Working Moms

Does being a working mom affect the number of kids you want or have?

Does being a working mom affect the number of kids you want or have?

DH and I just had our first and possibly only child. He is 3 mos and will be 4 mos by the time I go back to work. DH and I are both busy attorneys and I love my job. I know it will be a lot of work to do a great job at work and at home. I was wondering if any of you decided to have only one child or fewer children than you would "ideally" like just so you can keep a job you love and make sure your child or children get enough attention? Clearly we haven't made a final decision but my DH pretty strongly wants one child due to our jobs and high COL. I'm a bit more on the fence.
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Re: Does being a working mom affect the number of kids you want or have?

  • Yes, for sure. Because I have (and want) to work there is only so much I can do in a day. I've realized my limitations and a house full of kids means I won't be able to give them as much attention as they want or need. But that is also my own personal limitation. There are some working moms with 3 kids and those 3 kids are getting all of their needs met. I'm just a little more selfish where I require a lot of mommy downtime and my job can be demanding too.
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  • Yes. I could have more but couldn't afford them if I didn't work. I have two, maybe we can try for a third but not because I work. But because the kids are a ton of work!
  • Yes in a sense. DH and I are also both attorneys. We had decides on being 1 and done. Then my own brother was killed last Jan and it changed our perspective on a lot of things, especially wanting dd to have a sibling.
    Now we have DS. But we are done. I couldn't handle 3 and a career
  • Well nothing is set it stone for us yet....We just had our first 8months ago. We are on the fence between 2 and 3.  My heart says 3 and my head says there is no way we could manage 3 with both of us working our current fulltime schedule(50+ hrs./week). However, reasons both time-wise and financial will impact our final decision.

    DH recently took a new job and there is definitely room for him to increase his salary over the next few years. Right now I bring in 2/3 of our income, and DH brings in 1/3. If we could earn the same amount total with him earning 1/2 and me earning 1/2, but only working 30hrs/week that would be ideal. It would definitely make entertaining a 3rd more attractive to both of us.

  • No

    The only thing that working might do is determine how far we space them. Currently we have 2. We can't afford 3 in daycare at the same time. So, if we have a 3rd it won't be until DD1 is in school.

    Oh and I should add that we haven't decided if we will have 3, but if we do, we will be done after that.
    "Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."
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  • We haven't decided on a number, we're going to have to see how it goes one at a time, but we both feel strongly about not having only one. A sibling is irreplaceable. There is a special bond and a distinct friendship between siblings that is an important dynamic in a family. Kids will rebel against parents and a sibling can get you through. Especially because we are so busy, we want 2 so they can always have a buddy. No judgement to those who want one. Just our experiences!
  • No...I would not want a third even if I was not working.  But my children don't sleep, so there is that.  :)

    In all seriousness, I don't think that for me SAH would equal more kids.  I just don't see it, and we always only wanted two.  So no, work itself is not an impediment, and if I did want more I could do it and still keep my job and still give everyone plenty of love and attention...but I am just done.

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  • Yes.  It affects the number of kids and also the spacing.  Ideally, I'd like to have 3 or 4 kids 2 years apart.  In reality, I'll probably have 2, and will likely space them 3-4 years apart.  We just can't afford multiple kids in full-time daycare for very long.
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  • I was going to post something similar to this today!

    Currently DD is 12.5 months. I go between wanting two and wanting three. In my heart I feel I could do three, and I would like it. However like one of the previous posters I need a lot of mommy down-time. I will also be very honest and say that although I'm not super duper materialistic, I do like nice things and I do like to spend money on frills (like haircuts and facials). While I appreciate that three kids would be fun I'm not sure that I could "treat" myself to the things I've worked hard to be able to afford if I had three (both because of limited time and money). It doesn't have so much to do with working as it does with maintaining my personal quality of life.

    In my head, before we had DD I wanted three with 2 years between each. Now I feel like I'll have two 3 years apart. It changes all the time depending on my mood, the only constant is that I want DD to have a sibling and that I'm not TTC until at least June.

  • Maybe. It's hard to separate the fact that I work out of the rest of our lives. there are sk many factors. We are undecided on whether to have a 2nd, mainly because my DH worries that life would become overwhelmingly stressful. I think it would be stressful
    in the shortterm but manageable longterm. If I didn't work that might be less of an issue since he would have more leeway on the "work" part of kids. I think we will end up having a 2nd anyway, though, they'll just be further apart than they might have been of I stayed home.

    I doubt we would have more than 2 either way. I love having a small family and DH sees the advantages too.
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  • Yes. We have both always been set on at least two. If I can SAH or work parttime I think i will definitely want a third, but I would want to wait until our oldest is in kindergarten so I don't have three at home all day! If I'm still working fulltime when I'm 37 I think we will likely not have a third. We are both attorneys too.
    DS: 2/17/11          DD: 9/4/13
  • Both attorneys here as well!  Yes it does.  Its difficult balancing hte stress and demands of work with the time needed by children.  I would love to have a second child, but I am worried about being able to meet the needs of two children on top of work.  We are in the same spot as you - lets give it a few more months beforew e make any final decisions. 

  • image mylittlesunshine:
    No The only thing that working might do is determine how far we space them. Currently we have 2. We can't afford 3 in daycare at the same time. So, if we have a 3rd it won't be until DD1 is in school. Oh and I should add that we haven't decided if we will have 3, but if we do, we will be done after that.
    This is us exactly.
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  • No...but timing and cost of said children do. So I guess that is work related :) 
  • I guess for some people it does.  For us, we want 2 or 3 and that would be the same if I were a SAHM.
  • Absolutely.  I have this crazy decision tree about whether or not we have a third baby.  If I get promoted, If DH starts his company, If his company fails, If it succeeds, if my career falters, if I get to 39 years old, etc, etc.

