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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello-I'm 13 weeks pregnant and I work full time. I'm realizing though that I just don't want to work full time after my baby is born. However working is a fact of life for us. We bought a house 2 years ago and we need both of our incomes to be able to afford it. However, I keep thinking of life after the baby and I just don't want to go back to work full time. Worse, my job doesn't have any real maternity leave. I'll be able to scrimp up 8 weeks using vacation and sick time-but that feels like nothing. I have no idea what we will do for daycare as it's so expensive and we can't afford it. I think we will be able to have my DP's mother help out but I have reservations about her. They are very nice people but certain things they have said/done make me nervous. Of course, I can't tell DP this because she will then get very hurt.

My job right now is so demanding. I know that if I stay I won't be able to keep up this schedule. I just want to sell this house get an apartment-and just get rid of this need for me to work full time. I know that DP doesn't want to sell the house though. I don't think she really understands how much I am going to want to be with this new baby. The idea of being away for 10 hours a day (8 hour work day, 45 minute commute each way)-just kills me. I don't want to do it.

I am so jealous of stay at home moms. I really want to be able to be home full time for my baby, and it just won't be possible in this stupid house. How do people who work outside the home manage? Please enlighten me!!!
 

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First Congratulations on your expectant little one!

Second,
I remember feeling many of those same feelings when I learned I was pregnant with ds. Here are some of my thoughts...I wouldn't necessarily jump to sell your house. As your little one gets bigger, you may want to have that extra space as well as your own yard, etc. I would definitely take that into consideration before pushing to sell. With that said, we do live in an appartment largely for the reasons you stated...closer to work (reducing the communte, however dh is in school, so I am supporting the 3 of us). You definitely can raise a kiddo just fine in either setting. You mentioned that your job is demanding...is it possible to find another job with fewer demands? Maybe something closer to home? Also, I understand you are concerned about day care. I think that you probably do need to express your concerns with dp about her parents. It will come out eventually, and I think it is better for you to express your concerns now rather than later. Maybe once dp understands your reluctance to send your lo to her parents for day care, the two of you can start to work to come up with a solution that works for your entire family.
 

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I mostly just want to give you a
because I felt the same way a few months ago when I was pregnant (and now I'm suposed to back to work in 1 month).

So I have no advice on how to manage - but wanted to let you know you're not alone in feeling that way...and it's even harder after the baby arrives (sorry).

We did find out that we may break even whether DH and I both work fulltime or he works fulltime and I work partime (about 6-10hrs a week). That's because childcare, my commute, and eating out/buy quick food etc add up so much. If you really want to be home it's worth doing the math, I'm still not sure what we will do...but it seems like either option may work.

And..while on maternity leave don't think about work (or the day you have to go back), don't talk to people from work, etc...just enjoy being with your baby! I had a really hard time the first few weeks because I was too focused on having to leave my son.

Have you tried proposing your own leave plan? My job always had one in place, but I didn't like it so I proposed my own, 3 weeks later at our monthly meeting they anounced that was the new plan that everyone is suposed to use. I proposed a transitional where I will have a few extra weeks of working partime hours...I've heard this helps mom and baby adjust. Also, do you qualify for FMLA leave? I didn't have much vacation or sick time so I am using FMLA to take leave without pay but still have my job and benefits protected. (We currently use healthcare from my job).

Congrats on your baby!
 

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I know it is so hard and so scary thinking about leaving your precious baby to go back to work. But, the fact of the matter is that many of us do have financial responsibilities which we must live up to. Here are some things I'd ask you...

1) Would your job offer any kind of part time position? When I got pregnant with #1, I told my job that I wanted to come back on a decreased work schedule (3 days a week). I actually developed a position for myself and created a presentation for my management team to sell them on this. 3 years later, and I'm still at it. And now, I even work from home full time.

2) Would your job consider allowing you to telecommute, even 1 or 2 days a week? Could you do your job from home? If so, I would create a plan on how you would successfully do this and present it to management.

(Remember, do not discount any option until you ask! You might be surprised at the response you get.)

