March 2013 Moms

Stay at home or go back to work?

I am having a really hard time trying to decide if i 'm going back to work after LO is born. I had expected to work till LO came, however the doctor put me off work in December. so i 'm using sick leave right now and have maybe 4 more pay checks and i'm done. I was expecting to not have to make the decision till maybe April. I have always liked my job but i really want to stay home with our LO. we live 2hrs away from our family and we dont know anyone who can babysit and all the daycares that i have contacted do not accept babies younger than 3 to 6 mos. i dont want to drop my kid off for a stranger to raise everyday. however things will be fiancially tight if i dont go back to work, hubby's overtime got cut at the first of the year and that has already hurt us. plus i work in a Sheriffs office with all guys and there is no where at all i can pump, the only room that locks is the interview room and it has a camera and a 2way mirror! i'm trying to save money any way we can right now and get bills paid but i am just so torn and stressed out as what to do. I also did not get to train the other girl in my office on my job and i know things are not getting done (things that i told her had to be done by 1-5-13, she just called me this past week cause she forgot how) i have lost sleep the past 2 nights because i worry about the things that need done at work and i cant do. but the thought of putting our little guy in the hands of a stranger after we have waited 17 years for him, just eats at me too. my hubby just says to do whatever i want to do, he is leaving it up to me but he would rather have baby's mommie raise him and in the end its my job, do what i want. I just cant decide what i want. I have gotten all kinds of opinions, some are helpful and some are not, one friend told me daycare is for people who dont love their kids as much as stay at home moms! what are you all going to do? I know this is a long post i just need to type it out and try to work it out with myself!

Re: Stay at home or go back to work?

  • I personally think there is nothing wrong with using daycare if that is what works for your family. My DS goes to daycare 2x/week and he loves it. Every morning he asks if he can go to school. He learns a lot and really enjoys playing with the other kids.

    Is there another option for work for you? Something you can do part-time, around your husbands hours so you wouln't need child care?

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  • Would you be able to work part time on the weekends or on the days that your husband works?  If sucks for being able to spend time as a family, but it could be something temporary until you would be able to use the daycare at 3-6 months. 
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  • I would try to make it work so you can stay home but I am a SAHM so I am biased.  Are there any bills you can cut (eating out, cable, etc) ?

  • What about working part-time? It is such a hard choice to make. I am a teacher and taking the rest of the year off. We will get half of my pay check until Sept. and it is going to be a huge adjustment.  Next year I want to job share with another teacher so I can work part-time, although my district makes it very difficult to do so, so next year is up in the air and that freaks me out! I do agree daycare isn't a bad thing. I think it gives great socialization skills. My hubby wants his mom (who is moving here soon) to watch LO, but I said no because I think she's crazy. Do what feels right to you. I figure I won't really know what I want until LO is here.
  • Daycare doesn't raise a child, the parents do.  We have DD in daycare and she has learned so much and literally doesn't always want to come home at the end of the day.  It breaks my heart because I desperately wanted to be a SAHM, but we couldn't afford to stay in our house if I was one and I don't want to be irresponsible to my family or put too much of the burden on DH.  So we decided that I would go back full-time and as hard as it was, I'm glad I did.  Now that we're having our second child, we're in a place that we can afford for me to work part-time and be home part-time to have the best of both worlds.  I am thinking by reading your post that you already know what you want to do and if DH is on board, I say stay home.  If you need to go back to work for financial reasons, then that's what you should do. 
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  • I feel your stress from what you've said and can relate for sure!  This was me 9 years ago when my son was born.  I ended up working part time and working weekends and nights when my DH was home.  I always said I wanted to have children and stay home to teach and raise them.  Then when I had my 2nd son I quite my job to stay home with them.  This is just my experience.....I loved loved being the one to see all the 1sts with my children but I was lost.  I went on antidepressants and just wasn't my normal social self.  It was hard on my relationship with my husband both while I worked part time(as we were parenting alone essentially) and when I was a SAHM because I wasn't fullfilled or complete.  I realized I needed to keep learning and growing as a person and found myself always putting the boys and my DH first.  I was emotionally exhausted. We cut out every bill we could and stayed home most of the time.  We ended up going bankrupt.  I went back to work part time at a daycare where I could bring my kids.  That helped so much to have the social life for both of us.  It was really hard on my boys to learn to be social at an older age I learned.  They were so used to just me.  I took a promotion and now work while the boys are in school and it's been good.  I have decided that with this LO #3 on the way I will be working full time(9-5) and will be using daycare.  I will have family time at night and on the weekends and will be co-parenting with my DH.  I will have all holidays and vacations with my family.  I will have the money to put my children in the sports and activities they want to do as well as afford those vacations.  This LO will learn social skills quickly.  I will have success for me emotionally which is important for my well being.  I will have it all. Think of it this way......either one you choose.....you winSmile
  • If you can stay at home and make it work...do it.  I've never heard of a mom regretting staying at home.  However, I have heard of many moms that regret working or wish that they could have stayed at home with their now grown children.  I will be a SAHM, so I guess I'm biased. 
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  • If you can find a way to afford to stay at home, I would definitely do it, especially for the 1st year and if you plan to breastfeed. They grow so quickly from babies to toddlers to big kids, and I would hate to miss out on that.

