Author Topic: two working parents with infant?  (Read 4476 times)

afox

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two working parents with infant?
« on: May 15, 2018, 11:00:17 AM »
Im curious to know how many families with very young children age 0-2  have two full time working parents? 

Best info I could find was from:
https://www.bls.gov/news.release/famee.nr0.htm

From table 4 43% of parents with kids under 6 have one working parent.  I wonder why they chose age 6?  I read that kids start school kindergarten at 4 or 5 years old, so there is little reason for parents with 4-6 year olds to not work.  I really wanted to know what percentage of families with at least one kid under age 3 have two working parents.  From my observations, and from my limited bubble it seems unusual for both parents with a child under 2 to work.  Is this true or do I live in a bubble? 

The reason I ask is that I have a 5 months old and both my wife and I work and so far it is hell, much worse than I could have imagined.  We pay $1,600 per month for full time daycare that is closed 4 weeks per year.  We both love spending time with our child but between our full time jobs and caring for our child we have no time or energy to maintain relationships with friends, recreation, maintaining our physical health, etc.  We have no family help for childcare.  How do other full time working parents cope or is what I am experiencing normal, life just about work and childcare?


wordnerd

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2018, 11:16:09 AM »
We did for two years. It is hard. The first year of daycare I found very stressful. The baby didn't nap well in a noisy room. I was always stressed about pumping enough milk. Commuting really ate into the time the baby was awake in the evening. Around a year, daycare switched to being a lot better. Everyone napped at the same time. I wasn't pumping. He was learning things. He was awake a little later in the evenings.

But, yeah, it was a slog that first year. In my bubble, almost all families have two working parents so it felt normal.

CNM

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2018, 11:22:44 AM »
We both returned to full-time work when kiddo was one month old.  We had an in-home nanny until he was 2 years old, and then he went into daycare. My kid is now 5 and he attends public kindergarten. It is much, much easier than when he was a baby. We also have very kind and generous grandparents to fill gaps when necessary.  I'll also note here that we (spouse and I) have the type of jobs where we don't need to punch in and out at a certain exact time of day, which made/makes things easier, too.

ixtap

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2018, 11:24:26 AM »
Since children usually can't start k the instant they turn 5, six seems like a good age to use for statistics.

If it seems like the vast majority of your neighbors have at least one stay at home parent, it is likely you live in a bubble, as statistically, it seems pretty close.

Your complaints are common for new parents, even if there is a stay at home parent. It takes time to adjust. How are you spending your weekends? Do you have friends with children? You don't have family close by, but is there someone who you could start making a plan with to stay with the kid while you get a weekend getaway? Do you take turns with the childcare while one parent gets some decompression time?

I'm a red panda

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2018, 11:29:22 AM »
In my state compulsory education starts when a child is 6. Many kids are eligible for kindergarten at age 5.
There is VERY LIMITED state provided preschool at age 4, but this is partial day, and it is mostly private (daycare or partial day private programs.)


I have a 13 month old, and my husband and I both work full time. I am also working on an MBA part-time.  We pay $1200 per month (low cost of living midwest state) for childcare (they are open 6:30-6:00 with a 10 hour daily limit).  We have no family in our state.  I travel about 6 weeks a year for work (not consecutive), so my husband is home with the baby alone during that time.

We are very tired. We alternate time with friends in evenings after she goes to bed, or by including her in activities on the weekend. (Easier with a tiny baby in a carrier than it is now with a mobile one.)  My husband goes to the gym or swimming daily after work, I go to the gym twice a week. On the weekends he takes her swimming while I walk for an hour, then I take her to the playground while he swims for an hour.  It's all just a balancing act. She has spent 1 evening with a babysitter since she was born while we went out for dinner. It helps that we rarely go out, but plan activities in.  We often host game night after she has gone to bed.

I just wish she would sleep at night. She's slept through fewer than 10 nights since she was born. I also wish she would take 2 naps at daycare, because she's so tired when she gets home I barely get to spend time with her during the week.

I will also say that we both enjoy working and neither one of would really like to be a stay at home parent. I'd like more time with her though.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2018, 11:40:25 AM by I'm a red panda »

cats

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2018, 11:33:16 AM »
In our state kids start kindergarten if they will be 5 by Sept 1, so a kid with a Sept 2nd birthday would be almost 6 when they started kindergarten.  So I see why 6 would be the cutoff.

We have a 2 year old.  My husband and I both work.  I went back to work 13 weeks postpartum and for most of the time since then our son has been in daycare full time.  We have no family nearby.

It is really exhausting but it has gotten better.  A couple of big milestones were when we got him sleeping through the night and when I stopped nursing, both around 1 year of age.

We also pay a bit more than is strictly necessary for daycare, but the daycare in question is only closed 2 days/year (plus 10 federal holidays that my employer also observes), and is in my office building, and my husband works nearby, so the convenience factor (for us) makes it worth the extra money (around $200/month at this point).

