how can you work?

Discussion in 'The Toddler Years(1-3)' started by Gimena, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. Gimena

    Gimena Well-Known Member

    I've been thinking about going back to work...but with the cost of daycare for 2, I would probably go in debt going back to work?
    Unless you are making more than 50k, most of the money would go to daycare,
    for the working moms, how do you do it?
  2. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    i work contracts in theatre through the fall & winter - when i'm in rehearsal it's 6 days/week. my MIL babysits two days a week for free, my sister babysits 2 days a week in exchange for babysitting hours for her little guy, and the other two days a week we have a gal who babysits for $10.00/hour. then, once the show opens, i pretty much only work evenings, so DH & i are able to trade off over dinner.

    during the spring & summer i work as a birth doula - i have a long list of possible babysitters to call depending on what time of day my client goes into labor, some of them babysit for free, others we pay $10.00/hour. but at most, i'll only have 4 clients a month & need child care for only approximately 4 days/month.
  3. Fossie

    Fossie Well-Known Member

    I am struggling with that right now! I work full-time and my dh is commission only sales so I have to continue working for health insurance, steady income, etc. - especially since his business is struggling. We had a great deal at a home day-care but she is retiring and now I have to find something else and I am finding it virtually impossible. Home day-cares and nannies that work for a flat weekly fee are much more affordable, but at this age I feel like the kids need more than that. I think PP had a good point - you just have to get creative. We are looking into school day programs and having dh pick them up three days and me two days (with arrangements with work) - but it is still ridiculous! It is stressing me to no end - I am right on the edge of making enough for it to be worth it but without dh's income I am just on the edge period!
  4. vtlakey

    vtlakey Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure where you live, but yes the cost of daycare makes it nearly impossible for a lot of twin moms to return to work. Paying for one infant is easily doable, but its crazy expensive for two infants. I live in southwest Virginia and daycare rates around here range from $135/week per kid to $170/week per kid, with some daycare centers offering a 5-10% discount on the second child. The best (ie. highly recommended) daycare centers around here are around $150-$160 a week per kid, and I just really wasn't sure we would be able to swing that. I ended up finding a great daycare in the next town over (which is still only 10 minutes from our home) and they only charge $140/week and provide all meals, snacks, and milk. It still blows my mind that we pay a little more than $1100 a month in childcare though!! DH and I are fortunate that we have stable jobs with a decent salary, but things are still tight. Up until the boys were 11 months old my mom came to our house to watch them 40 hours a week, and we were able to pay her $225 a week. That was still a lot of money to us, but not all that much for her (however she was their Grammy and wasn't looking to make big bucks), and boy was it convenient to not have to pack them up every morning! But we planned all along to put them in daycare around 1 year of age, and had we not been able to find an affordable daycare center we were going to have to find a private babysitter who babysits a handful of kids out of their home. They are generally much cheaper (around here they average $100/week per kid) but there is no real oversight so you have to really put your trust in someone and hope and pray they treat your kids well why you are at work.

    Have you considered private babysitters? Your state probably has a list of all licensed babysitters that you could check and see if they have had any violations.

    Good luck! It's really hard.
  5. carlylafont

    carlylafont Well-Known Member

    I worked hard for my degree (which I graduated at about 4 months pregnant). So, I look at working as another way to pay for my experience so that I don't loose any momentum and have to start from where I was before I had a degree. We don't even break even. Just looking at after tax income to daycare (not including travel, etc..) I make about $5-$10 dollars a week. BUT: I keep my resume current, my girls are exposed to other children, I keep my mind challenged, and have something to look forward to. I only work in the office 2 days per week and I also do home projects. The home projects boost what I take home. I figure I worked too hard to finish my degree to let it go to waste and it is healthy for our family if we take time from each other. SO that is what I see is in addition to the actual monteary exchange. Once I accepted this point of view, it was eaiser to go to work and embrace it. I enjoy what I do, so that makes a difference too. If I didn't then I don't think I could rationalize it no matter what.
  6. WaterGuzzler

    WaterGuzzler Well-Known Member

    I, also, worked very hard for my degree and graduated when the babies were 7 months old. I also love my job to no end. I, however, have the opportunity to work 24/7 since hospitals never close, so I chose to work nights/weekends. I work Saturday and Sunday nights, and one night during the week that are scheduled. I also pick up 1-2 OT shifts a week. On the weekends DH takes all the kids to his parents and watches them over there. On the mornings after my shift during the week, I have a sitter come to the house for $10/hr to watch the three girls (DS is in camp) and sleep from when I get home around 8 or 8:30 until 1:30. When I pick up the OT shifts the sitter comes over again, but the overtime money that I make far outweighs the cost of babysitting.