    I will agree with one of the pp who said they felt lost as a SAHM. It is definitely disorienting at first, but I found that once I figured out a routine things went much better (after the first few months, of course. Just expect the first few months with a newborn to be crazy). I also kept working from home (like 10 hours a week) just so I could keep my foot in the door at work, and so I would have something to put on my resume. When baby #2 came (I had 2 under 2 yrs), I was too busy to continue working from home, so I switched to nannying before/after school care. It was perfect. It gave us a reason to get up and get going in the mornings and after naptime, and I was earning about $150 week which I realized was about what I would have made working full time and paying for daycare for 2 kids!

    I wish you the best of luck with your decision!


  • Well, first figure out what bills are able to be cut, you know, the nice to haves but don't need stuff or you can get reduced. Then figure out how much child care is going to cost (even part time child care if you choose to work parttime), then look at how much you make. If you make enough that you aren't working to pay for child care and it will be a boost for your family, then i would say ok, go to work...but if you are just working to pay for child care, stay home and raise your baby the way you want, not the way someone else see's fit. And there are jobs you can do from home, like out sourced customer service, all you need is a computer and a basic land line and all you do is take calls for certain time frames (like West At Home). Another option would be maybe keep a child for someone at your house, like a nanny, if you are so inclined. The later I would find out what the laws in your area are for that, but most places don't get on people for keeping 1 extra child as a nanny/sitter and you can go through your local church to let people know, or go on care.com
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  • It's a tough decision but you have to do what you think is best for your family and new baby. Even though it'll be tough for a while, I'm more than likely staying home for a year. I'm a teacher and need to move on from my current school desperately. I'll probably sub three days a week next year to keep my name and face out there but it's basically no pay.

    Go with your gut and I hope it all works out well for you!

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  • This is almost my same exact situation!!  My boyfriend and I live 2 hours away from all of our family and friends and now live in a very small town where there aren't really any daycares available.  My schedule rotates and my boyfriends can be unpredictable so we made the best decision that we could and I am not going back to work after the baby arrives.  Even though money will be a little tighter I think it will be best for us right now.
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  • I'm going back to work after three months and we have already put a deposit down for a 5-day a week day care for LO.

    I don't think it means I love LO any less.... it means I give a damn that I'm not trusting the cat to watch her all day alone.  :)

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  • I had this decision to make also when DH and I started talking about kids. We had been living in the city, and wanted to move out to the suburbs for the sake of our growing family. Moving out of the city meant that my commute would be approximately 2 hours EACH WAY!!! DH works nights and weekends, so that meant that we would literally never see each other (or LO for that matter).

     So, we made the decision that I would stay home with our LO. We bought a house that has an attached rental apartment, and that has provided us with an extra $800/month. For us it has been working out really well so far, and made it possible for us to afford a 15 year mortgage, so we will have everything paid off by the time LO is ready to start thinking about college :)

    I also do a little bit of freelance writing on the side, so that I won't have a giant gap when I'm ready to go back to work. Honestly, that was one of my biggest concerns, because I didn't want to get totally boxed out of the job market. I structure my jobs/clients with deadlines instead of set hours, so that gives me the flexibility to work around all the doctors appointments and etc. It also gives me a sense of purpose and lets me contribute to the family finances.

    Well, that's just my longwinded story of how we've made it work for our family!

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  • There is no right or wrong answer.  Don't let guilt dictate what you decide.  I am a SAHM and love it.  We had to adjust things financially but it hasn't been the hardship I expected at all.  If that's what you you really want you can make it work.  I try to advise newly married couples who are thinking of starting a family to do what we did.  We lived on one income and used mine to pay off all our cc debt and other debt.  Our house is not large but the trade off to us was worth it.
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