Tuesday, October 21, 2008

rambles and requesting comment participation

  • Fa.ceboo.k is addicting ... Don't start it ... you can spend hours you do not have on it. OOhhhhhh but it is very fun. I just signed up last night.
  • I have about 4 unpublished posts in my que. They aren't published because I just can not figure out the right words for them. This is the first time I have ever not just wrote and hit publish ... Something is holding me back and I don't know what it is.
  • MT is growing and changing by the second. Yesterday, he took a 3 hour nap in the swing. I managed to get so much accomplished. I was not rushed at all. It felt nice.
  • We should be giving him cereal tomorrow. I have been holding out because I wanted to make sure we were all ready for this change. I have paid more attention to the signs and he really does move his mouth, tongue and lips when someone is holding him and they are eating. I do believe he is ready now.

Now here is a participation question. Everyone, please chime in... Hypothetically speaking - ahem.... clears throat ..

Your spouse only works ~3 days of the week. You work 5 days of the week in a different county that takes about 35-50 mins to get to (each way) in loads of traffic. You cannot find a public daycare facility that will allow part time daycare. You will have to pay full time day care in the county in which you live in even though you do not need full time daycare. Paying daycare will be alittle more than 70% of your take home pay for the next 6 months. After those first 6 months it will go down to alittle over 50% of your take home salary (unless they raise prices which will likely happen). You will only see your child for maybe 3/4 waking hours a day during the week. Which will include breakfast (while you are getting ready for work), bath, dinner, bedtime. You have thought about private daycare but have hesitations about having a stranger from a at home daycare provide their services. And do not personally know anyone offering private care. All this for doing a job that you do not love. A job that you think you may leave in the next 2 years. A job that you are afraid to give up only because of the fear of the economic state the US is in right now because you should feel grateful you even have a job when others do not. You realize that you can make ends meet with a part time job, see your child more for quality time and never need daycare. Yes there will be sacrifices, you will not have the financial comforts that you once had but there are always sacrifices to make. You do not have the financial comforts that you had a few years ago either because of this despressing economy. Discuss. If you were in this hypothetical situation, what would your questions be, how would you handle this, Be fair and honest .... Comment


Jen said...

Fara, what I did when the twins were born was figure out how much money I would actually make after day care. It figured out to $300 every two weeks. I found a little p/t job that I could make $300 every two weeks. I am currently working part time at gymb.oree and am enjoying myself. I get out of the house and get a nice discount. I also found some great sitters at care. com. You can browse for free and then you pay $25 for contact information, references and back round checks. I currently have a college student one day and a mom with kids in school another day. I love my college girl and my mom hasn't started yet, but it works out nice they come to my house and I pay both $5 an hour.

Mel said...

Ugggghhh... we are in the throws of this one right now. It's a hard debate. Our problem is daycare is only about 30% of my current income and my health insurance plan for the whole family would be less than 1/2 what Husband's would be. We are so comfortable in our cushy lifestyle and don't often worry about money on the whole. But to trade all that for only a few hours a day with the nugget when she gets here? It would be priceless. We would all suffer, though, and it wouldn't be easy at all.
I think you have to pray about this and prepare several "optional" budgets that show the bottom line either way. The part time job thing is a great idea, too. I will pray for you guys, I know this decision is a painful one.

Amanda said...

I was in this same predicament when Spider Monkey was born. Like you, I'd only be bringing home 25-30% of my salary after paying for daycare, I worked 30 miles from my home, daycare closer to my work was more expensive (only leaving 15% of my salary), left for work at 6:30 in the morning and often didn't get home until 7 at night - so I wouldn't see my kid but a few hours a day. What finally made the decision was the time I would miss in Spider Monkey's life. I didn't fight so hard to have her to only see her on weekends and at bedtime.

And it was frightening to me to make this decision - which I made in September - because the market was tanking, gas was sooo expensive, etc. But my hubby and I decided that we could get by - yes, it means sacrifices. Yes, it means that we don't go out a lot anymore or entertain as much. But having a kid meant certain changes anyway and we are just taking all this in stride.

