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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If this should be in SAHM sorry, but I'd like the input of both SAHM and WOHM even though it is a SAHM issue. But ya can move it if you need to.
Anywho:
Ok my friends I have a little conundrum I would like to share and a little input requested.
I have this acquaintence/friend. She is actually the wife of my dhs' best friend. So our dh's are close friends but we havent quite made it there.
Anyway, she has an adorable little 3 month old baby who is just a sweetie. And she is really starting to dig this whole AP thing. She is still breastfeedign *hooray hooray* And she is an avid reader of The Baby Book etc. . .
WE have known these friends for years and accept that they have different values than us. For example, when they found out they were PG, they sold their modest tiny house to buy a huge one in a really nice neighborhood with the "best" schools and nice parks and a big backyard etc. WIth the knowledge that she would have to work to help pay for it. DH and I have different values so we DID roll our eyes and comment to each other only "different strokes for different folks" and how we would never make that decision because our priorities are different. But they are friends and we dont judge and dont say anything etc . . .
Ok so now this baby is 3 months old and mom is going back to work part time. 2 days a week. A lovely schedule. Daddy cares for the baby one day and Grandma the other. This is only temporary because her work expects her back full time when ds is 5 1/2 months old.
Ok so that is the background. . .
I saw them today and asked how work was going and how much she liked being back and how nice is it to shake things up a bit and get out a couple days a week etc. . . And she confessed to me that she would LOVE to stay home!! She is really enjoying it and she really doesnt want to go back to work. Her DH says that if she really wants to do that they would have to sell the house. But she doesnt really want to do that. What about the good schools? What about not havign any spending money? ETc. . . .
She seems pretty happy with the daycare arrangemetns she has lined up as well.
If this woman loved her job and was excited to be back this would be a non issue. I respect her decision.
But . . . She doesnt. Part of her really wants to stay home and I think I have some information that might help. But that means butting in and sending her an e-mail.
I dont want to sound judgmental or preachy. But I do want to share that I really think that staying at home is worth it even if it means living ina smaller house. And that it isnt just about her happiness but her ds's vote woudl be for her to stay home too.
They COULD do it if they really wanted to. It is only their business whether or not they really want to. BUT, maybe something I have to say can help allay her fears or give her somethign to think about.
FOr example this "excellent" daycare arrangement sounds extremely unacceptable to me. I worked in daycare for years and in infant rooms and even if I were to use daycare I would never do so as she described it. (17 infants in one room with 3 full tiem caregivers and 1 part timer) I have serious concerns about how this would really work out for her son, and I would like to share them. Even if she wants to go back to work. I'd like to tell her to do anything she can to make sure her child is not with that many babies and that the teacher/child ratio is no more than 1:3.

But is anything I say going to sound interfering and judgmental? Is this too sensitive an issue to "butt in" even though my only motivation is to share some experience and knowledge she might not have?

Like I said, this isnt about me thinking it is alwasy better to stay at home no matter what the sacrifice. This is because she indicated that she woudl like to stay home but cant.
What do you think? DO I say anything? Mind my own business?
Any suggestions?
Sorry bout the long story.
 

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I think it's really awesome that you're so sensitive and respectful of this family's right to make its own choices, even if those aren't the same as your family's choices. With that attitude, I'd say you're 90% of the way toward not overstepping and not offending.

When you sense a natural opening, how would you feel about casting your comments in terms of "I have that challenge, too; here's what has worked for me" or "dh and I really wrestled with that one, too, and here's what we've come up with so far." Just speak in terms of your own experience, not necessarily making suggestions or challenging their decisions, but just providing one family's example of how different issues were tackled.

Slightly OT: their baby is 3 months old and they're already worried about school districts???? Maybe they could move into the good district in 4 or 5 years when baby is actually ready for school.

Also slightly OT: I don't know what state you live in, but in my state the teacher to infant ratio at a center is 1:4 with a maximum group size of 8. She might want to check into your state's requirements.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The problem is that there isnt much more opportunity for casual discussion.
What could happen did happen today. I told her how tough it is to make that decision and I respect that there are so many variables. We talked about how much more difficult it is for her because she makes good money. The salary I gave up was insignificant compared to hers. We talked about how surprising it must be to feel trapped by her own success.
But I dont see her very often. So the likelihood of having another chance for smalltalk is very small. What Id like to do is send her an e-mail, letter or even call her. But I get my thoughts out best, and most respectfully in writing.

As for the state requirements. The teacher/infant ratio in our state is 1:5. And I think the maximum per room is based on square footage of the room and not the # of children together per se.

We even discussed the school thing. THis is a state with tons of school choice. School district boundaries are soft and have open enrollement if room is availible. The best schools in town are actually begging for open enrollment. We also have tons of charter schools. SO you can live anywhere and your child can go to almost any school you want as long as you can get them there.
 

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I would start with an email saying something like, "I've been thinking about our conversation the other day. I don't want to be pushy with unwanted advice, and I respect the choices you have made. I do however have some experiance with making SAHMing work. Would you be open to some advice"

Then let her tell you if she wants to hear what you have to say.
 

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I've known people that tell me that they like/wish for things that they think follow my views and not necessarily mean it, if that makes sense. I think it is sort of a way of connecting with each other or being supportive of the other's way of doing things. For instance, I've had people who don't co-sleep say that they wish their little one would sleep with them. These are people who chose not to co-sleep and really don't want to change that.

So I'd be a little cautious about offering advice. But I'd still give it
, just don't come on too strong, though you don't sound like you would.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok, another silly question. There are really two issues.
The one is about her happiness wiht her personal decison and that there might be more options than she has thought of.
Which I think is important.
But I am really super concerned about the daycare arrangements she has made and I want to send her a very serious red flag. If I tie them together the message might be lost right?
Better to give her information on quality childcare separately from any advice on how to stay home I think.

Just processing "out loud" LOL
 

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Could you approach the matter of daycare quality separately, as a former daycare professional and concerned friend? Speaking from your experience working in the field, emphasizing your respect for her along with your concern? Maybe you could say something along the lines of "I don't normally like to butt in and offer my opinion, but as a former daycare professional and someone who cares about you and your son I have some concerns about the daycare arrangement you described. Would you mind if I share them with you?" Maybe you could offer her some resources to help her find quality daycare.

The subject of her wanting to stay home is so personal. I would think that if you address it at all, it would be best to do so when the subject comes up when you are already talking to her and then offer your support for her feelings and your idea ("you know, if you'd like to look into being able to stay home and make some money I know about....").
 
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