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Old 04-26-2014, 09:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am soon to become a stay at home parent.

We have a 4 yr old who goes to all day kindergarten (but is off school July and August).

And we also have 17 month old twins who will not start kindergarten for 2 yrs and 4 months.

 

When our DD was younger, she was cared for at home by either my wife or a good friend who cared for her when we were working.

My wife works full time as a nurse. It is 12 hour shifts (gone 13.5 with commutes). It is 2 nights on, two nights off, three nights on, two nights off, two nights on, three nights off. And right now she only works works nights as she would not see the children at all if she was on days as she would leave before they wake and come home after they are asleep.

 

At the moment we have a (different) friend who is a payed care giver for the boys. But she is not available to work every day after my wife does a night shift. So after the first shift she comes and watched the twins while my wife sleeps. But after the second shift my wife just stays up and naps with the boys during their 1.5 hour afternoon nap.

 

I parent the kids at night while my wife works which can be anywhere from brutal to just tiring. They still nurse during the night when wife is home and also just wake 2-4 times each, at different times usually. Fairly easy to get back to sleep, but just sleep is interuppted repeatedly.

I right now work 40-50 hours a week, Monday to Friday. There are good things about my work. But I do feel it drains me and takes away from my ability to be fully present and engaged with family.

When my wife works weekend nights I have all three kids all day while she sleeps.

 

My wife makes more money than I do. Although my income isn't horrible.

We could stretch it to live off of her income, but with little wiggle room and by definitely changing our lifestyle and forgoing renovations. We wouldn't be hungry, cold or deprived. But we wouldn't have any extras, would have to rethink DD activities, etc.

I have a lot of experience living with MUCH less income.

 

Anyway. We are 95% set on me quitting my job and staying home with our kids.

I am a little nervous about future job prospects.

And I am a lot nervous about being home with the kids and responsible for their well being and happiness and structure and such all day every day.

My wife would also change a job and work on a project that had her working Mon-Fri 8-4. So we would have all evenings and weekends as a family.

Our care giver is not available to sit for us Mon-Fri.

If we put them in daycare it would cost all of my income except about 300 per month.

If we got a nanny it may be a bit/tad cheaper.

We do not really trust anyone to take care of such young children if we do not know them well.

 

We do feel that it is best for our children and us as a family to have a more direct connection with us.

I am already very bonded with the children and them to me. So I think we will be good and just grow a stronger bond.

 

I am not really asking anything.

I guess just reassurance that it can be awesome and that if we are going to forgo or spend a ton of money it is worth it to be with your children.


Me 40 eat.gif. Partner to mamacolleen 33 superhero.gif. DD born July 2009 blahblah.gif. Twin boys born Nov 2012.

We are a family that loves cold.giftreehugger.giffamilybed1.giffemalesling.GIFcd.gif

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Old 04-26-2014, 09:49 PM
 
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I think it's worth it, but it's hard to say sometimes.  My kids are 10 and almost 15, and it's weird to think those days where they needed so much from me are gone, and my older daughter won't be at home much longer.  So I feel like it goes so fast and you should take the time you can take now.  But I don't know how it will affect your future prospects.  My husband got laid off last month, and he's home at the moment, but trying to learn something else to help his resume.

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Old 04-27-2014, 07:52 PM
 
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Being a SAHP is bittersweet. On the one hand you are there, present, doing the best for your family. On the other, it can be lonely and isn't well valued in our society. So what next then?

Dude, breathe. I'll save you worry. There are times you will not be awesome. Kids will cry. You will have made a horrible decision and have to suffer the consequences. And you will be cranky. You may even say things that are just not nice. The secret: apologize properly and give kisses. You are still a good parent...
The laundry will pile up, the dishes might not get done on time, dinner might be late...you are still a good spouse and provider. (Dirt helps build antibodies ^_^)

When not overused, a juice box buys you 15-20 minutes.

Structure is not as important as stability and consistency.

Keep a full set of clothes in the car for each kid at all times.

Story hour at the library is your friend.

Try to keep your finger in the pie of your career. I'm not sure what you do but there should be a way to keep your finger on the pulse.

You can so rock this!

So all that sounded doom and gloom but that's business. You are going to see the awesomeness. You will see the first-time learning stuff, smiles, and giggles. I have stories from the trenches worthy of Wilfred Owen...I am so glad I am with them every day. The bond our family has is strong because of it.