    My situation is different because of my work hours, but even if it wasn't, DH just lost his insurance benefits at work (yay economy) so I would have to carry the insurance anyway. And my benefits are outstanding for the family so I would be silly to not work.
  7. christy.fisher

    christy.fisher Well-Known Member

    My daycare charges $210 a week for the infant room but we get a 20% twin discount so we pay $336 a week instead of $420. If we had to pay the full rate for two babies, we couldn't afford it.

    I am working four days a week this year and after paying daycare, I bring home $28 every two weeks. The way I look at it, I'm breaking even so we're not losing money, I get the babies all to myself on Fridays and I get out of the house during the week.

    When I go back to five days a week next year, I'll bring home about $300-$400 a month, but I'll lose my Fridays at home with the babies. I make $30,000 full-time.

    My plan is to work until they start kindergarten and then stay home with them or find a part-time job during school hours and stay home during the summer.
  8. desolation_anonymous

    desolation_anonymous Well-Known Member

    You're absolutely right.

    I make $44K a year, and our daycare costs $400 a week for two. On months with only 4 weeks, our net gain is just under $1000 a month. And I have to adjust our taxes because we owed so it will be probably less.

    That doesn't take into account the cost for gas, wear and tear on the car, and parking and /or bart. I am lucky that my work does commuter checks for work which is PRE_TAX if not that would be bad. SO I have to bring lunch from home every day, and on a GOOD month if I took BART every day take-home would be about $800. on a month I don't take bart or in a month with 5 weeks take-home is about $600.


    The only reason I work is that if it's $800 a month almost pays for 1/2 of the mortgage. We are barely scraping by and we couldn't pay all of our bills without it. Credit card debts, cell phones, TV (yes I know we could cancel this) mortgage, water bills, garbage bills, phone bills, home insurance, electric bills... we don't even have life insurance and all of it adds up.

    If we didn't own (we own in an area of CA that was called the 'nuclear winter' of home value drops) and werent' upside-down in what we owe we could move to a cheaper place to make ends meet. But we can't sell so moving to lower housing costs isn't an option. Our home is worth 2/3 what we paid for it (and it is only at 25% value to what it was at it's peak value before the bust).

    Part of it is yes, it would be harder to enter the workforce again later in life, especially with the horrible job market right now, which in all honesty I think is going to keep getting worse and I don't think it will ever get back to what it used to be. But honestly, IF, and I mean IF we could make it work I would trade that to spend time with my kids that are so very quickly growing.
  9. jen8675309

    jen8675309 Well-Known Member

    Wow, I am so lucky! I make a good salary and only have to pay for 3 days of daycare (my mom and SIL watch the girls for free 2 days a week). I only have to pay $132 a week for both girls in daycare and the only thing I have to provide is diapers and wipes. Daycare only costs me about 12% of my salary. :tomato: I am in Indiana and my girls go to a licensed home daycare. If the girls were in full time, it would still only cost me $220 a week for both! Anybody want to move to Indiana? :laughing:
  10. piccologirl

    piccologirl Well-Known Member

    you make more than 50k! :good: i'm not trying to be glib, but it really is a huge expense and you have to weigh whether your income can compensate for the outlay.

    there are reasons other than pay to go back to work, of course. a fulfilling career that you want to maintain, for instance. the huge expense is just for the first few years so even if you're just breaking even the benefit of staying in your field so that you don't lose ground can be a good argument.

    most important, however, is what's right for your family. our boys have thrived in daycare and we've really been happy with the structured learning time they've gotten. they have friends and they socialize beautifully with other kids. they've done tremendously well on milestones, and my little preemies are passing up bigger kids to advance to new classrooms. we feel strongly that this is a healthy environment for them and we've been very happy. DH was laid off a few months ago and we discussed whether we should pull them out of daycare while he's job searching. ultimately we decided we would scrimp and pinch and do whatever we could to provide them with the consistent schedule and excellent learning environment. it's worked for us!
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  11. vyckie72

    vyckie72 Well-Known Member

    Right now we are only able to pay for part time for the boys so, they are in day care for 3 days a week (less if we can find a way), I work from home 1 day a week (don't get much done) and my MIL watches the boys for 1 day (don't know how long that will go on since she is 74).
  12. vharrison1969

    vharrison1969 Well-Known Member

    I think you can find creative ways to make childcare work. But ITA with Sara that you can make a case that even if you're breaking even, you are making a long-term investment in your career. The longer you are out of the workforce, the harder it is to get back in, and the less people want to pay you. It's a sad fact for women in this country.

