultural exchange; for many, if not most, providing inexpensive childcare is simply a means of financing the former. At least in group daycare there is usually at least one other person supervising someone who may be inexperienced. There's also a potentially larger measure of accountability. Although I'd be loathe to do either, I'd probably be more likely to have put dd in decent (operative word!) group daycare when she was an infant than to have entrusted her to an au pair. Betsy must be fortunate in having found good au pairs (and in having provided them with a great experience, too)!
post #84 of 222

More on au pairs

Marlena, You are right, an au pair cannot take care of an infant under three months of age. And the programs we've used require 200 hours of documented infant care before they will place an au pair. For older children, there is no 200-hour requirement, but some childcare is necessary to even apply for the program. These girls are not experts, but our first au pair took care of our 3 yo and 3mo and she did a fabulous job. Of course we did a lot of work to prepare her, ourselves, our house and our routine. But we look at childcare not as a process of "hiring" someone, but more like building a permanent long-lasting relationship. Even though au pairs are here for one year, our relationships continue. And the children don't feel like they've been "left" with someone.

Starfire, We pay $139.05 per week stipend and because we are part of an exchange program. It is not considered a salary, only a stipend. So no taxes or social securiity. In the future we will use a flexible spending account when my employer gets the program running so we can pay for childcare with pretax $.

The ad you saw specifying the $245 per week is including all the additional costs such as housing, food, car and program costs. You can spend a lot more on an au pair, or you can spend less. If we had access to public transportation, we could save a lot because we do provide access to a car for our au pair and so we have additional car insurance/maintenance costs. We drive a very old Volvo to keep the costs down.

I admit au pairs are not the answer for everyone. We have seen families where it just didn't work out. But others (including a neighbor family who adopted two boys with special needs) have had great success and have wonderful stories to tell.
post #85 of 222
Hi everyone!
I am intersted in the au par exchange, (for dh will go back to work someday) So, where do I find out about it and how likely is it that someone would want to exchange to the middle of rural America?
Thanks
K: BabyE'sMomma
post #86 of 222

bump!

Just making sure this thread stays current. I expect to be a WOHM (if I can ever get pregnant!) and it's great to see all the advice and exchange of info instead of the "all problems could be solved if you would just quit your job" attitude I sometimes see from SAHMs on the boards. My mom worked not only outside the home, but on the road away from us for up to 3 weeks at a stretch, in my later childhood, and I think that was really GOOD for me in many ways!
post #87 of 222
For those of you who work and pump, do you have to pump on your days off, as well, or can you get enough milk for baby just by pumping at work?
post #88 of 222
I try to pump once on my days off just to keep a little reserve "bank."
But I don't really HAVE too.. it just makes me feel more secure.
post #89 of 222
Question for those of you who work full-time: Do you use cloth diapers? If so, how do you find the time for laundry?
post #90 of 222
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by mamajulie
For those of you who work and pump, do you have to pump on your days off, as well, or can you get enough milk for baby just by pumping at work?

I never pumped on my days off unless I needed to for a sitter or something. I probably should have though because I would pump just enough for the next day. I just found that on my days off it was a break for me not to pump and just enjoy nursing. So for me it was worse pumping away on my work days and I looked forward to the days I didn't have to.
post #91 of 222
Sorry to interrupt, but I asked rockergirrl and I thought I'd pose it to all of you:

Would you like this thread moved to Finding Your Tribe? That is where we usually put ongoing threads where members would like to stay in touch on a regular basis. This thread is going beautifully and I would like to see it stay as a source of support to all of you..rather than fall to page two of Parenting Issues on a "busy" day.

Go check out Finding Your Tribe and let me know what you think.

http://mothering.com/discussions/for...p?s=&forumid=7

peggy
post #92 of 222
Quote:
Originally posted by mamajulie
Question for those of you who work full-time: Do you use cloth diapers? If so, how do you find the time for laundry?
I cloth diaper! I average 30hr/wk, so it's not quite full-time. I have a really simple wash routine and we line dry, so it's no biggie.

You could easily buy enough diapers to wash every other day and just plan on washing diapers every other day after work. Hang dry all night and they'd be ready to go in the morning.