And worse comes to worse? You can always get a job to help out. There's a number of work at home jobs that can bring in some cash and if necessary, you could always find something local - yeah, you may have to ask if someone wants fries with that, but it's always there.

Meanwhile, look at different budgeting plans (Dave Ramsey, Mvelopes) to help decide what your budget would look like. I also recommend working on becoming debt-free - this is what we've done and it's made the difference..

Didn't mean for this to be a book, but it's a subject I'm pretty familar with and trust me, I FEEL YOUR PAIN!!

Mountain Girl said...

Well, I personally don't think it would be worth the little money one would make working full time, driving a ways and paying for full time daycare. I'm sure it's a little scary, but you might consider looking for a home daycare. I did home daycare and charged families ONLY for the days that the babies were scheduled (which may not be common, but worth looking for). You might find someone that you click with and like, etc. There should be a childcare clearing house - so to speak - that can give you some recommendations.

But, to say all that, I would think the part time job with NO daycare needed, more time with MT, and perhaps liking the job more than the current full time job would be a better deal - just my humble opinion!

Oh, the other thing, is remember MT will only be a baby for a short time. You can always go back to full time work when he goes to school?????

Good luck!

Mountain Girl said...

Another thought........you could do some childcare in your home, stay home with MT and bring in some cash.....maybe check into that.

Jen said...

That's a tough decision. It'd be nice if you could find a part time daycare, but I assume you've already looked hard.

I'd want to stay home. It is hard to give up 50% of your income though.

If you feel like driving MT over here each morning and evening, I'll watch him for you.

Mrs. Shoes said...

We have been struggling with this issue lately. But a simple formula that we agreed on was if daycare cost 50% or more of my salary it just wasn't worth it if you threw in all of the rest of expenses that go with working- wardrobe, more eating out, gas, insurance, etc.

Kim said...

I know it's a tough situation. I made the unpopular decision and quit my job, reducing our incoming in half. But it's not an easy decision to make.

Check Craigslist, you may be able to find a stay at home mom looking for another child to care for. They're not all awful, a very good friend of mine (and 'former' special ed teacher) takes care of two other children in addition to hers, AND she's pregnant.. and she's just amazing.

Or, you could look into a nanny share.. someone who can come to your home part time (and someone else's the rest of the time).

Rachel Inbar said...

I would find out what the place's policy is on picking kids up early - the fact that you pay for the time doesn't necessarily mean the child needs to be there full-time... Depending on your personality, you may need interaction with people, satisfaction from your job, time on your own, etc. This gets to be much more difficult as your child gets older, particularly if there aren't a lot of SAHMs in your area (or if you don't socialize well with the ones who are).

Basically, I would compromise. Pay the money, keep the job & pick the child up as early as you can.

(stayed home 18 months with twins, which was way too long for me & completely wore me down, requiring many years of recovery)

Polka Dot said...

I'm not one to give that kind of advice right now (hah), but what Jen said makes sensse - look at what you'd be bringing home after day care and gas and then see what kind of part time jobs are in your area that would bring in that same amount. Granted, like someone else said, it may be a gas station, liquor store, fast food, etc ... but the trade in would be worth it.

You'd just have to work it so that you're at work when the hubby is home.

Leah said...

I just got on Facebook yesterday too. It's like going down a rabbit hole! The next thing I knew last night, I had blinked and lost 3 hours. Yikes!

Quit your job. If there is any way possible that you can make ends meet by working part time at another job and seeing more of your son, do it. I always say that no one on their deathbed ever said, "I wish I had worked MORE."

JJ said...

We are facing that difficult question now--and bottom line: its going to almost be like Im paying to GO to work...We are in the budget planning for sure. I hope your decision comes out to be the best for both of you-I know you all will do what is best.

Sugar and Ice said...

