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We just found out that we're expecting our second, and DH and I are both transitioning from working and studying to just working. We thought graduating would give us some security, but now that we have to pay daycare for two, we have no idea what we're going to do.<br><br>
The 'going rate' for daycare in our area seems to be $200/week per kid. Our daycare expenses for our 17 month old (will be 2 years when the baby comes) and the new baby would be $1600 per month. That's twice our rent, and almost twice our student loan payment, making daycare our single biggest bill.<br><br>
I love my work, but I'm a public interest-focused attorney, and I only will be making somewhere in the $35-45K range. DH is a lab scientist and doesn't make much more than that. Which means that, basically, one of our salaries goes almost entirely to pay daycare and income tax. I love my job, but I don't know that I love it enough to actually lose money on it at the end of the day.<br><br>
There must be creative ways to work out this sort of conflict, but I cannot seem to see them myself right now. I can't believe that I'm not even 5 weeks pregnant and I'm already feeling that sinking conflicted feeling about work and family life. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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I'm not sure what to tell you, but this is the main reason that we do not have 2 kids.<br><br>
I do know that if you have both kids at the same place, you usually get a reduced tuition on the cheaper rate. So your older child's tuition should be cut by like 5-10%.<br><br>
When I had a pregnancy scare last year, I looked up daycare for and infant and a preschooler, and it came out to be the same... $1600 per month approximately. That's more than our mortgage. So I totally understand your unhappiness.<br><br>
I think I would look at it this way: if you can swing it, it will be worth it in the long run. You both should be looking at pay increases in the future due to the experience you gain while your kids are young. You'll only have to do 2 kids in daycare for about 2.5 years, then your older one will go to school. It's short term pain for a long term gain.<br><br>
I hope you don't stress out TOO much. It will be worth it! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Have you thought about hiring someone to watch your children in your home? If you have an extra room and wouldn't mind having a "live-in" situation, this could be advantageous for all of you, especially if you live in a "pricey" area and rent is fairly expensive...you pay a small stipend, and s/he gets free rent. This might also work for a college student who could plan her classes around your work schedule.<br><br>
What about an in-home private day care. These are usually cheaper than "center" day care, but, again, quality can vary. Around here, its roughly 75-100 dollars/week cheaper (about 140-175 per week for an infant, 100-125 for toddlers).<br><br>
What about a co-op with another mother who works odd-shift hours (ie. a nurse on overnights/swing shifts or who has to work weekends). Especially if she is working overnights, it probably wouldn't be much of an imposition to you if the children were at your house. If she watched your children during the day, and you watch hers during her shift, you might be able to swing it, or you might only need a couple of hours of care/day as opposed to a full day.<br><br>
Even if you only watched her children on the weekend, and she only watched your children two days during the week, well, that's two free days for you.<br><br>
Can you do any work at home (even if it's only a couple hours a day, or one day a week) or change your hours so that your husband will be home to watch the kids for part of the time that you work? If, perhaps, instead of working 8-5 (or whatever you work now), he worked 6-3, and you worked 11-7, or something like that, so that your children would be in care (whether in home, day care, etc.) for fewerhours a day?<br><br>
I do know someone who works fewer days but longer hours. She works 8-7 (I think) three days a week, and 8-2 one day a week (her company requires her to work 36 hours/week to be considered full-time, but they were very cool about letting her do fewer, longer days - I might have the exact hours wrong...I know it was 3 long days, one short, for a total of 36 hours). Is this a possibility for you? While her kids are still in care 3.5 days a week, it's no longer than normal (her husband picks them up when he's done at his normal time), and she gets an extra 1.5 days with them (and, honestly, avoids rush hour traffic with a 7pm end time, so, she doesn't get home much later than if she'd ended at 6pm anyway. LOL).<br><br>
If you're concerned about maintaining your "foot" in the field, you could always ask if you could work part-time. Obviously this wouldn't solve your problem regarding the cost of care, but it might be a way to keep yourself involved in your field without slaving away for 40+ hours a week and missing all that time with your kids<br><br>
I don't know if any of these, or a combo of these would work for you, but, I thought I'd throw these ideas out there.
 

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Au pairs are definitely cheaper if you have the space. Plus, the kids get to stay at home! Then full-time care runs about $12,000 per year and you don't have to drop off the kids, make lunches ahead of time, etc.
 

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And this is why we made the choice for me to stay at home. It was not worth the little money I would make over the cost of daycare. Plus the extra expense of two working parents, you know, less time to cook, less time to shop and clean, etc etc...sorry I can't be more helpful.
 