3) What about changing jobs or even careers? Many jobs do offer wonderful maternity leave benifits and more family-friendly scheduling options. Heck, you can make your own schedule (around DP) and get benefits working at Starbucks! What are your skills? Have you thought about working at a daycare as a teacher or aide or something? In these situations the school will typically give you a discount on your babe and you'd be right there to check on him or her everyday. Another option would be taking in some children or babies to watch in your home. My best friend did this when her baby was born. She became my daycare provider for the 3 days a week I worked. Our babes were 2 months apart and after 2 1/2 years are great friends. Plus, this brought in over $1000/month income to my friend!

4) As for daycare, you really need to sit down with your DP and crunch the numbers. Can you afford to send babe to daycare? What will you have left over out of your check after you pay $1000+ a month for full time daycare? Then factor in the amount of commuting (gas, car repair, parking, trains, etc.). Then factor in lunch. Do you bring your lunch or eat out? Then factor in the amount of money you spend on buying and maintaining (dry cleaning) your work clothes. After you factor in all of these costs associated with working, how much do you have left over? Does it really, truly, make sense to go back to work for just a few extra bucks a month? Maybe going back to work isn't the answer?

I think it's really important to think about these 4 things before you start to panic! Talk it over with your DP and really decide what is important financially (are there things you can cut out to save money?) and focus on what is best for your family.

You will be able to make it work, no matter which route you decide to go!

Good luck!
 

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Congrats on your new babe-to-be!


I think the pp's have given great advice. I second the suggestion of talking to your DP as soon as possible re: your reservations about her parents. This is a huge decision and you shouldn't have to suffer in silence because you're afraid of hurting her feelings. This should be something you two tackle together & your concerns about your child should count just as much, if not more, than her feelings for her parents, imo.

As for the house, I agree that kids can be raised in all sorts of living situations and do just fine, but I LOVE having a yard and I don't think I could go back to living in an apartment with kids (although, I'd do it, if I had to... I did it for years).
DP and I rent, rather than own, though because of finances right now. I'm moving to part time work and we discussed the fact that it would mean we couldn't afford to buy a house right now. It's a sacrifice we're willing to make. We're both very pro-home-ownership, but we also enjoy the flexibility we have by not being tied into a mortgage (our rent is about 1/3 of what we'd spend on a decent house here). I took a 20% paycut to go PT and it's really not going to strap our budget at all. That wouldn't be the case if we'd bought a house a year ago when we were looking.

Can you two downsize to a smaller house? Can you find rent cheap enough that you could still put money away in investments for retirement? DP and I have started doing some calculations and it looks like, if we save/invest the "extra" money we'd spend on a mortgage, we'd be able to make up what we're loosing in equity & have the flexibility of not being tied into a set payment, if times get tough.
Would you be comfortable working pt and having the in-laws watch your babe for only a few hours a week?

There's so much brainstorming that you could be doing if you and your DP were on the same page. I'd talk to her and see if you two can work something out that you're both OK with.

My last piece of advice (wow, this got long
) is to just relax. Plan & brainstorm all you can, but then sit back & enjoy your pregnancy. When your babe comes, even if you don't have all the details worked out, relax and enjoy whatever time you do have. Suck up all the baby smell and cute smiles and funny nursing noises and goofy baby faces you can
It will all work out in the end
 

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Oh, I feel for you!
I love WOH now that my son is older (so there is a light at the end of the tunnel!), but when he was a baby I stayed home and I feel for you so much.

We bought a very, very small home, with a postage-stamp yard, so I could SAH with the baby when he was small. Could you look into a townhouse or something similar? You won't need a bigger yard until the baby is several years older, if ever, and if the house is causing you that much stress it will be really hard on you.

We could afford a bigger house now that I am WOH but we want to be able to have me SAH if we have another baby and we've really embraced small house living as a philosophy as well, so we don't want to get a bigger house.

I understand where you are coming from because before we bought our small tiny house we put an offer on a much more expensive one, and if that hadn't fallen through I'd be exactly where you are now. It's so hard to know what to do with housing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow-thank you for all the replies! I hadn't thought of some of these options. I work as a psychotherapist so work from home with my job is unlikely-however I've been toying with the idea of private practice for awhile-and that may be the way to go-but I still don't know. My job is flexible enough that I can work a flexible shedule (like 2-10)-I just may not see DP as much, but it beats having my baby in daycare 10 hours a day.