    I make more than enough to cover child care, but some days I wish I didn't so I'd have an excuse to stay home with my boys. But I know that if I quit now, it would be almost impossible to go back. I'm in IT so the field changes incredibly rapidly.

    Good luck, and I hope you find something that works well for you and your family. :hug:
  13. twinfinite

    twinfinite Well-Known Member

    So confusing! I don't want to start anything but I just don't understand the logic here.

    If you want to be a SAHM, doesn't it make more sense to do this when your kids are young (in the years BEFORE they start kindergarten) rather than work now when your kids actually would need you most?

    They won't be home most of the day when they start school, so you won't actually be WITH them that much if you wait to stay home until then.
  14. christy.fisher

    christy.fisher Well-Known Member

    No, it doesn't make sense to me. They go to daycare on my work schedule now. When they start kindergarten, they will be on the school's schedule and we would have to work it out for half days, getting on and off the bus, school holidays, summer vacation, etc. It would be so much easier if one of us was home when while they are in elementary school. My logic is more sensible to me and you don't have to agree, it's ok.

    And honestly, if I wanted to be a SAHM, I would just do it now. But I can work now and help pay off bills before I do stay home later. And they will always need me, not just in the early years. :)
  15. twinfinite

    twinfinite Well-Known Member

    Two things--

    First, let me just say - I respect your decision to do what is best for your family and yes, it's true- we don't have to agree! You would know what is best for what works for you and yours.

    Second, I am certain that no one here, including myself, would ever argue with the indisputable point that children will always need the parents! Of course, they will always need us. However, at the same time, I was simply making the case that children in the years BEFORE they are school-age would probably need us more, than when they are already school-age. Obviously, hour for hour, you would be able to spend more time with them now when they are not in school, relative to when they ARE enrolled in school.

    The sheer magnitude of dependency (and hence, the level of need) between a one-year-old (or two or three or four year old) in comparison to a five-year-old (or six-year-old) attending kindergarten is almost laughably incommensurable. It is just typically the situation that if and when a mother takes a hiatus from work it is usually done in the early developmental years before the school years begin, rather than the reverse. I know that most people don't have twins, though, and most people don't have the financial and emotional stress that comes along with it! So, I can definitely understand wanting to pay bills now rather than to wait it out.
  16. june07girl

    june07girl Well-Known Member

    I resigned my position after my one year maternity leave and went back to work on a casual basis. I still work 2 shifts/week (12 hours). One day a week my mom or MIL watches the girls and the other day is on the weekend so my DH is home with them. He has flexible hours and on the day I work during the week he goes in later and comes home earlier.

    I am lucky in that being an RN I have the flexibility in my hours and can pick up shifts around my families schedule and that I also have free childcare, otherwise, I don't know how we would do it.

    As they get older, childcare costs will go down so we may look into that in a couple years.
  17. 4Wmama

    4Wmama Active Member

    While I respect everyone's opinion and decision to go back to work I could not fathom doing so unless I was bringing home a significant portion of my salary, let alone "breaking even". I guess I don't understand dealing with the exhaustion of getting ready for the work day and transporting to daycare, commuting to the job place, the cost of a wardrobe, gas and wear and tear on a vehicle, to name a few reasons. While we are in a slightly different situation (my husband is active duty military and is deployed, and I am here w/ no family support) I could easily drive 30 min to Tacoma or commute a little further to Seattle and make $55-75K depending on the position (I work in the IT field.) However to do so I'd have to leave incredibly early, and would get home incredibly late. I don't know who would take our sons to speech therapy, and my other son to physical therapy let alone doctors appointments, etc. Maybe if someone had a big family support system it could be done. I question what is the point of not seeing what the babies do all day if you are not even making any money? Trust me when the boys were still on formula one twin had multiple, severe food allergies and his formula was over $450 per month, and that paired with the other twin's formula and diapers we were topping $800 per month. I seriously thought about trying to go back to work but we found ways to cut back -- financially it about killed us but we made it through. I just believe these initial three years are so important unless you absolutely cannot stay at home (and some people can't due to insurance, etc) why give it up?
  18. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    for me, the bottom line is that i really love my job(s) & find them extremely fulfilling as a person. i also really love my children & find being a mom extremely fulfilling. to give anything up is unfathomable to me. so even though our childcare arrangement is a bit convoluted, it's worth it because i am happier, more fulfilled & well rounded - which, in the end, only makes me a better mother & wife.