It takes time to develop a good routine with regards to balancing parenting, taking care of yourself, and seeing friends or doing hobbies.  For me, a lot of nonessential stuff went on hold for the first year BUT as my son got older I was able to pick up some things again.  I now exercise regularly, meet up with friends on my own about once a month, and we've made some friends with other parents who have similar aged kids and now socialize by setting up playdates and such.  We've also just culled a lot of stuff out of our lives or reduced the frequency a lot, if we realized it just wasn't adding enough to be worth the time.

I thought our area was mostly 2 working parents but I have recently discovered it's more of a mix, usually due to one partner earning about the same as what a nanny or daycare would cost.

FireHiker

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2018, 11:45:08 AM »
We did it, and it sucks enormously. We refer to that period as having been in survival mode and it is all such a blur now. Now that my youngest is 6 and in public school, we finally have a ton of extra money compared to back then (no more nanny or preschool!) and it feels like we have SO much more free time. I'm finally working on losing those 30 pounds I put on from the years of two kids born just under 2 years apart. I cloth diapered them and breasfted (pumped for work), and when I think back to how every second was spent dealing with work or something kid related, yeah. My husband ended up taking over all of the cooking during that time, we paid someone else to clean the house, and we muddled through. He still does most of the cooking, but now we clean our house again. Our standards for everything really lowered for a few years there. I'm glad to be on this side of it, and I'm glad now that I stayed in the workforce (I'm an engineer) but damn, I cried every day when I went to work for months. I think I may have had some PPD looking back now.

zoltani

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2018, 11:52:22 AM »
Are you both working because you absolutely need to or is it so you don't delay your FIRE?

BDWW

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2018, 11:55:34 AM »
We've both worked through both our kids. Each took about a month off right around the birth, and then were able to alternate days working from home. At about six months they started daycare.

Obviously the key for us was having jobs that allowed us to work remotely part of the week. After about 5 months though it becomes really hard to actually get any work done, as the they get more needy/aware. Prior to about the 5 month mark they would largely be content in a swing or bassinet for a couple hours at a time.

newgirl

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2018, 12:07:27 PM »
We do. I went back to work about 10 weeks post partum, DH never stopped working. DD is a few months shy of 2 and we are soon to add baby #2 to the mix. And we both still plan to work full time after maternity leave ends. Daycare for the two of them combined is going to push $40k a year, but I alone make $120k and DH makes about $90k so.... yeah we're going back to work. If one of us only made like $50k or something like that it would be a very different equation.

ABC123

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2018, 12:20:10 PM »
We both work full time, and have 3 kids - ages 9, 7, and 1.  They each started full time daycare at 12 weeks old.  It definitely sucks, but you do what you have to do.  For us it is a necessity.  I would love to be a SAHM, but dh has never earned enough for it to be possible. 

I know a number of friends with young kids who are SAHMs, but just as many who both work full or part time. 

ixtap

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2018, 12:21:46 PM »
Are you both working because you absolutely need to or is it so you don't delay your FIRE?

Or because you both like your careers and don't want to make the sacrifice of being out for a few years.

afox

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2018, 01:43:07 PM »
Are you both working because you absolutely need to or is it so you don't delay your FIRE?

Or because you both like your careers and don't want to make the sacrifice of being out for a few years.

Good question.  We can afford to have one working  parent.  The reasons we both work:
-we both work in specialized fields and live in a somewhat desirable place to live so its highly unlikely either of us could quit and find an equal job in 3-6 years.  If we could be guaranteed to have our same jobs back we would absolutely without a doubt take that option.  We could easily live on one salary. 
-the daycare we are in is run by the local university and specializes in early childhood education, it is extremely hard to get in and a good opportunity for the child.  If either of us were to not work we would likely have the child in daycare part time for the educational benefits (even at 5 months old).
-we both make more than daycare costs (not a good reason since I believe the point of life is not to make as much money as possible).
-my partner was raised in the midwest to hardworking parents and has an attitude that one's self worth is connected to their profession.  If she could FIRE today she would choose not to because her self worth is connected to her job.  Unfortunately we dont see eye to eye on this as I only need to work 4-6 more years to FIRE, she is concerned that she will lose respect for me if I FIRE at an "early" age (mid 40's).

Thanks for all the great responses.  Nice to know that I live in a bubble and that others have gone thru this and for them too it "sucks enormously".  I caution those thinking of having kids to carefully consider how you will deal with this issue BEFORE you have kids, not after.  I think the reason it sucks enormously so much for us is that pre-kids we were used to a very high amount of recreation time.  Basically doing something fun every day of the week.  Now, at best we get to do something fun maybe once a week at best.  So the change is dramatic.  I can imagine that the change would be easier for someone who went from say one day per week of outdoor recreation (or whatever your thing is) pre-kids to 0 days of outdoor recreation post kids.



I'm a red panda

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2018, 01:49:50 PM »

Thanks for all the great responses.  Nice to know that I live in a bubble and that others have gone thru this and for them too it "sucks enormously".  I caution those thinking of having kids to carefully consider how you will deal with this issue BEFORE you have kids, not after.  I think the reason it sucks enormously so much for us is that pre-kids we were used to a very high amount of recreation time.  Basically doing something fun every day of the week.  Now, at best we get to do something fun maybe once a week at best.  So the change is dramatic.  I can imagine that the change would be easier for someone who went from say one day per week of outdoor recreation (or whatever your thing is) pre-kids to 0 days of outdoor recreation post kids.

