3rd Trimester

Working moms with 1+kid(s)... daycare and maternity leave

I saw this sort of post on the Working Moms board so I thought I'd check out some other boards to see if I get any different responses. 

If you already have one or more children at daycare, what do you plan on doing with their daycare schedule when you are on maternity leave with this baby? I planned on keeping DS home with me and sending him to daycare 1-2 times per week just to keep him used to daycare. He goes to a very flexible in home daycare and so we won't have to pay when he's not there and we won't lose our spot either.

I thought it was very normal to have the first child home with you while on leave, but I'm seeing lots of posts on other message boards about the older child(ren) going to daycare full-time or at least 3 days a week. I hate to spend the money on sending DS to daycare when I'm home, not to mention I'd feel sort of guilty, but I'm also starting to worry about taking care of a toddler and newborn together and my DH works 24 hour shifts 2 days a week so those days will be LONG. Plus I wonder how it would affect DS and his routine if he was out of daycare for 3 months - I don't want the transition back to daycare and a schedule being terrible.

Anyhow, it would take some heavy convincing on my part with my DH to justify the cost of full time daycare for DS. I just thought I'd get some opinions from other moms in my situation.

Re: Working moms with 1+kid(s)... daycare and maternity leave

  • In the beginning, I'll probably keep her home as long as my parents are here b/c I know they'll keep her entertained.  After that, I'm not sure.  She wants to go to daytime summer camp this year and depending on when that starts, she may go to daycare for a couple of weeks and then to summer camp.
  • This will be #3 for me, both of my kids are in school now, but when the baby comes, they will shortly thereafter be out for the summer....they will be going to their summer camp/daycare.  They will have much more fun with their friends than with me at home with a new baby!  Now granted I will have the flexibility to drop them off later and pick them up earlier.  We are very fortunate that they LOVE going to school/after school/summer camps.

    When my DD was born, my DS was in daycare, and we kept him on his normal schedule (only the same thing...dropping off a little later and picking up a little earlier).

    If you have to pay for it, send your other child....just to keep them stimulated and to give yourself time to rest!

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  • DS will be home with me during my maternity leave. No way am I paying for daycare while I'm not working - plus it will be nice to have that time with him! I'm looking forward to it!

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  • I'm not sure yet.  Our daycare is like yours - in-home, we only pay when he's there, and we won't risk losing our spot if he doesn't go regularly.  Financially, we'd like to keep him home as much as possible since we'll be tight on money anyway.  But if it's too overwhelming at first to try and care for both kids, we'll send him to the babysitter's house.  We're just planning to play it by ear at this point.  My mom will be staying with us for a week or so and can help out, and she's offered to let DS stay with her on and off during the summer, so that will help too.
  • My 3yr old will be home with us the first week or so - depends on how long the company stays, honestly.  The daycare is waiving a week for us knowing that she'll be out another 3 weeks in July (that we don't pay for) when we take our family vacation.  So - other than that first week - we're going to be paying whether she goes or not... so she'll be going.

    I also don't want to toss her completely out of her routine just to toss her back into it in August - and she likes school at this point so there really isn't much guilt.  I think I'd be more guilty with her home the entire time feeling sad because I can't focus 100% on her, ya know?

    She knows that when the baby is born, we'll all be home together for a little while and then DH will go back to work and she'll go back to school.

  • We are required to pay for it regardless if he goes or not. With having a c section I won't be able to lift him for 6 weeks anyways so he will still go to daycare while I am home. That way I can sleep when baby sleeps and he will stay in his "routine"

    TTC #3 with PCOS. Long cycles, ovulate about 4-5 times a year Married 6/9/07 DS 7/15/08 Met RE 12/08 DD 6/2/10
  • I saw your post on the Working Moms board. I thought about replying. Will do that here since you want more feedback.

    My DS is 3 and goes to daycare full time four days a week. DH is home with him on Fridays.