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  • Yes, it does.  DH and I are pretty sure we are one and done.

     When DS was around 6 months old, I remember telling my mom "I know I can be a really good working mom to one child.  I don't know if I could be a really good working mom to more than one."  I have colleagues with 3 kiddos and I admire them.  I wouldn't be able to meet everyone's needs and still keep my sanity if I had another LO.

    And then there are financial reasons as well.  The cost of daycare is currently $1000/ mo.  We'll be glad when we put that behind us, but there are the never ending expenses that pop up and I know those will get worse as DS gets older.  I still want to have the freedom to focus on myself every now and then - by keeping my wardrobe updated, going on vacations, and living a generally comfortable lifestyle.

    So 1 and done here.  We're just all so happy right now that I don't see any reason to rock that boat. 


  • Yes. Im not going to have another unless I can stay home full time. I know working with two kids would be to stressful for me.
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  • We have three.  I was done at two.  DH begged.  And begged.  I am glad we have DS (he is an "ours" baby - second marriage for us both).  If that were not the case I would have stopped at two and never looked back. 

    Three isn't that much different than two from a parenting logistics standpoint.  One more more bedtime more set of more personality that you cannot imagine not having in your more car seat to buckle.....I thought that it would be more demanding than it is.

    I think it would be impossible if my children were not spaced though...9,5,almost 1.  So their needs are very different, and they are all on slightly different schedules, which makes it easy to have time with each of them each day (not a ton, come on, but DS gets morning cuddles/nursing before the girls get up, both girls get their own time at bedtime and both get time to just read with me....the age differences way way helps).

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  • I would love to have a third, but it doesn't seem to be in the cards.  I work, we're old, and we have no space.  Sucks...

  • Thanks for all the responses! Super helpful and raised some things I had been thinking about as well. I definitely am used to having and needing more downtime and having money for extras, but that is balanced against L having a sibling who will be there for him, especially when his dad and I get old or are gone. I know some siblings don't really get along though. I really just want to do what is best for him and our family and this gives me a lot to think about. Completely agree that some people are able to do a great job even while working with mulitple kids, just not sure if we are. Looks like there are lots of two attorney couples on here!
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  • Yes, absolutely.  DH and I are both military officers with very busy careers.  We're both super successful and getting high up there in rank at this point.  I love my career and think more than one child would make it impossible.  So I think we're one and done too. 

    I think we'll be able to give DD everything she needs and I will be able to keep my personal happiness as well.  I don't think I'm cut out for more than one, to be honest. 

    I think I'm a really good mom, but part of that stems from me having my own life and a career that keeps me fulfilled and happy. 

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  • YES.  We cannot afford daycare, plain and simple.  Otherwise (and if I were younger), we would have 5 kids.  Obviously, daycare would just be the tip of the iceberg once college rolls around.
  • I wanted two and that's what we have. IF I wanted more than yes, work would affect the number or I would have to space them further to afford DC.
    Mommy of two girls: DD1 4/14/9 DD2 4/15/11
  • Working doesn't affect the number of kids for me, but the spacing.

    If I didn't have to foot the daycare bill I would space my LO's a bit closer.  We can swing three in daycare at a time but I don't want to do this for an extended period of time.

    We want at least three and possibly four.  If the thrid is another girl we will probably try again.  If the third is a boy we may be done.  I would like to continue working but may see what part time options are available down the road.

  • Not really, I'm home now and kids are still a lot of work! That said, though I have been saying we are done at 2, I find myself occasionally thinking of one more...

    Before kids, DH wanted 3 and I 2 but after we had DD, we decided one more to see how it is before we conclude - as of now, no conclusion yet though I have a feeling he is done LOL.


  • image mylittlesunshine:
    No The only thing that working might do is determine how far we space them.

    This is our situation. DD is only our first but DH's job is already determinining when we plan to have out next. Our plan was 2-3 years between kids but DH is military and going for training and schooling this fall. He will only be home weekends, holidays and summers over the next 4 years until his courses are done; because of that, we're considering holding off longer than we planned so he's finished that before we continue. Also depending where we move and what happens after that, more road blocks may come up, but we still plan to have all the kids we always planned on.

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  • I think I might be opposite of everyone here.  I work so I can have a bigger family.  DH and I have always wanted a big family.  I wanted to SAH as well (or work PT) but as the economy tanked, we made the decision to stick with our family plan rather than me staying at home.  As much as I don't want to work, I am home until the bigger ones get on the bus, DH is home when they get off, and we are both home evenings and weekends.  We are able to go to all of their activities (gymnastics, dance, soccer, etc) and I can't image not having the big family that we have.
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  • No we always wanted 2 kids whether we worked or not.  Occasionally I get moments of wanting tons of kids because I love them so much, but then I realize I how hard it is and decide to stick with two. 
  • It's impacted spacing moreso than number, my age has impacted the total number.

    While I'd like to have 4+ kids, I also want to be done having babies by 35. Since I'm going to be 31 in a few months, and not currently pregnant, the math doesn't work lol. FWIW I don't think there's anything wrong with having kids past 35, but I am thinking long term, I'd like to have my kids grown and moving on to college by the time I'm in my 50s. We are thinking 3 is our limit, but we shall see.

    I hesitate to get my heart set too firmly on any plans because life has a way of throwing us onto new paths.

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