Working Moms

Worried about when DD goes to school . . .

I have been doing pretty well being back at work and handling DD in daycare etc.  She absolutely loves daycare and we can already tell that she is going to be a social kid.

The other day, I was hanging out with my neighbor -- a working mom with two boys (6 and 3).  She recently quit her job to do part time contract work from home because they were having a really tough time managing two working parents with one kid in school and the other with a nanny. 

I looked around and realized that I don't know a single person who would be in my situation when DD goes to school -- two full-time working parents without a nanny.  Seriously, we live in a large metropolitan area and everyone either has one parent at home or working part-time or has a full-time nanny.  We commute about 30 minutes each way which doesn't help with schedules.

Ever since, I've been worried about how we will manage and whether we should nix plans for #2.  Schools have after-care, but I dread sending DD to school at 8:30 and not being able to pick her up until 6. 

Financially, I could go part-time, but my job would likely not allow it.  I'm a lawyer working in the government and surprisingly no one in my department has been granted part-time status.  They don't even allow people at my level to telework -- technically we should be able to but the unwritten rule is we can't.  Leaving the government would only mean MORE hours in the office. 

I know I'm worrying over something years away, but I'm trying to decide if we should have #2 (I'm 34) or we should make other changes. 

How have you found things change once kids go to school?

Re: Worried about when DD goes to school . . .

  • I don't have experience in this but I know how you feel. DH and I both have very demanding jobs. We know we don't want to be in this position when our LO/LO's are in school. We are planning now to have one of us working part-time or not at all by the time our kids are in school. Right now DS is on our schedule, but when he is in school we will be on his. He will have homework etc. and one of us will need to be there.

    We are TTC #2 right now because we know we want at least 2 children, but we do think that DH will be making much more in the next few years and we will hopefully be able to refinance our home to allow me to work from home or not at all. As a back up plan I am getting my teaching certificate, which I want to do anyway. At least if I were teaching I could have a somewhat similar schedule. 

    I do know families that have made this work with two full time working parents (DH's family was one of them), but I just don't feel like I could handle it. I think if you want to make it happen you can. I personally would rather sacrifice some material things during those 10-15 years when my LO's are in school than try to make it work with two demanding jobs.

    So, I think you sound like you feel like I do. Maybe start exploring other options that would allow you to work part time or less. Evaluate your priorities and make a decision based on whether an bigger family is important to you or you would be happier working full time.

  • imagembenit4:

    We both work full-time and DD has been in public school starting this year.  She does stay after school for extended day. I don't see the big deal since she was staying just as late in daycare. They do activities with them and since she has been in daycare since she was 6 weeks old she doesn't know anything different.

    This is our plan. We also have grandparents nearby who would love to see her an afternoon a week. Between that and some comp time so I can leave early one day a week, we can swing it. I remember after school programs being a ton of fun when I was a kid. I more worry about missing all DD's after school recitals, plays, and sporting events like my working mom did. That is where I want to be, so come middle school, I may be rethinking my schedule. But I have 10 years to think about it.

    It definitely played into why DD will be an only child, as did all financial and time constraints we have.

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  • Hmmm... I have not even thought about this. But I see your point. I believe we'll be able to make it work. I think I'll be able to change my work schedule; go to work earlier so I can be home earlier.
  • My first-born is almost 14yo and the transition from DC to pre-school to public school was pretty easy.  DH & I both worked full-time and some pretty crazy hours during those years but we always found a way to make it work.  DH drove a truck over the road and I worked a striaght 8-5 office job.  Once we found I had more potential in the workplace he came off the road and took a job that kept him on a more regular schedule.  I travel a good bit in my current job and try to plan my trips around his current job which is shift work and includes a 7 day break every 28 days.  We used different afterschool programs and were generally pleased.  Well except the one at the pre-school because they really didn't like mothers who worked outside of the home.  Needless to say that after the school year we were done with those people.

    I don't know how this is going to work out in adding our new little one to the mix.  I'll probably try to decline as much travel as possible in the first year or two to help keep the burden off DH but we already know that when LO is about 11 weeks old I have to go to Las Vegas for our industries big trade show which only occurs every 3 years.  Luckily DH is on 7 day break for most of that trip and my mother will watch both boys for the two nights that he does have to work.  Instead of staying an extra night like last time I went out there I am taking a red-eye flight home the night the show ends.

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  • My daycare offers before and after school care for up to 3rd grade I think. The local Y also does afterschool care at the school. If needed, we will do this. I don't see the difference between this and being at daycare until 430 or 5p each day.
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  • A lot can change in the next 5 years before your DD goes to school.  I am lucky that my schedule is flexible so that I can change it when the time comes.  Some schools do have after school care you just have to look and do some research.  My DH is also off two days during the week so that's nice too, although in 5 years that might change and he might be working M-F.  We will just deal with it when the time comes.  I more or less worry about what to do on the days she's off school but all my siblings have older kids so we would probably bring them to there house for the day for them to watch her/play.  My 13 year old stepdaughter stays home with my 7 year old niece so my 7 year old niece will be 12 by the time DD goes to school so it works out.  You will figure it out.  If you are going to have a second and are worried about all that stuff...do it now so they are close in age and the second will be in school shortly after so that you only have to drop one of at daycare/school for a short period of time.   
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