I have enough to go much longer (I might be diapering two for awhile) but I prefer to wash every other day so the diapers don't get too stinky (and don't have as long to stain either).

If you have any questions, I'd be glad to answer. I used to use sposies (until dd was 14mo) and don't find cd'ing any harder than buying sposies. I hate going to walmart and now I have one less reason to go there! I've saved SO much money and I've bought nice WAHM fitted diapers.

Michelle, Elana (23mo) and Jeremy ETA 04/25/03
post #93 of 222
Um, Peggy, you said perhaps we could get a Working Mother forum? Is that still a possibility?

BusyBusyMomma, I don't know how you do it! I do laundry after work every day--but it's towels, clothes, sheets, etc! I keep telling myself I wouldn't have the time for CD's. But the article in the current Mothering about cloth made me think about it again. Per diaper, how much $ would I have to spend?

And PS. I NEVER shop at Walmart anymore--not even for diapers!
post #94 of 222
We are not opening any new forums at this time. Cynthia usually suggests starting a thread in finding your tribe when a new forum is wanted to see how much interest is generated and if the thread stays active.

That's why I suggested putting it there.

It's fine here too..whatever you guys want.

peggy
post #95 of 222
Quote:
Originally posted by mamajulie
Um, Peggy, you said perhaps we could get a Working Mother forum? Is that still a possibility?

BusyBusyMomma, I don't know how you do it! I do laundry after work every day--but it's towels, clothes, sheets, etc! I keep telling myself I wouldn't have the time for CD's. But the article in the current Mothering about cloth made me think about it again. Per diaper, how much $ would I have to spend?

And PS. I NEVER shop at Walmart anymore--not even for diapers!
mamajulie- I'm really lucky. Dh does help me with laundry a bit, so it makes a difference. Thankfully I can save most laundry (except diapers) for the weekend.

The cost is completely up to you and how much you can/want to spend. I've purchased the pricier diapers and covers because I know my ds due in April will be using them all too.

The cheapest way to go is prefolds . You have to pin or snappi them. You can also use a velcro wrap cover and you don't have to pin or snappi. This works best before baby is mobile, once they're mobile the diaper is likely to shift around inside the wrap if you don't pin or snappi.

Another route is fitteds. There's a huge assortment to choose from. You can get them with outer prints or without. WAHM or company made. Hemp, cotton, fleece, velour and more! I prefer fitteds myself and most of my diapers are hemp/cotton. Fitteds are said to work better for those newborn bf poopies than prefolds do.

The most expensive route is AIO (all in ones). Unlike prefolds and fitteds, they do not require a cover or a wrap. I have a couple and they are nice for very quick changes. I use them for when dd is going to grammy's house.

Covers and wraps. There's a huge assortment here too. You can get covers that snap or wraps that close with velcro (which I personally despise). You can get them made from PUL, wool or fleece.

Whatever you decide to do, don't buy those Gerber diapers from the store. They won't absorb and they'll be a big disappointment!

If you're thinking of going for it, I would post at the Diapering board. Let us know what kind of diapers (prefolds, fitteds or AIO) and covers you're thinking of using and we'll all have lots of favorites and info to share!
post #96 of 222
I'm glad to see this thread and I think it certainly belongs in Parenting Issues, fwiw... I also would love to see a Working Mothers forum, but I wouldn't hold our breaths! IMO Mothering has for a long time needed to address the issue of working moms... just as the AP community at large thinks that the women's movement ignored or bashed SAHMs, so the AP community now ignores or bashes WOHMs. How silly and ironic.

I've been all of it... SAHM for the first six months, WOHM for the next three, then WAHM for the next four, then part-time WOHM for the next three, which brings us to... now! My part-time job is about to end and I'll be a WAHM once again, and looking forward to it.

I have to admit I have so many mixed feelings on this subject... I've always been a rabid defender of working moms, but my own careerist feminism took a real blow when I had a child. I saw that she thrived, blossomed, bloomed with happiness when we were together, when I wasn't working outside the home. Thanks to rent control I was able to indulge that feeling and quit my job to be with her. I'll never regret that. I love that she hasn't had to cry for me, see me always leaving (that stuff hurt when I was WOH), that I haven't had to deal with the daycare stuff or the nanny stuff. I figure I can always get career back but I can't always get her babyhood back.