    I have already arranged with daycare that he will drop down to two full days a week once I am out on maternity leave beginning the end of May. I did this for several reasons, in no particular order : A) I REALLY want more time with DS. I miss him so very much when I am at work, and I am so looking forward to seeing him more while on maternity leave. B) MIL is a teacher and will be home for almost my entire maternity leave so she will be able to help out on the days I have the baby and DS. C) I wanted DS to have some consistency to his schedule, so I figured dropping him to half of his previous schedule made the most sense. D) Part of my maternity leave is unpaid, so reducing the cost of daycare helps out. E) I want DS to have time to bond with the baby at home with me. F) DS attends a speech preschool two days a week through the end of June because of a speech delay, so we are dropping him to the two days that he goes to both programs, it just made the most sense. G) DS loves daycare/preschool and has so many friends, and is learning so much, so I don't want to take that away completely. H) We are in the middle of potty training, and I fully intend to make sure he is fully trained during my maternity leave, so having him home with me more often is key to that, I believe. G) My maternity leave will be mostly during the summer, and I want to spent that time with DS playing outside at the water park, playground and at grandmas, things I can totally do while caring for a newborn - especially with MIL's help (she is awesome!).

    On the days DS is scheduled to go to daycare/preschool, I fully expect to drop him off later and pick him up earlier if I'm having a good day with the baby. I'll probably do that if I'm having a bad day with the baby, LOL.

    Even if money were no issue, I know I would not keep DS enrolled in full-time daycare during my maternity leave. It might work for other moms, and that is more than fine, but not for me. I am also the mom who cannot drop her child off at daycare when I have a day off. If I am off I am with DS, even if I am sick and miserable. Being with him makes me happy, and as I said, I miss him terribly when I am at work.

    EDITED TO ADD: I am in no way implying above that there is anything wrong with mom's who send their kids to daycare full-time while on maternity leave, when they have days off or when they are sick. I just can't do it. I am way too attached to DS. It's probably not healthy, but it's the way I operate. 

  • My situation is a little different because I am a teacher and he only goes to daycare during the school year.  With my due date being the beginning of April, I won't be returning to school except for the last couple of days to give finals.  On those days, we will just have family watch the kids or my husband will take a couple of days off work.  So, we pulled him from daycare and he's been home here with me.  We couldn't justify spending all that money when I would be home.  For the time that he won't be there, we are saving close to $2000!!  

    I know the transition will be hard once the second little guy is here, but figured that if I was a stay at home mom, that's what would be going on anyway.  

    Good luck making your decision! 

  • image Erin&Ryan:
    DS will be home with me during my maternity leave. No way am I paying for daycare while I'm not working - plus it will be nice to have that time with him! I'm looking forward to it!

    This exactly.  I am looking forward to spending the time with DD, she will be out of school for about 6 weeks of my maternity leave.  I still plan on keeping her plenty busy and having plenty of attention to give to her even with a newborn.  There are lots of outside things we can do.

  • I have a 6 year old and a 4 year old. Luckily this baby will be coming by July so hopefully I will only need care for them for one month this summer until they go back to leave. In the meantime they will be home with me while I am on leave. *FX* Grandma has offered to help out so hopefully it works out and we can save money that way too.

    I can understand your hesitation about keeping him out of daycare. My BFF always was saying she wishes with her newborn that she could take a break from the 3 year old. I think it would be a good idea to keep him in care a couple times a week for your sanity :)

  • DD is most likely going to daycare during my leave, she will stay home with us for a few days after the baby is born, but once DH goes back to work she will be going back to daycare, but I will also be dropping off later and picking up earlier.

    Plus, my daycare is not flexible at all and in order to keep her spot I will have to pay for her to go full time whether she is there or not.  I feel a little guilty and I am not sure how I will explain it to her that I am staying home with the new baby while she goes to school, but at least she will be there for less time during the day than she is while I am working.