My concerns with my in-laws-it's not that they are bad people, they just sometimes have weird ideas about childraising. DP reassured me that they would not spank, that really the worse they will do is spoil him/her by overfeeding. To them food is everything. While I still would rather have my child in a more AP environment, or somewhere where they are going to continue doing things I'm going to do like teach babysign-it really is not a bad situation-especially if it's only for a few hours a day.

But-I do have a friend who is doing some private practice stuff. I think I'm going to talk to her. If I can generate enough clients, I could probably make my salary working Part time-that would really be ideal. It's hard because I am giving up the stability of having benefits, paid time off, etc.... So I really need to look at all my options.

Thank you for the support-I think it was my first pregnancy freak out!
 

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You can practice living off one income now...to see if you can, also you will probably spend less when not working...I used to fill up with gas every other day and now it's only every week and a half.... DH used to order out almost every night too (I work nights) and while I've been home on maternity leave I have been able to cook.
 

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Congratulations on the baby!

I just have to offer some advice from my sister. She had two boys close together, and was a SAHM until they were grown. Her husband didn't make much money, but they decided that they WOULD get by with what they had. So they struggled with bills, and sometimes fell behind, but found ways to make it through. Meanwhile, they didn't have cable, magazine subscriptions, or take vacations. She had a garden, and canned lots of vegetables to last through winter. They had a chest freezer and bought half a cow at a time through a butcher to reduce the costs. They didn't eat out much at all, and NEVER fast food.

According to my sister, this was the best thing she's ever done with her life. She did what she wanted, and stayed home to raise her kids. Luckily, her husband was supportive of that, so he didn't mind that he didn't get a lot of the other 'perks' that some people get (vacations, new gadgets, expensive clothes, etc).

That being said, your DP has to agree with this decision! While I don't think that you HAVE to go back to work if she wants you to, there should be some sort of agreement reached in order for your relationship to last through this time. Especially if it means that she is the one bringing home most of the money now.

The flexible schedule for taking clients sounds great! I've just started a retail business, and have been juggling childcare (of 15 month old son) between DH and my mother. It's very tough, and means that every minute DH is with DS, I'm working. But, it's a way to get by. You can do it if you need to.

Good luck with your search for options!
 

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Yes, definitely talk to your friend about private practice. Things change when you have a baby--your making a career shift could be to your family's benefit. I went back to work full-time for two years after having my DD. The first year was really okay, the second year things became much more hectic and our quality of life really took a dive. We just could not keep up with everything that needed to be done when both of us were working full-time and we were really stressed and unhappy.

I spoke with some friends who were consulting and they immediately hooked me up with clients. I'll probably make 1/3 of what I made last year, but my expenses are so much less...It was amazing how it worked out, but I had to step out and let people know I wanted to make a change. Now I am working from home, part-time. I feel better physically and mentally. (I had a very draining job and a long commute...I'm sure other people have managed working full-time better than I did!)

I hope your talk with your partner goes well...I will tell you that my husband was resistant to the idea of my leaving my full-time job at first, but he came around pretty quickly. I had to plant the seed there and let it grow, but he's like that...

Good luck! And Congratulations on your pregnancy!
 

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I went back to work full-time when DD was 6 weeks old and had the same reservations about my grandmother that you have with your DP's parents. It has been a real struggle getting both of us on the same page, but we're finally there. I could not afford to put DD in day care, at least not the daycares I approve of since I am very picky about whose hands she is in when I'm not around. I would suggest having a sit-down discussion with DP's parents long before baby is in the picture. Lay out your desires for how the LO will be raised in every aspect of his/her life. Tell them why you want LO raised this way and what boundaries are not to be crossed. My grandma is big on the "spoiling with food" stuff, too, and it has driven me to tears on more than one occasion. I provide her with EBM every day and had given her extra for her freezer in case of emergencies. Well, everything is an emergency to her and the stash is gone! So, to keep my sanity, I keep all of the emergency stash in my freezer and bring fresh EBM on a daily basis. I also bring just enough for DD to get by on. I bring three bottles with exact amounts each in them. It took a while for me to have the guts to be so controlling, but grandma doesn't even realize I'm being controlling. She just knows she's supposed to give one bottle when DD is hungry and so on and so forth. I can't tell you how much those little things have helped my sanity. When I told DH that I was worried that a bottle might get spilled and DD would be out of milk, he reminded me that grandma has a car and a perfectly good car seat and knows the directions to my work. In an emergency, DD could be brought to me to nurse....and guess what? It hasn't happened yet because she gets plenty of milk while I'm gone! Also, I've made it clear that when DD is on solids she will only be allowed to have what I provide, etc, etc. It is hard and it works on your nerves, but if you lay everything out in the beginning I think everyone can end up happy. Grandma is going to learn signing right along with us, too. Grandparents are usually very willing to accomodate your requests because the happier they make you, the more they get to care for the baby! I don't know if any of this actually helped, I just wanted to tell you about my experience with this situation.
 