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I don't have the room for an au pair (not to mention I would feel REALLY weird having a non-family member living in our house). I'm expecting #2 in July & seriously get numb just thinking about how we're going to make it and ours is WAY less than your figure ($1060 per month). That on top of student loans, etc. Things seem tight already, but I guess we'll do what we have to do. I'm a librarian, so I will never make much, but I certainly can't quit to save money on care. And I don't want to... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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i recieve childcare assistance through the state..my childcare provider is my sister (who is a waldorf and a mdc mama!)<br>
without it i do not know what i would do..<br><br><br>
i hope you find a situation that works for you
 

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We only have one, but would probably qualify for some childcare subsidy if we did have two. Perhaps check with your licencing body for child care services in your area.<br><br>
Ditto what lissa77 said - think about the implications in the long run, not just the next 1-5 years. Staying in your current field hopefully means incremental increases over the years that you are paying for daycare, and daycare costs decrease as your child ages. What would be the financial implications of you leaving your field for a few years?<br><br>
I try not to think of the money I pay to daycare like my other bills. Its a real investment in my child's future. That makes it a little less painful. I don't begrudge a cent I pay to our centre. We aren't putting anything away for DD's college education - we are paying for her education right now. (And its a lot more than the current cost of a college education).<br><br>
I think everyone must stress about money when they become pg. A friend recently shared with me a wonderful saying from her doula: "Every baby is born with a loaf of bread under its arm". <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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This is a major concern of mine, too! We can't afford for me to SAH, yet our daycare expenses for just one child are a real challenge. (BTW, my professional situation is very similar to yours. Attorney working in a not for profit - great work, crappy salary, big law loans!) I shudder at what it would cost us for 2 kiddos, which is the main reason why we still have just one. We are hoping to conceive this fall which will put us in your boat around this time next year.<br><br>
One thing we have done to reduce day care costs and (more importantly, from our perspective) reduce DD's overall time spent in day care is to work 2 overlapping schedules. DH is home with her on Monday, she goes to day care Tues - Thurs, and then I'm home Fridays. It's hard - I work 4 fairly long days to make it work - but so utterly worth it in terms of money saved and time spent with my DD. She is sensitive and high needs, and 5 days in day care would just about do her in.<br><br>
We are toying with #2 about hiring a nanny. It seems to me that this becomes cost-effective only when you have 2+ kids. Our DD will then be in school and will be able to come straight home in the afternoons - a much more relaxed and natural place for her to be than an after-care program. Although this will be expensive, I see the benefits as: 1) both DD and child #2 will be able to be together in the afternoons, as opposed to separate day care programs or programs separated by age; 2) there will be no after-work frenzy trying to pick up 2 children, perhaps from 2 separate programs, thus buying me more time in the evenings and making the whole post work scene calmer and more pleasant; 3) ditto for the mornings - as opposed to having 2 kids to get out the door and drop off at 2 places there will only be 1; and 4) there will be no scrambling to find back up care for school vacations or summer. DH and I will continue our respective schedules so that we only need a nanny for 3 days (which will still be a huuuuuge financial reach for us!).<br><br>
Have you considered a nanny-share? I know people who share with another family and trade between their 2 houses on a week-to-week basis.<br><br>
Either way, I sympathize - money is tight and the idea of the 2 day care bills terrifies me. I honestly do not know how some people manage it. Good luck to you.
 

