Two Under 2

2u2 day care...or sahm??

We recently found out we will be having 2u2 by april 2013 :)  I just started looking into day care for 2, $$ is crazy!! I am just wondering how many decided it was worth it to just sah and maybe pick up some night shifts somewhere or how many decided to shell out the $$ and stay at their full time jobs.  Just kinda curious. TIA !!!

Re: 2u2 day care...or sahm??

  • I'm working for now - yes, daycare is killing us, but I'm in Canada where we get a 1 year maternity leave so it's worth it to work between babies and then get paid for a year to be home.  I will be a SAHM when there are 3 kids though, since I can't imagine being able to keep my job now and have 3 small kids in daycare - someone would always be sick, doctors appts, things like that.  It'll just work for our family to have me home for a few years. 
  • I'm still working, but dropped down to PT 32hrs/week.  My mom watches the kids and we also have a babysitter for a few hours in the afternoon.  However I am trying to change jobs and will put the kids in DC when I go back to FT.  It's going to be insanely expensive, but I think its worth it.  However if I could afford to be a SAHM I would do it in a heartbeat.

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  • I was already SAHM when we found out about number 2.  But if I had been working I'm pretty sure that would have made me stay home.  After 13 years, I just didn't love me job enough to have all my earnings go to day care.  That's a bit of an exaggeration, but not too much.  I plan to go to work when my kids start school, but I don't know what I want to be when I grow up.
  • I work full time. We use a nanny so it was only a 10% increase for the second. When we move to having the kids in daycare next fall it will be less money since our nanny is a lot money.

    Honestly there no real perfect answer. If daycare is more than you earn then the decision is pretty simple. However if you'd earn an extra $300, $400, $500, etc no one can tell you if that is worth it to your family. I'd probably work even if I took home zero for a year or two because I'm just not a SAHM person and not working for even a year or two would really set me back in my field.

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  • I have 2 in 2 sep daycares right now and I'll have 3 in daycare for 2 years with 3u3. We are taking it one day at a time. Ultimately my salary will be gone for those years but I will still have retirement and a steady job/resume so I'm not sure what we will do.
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  • I would loooove to stay at home but money will be so tight. Im planning on going back to work part time. 3 days a,and fri nights(2-9pm) and sundays(830-4). My sister will be watching the boys on fridays (for 5 hours)and i will pay her. My husband has off wednesdays and sundays so I dont need to worry about a sitter. I just hate the fact I have to work on a sunday while my family is home but its football season so its not like we'll be doing
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  • I would spend so much on day care, gas, ect it was silly for me to work. Plus since I've been home I've been able to save a TON of money with coupons which takes time but at least I'm with my kids!
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  • We went for live in care, it is much cheaper for 5 kids than it would be fore 2 in FT daycare (not to mention having a flexible schedule.  Besides wanting to work or SAH, I think a part of the decision would be how much you make.  Right now I make more than DH, but his job carries the insurance, so although it would be nice for either of us to SAH and not pay for our au pair, we both need to work at the moment.
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  • In the short term, our 2u2 will cost us just under $3k/month in the center we currently use (and we just can't possibly see leaving it).  But it's an investment in our future for me to continue working.  In a year, 3 years, 5 years...the cost of daycare will be much smaller and I will still have increased my experience, job security, and earning potential.  It is better for me, for my boys, for our family for me to continue working.  I'm an engineer, so re-entering the job market after several years off would probably be tough.  So yes, I will continue to work.  I have actually been working 30 hours/week (off on Wednesdays) since I came back to work with my first, and I'm hoping to continue that schedule until our second is at least a year (which adds to the $$ hardship of 2u2 in daycare, but is super important to me too). 

    ETA: I also strongly believe my son benefits from spending time in the learning environment he is in, playing with the other kids, etc.  The only way I would SAH is if we could afford to still send him to his current center 2-3 days/week.  So that certainly makes the fact that (in the short term) I'm working TO pay for childcare worth it to me.

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  • We decided for me to SAH until the kids are in school full-time.

    Our household ends up making out ahead SAH even though I had a good paying middle management career before kids. I take home $200/week from waitressing 2 nights a week from 6-11pm. If I were working full time paying for full time daycare (which for quality care would run me $500 a week) plus the cost of commuting (I'd be spending an extra $60/week on gas alone)/car maintenance, dry cleaning, extra money on groceries/dinners out, etc. I would not take home $800/month. 

    While things like retirement savings/future earning potential are important, I calculated that overall, I would work in my career field for 44 years (assuming a retirement age of 65). That makes taking a few years off look a lot smaller in the grand scheme of things. Of course, my DH's company has a very generous match and we still put money aside from his job into 401k and I didn't work in a field where my skills would be obsolete by the time I'd want to get back to work so that all makes an impact on my decision. If I had no potential to go back to career down the road, I would probably have continued to work.

    On top of the financial benefits it also helps my household run better--no one has to miss work when the kids are sick or try to figure out how to manage the kids' speech therapy schedules with their work schedules. I do all the mundane errands during the week so our weekends are filled with fun family stuff.

    GL with whatever you decide!

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  • Wow thank you so much to everyone for replying.  It is really helpful to just see how different people make it work!  I know we still have a bit of time to make a final decision but I really appreciate all of your replies. Thanks!!!

  • I am due March 1st with baby #2 and my husband and I have been having the same thoughts...I am actually fortunate that right now my job lets me work two days from home and three days in office.  Baby#1 is in daycare 2 days and with MIL 1 day.  My issue comes with, the in-laws are moving to Florida after new baby is born, so it will now be daycare for two babies at least 3 days a week, which winds up being just under my paycheck (the daycare I use doesn't really have a separate weekly rate, and we really love her and don't want to have to change if possible).  My husband is about to be a correction's officer, he is finishing the interview process and will hopefully start Academy soon, so we are going to wait to see how that salary pans out with our needs at home and make the decision then.  I am a heavy duty crafter, and may be able to to have more time to make side money selling my crafts for extra income.  I have had to hang back from entering craft shows while I have been working and managing the family, time has been limited.

    So point being (sorry for the rant), it is all about what works for your particular situation, the questions will keep coming, but the answers will certainly follow!  Good luck!!

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  • Daycare.  It costs us $477/week.  This is cheap compared to the place we were at first...$650/week for 2u2.

    My takehome pay (and I don't even carry the health insurance) is worth $7/hour because of daycare costs - but at this point in my career, I can't not work.  I was laid off for 2 years and couldn't get licensed in the normal timeframe, so now I am too "old" to be unlicensed so I had to take whatever job in my field I could get and went back to work at 18w pregnant with #2.  I will take my licensing test in April and if I pass it I may be able to negotiate part-time or change companies to get closer to home too. 

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  • I dropped to part time and we used a nanny because it was WAY cheaper than day care and I greatly preferred the 1:2 ratio as well as her ability to take them to go do all the things I wanted them to do like park, library, zoo, museum, etc.

     Now I'm back to full time and the kids are at a great school/day care center but when they were younger (under 3 or 4) I wanted them to be able to be in their own beds and on their own schedules.


    Our IF journey: 1 m/c, 1 IVF with only 3 eggs retrieved yielding Dylan and a lost twin, 1 shocker unmedicated BFP resulting in Jace, 3 more unmedicated pregnancies ending in more losses.
    Total score: 6 pregnancies, 5 losses, 2 amazing blessings that I'm thankful for every single day.
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