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Expectantmami - would you have any interest or room in your house for a live-in nanny or au pair to help you out? Nannies are more expensive than au pairs, but either might be a viable option.

My DH and I both WAH, and we've had live-in nannies, and it can be a really positive experience if you find the right match.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Wow!!! Thanks so much for all this support. I am going to look into all these options. It's good seeing that other people have dealt with similar things-and DP and I are going to talk about options. Private Practice is looking more and more appealing. While I wish we could afford a nanny or au pair we really cannot. If anything we might look into doing a nanny share arrangement.

I feel now that at least something is doable. I can tell you that me not working is not an option as I earn more than my partner. If anything we might try to get by on just my income..... But we'll see.
 

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I don't know if anyone has mentioned this, but while going through your finances don't forget to include health insurance (for example, how would that work if DP didn't work, would she be able to get health insurance somewhere else?). Private health insurance is $$$.
Personally I would not sell the house, but that's just me, if anything I would go to a smaller house closer to work, or townhouse, or whatever makes the most sense. You have to pay association fees with townhouses, but you also don't have to do outside work on the house either. Pros and cons to everything!
 

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See? Things have a way of working themselves out. I was in the same position 3 years ago...except we didn't have any family around
:

For the first year, DH & I were able to work opposite shifts to avoid daycare. When DH got a new job (and new schedule), I freaked out again. However by this time I had made many mommy-friends and one of them offered to watch Amelia. Yay!

We're actually currently in a jam again because my friend has moved, but we have a few possibilities. Some I'm not thrilled with. Sometimes you've just got to do what you've got to do. And sometimes those things you dread turn out to have really great results!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by expectantmami View Post
While I wish we could afford a nanny or au pair we really cannot. If anything we might look into doing a nanny share arrangement.
I know a nanny share would cost you far more than the au pair program. Are you really familiar with it? Do you understand the difference between a nanny and an au pair? Nannies are professional childcare providers and they cost a lot. Au pairs are foreign students coming to the U.S. for a cultural or educational experience. They live in host homes and are paid a minimum wage to care for children. According to this webpage, the weekly wage for au pairs is $139.05.

http://exchanges.state.gov/education...hure.htm#costs

Au pairs are supposed to work 45 hours a week. That means they are making $3.09/hour, plus room and board. You couldn't find a nanny share that would be that affordable.

Just wanted to give you this information, so you can take a look at it.

Siobhang on the boards has had au pairs and she loves them. PM her, I bet she would talk to you about it. Or search the threads for her name and "au pair".
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by mamasaurus View Post
I know a nanny share would cost you far more than the au pair program. Are you really familiar with it? Do you understand the difference between a nanny and an au pair? Nannies are professional childcare providers and they cost a lot. Au pairs are foreign students coming to the U.S. for a cultural or educational experience. They live in host homes and are paid a minimum wage to care for children. According to this webpage, the weekly wage for au pairs is $139.05.

http://exchanges.state.gov/education...hure.htm#costs

Au pairs are supposed to work 45 hours a week. That means they are making $3.09/hour, plus room and board. You couldn't find a nanny share that would be that affordable.

Just wanted to give you this information, so you can take a look at it.

Siobhang on the boards has had au pairs and she loves them. PM her, I bet she would talk to you about it. Or search the threads for her name and "au pair".

Wow!!! Thank you! I had no idea! I know nannys are expensive-and I figured au pairs were too. But 139 a week???? We might be able to swing that.

Thank you!
 
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