  • I'm going to keep my DS home with me.  Although I know it will be busy, I want that time w/ him.
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  • I plan on going part time after this LO is born. I'm going to send DD to daycare 2-3 days per week so I can have some special bonding time with new baby too. I think that is important. If I have people visiting to help, she'll stay home then too. I think it will be good for her to stay used to going and not have a major fit when I start back up. She'll be 2 June 21st. 4 days before my due date.
  • My plan is pretty much the same as yours.  DS will be home with me and the new baby most of the time.  I plan on taking him to his DCP (also a very flexible in home DC), 1 to 2 days a week.  He's already going to be dealing with sharing attention with a new baby in our house.  I'd like to keep some of his schedule the same as before.


    I want him to be able to still see DCP's 3 sons regularly, as they've become close.

    And, they speak 95% Spanish at his DCP, I'd like him to continue to be exposed to that language on a regular basis as well.

  • At first I was planning on keeping DD in full time but picking her up early each day after nap.  Heck, if I was a SAHM she'd be in pre-school daily anyhow.  Plus she loves her daycare so that makes it easy. 

     Now for monetary reasons I'm thinking about scaling her back to just 3 or 4 days a week the second two months of my leave...no way I could handle both of them that first month!

  • My daugher will be 3 in June and had been at the same center since she was 3 months old.   She LOVES her daycare and I think she will have alot more fun at "school" playing with her friends than at home with a crying baby and cranky mama.  I have to pay to hold her place if she doesn't go, so I will probably have her go 3 days a week.  She will be gone for one week in May, since Grandma and Granpa are taking her on vacation to Florida as a special "big sister" treat (She talks about going on the airplane with them everyday now!) 

     I had a problem with PPD after DD was born, and I am hoping that I can cope better this time, since I know what to expect.  I think that having DD still attend daycare a few days a week will help me get feet underneath me so I can be a better mama to everyone!


  • My older two will continue to go to daycare through May 31st.  My c-section is scheduled for May 5th so I should mostly be recovered and in a partial routine by the end of May.  I'm looking forward to two full months just to hang out with my three kiddos.  They are the light of my life and I already hate that I have to work and can't stay home with them so I'm taking advantage of it while I can. 

    DS will be starting kindergarten in August so I want to spend some time with him working on his reading and I fully expect DD to be potty trained while at home with me as well.  We've given it a go with the daycare but they aren't very dedicated to it, so I'm going to focus on it while she is at home.  I'm looking forward to the park, walks, trips, etc with them.

    And lastly, I cannot justify spending the kind of money we have to spend on daycare when I am sitting at home. 

  • I know I don't already have a kid and that's who this post is directed to. I just wanted to say you have a great daycare that you have the choice to not send and not pay. The daycare I will be using, I have to pay the weekly fee whether LO goes or not, and LO can only miss 12 days a year before losing her spot. So when it comes time to our #2, if we are still with the same daycare, she would be going to daycare everyday while I was at home for mat. leave. Plus, I agree with not messing up their routine.
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  • Thank you everyone for your responses. I am glad to see a mix of responses here. When I first viewed the post on the Working Mom board, almost every response was, I'm taking my child back to daycare full time or at least 3 days per week. I started to wonder if what I was thinking of doing was not normal.

    I would miss DS tremendously if I took him to daycare everyday and I was at home with DD. With that said, I do think it's important to keep him going once or twice a week just to keep him familiar with the provider, the atmosphere and the kids there. I know his routine is totally going to be thrown for a loop when DD comes, just because we're going to have a new baby in the house. I also know that it'll be tough with the 2 of them but I have to remember that when DS was born, I never slept when he slept anyhow - I usually cleaned or hung out on the internet. And I was very bored during my maternity leave with him because all he did was sleep :)

     Thanks again for all your thoughtful advice!!!

  • image mrsfrank:

    We are required to pay for it regardless if he goes or not. With having a c section I won't be able to lift him for 6 weeks anyways so he will still go to daycare while I am home. That way I can sleep when baby sleeps and he will stay in his "routine"

     This. However, I don't pay. My mom takes care of DD#1 while I work.

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