Anyway. STBX recently lost his job and is not eligible for unemployment (it was a performance issue). I now have to cover all living expenses for myself and my 2-year old son on my part-time (3 days/week) salary. And it isn't enough.
The glaring expense that I can no longer afford is my son's daycare. It's an exorbitant amount (as much as my mortgage!), and I could easily cut it in half by switching him to a home-based daycare. I've found a nice one that's very close to our home - also a plus since his current center is half an hour away (both ways through traffic).
So financially and logistically it makes sense. The thing is, I hate to disrupt DS further. He's already gone through our separation and seen his dad go through a pretty significant decline. His current daycare is wonderful and he is tightly bonded to all his teachers. He has many friends there. It breaks my heart to think of him suddenly not going and not really understanding why.
If I went back to work full-time, I could cover all our bills and I wouldn't have to move him. But I hate to do that, too. We're very close and have wonderful days together that I know he looks forward to (he yells "MAMA DAY!" when he realizes we're not getting into the car in the morning). We'd both miss eachother a lot.
My other option is to just suck it up and go into debt while STBX looks for a job. I hope he'll find something quickly, but I'm not confident. He's really gone into an emotional free-fall in the past year and I'm not sure he's capable of pulling himself together enough to find a career poosition. And he is too arrogrant to look for part-time, temporary work - though eventually he'll have to in order to pay his rent. But that won't pay DS' daycare bills.
If you've made it this far - thank you! And please tell me, WWYD in my situation?
Personally, I would try to avoid going into debt hoping that my XH would turn his life around quickly enough that I wouldn't go under...
Having eliminated that option (for myself), I would then be left with two other options, both of which involve significant changes for my child (going into the same daycare fulltime and losing "mama days" OR switching daycare but keeping "mama days").
Of the two, I personally would change the daycare IF that is enough of a cost reduction to make everything work. My thinking would be disruption is inevitable--and the decision (change work schedule for more time working, or change daycare for the same amount of "time in daycare") boils down, for me, to deciding who/what would be the most steady thing, my child's "rock" during a tough time--me or daycare?
I'd rather be my child's "rock" myself than daycare. Enough parental disruption with the divorce. Keep ME as present and "with" my kid as circumstances allow.
Does that make any sense?
Furthermore...if you cut out the 30 minute drive each way you will a)save exponentially on gas money and b)have even that much more time with DS. A win-win situation, if you ask me...providing you feel comfortable with the new provider.
It would be tight, though. If I end up having a lot of unexpected expenses, I couldn't manage them. This does worry me as I had to switch from my STBX's excellent health insurance to my company's high-deductible plan. We also live in a condo, which means that every once in awhile we get unexpected special assessments (extra fees) to pay for something like a building repair or exceptionally high heating costs. Any of those things would kill my budget.
Going back to work full-time would provide a lot more financial breathing room. There's not that much difference between paying daycare for 3 days/week vs. 5 at my son's current center, but there would be a huge difference in my paycheck. I could handle the expensive daycare and put something away for a rainy day.
But I am so lucky to have a 3-day workweek ... it was approved by my old boss, and my new one has to put up with it but is itching to have me work fulltime. I could never get that schedule back if I made a change and then realized I didn't have to make it after all (i.e, STBX manages to land a job or I don't end up having any of the extra expenses I fear). And the time with my son is so precious.
Sigh. I just hate being in this position.
I worked M, Tu., Th., F. from the time I went back to work after DD was born until I went freelance. It was a really nice schedule.
Might be a good compromise. Especially if you switch daycare and "count" the extra time morning and evening with your son.
I'm sorry you are faced whit such a difficult decision. Good luck whatever you choose.
The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it. We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.
Originally Posted by Ione
Could you switch to a 4-day work week... upping your income, and still having one "mama day" a week?
Originally Posted by zeldabee
I'd go with the home daycare and work full time.
There is a lot to think about and I am driving myself crazy worrying about all the potential outcomes. Can you tell I am a champion worrier?
If you can get a reasonable loan -- preferably from family -- for a year, I would do it. Give the kid some time. Even 6 months might do it, though I find 3.5 is really the big "move to independence" mark for a lot of kids.
Just me, though. It's a closed-end thing so it's not like an expense that'll run forever; you have some idea of what kind of debt you'd run up.
The new daycare slot isn't available until September, so there's a little time for STBX to get his act together and avoid the whole thing. I'm not counting on it, but one can always hope! And I'm also looking into a couple of WAH opportunities that might make things a little easier too.