If you could only SAH for 3 years of your kid's life.... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 77 Old 10-27-2010, 10:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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which 3 would it be?

I know this sounds like one of those 'would you ever...' questions, but this looks like my reality.

I know it seems like it should be a no brainer-- the first 3. But I remember wishing my mom was home during our elementary school time. It was just so hectic, and it seemed like those kids with volunteer mom's got a little leg up.

But i've heard some people say that the years to focus on your kids is highschool/middle school...

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#2 of 77 Old 10-28-2010, 12:30 PM
 
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The first three.

I wished my mom was home when I was in school too. But...to me, the first three years are so tremendously formative that I would want to be there, not to mention breastfeeding and co-sleeping and just the ability to go with the baby's flow rather than be bound to a work schedule.
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#3 of 77 Old 10-28-2010, 02:26 PM
 
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Why only 3?

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#4 of 77 Old 10-28-2010, 02:36 PM
 
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Definitely the first three. Besides, there's no way to predict the future. If it seems like only 3 years is possible now, you may find that circumstances change at some point in the future allowing more years later. It would be a shame to miss those precious first years and then find out that you could have stayed home for those plus many more. Also, you might end up missing the first 3 years anticipating staying home later in elementary school, only to find that it's no longer possible to stay home at all and you missed your only chance.
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#5 of 77 Old 10-28-2010, 03:15 PM
 
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The first three. Makes bf easier, and during the separation anxiety stage, and until they're pretty verbal.
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#6 of 77 Old 10-28-2010, 03:42 PM
 
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Another vote for the first 3. Good luck!
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#7 of 77 Old 10-28-2010, 03:44 PM
 
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I agree with the first three. Those are the years that you establish the bound that will get them through the rest of their childhood.

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#8 of 77 Old 10-28-2010, 03:46 PM
 
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I have a 14 year old, a 2 year old and a 6 week old. And I can say that I would choose ages 15, 16, and 17. I think way too many people discount how much teens need their parents. Not to mention that at 18(ish) they are out the door at college, it's the last chance you get to really get to know your kid as a person before they are moving on.
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#9 of 77 Old 10-28-2010, 03:56 PM
 
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The first 3. I believe they establish the foundation. In the future, even if you don't SAH, you can always try to work a schedule where you're able to be at home for them afterschool.

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#10 of 77 Old 10-28-2010, 04:44 PM
 
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The first three. It's so much easier to be stressed out, exhausted, grumpy, unshowered and covered with spit-up when you don't actually have to be anywhere in particular.
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#11 of 77 Old 10-28-2010, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
The first three. It's so much easier to be stressed out, exhausted, grumpy, unshowered and covered with spit-up when you don't actually have to be anywhere in particular.
lol!!!

I've already worked most of DS first year-- in fact, my dd is due almost a year exactly to the date that I went back back to work with DS, so it really will be a year of working, if I SAH after dd is born.

I just was remembering how hectic elementary was when I was growing up, and really, I have no memory of the first 4-5 years.

But as PP said, you never know what might happen in the future. Also our calculations were done with the childcare savings in mind; and I do feel like kids get more expensive as they hit school age.

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#12 of 77 Old 10-28-2010, 06:18 PM
 
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first three, I have a mother I used to work with whose twins had regressive autism. She said that she is so grateful she had those first two years of happy dances and language before her kids regressed and wouldn't give those up for the world. (she still loves them, but life was simpler)

You never know what will happen, but what she said really stuck with me.

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#13 of 77 Old 10-28-2010, 08:08 PM
 
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Can you break it up or does it have to be three in a row?

I'd do the first year, then kindergarten, then age 12 or 13.

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#14 of 77 Old 10-28-2010, 08:35 PM
 
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Another vote for the first 3 here on the grounds that you are building foundations if not recallable memories. That said though, I have a job which will allow me to work primarily during school hours so that may colour my perception.

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#15 of 77 Old 10-28-2010, 08:43 PM
 
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Absolutely the first 3 years. I plan to, however, be home when my kids get out of school (it helps that they don't get off the bus until 4:15) as they get older. I think unless you homeschool, most preteens/teens are going to be gone for 7+ hours a day, and more when they have extracurricular activities after school or want to do things with friends. So, I guess it just seems tons easier to still 'be there for them' as they get older, even if you work full-time. Not so easy with a 3 yr old who goes to school 3 hours a day, though. I've been a SAHM for 10 years (4 kids), and ideally I think the first 5 years would be the most helpful.

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#16 of 77 Old 10-28-2010, 09:28 PM
 
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I would say the first three beacuse they are non verbal (for the most part)It is the only way you have any idea of what is going on. Also I do think it is very important to bond etc. That being said if I would prefer ages 6,7,8 because the child is more independent, rational and we could do a lot of fun things. Plus they would still think I am cool.
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#17 of 77 Old 10-28-2010, 09:52 PM
 
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Definitely, definitely the first three. It is all about attachment psychology. This is where you lay the foundation for who your child is and what your relationship is. Sure you can always mess it up later but it seems to me it is better to make the most of those first three years and do everything you can to make sure your kids have a healthy secure attachment that they can take with them for the rest of their lives.
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#18 of 77 Old 10-28-2010, 09:53 PM
 
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I think the first 3 are absolutely the most important.