Honestly, I'd just quit my job. I went back to work when LG was four months old. I found an in-home babysitter who was very reasonable. Her fee was only about 19% of my bring home pay, and LG loved her. However, with buying work clothing, gas, lunch most days (I'm not good about bringing my lunch), and stuff for my classroom (teachers spend a ton on stuff for their classrooms....I figure I ended up spending close to 35% of my income . So, yes, I was still making a profit, but I was MISERABLE! I loved my job before LG, but after I just looked at it as that thing that too me away from my baby every day. I hated it. So, at the end of the school year...I just quit, plain and simple. It took away a nice chunk of our income, but you get used to it. I honestly wouldn't trade any amount of money for the amazing time LG and I have had together the past year and a half since I quit.

Elle Charlie said...

It hurts my brain to even think of all this, and while we don't have kids yet as we're planning for them we're already determining how to handle that one (right now, since I'm job hunting, I am looking at both part and full time work to try to see which one will make sense financially, and which jobs I can actually get hired for!).

It's so hard - there are sacrifices either way.

I wish you luck in thinking this through... sorry I'm not more helpful!

Jill, Mommy of Tanner and Josie, our Clomid baby. :o) said...

First of all, find me on Facebook!!!

Second, work for me at Bootsie Marie Boutique making bows....KIDDING! :o)

That is such a dilemma. Live on E's salary for a month and see how you feel. Otherwise if you can work the days he is off, that would be SWEET! I am not much help in this category!

AllieQB said...

My husband and I are dealing with the exact same situation right now. I'm only 20 weeks, but we're trying to figure out if it makes good sense financially for me to even return to work at all. (to a job I do not love, 40 minutes from home ... sound familiar?) :) I think we know our answer - that I will work part time and join some type of sitter share for those two days a week. I hope you guys can come to a simliar conclusion that works for your family.

Good luck with the cereal!!

Janna said...

I call it crackbook b/c it's so addicting!!

What J and I did is for 3 months we put all of my paycheck into savings and lived off of his salary alone. That's great for two reasons...one, it builds up savings for emergencies, and two, it lets you know if you can handle living on one salary. If you can handle it, then I say go for it!! Sure, sacrifices will have to be made, but if you can put food on the table, pay the bills and keep a roof over your head with a little spending cash left over then you're good to go. If things are too tight, then consider getting a part-time job on the days that DH isn't working. That way one of you is always home with MT.

J made a budget, and we put aside X amount of money each month for clothing, entertainment, gifts, and hobby. Once we got his paycheck, that money was transfered into a second savings account before any of the bills were paid (aside from our tithe). Then, as we used that money, we transfered it back into checking. You can also go so far as to put food money in there as well. I printed out a sheet to keep in my checkbook that had the amounts that were in the different catagories. That way I could keep up with my spending. Another way to handle this is to only use cash for those things and keep the cash in different envelopes. When you need entertainment money you put that envelope in your purse.

Road Blocks and Roller Coasters said...

If I was in this situation and I had a good amount of money in a savings account just in case then I would go for it. I think paying a ton of money for daycare is ridiculous especially if it its greater than 50% of one's salary.

If I could do this and stay home with Lemy, I would. In a heartbeat.

Photogrl said...

This is hard.

I've debated it both ways myself for years now. And now Miss O. will be going to school ALL day next year, so why stop working now?

But MT is still little, I'd try to live on E's salary for a month with no help from savings and see how it goes. It will at least give you an idea if it is at all possible to do.

Most of all, be comfortable with whatever you decide. It doesn't matter what anyone else says, it's what works for you and E.

Stacy said...

photogrl's advice is good. live only off E's salary for now and see what happens. Going from 2 salaries to 1 is hard and you will have to give up a lot. For instance I only put $40 in my gas tank each week. I only go as far as that gas will take me. When gas is low we stay home. I don;t eat out and make lunch with us when we are out.

Suzy Ormond (I think thats her name) was on O last week and someone asked this question. She said the mom should only stay home if she and her hubby had 10 months worth of monthly expenses saved up. For that couple is meant like $40,000 in savings and they only had a few thousand so Suzy told her to keep working and to save more so that once they reached that threshold she could quit to stay home. While I agree that it makes good financial sense I think Suzy kind of missed the benefits to the kids for the mom to stay home. Of course she was there to give financial advice.

I do not have 1 regret about staying home. For us it was the right decision. The money end of things is stressful but that is outweighed by the joy of being at home with James and being able to see him and watch him grow.