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The cost of childcare had a huge impact on my life when #2 came around. I also worked in the npo field, and we started our family fairly young (mid 20s), so it was really tight even with just one kid in care. We swung that by using a childcare co-op which was a wonderful situation for ds. We supplemented with care from friends and family and local college students, and ds really was surrounded with a proverbial village of folks who loved and cared for him.<br><br>
Just after #2 was born we moved. We are far from universities, in a town where I was not able to find folks interested in co-operative care. I switched to the for profit field so I'd have enough to pay for childcare for both and still help make ends meet. In the end that was a bust for our family - I decided I was more willing to stay home and try to come up with creative income options, then work in one field when my heart was in another.<br><br>
I guess the things to consider are... where are you flexible?<br>
type of childcare<br>
quality of childcare<br>
type of career<br>
schedule<br>
work vs SAH<br>
short term income vs. long term salary benefits<br><br>
Kudos to you for starting to think these things through right away. In retrospect I feel that I was pretty naive in just assuming that I could continue to creatively work around the expense - something had to give, and if you can figure out ahead of time what compromises you are willing to make or use time while pregnant to take on some professional development that may help increase your earning potential you may save yourself some headaches.<br><br>
Good luck, and don't worry too much... despite all the change in our lives #2 was still totally 100% worth it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I LOVE the idea of an Au Pair, expecially since we're raising our children to be bilingual. But we're having a horrible time trying to find decent and affordable housing that will fit the soon-to-be four of us already because of the stupid market here, so I'm not sure that's an option. I'm hoping that we'll be moving, so perhaps if we're in a market where our housing dollar goes further it will be an option.<br><br>
We don't qualify for state or county subsidized daycare, since with DH and I both working we're over the income limit.<br><br>
As far as flexible work, I'm playing with the idea. I don't know how much of an option it would be -- I'm an attorney, which is pretty much a day-job kind of thing. I don't have a lot of flexibility as far as part-time or flexible work since I'm just starting my career (I graduate in may) and don't have the senority to negotiate with. DH is adamantly against us working alternate shifts; he could take a second or third shift position, but his parents did the opposite shifts thing his whole childhood and it nearly destroyed their relationship. He'd rather have me at home, but I'm not sure I'd rather be there.<br><br>
But it really, really makes me feel better to hear other mamas talk about their struggles with this same thing. I don't have a lot of friends who are in the same situation and I hate feeling like I'm the only person worrying about them. Thanks for making me feel a little less alone.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Belleweather</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7929756"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I LOVE the idea of an Au Pair, expecially since we're raising our children to be bilingual. But we're having a horrible time trying to find decent and affordable housing that will fit the soon-to-be four of us already because of the stupid market here, so I'm not sure that's an option. I'm hoping that we'll be moving, so perhaps if we're in a market where our housing dollar goes further it will be an option.<br><br>
We don't qualify for state or county subsidized daycare, since with DH and I both working we're over the income limit.<br><br>
As far as flexible work, I'm playing with the idea. I don't know how much of an option it would be -- I'm an attorney, which is pretty much a day-job kind of thing. I don't have a lot of flexibility as far as part-time or flexible work since I'm just starting my career (I graduate in may) and don't have the senority to negotiate with. DH is adamantly against us working alternate shifts; he could take a second or third shift position, but his parents did the opposite shifts thing his whole childhood and it nearly destroyed their relationship. He'd rather have me at home, but I'm not sure I'd rather be there.<br><br>
But it really, really makes me feel better to hear other mamas talk about their struggles with this same thing. I don't have a lot of friends who are in the same situation and I hate feeling like I'm the only person worrying about them. Thanks for making me feel a little less alone.</div>
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Oh you're definitely not alone! Another lawyer here! I tried flextime for a while but never could make it work. There's never one particular day a week that I can consistently take off, there's always something going on. Actually I'm looking over my calendar right now and there's not one particular weekday I've had available every week so far this year. Juvie cases, Bankruptcy motions, City Court trials, District Court trials, Divorce judgments, all these different types of things are all heard on different days so there's always a possiblity of being tied up and not being able to take off. Ideally I would LOVE to work a 4-day work week, and our secretaries would actually be open to working more hours per day for a 4-day work week, but it is not practical. There isn't one right day for us to close the office.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Belleweather</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7929756"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">But we're having a horrible time trying to find decent and affordable housing that will fit the soon-to-be four of us already because of the stupid market here, so I'm not sure that's an option. I'm hoping that we'll be moving, so perhaps if we're in a market where our housing dollar goes further it will be an option.</div>
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I would definitely look into that. DF and I are considering it this summer (moving from the PNW to the southeast. The general cost of living is lower, PLUS the houses are like 30-50% of what they cost here!! We're looking at literally cutting our housing costs alone by $600/mo and we're only renting now. If we were paying a mortgage on our house, the savings would be more like $3000/mo. We can't afford to buy a house here, but we could buy a house AND both work pt where we're looking to move. It's crazy.<br>
If we had another child in dcp, we'd have to leave Seattle. We just wouldn't be able to stay afloat out here.
 

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don't some of the federal college loans allow you to defer your loan for a specified amount of time if you have a new child? I thought I read in my paperwork at some point something about this, though I could be mistaken.
 

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Reading all this with interest because I'm in such denial... I didn't go back full-time with DS until he was over 1 yr, and by that age there were more options that I could live with. It's not looking like I'll have that luxury this time around, and the cost of infant care around here is crazy. I think the cost is warranted, in that I think childcare providers should receive a living wage, but boy is it going to make our paychecks look less substantial.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Belleweather</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7929756"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">DH is adamantly against us working alternate shifts; he could take a second or third shift position, but his parents did the opposite shifts thing his whole childhood and it nearly destroyed their relationship. He'd rather have me at home, but I'm not sure I'd rather be there.<br></div>
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We switched shifts when DS was young... I honestly wouldn't recommend it unless you have no other choice. It IS a relationship destroyer... add in the extra stress of having a new baby and then you never see each other <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/argue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="argue">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying"> . I wouldn't do it again because we can't handle it.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>PennyRoo</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7927303"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Have you considered a nanny-share? I know people who share with another family and trade between their 2 houses on a week-to-week basis.</div>
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I was going to recommend this as well. One HUGE advantage to a nanny is that you have childcare when the children are sick. Most nannies will work when children are sick - they know it's part of the job.<br><br>
In a nanny-share, you have to set up rules/plans with the other family about how you will handle things - but if the two families can be comfortable with the idea that their children might get sick from each other, then it can work out. I know sisters who share a nanny for their 3-4 children. They are family, of course - but if you plan well with good friends, you CAN have a good arrangement.
 

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We're in the same boat except the baby is already here and care for 2 could be $2k + per month. I go back to work in 3 week, but I can get inexpensive short term care for the last monthof school and Mom will watch the kids during the summer (summer school). The real problem will be August, especially since I will be trying to find a job closer to home with a $7 - 15 k pay cut.<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
And we ive in a 2 bedroom condo, so no live in care here, plus everyone around here is older, so I don't know of anyone for a nanny share <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 
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