And before you run screaming into traffic, post and we will support.

hola.gif My life in emoticon...oh, I've said too much blahblah.gif

lactivist.gifselectivevax.giftoddler.giffamilybed2.giftrekkie.giftreehugger.gifwash.gif

 

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Old 04-27-2014, 07:53 PM
 
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Being a SAHP is bittersweet. On the one hand you are there, present, doing the best for your family. On the other, it can be lonely and isn't well valued in our society. So what next then?

Dude, breathe. I'll save you worry. There are times you will not be awesome. Kids will cry. You will have made a horrible decision and have to suffer the consequences. And you will be cranky. You may even say things that are just not nice. The secret: apologize properly and give kisses. You are still a good parent...
The laundry will pile up, the dishes might not get done on time, dinner might be late...you are still a good spouse and provider. (Dirt helps build antibodies ^_^)

When not overused, a juice box buys you 15-20 minutes.

Structure is not as important as stability and consistency.

Keep a full set of clothes in the car for each kid at all times.

Story hour at the library is your friend.

Try to keep your finger in the pie of your career. I'm not sure what you do but there should be a way to keep your finger on the pulse.

You can so rock this!

So all that sounded doom and gloom but that's business. You are going to see the awesomeness. You will see the first-time learning stuff, smiles, and giggles. I have stories from the trenches worthy of Wilfred Owen...I am so glad I am with them every day. The bond our family has is strong because of it.

And before you run screaming into traffic, post and we will support.

hola.gif My life in emoticon...oh, I've said too much blahblah.gif

lactivist.gifselectivevax.giftoddler.giffamilybed2.giftrekkie.giftreehugger.gifwash.gif

 

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Old 04-28-2014, 04:28 PM
 
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Wow, you guys have a very hectic work schedule! I sympathize with you. I gave up my career to take care of my dds. Then we moved to a very rural area with little job opportunities. Some people have found ways to work from home and make it work.

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Old 05-13-2014, 08:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for your comments and insight.

We are going to do it! My wife is going to switch to a 8-4 position and I am going to quit my job. I may ask to take a leave, with no guarantee that a job will be available when I want it. But I am ready for something new anyways.

My degree is in Environmental Management and Politics (with a focus on food security out of interest) but can be in many streams.

I work right now for a non-profit food security organization managing an alternative food distribution program that serves mainly schools and low income communities/food deserts.

I love the focus of our work and what we accomplish...but I am so done with the day to day aspects of my job. It takes a lot out of me and therefore away from my family. Even when I am home I am either not present or just so worn out I don't have patience with my 4 yr old and twin toddlers.

 

I am a little worried about the day to day of staying at home. Three kids is a lot of work! And my kids are not the type to go off and play by themselves for more than 30 seconds. They require constant engagement at this age. But them being raised by a parent, and the bond it will encourage/strengthen in us will be lifelong.  Not to mention it will give the ability for my wife to be on days and actually sleep at night instead of switching back and forth between days and nights. This is exhausting for her and not sustainable.

 

We do live in a large urban center. And there are actually a lot of stay at home parents in our middle class neighbourhood. Even several Dad's! There are a lot of "organized" kids activities that are free, from library, story time, rec center drop in and "kinder gym's". Plus we live close to several amazing parks both large and small. We also have a small but safe backyard. We also live in a city with a long cold winter, so those organized activities come in handy.

 

It will be good. I am quitting my job to coincide with my DD school year ending. That will give us a month before my wife starts her new position. So half the days will be all of us home and half the days are me alone. So that will help to "acclimatize" me to the job.

After the full switch it will be me home alone all day and the whole family together each evening and weekend. My wife's position isn't the type that she will need to bring work home.

 

I think that it will be important to do some upgrading or something to help get me the career I want after the kids are all in school. We may send the boys to 1/2 day preschool 3 days a week when they are older for me to start a post grad certificate or something. But we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

 

I will probably be on here more often ranting and whining when the time comes :)


Me 40 eat.gif. Partner to mamacolleen 33 superhero.gif. DD born July 2009 blahblah.gif. Twin boys born Nov 2012.

We are a family that loves cold.giftreehugger.giffamilybed1.giffemalesling.GIFcd.gif

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Old 05-13-2014, 08:59 PM
 
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So here are my recommendations - scout what is free when.  Many museums, zoos, etc have a "free day" where you can visit without paying.  It can be crowded during the summer, but is often fantastic during the school year.  Scout out some indoor play options, some malls have indoor play areas, some parks, etc.  It is important to know where these things are when you end up with 3-4 days of weather when you can not play outside.  Also, pay now and become family members to either a children's museum or other attraction.  We alternate between the museum and the zoo.  The museum is great because it is indoors, so is accessible all year long, no matter what the weather, but ours does not allow outside food, so we either have to pay to eat, or go out and have a picnic in the car.  The zoo allows outside food, and will even fill our  zoo cups with ice water for free (the cups are now 4 years old).