I do think I am lucky because I have a husband who is a real saver so our savings gave us a really good cushion and made it possible for me to stay home. If we didn't have that I would feel more pressure to go back to work.

You also have to consider what your upcoming expenses will be. Do you plan to get out every day and do something? There are lots of free activites but you still have to pay for gas. Going to the beach (the local island) costs $3 to get in. Go to a friends house to hang out and you will probably want to bring a snack to share. The zoo and aqaurium are expensive. What about as A gets older...swim lessons? Music Class? even staying home and doing an art project is going to cost money so every day or at least several days a week you will have new expenses. It all costs money.

Of course its a lot easier to quit a job you have then to find a new one so hanging on to the job you have now until you find something else might be the way to go.

I am sure you will make the right decision for you and your family.


i also am ADDICTED to facebook. i ended up quitting my job for all the reasons you mentioned. i didn't want to miss seeing my son grow up! i would only make a fraction of money after daycare. we do make sacrifices, but it is totally worth it in my opinion. we do have some debt now, but i figure once they are in school i will be able to work again and pay it off.

Leah said...

I would take the part time job and spend more time with my son. Take into account the money you spend on gas driving all that way. If I had the financial option I would work part time in a heartbeat. It won't be easy but you would adjust. But pray first.

Ashley said...

I just started using facebook again. You should add me!

As for your dilema, I know how hard this can be. I really wish I had better advice. I had to come back to work when Wyatt was six weeks. :[

Dugi said...

This issue is so close to my heart ...
"Paying daycare will be alittle more than 70% of your take home pay for the next 6 months. After those first 6 months it will go down to alittle over 50% of your take home salary (unless they raise prices which will likely happen)." in a job u don't really LOVE and think of leaving. I know what you mean totally!
I've waited for my baby all my life it seems.
In these job/daycare circumstances - I'd stay home. make it happen economically - at least i get to enjoy him till he wants me around. this also may be my only child. i just don't want to miss it.
It is so worth it.

Amanda said...

I say if it's not financially worth it and not emotionally worth it, don't go back to work. If you feel the need to work part time, find a sitter or something along those lines and do that.

I have facebook, but haven't found it too addictive. Seems I'm the only one. :-)

AJ's mommy said...

I have been on facebook too and yes it is addicting! I need to find you on there.

We are in this discussion as we speak and it is soooooooooo hard. Good luck in whatever you choose. I say if you can make it work, then stay home with a part time job!

Dreamer4agift said...

Well, hypothetically speaking, of course...I'd do TONS of discussing with my spouse about what we could/could not live without. Daycare is unfortunately needed when both ppl have to work full-time, and way expensive...so I get the issue with not wanting to pay more for what you need. I would check around for anyone that knows anyone doing private daycare and can give a HUGE vouch for them. After having all the discussion about what you can/can not live without, I'd look at the budget and see if it's still feasible to work part time. I would LOVE to work pt, but reality says dh and I can't do that, at least not right now. and that's not even including a kid. Maybe you could do pt for the 6mths and the cost of daycare to go down or until you can find someone to babysit that you completely trust.

Whatever you decide, you're in my thoughts and prayers for this big and hard decision.


Barb said...

It sounds a lot to me like you kinda already know what you'd like to do. And that's ok! You are the one living this life. Whatever decisions you make, you will be making for what's best for you and your family. I have faith. :)

Hopeful Terri said...

Wow -- we are so much a like. I just had my baby and we have had this decision many of times before she was born. The only real difference is I like my job; however I would have a hard time bf with my job.

Here is another way to think of it: Expenses --
Food at work (do you eat out or take a lunch), gas, car insurance ( if you don't commute that much can you reduce your drive w/ your insurance carrier??), income taxes, stress of job & commuting...

When we figured that up w/ the other expenses we determined the best thing was to stay at home. I can always get a part time job if I need the adult interaction.

I want to say a couple of years ago 20/20 did a cost comparison about this and it worked out that some families actually came out ahead by having one person stay at home.

Best of luck to you on that decision.