    there's more to a job than just money.
  19. Gimena

    Gimena Well-Known Member

    Thank you ladies for all your replies/comments. It helps so much to hear other peoples' experiences that have to deal with the same thing.
    My mom says that with two small children at home and a horrible economy we are going back in time where mom's usually stayed at home...
    basically it made more $ sense if you don't have family around to babysit, which I don't unfortunately.
    I always planned on taking 1 year off after have a child, but never expected to have twins. One child care expense is doable..two is another story..
    5% discounts just do not do it!
  20. kingeomer

    kingeomer Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Gimena, I am in the same boat you are. We don't have family that is able to watch the kids (my IL's all work, my mother works two jobs and DH's parents are deceased) and I think if we had a family member who could take care of the kids part time and save us some money on daycare, I'd be back to work without worrying about salary too much, but that is not our family's reality so unless I find a job that can cover the cost of daycare plus extra to go towards bills...I'll still be home. Daycare is expensive in my area...I am looking at 350.00 a week for two in daycare. I think people do what works best for themselves and their family. Whether you work or stay home, we all do the best we can for our families.
  21. 5280babies

    5280babies Well-Known Member

    Couldn't agree with this more. I live in a larger metro area so the daycare is higher but the salaries are higher in my field. It will be worth it when I go back to work full-time, but for now I work some part-time hours just to have time for me. I bring home about $300 a month after taxes and nanny pay, but I also have the best time with my daughters the days I am home with them. I was a SAHM mom for 14 mos and it was a struggle. I think having two had everything to do with it. Now I feel good most days, and I still get home by 4 pm on the days that I work. I am turning 36 this year and it is not an option, for too many reasons to count, to sit at home for 5 years to wait for kindergarten, which is only 1/2 day here anyway. Wouldn't be good for me or my girls...LOL. I think you have to decide what makes you happiest and try to strive for that goal without feeling guilty. Now, that is a challenge. :) My requirement is to make sure I am not paying to work.
  22. christy.fisher

    christy.fisher Well-Known Member

    I'd just like to point out that not everyone is cut out to be a SAHM. If a mom is working and breaking even on childcare because she likes her job or just needs out of the house, there is nothing wrong with that. Would it be so much better is she stayed home every day and was miserable?

    So for me, I could stay at home now while they are little and sit around my living room all day to adhere to a schedule while they are completely dependant, or I could not work (or work part-time as I actually stated in my post) while they are in school and enjoy field trips with them, volunteering in the classroom, spending all holidays and vacations with them, run around doing fun things in the summer time, etc. Or I could do what is "typically done" as was previously stated and stay home now and work when they start school and then have them in a summer program all summer and miss out on field trips and not have all holidays off that they do.

    And yes, there is a huge difference between a one year old and a five year old although I don't know what is laughable about that. But my one-two-or three year olds won't remember much about these years when they are older. But you bet my five-six-seven year olds will remember mommy being there when they get home from school and spending all summer having fun with mommy instead of me being "typical" and working in those years instead of the early years.
  23. Fossie

    Fossie Well-Known Member

    I completely agree Christy! I don't regret working full-time now because honestly I am just not the best mom I can be as a SAHM to babies/toddlers. I know, however, that I don't want them to miss-out (or me!) on after-school activities and summer fun when they are a bit older because I am at work. I think the part-time/SAHM thing at elementary school age is a great idea. My kids thrive at daycare and absolutely love it and we all get a bit bored staying at home at this point. If I was to find a way to stay-at-home with them we would be struggling even more financially and I think that would make it even harder to be at home, with no money to do anything or go anywhere anyway.
  24. jen8675309

    jen8675309 Well-Known Member

    Christy, you bring up very valid points!
  25. twinfinite

    twinfinite Well-Known Member

    As I already mentioned earlier, it is okay to agree to disagree.

    This being said, I know that I find it altogether condescending that you should mention that you think that SAHM "sit around" in the living room all day. If you don't recognize the hard work and the absolute devotion that SAHMs go through in the years that the BABIES ACTUALLY NEED THEM THE MOST, then so be it, but don't make it seem like our actions are all for nothing or done in vain because the young ones "won't remember much about these years when they are older."