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#19 of 77 Old 10-28-2010, 10:13 PM
 
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I think it depends on your kids, your relationship with them, and what will make you happiest and most fulfilled. That might mean the first 3 years, or it might not.
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#20 of 77 Old 10-28-2010, 10:22 PM
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I've worked through my babies' infancies full-time while my husband was part-time, and, in retrospect, it would have been MUCH easier on me had I been home during that night-waking time. I was just so very very sleep deprived and really unable to have quality time with my 2 in the evenings, either. It's much better now that they are both over 1 year. My 2 1/2 y.o. is a lot more verbal about missing me now, so I think it would really mean a lot to her now if I were home. I'm not, though, except for the summers. I think the best best thing would be to stay home for the first year and then work part-time.

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#21 of 77 Old 10-28-2010, 10:38 PM
 
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I vote first 3 also. If you get a high needs baby like my dd1 — whew! I just can't imagine her in daycare. She would have cried non-stop. It was hard enough when she went to preschool. She really, really needed me those first three years. She continues to need me, but she's at school most of the day and there are about 2-2.5 hrs extra she gets me vs if I had a 9-5 job and she was in afterschool. When she was a baby/toddler she had me the whole day long. You definitely get more bang for your buck staying home the first three years if you're not planning on homeschooling.

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#22 of 77 Old 10-28-2010, 10:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Harmony08 View Post
Definitely, definitely the first three. It is all about attachment psychology. This is where you lay the foundation for who your child is and what your relationship is. Sure you can always mess it up later but it seems to me it is better to make the most of those first three years and do everything you can to make sure your kids have a healthy secure attachment that they can take with them for the rest of their lives.
agreed

Although I get the best of both worlds (I stayed home with ds for 6 months and then he's been coming to work with me ever since at the best multiage emergent/reggio inspired preschool you could ever imagine...not that i'm biased).

me, dh and 2 boys = our family (oh and a cat...who is also a male...lol)
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#23 of 77 Old 10-28-2010, 10:47 PM
 
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the first three. I can't stomach the idea of having to trust someone to care for my child when my child can't tell me something bad might be happening there.

My mom was a single mom. It was much harder being in daycare than being in school when she couldn't help out ever. I was sad she couldn't do field trips but I was old enough to understand and I had other things to take up my time.
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#24 of 77 Old 10-29-2010, 12:54 PM
 
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definitely the first three for many reasons: daycare costs for one, bonding, i've stayed home with my ds and i see now that he is 4 that he could definitely handle being away from me,even the times he has been left with a sitter, he never cried etc. I worked at a daycare for many years and babies don't get all the attention they need, there are other babies and only so many teachers in each room. I also witnessed a lot of fighting and aggression starting very early, which i am lucky enough to say that my ds never got to experience, I am glad i didn't ever have to pick him up at 18 months old with bites marks on him, or him doing something aggressive toward another peer. I don't think he is socially inept for staying home at all, he goes to library time and plays with other boys afterwards, he plays with random kids at the park etc. Babies really don't need peer socialization. I do however remember being babysat, and put in daycare, and the in home daycare while i don't remember what happened, but my mom pulled me out of there quick because i was vomiting everyday, my mom thought one of the boys was picking on me, i really don't remember, i was probably 3, so she put me in a daycare center and it was better, but i was picked on there as well, but not quite as bad. Finally i was put in care of a neighbor and she was a great babysitter and then i started school. It was not fun at daycare, etc, but i know everyone has different experiences and not everyone can afford montessori or elite childcare, so that should also be kept in mind. While I did miss having my mom around in school age years, those earlier babysitter/daycare experiences had much more impact on me and were much more tramatic.

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#25 of 77 Old 10-29-2010, 01:10 PM
 
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I think, now that I have a school-aged child, that it is pretty ideal when you can find a way for one parent to have a nontraditional schedule. I'm so grateful I've found that - my 'full time' job can be partly from home, so I can be there for afterschool time very often.

It is really tough I think for families of dd1's friends wen both parents don't get home until after 5.

So I agree that I would say home full time in the first year, then part time or somewhat flex time - I wish every parent had that! I hope many jobs will move that way with technology as it is (I know it isn't possible in some careers).

But for the OP, if finances are an issue, wouldn't daycare costs for baby/toddlers *always* cost more than whatever school costs when they are older?

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#26 of 77 Old 10-29-2010, 02:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think, now that I have a school-aged child, that it is pretty ideal when you can find a way for one parent to have a nontraditional schedule. I'm so grateful I've found that - my 'full time' job can be partly from home, so I can be there for afterschool time very often.

It is really tough I think for families of dd1's friends wen both parents don't get home until after 5.

So I agree that I would say home full time in the first year, then part time or somewhat flex time - I wish every parent had that! I hope many jobs will move that way with technology as it is (I know it isn't possible in some careers).

But for the OP, if finances are an issue, wouldn't daycare costs for baby/toddlers *always* cost more than whatever school costs when they are older?
Well neither daycare or school costs would cost more than what I bring in, if that makes sense. but the school costs would be there regardless. I think that's one thing that seems skewed in my mind though-- childcare is a fixed expense which dh mostly 'handles', whereas the school costs would be something that I would handle, so they seem exaggerated in my mind.

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#27 of 77 Old 10-29-2010, 02:43 PM
 
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it so varies from child to child.
for my dd the first 3 years.

for her best friend - elementary school. where i would pick him up from school. so work parttime.

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#28 of 77 Old 10-30-2010, 08:06 PM
 
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If I HAD to pick just three and had no other option (I plan to homeschool), I would definitely choose the first three. Without question.

SAHM to my sweet girl born in fall 2009

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#29 of 77 Old 10-30-2010, 08:34 PM
 
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First 3, no doubts.

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#30 of 77 Old 10-30-2010, 09:45 PM
 
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How many of you "first three years" people have teens I wonder? I agree with happysmileylady about the teen years.
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