That said, I realize not everyone wants to or has the choice to stay home or work from home, or even work part-time, and I hate all the bashing of working mamas! Especially since AP offers SUCH great tools for working moms!!

Anyway, selfishly, I'm so much more tired when I'm working! There's so much less time for ME... none, in fact. I was either working or mommying, 100% of the time. Working from home is great because when she's with her dad, I can work but then go out and have lunch by myself, shop, see friends, whatever--I really miss that when I'm WOH.
post #97 of 222
I never said this forum wasn't the appropriate place for this thread. I suggested the Finding Your Tribe forum because that is where most ongoing threads are. Many members who have asked for a specific forum have started threads in FYT to see if they could generate interest . We have an older mom "tribe", a younger mom "tribe" a parents of special needs "tribe" and several others. This thread being about working mothers had nothing to do with me (or mothering) not giving "space" for working families. As a matter of fact, my goal was to be sure this thread stayed active and not lost in a busy forum like Parenting Issues.

You all seem to want it to stay here so here it shall stay...

peggy
post #98 of 222
Jumping in late, but just wanted to put my hand up as another working (single) mom.

Summary of my situation.

My son has been in daycare since he was 10 weeks old. The daycare is sponsered by my work and is great. Very supportive of AP ideas like breastfeeding and cloth diapering.
I pump at work for 8 months (pump bought by my department). Exclusively breastfeed for 4, but had to supplement with formula for about 2 month. My son was a big eater and pumping was not as productive as I would have hoped. I still however feel very good about it. The only problem I had with daycare was when my son move to the 2's. He started hitting his best friend. We tried everything, but nothing was helping him so I move him to another room. The hitting stopped immediately and he still plays with his best friend. I think there was one teacher that was ot very good and he didn't like (she is no longer at the daycare).


I have already started researching elementary schools with good afterschool programs and found one I think he would do well in.

Why do I work? I also felt the need to by finacially independent, so a good job is important to me.
post #99 of 222
It is great to find a supportive environment for AP WOHM's. I went back to work when DD was just 9 weeks old. Fortunately, we are able to pay my sister to be DD's nanny. Yes, it is quite expensive, but as someone earlier said, as long as it is less than my salary we can afford it. There really isn't much left afterwards, but this works for us. Given the demands of our work schedules, we also need to have in-home child care. I am often out of the house well before 7 am and don't return until 9 pm at least one day per week.
There is a balance to be struck as a WOHM. I have been able to work a full week in 4 days, due to the long hours on those days, and I get 3 days per week at home with DD. She gets up quite early (5 am), so I am able to spend a little time with her before I leave in the mornings, and when I can I rush home to nurse her before bed. Hmmmmmm . . .this leaves very little time for me, as I am either a working person or a mommy, but that's okay for now. I didn't expect this would be easy!

Though I miss DD terribly when I am away ( I call at least 4 times each day to check in!), I do not regret my choice to have a career as well. It's important to me to show DD that she can find a balance between motherhood and a career someday, if she so chooses.

We consider ourselves fairly AP - CD, EBF, GD, no CIO, and we share our bed in the mornings. I plan to nurse DD until she weans herself, which I hope is quite a ways from now. I cannot imagine *not* nursing her, although I will not be sorry to pack away the pump for a bit! I pump every 3 hours while at work, and we have been able to give her only my milk so far. We also use cloth diapers, which are really no more difficult than disposables. In fact, I find them to be much easier. We wash them every night after DD goes to bed, then hang them to dry once we have finished dinner . . . and they are dry by morning when we then stuff them (fuzzi bunz)and put them in her drawer for the day.

Whew! Thanks for hanging in through this long reply!

Andrea
mommy to Greta 3/14/02
post #100 of 222
Thread Starter 
I am leaving the move of this thread up to all of you. I told Peggy that I don't mind if it moves - I just want it to be in the right place where people can access it. If Finding your own tribe makes more sense than let's move.
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