    The kids may not remember their younger years, but by golly, I do think there are MAJOR implications on the rest of the children's development largely as a result to their care and treatment given to them as very young children.
  26. Fossie

    Fossie Well-Known Member

    Twinfinite - I think you may not have noticed the age difference between your two and hers. Staying at home with six month olds is a lot different than with two year olds and there is a lot more "sitting around." My two were on a strict schedule at that age and realistically I just don't think most mom's are interacting with their children all day, every day when they are still taking two naps a day, eating every four hours, etc. I don't expect that you will agree since you seem very vehement that babies need their mothers (parents?) "most" at this age. I respectfully, disagree. They need care and attention, and to be read to and taught certainly, but to say that this is the most crucial age (or even that any age makes it imperative for a parent to be home) for them needing full-time parental care seems to be a bit extreme. I, personally, think that at the age of two kids "need" social and educational interaction outside the home but I know that is a controversial viewpoint and don't expect that every other mother thinks like me. We all do what is best for our families and it sounds to me as if you think the best thing for your family is for a parent to be at home during the developmental years, and that is fine. Some people think that it is more important for children to know that their mother or father is there for them when they are more cognizant of relationships, parental involvement, and activities that they can pursue. Still others think that child-rearing takes a village and if that means that a parent is with the child in the evenings and on weekends and that other caregivers do their part during working hours - that is absolutely fine too! I completely agree with you that early childhood years are crticial but it is a huge leap to say that they are not getting adequate (or even exceptional) care and treatment if a parent is not home with them.
  27. twinfinite

    twinfinite Well-Known Member

    As you mentioned earlier, you make $28 every two weeks so that you can "get out of the house", away from your babies who are barely over 6 months.

    I am no way casting judgment at your choice to leave home for $28 every two weeks, as I do not know your full situation. However, what really displeases me is the roundabout way (as an indirect insult) you have chosen to belittle the choice to stay at home in your last post (i.e. by making it seem ridiculous to stay home when the children won't even "remember" it).

    [Edit to add for clarity...this comment is for christy and not for K&T's mom!]
  28. twinfinite

    twinfinite Well-Known Member

  29. Fossie

    Fossie Well-Known Member

    Ah, so it is a breastfeeding issue - that explains it and is a "conversation" that has been had many times on these boards and one that I stay out of.

    I will say, though that it seems like you are playing a little game of tit for tat. You say that the other post was derogatory and obviously took offense at it, but then say that being around a loving and supporting mother or father is really important as if those of us who work aren't loving, supporting or nuturing? It is all in how you read it, I guess. I didn't think the other poster was intentionally short-changing how hard those who stay at home work, and I am going to assume that you didn't intentionally infer that a good parent is one that stays at home and breastfeeds in the first year. FWIW, my children are very happy and well-adjusted kids who seem to have all the love, support and nurturing they could ever want or need - it just so happens that all of that doesn't come from only me or dh - they also get it from grandparents, and professional caregivers. What could be better than having even more people who love and care for and about you!
  30. vharrison1969

    vharrison1969 Well-Known Member

    I think the OP got some great perspectives on how different people approach the idea of working outside the home. I would really hate to see this turn into a debate about whether WOHM or SAHM is better, and when is "best" to return to work (if at all). All children, all women, and all families are different, and there is no one answer. I love to hear what works for other people because it gives me a larger view of the world, and helps me re-evaluate the choices I've made. I think most posters in this thread have shared their experiences with a genuine spirit of helpfulness, and I truly hope everyone will read them how they were intended.
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  31. 5280babies

    5280babies Well-Known Member

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  32. kingeomer

    kingeomer Well-Known Member TS Moderator

  33. hsuter

    hsuter Well-Known Member

  34. luvmytwins08

    luvmytwins08 Well-Known Member

    I think that its a personal choice. I worked as a full time teacher their first year and am now laid off. I can say that I love being an at home mommy as being a mom of 4 is a full time job in itself. When I worked I was utterly exhausted by the time I came home then I had to switch gears to being mom and then wife. It is getting harder the older they get as they are monkies! Now that I am home with them, it is less stressful (not money wise) but I am not able to do much without them! I have to plan my day accordingly (when to shower, clean, pay bills etc.). Also, money is a stressful thing when there isnt enough. Before I stayed home, I had a lady who watched them in her house. I didnt like some of the things that were going on in her house (plus they were sick EVERY week with a new virus)so I found someone who came to my house to watch them for the same price. However, she stole an ipod from my house and I fired her. Then I had my niece watch them and she would show up late and hungover...needless to say there was no one who could take care of them the way I wanted, or even close to the way I wanted. That was stressful in itself! There are payoffs and consequences to both choices. God has made the choice for me and I am living it the best I can and enjoying every second with my busy boys!
  35. trustinHim

    trustinHim Well-Known Member

    When I wanted to stay home after the boys were born my husband brought up a good point. . . it's more than just salary. . . you need to take into account retirement plan, health benefits etc. . . So I work full time and the boys go to daycare full time. . . I'm lucky enough though to have a job that's very flexible. . . not sure how I'd do it otherwise!

    If I could stay at home and still have daycare I'd totally do it! These kids run me ragged some days ;o)

    (don't yell at me. . . I DO love my kids ;o)

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