 

I spent some time and created a database of free places to go, it included parking, admission, when the free days were, if they had specials.  When I meet new SAHPs, I share it with the provision that if they find something to add to it, they email me.  It has been a lifesaver in keeping us busy and not so bored, but not spending a fortune.  I was amazed at some of the free things there were to do in my city, and I have started looking forward to our explorations.


Wife to M , Mommy to DS aka Captain Obvious  (06/06) and DD aka Lissalot  (03/09, anoxic brain injury)
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Old 05-14-2014, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks anj_rn. Great advice.

We already have a family pass for the zoo. And we spent a lot of time there this winter. There are indoor pavilions and we spent hours hanging out in the warm African Pavilion watching the gorillas play.

We are asking the grandparents for a pass to the aquarium for our DD's birthday gift or family xmas gift.

Our museum family pass is coming to an end. We will not renew it at this time, as I find it difficult with the twins there right now. They are a little too young to enjoy it, and run in opposite directions right now.

I, at this point, do not know of any free events during the day in our city. But the libraries give out a set number of family passes to places each Saturday. So I plan on hooking up with some of these. And we live close to a couple of rec centers that have free indoor play areas during the week.

But researching and putting all of this into a spread sheet is a fantastic idea!

 

I'm starting to get really excited about it all.

 

I'm considering taking one or two kids in for after school care to make some extra money. Our DD will be in senior kindergarten next year and there are a few families in the area that I know of that are looking for after school care. It may actually even make looking after DD easier, as she will have someone to play with and take less of my energy while trying to make dinner. Right now she just gets bored and antagonizes her brothers. 


Me 40 eat.gif. Partner to mamacolleen 33 superhero.gif. DD born July 2009 blahblah.gif. Twin boys born Nov 2012.

We are a family that loves cold.giftreehugger.giffamilybed1.giffemalesling.GIFcd.gif

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Old 05-14-2014, 08:02 PM
 
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I did that for when my son was in kinder, it worked out very well.  They came home, had a snack, and played for a while.  Some days we would all go down to the neighborhood park, it actually worked out very well for Kinder, not so much when homework started regularly, since the other child proved to be a distraction during homework time.


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Old 05-15-2014, 12:48 AM
 
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Sounds like you are on the road to an exciting new venture!!! I've stayed at home and done various side jobs for the past almost six years! I've done a lot of home daycare and have found that various situations have worked at different times for us. This is the first year I haven't had a child at home full time, haven't done any side work or regular work. It's been a crazy and cool experience. I send the kids off to school, spend time in the school or on field trips. I've been able to take care of myself and also really focus on enjoying this pregnancy (although I've been really sick throughout it). It's coming to an end quickly and I'm excited to have someone around full time again.

Look into other free programs through the library, schools and other community centers. Some of our favorite play groups over the years have been at the health unit or local churches (even though we aren't affiliated). Our local schools run play programs as does a local child development department and I know our library has various story times for different age group. Our local pool has a toddler time once a month with different themes and our local gymnastics center has drop in times where the kids can have free time to play. The last two aren't free but they are enjoyable when we used them smile.gif

I know my DH would be an amazing SAHP. But he'd never be at home and would probably end up costing us too much money on fun stuff! Lol he loves to be go go go with the kids and just really enjoys them. Unfortunately I don't currently have the same earning potential that he does. But I know he would be absolutely amazing at it!

There aren't many (any?) SAHD's in our current community but that's mainly based on the job economy here, but there are a lot of strange schedules and as such a lot of very active dad's in the parenting community when they are off. And our previous community had a lot of great SAHD's. All very active in the schools and extra curriculars! I think you will have a blast!

And your timing over summer to find your groove before hitting the school time is perfect!

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Old 05-17-2014, 06:51 AM
 
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I'm not sure what your job is, but there are some fields where you can do part time work from home. You might want to look into that- maybe a few hours a day or on the weekends. I've seen a lot of parents say that having a job beyond parenting really helped them emotionally, even if it was just a small part time job, the extra money wouldn't hurt and it'd make it easier to get back into work once you're ready. Just a suggestion in case it's possible, it sounds like you're getting it figured out well. :)


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