Author Topic: Best ages to be home with kids  (Read 487 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Best ages to be home with kids
« on: January 13, 2021, 09:58:38 AM »

After my second mat leave I was torn about staying home with my kids or returning to work. I work for the public service and can take a total of 5 years off to care for my kids at any point in my career and it doesn't have to be taken all at once. I decided to go back to work because they offered me part time (3 days a week), so I still spend quite a bit of time with the kids, and because of the pandemic I was able to work from home which meant no commute so more time with the kids. Also, when I was home  before the pandemic started, I was taking the kids to the park, to play groups, library, museums etc. and all those things are closed, so I figured I might as well work and take some time off later when I can take them to these activities rather than just sit at home. Grandam watches them while I work.

I'm now trying to make a plan for when I will stay home with them. My kids are currently 22 months and 4 years.  The 4 year old starts school in September. I'm definitely going to work until then as my work gave me top up pay during my maternity leave and I owe them a year of work, or else have to pay it back.  I could take a year or two after that, once the pandemic is over as my youngest would still be home. I've heard that sometimes it is better to be home when kids are in school and a bit older as they have lots of activities and need your help with school and other issues. Alternatively, I could work during the school year and take summers off. Or do a combination of things. Curious what others experiences have been?  What ages do you think it is best to be home with kids?


  • Stubble
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Re: Best ages to be home with kids
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2021, 03:43:46 AM »
I'd pick summers off. 


  • Bristles
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Re: Best ages to be home with kids
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2021, 11:53:20 AM »
I don't know the answer, and there probably is no answer because everyone's situation is different. I have heard the saying, "bigger kids, bigger problems". I have a late elementary school age son, and hope to FIRE by his early teen years. Even though teens don't want to spend so much time with their parents, it doesn't mean they don't need a parent around because they are dealing with teen hormones, dating, college prep, etc. Plus he will probably be in more activities by then and will need to be chauffeured about. But really the FIRE timeline is based on when my money can get me there with my other financial goals. Wish it could be now!

Blue Skies

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Re: Best ages to be home with kids
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2021, 04:19:11 AM »
Summers off would be ideal.  Especially when they are both in school.  Sending them back to daycare full time, or setting up a series of "camps" to span the full break is a pain.  It is great to have that big chunk of time as a family.