What were you doing that you can't with a 5 month old?  You can jog, hike, canoe/kayak, snowshoe, cross country ski, bike, camp, do city tours, etc.     You just need the right equipment.
Maybe not 7 days a week, but if you prioritize it, that's still an age where you can strap them on you or in a trailer and make it happen.
Really- do it now.  It gets harder when they start wanting to walk.

zoltani

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2018, 02:06:23 PM »

Thanks for all the great responses.  Nice to know that I live in a bubble and that others have gone thru this and for them too it "sucks enormously".  I caution those thinking of having kids to carefully consider how you will deal with this issue BEFORE you have kids, not after.  I think the reason it sucks enormously so much for us is that pre-kids we were used to a very high amount of recreation time.  Basically doing something fun every day of the week.  Now, at best we get to do something fun maybe once a week at best.  So the change is dramatic.  I can imagine that the change would be easier for someone who went from say one day per week of outdoor recreation (or whatever your thing is) pre-kids to 0 days of outdoor recreation post kids.

What were you doing that you can't with a 5 month old?  You can jog, hike, canoe/kayak, snowshoe, cross country ski, bike, camp, do city tours, etc.     You just need the right equipment.
Maybe not 7 days a week, but if you prioritize it, that's still an age where you can strap them on you or in a trailer and make it happen.
Really- do it now.  It gets harder when they start wanting to walk.

There are lots of things I can't do with a 5 month old that I used to do. Not for lack of equipment, it's the heat and sun where I live. The doctor basically told me to not take the baby outside when it is above 95 (it was 100 last week), they can't use sunscreen until they are at least 6 months old, and even then they recommend to use sparingly.

I would advise understanding that if you live in the desert or hot area, and try and time it right. That's something I didn't know.

There are different kinds of fun now, like watching him try to bat at an object. Seeing the understanding in his face that he can control those limbs. Seeing the progress of him sitting up a little more each day.

I guess I understand the education aspect of it, but what are the day cares doing that you can't do at home?

« Last Edit: May 15, 2018, 02:10:02 PM by zoltani »

I'm a red panda

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2018, 02:11:49 PM »

Thanks for all the great responses.  Nice to know that I live in a bubble and that others have gone thru this and for them too it "sucks enormously".  I caution those thinking of having kids to carefully consider how you will deal with this issue BEFORE you have kids, not after.  I think the reason it sucks enormously so much for us is that pre-kids we were used to a very high amount of recreation time.  Basically doing something fun every day of the week.  Now, at best we get to do something fun maybe once a week at best.  So the change is dramatic.  I can imagine that the change would be easier for someone who went from say one day per week of outdoor recreation (or whatever your thing is) pre-kids to 0 days of outdoor recreation post kids.

What were you doing that you can't with a 5 month old?  You can jog, hike, canoe/kayak, snowshoe, cross country ski, bike, camp, do city tours, etc.     You just need the right equipment.
Maybe not 7 days a week, but if you prioritize it, that's still an age where you can strap them on you or in a trailer and make it happen.
Really- do it now.  It gets harder when they start wanting to walk.

There are lots of things I can't do with a 5 month old that I used to do. Not for lack of equipment, it's the heat and sun where I live. The doctor basically told me to not take the baby outside when it is above 95 (it was 100 last week), they can't use sunscreen until they are at least 6 months old, and even then they recommend to use sparingly.

I would advise understanding that if you live in the desert or hot area, and try and time it right. That's something I didn't know.

Interesting- I had my baby out in 100 degree weather with high humidity.  Maybe dry heat is different.  We were just told to nurse frequently to avoid dehydration and make sure to keep her well shaded to avoid sunburn. 

We chose not to bike with her because my husband had been hit by a car  the year before, but we kayaked with her, and hiked a ton. She went on multiple active vacations with us.


What do people who live on the equator in countries without air conditioning do with their babies? 

zoltani

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2018, 02:46:09 PM »
What do people who live on the equator in countries without air conditioning do with their babies?

I don't think the equator is really that hot, isn't that a myth? Anyway, I doubt it is as hot as the mojave.

What to Expect has this to say:
"Experts recommend using caution in temperatures above 90 F (or 84 F with 70 percent humidity). Be extra careful about bringing baby outside in temperatures above 100 F, which can be potentially hazardous to little bodies."

Perhaps that is overly cautious, but we're getting off topic here.


I'm a red panda

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2018, 02:53:18 PM »
What do people who live on the equator in countries without air conditioning do with their babies?

I don't think the equator is really that hot, isn't that a myth? Anyway, I doubt it is as hot as the mojave.

What to Expect has this to say:
"Experts recommend using caution in temperatures above 90 F (or 84 F with 70 percent humidity). Be extra careful about bringing baby outside in temperatures above 100 F, which can be potentially hazardous to little bodies."

Perhaps that is overly cautious, but we're getting off topic here.

I guess heat at the equator is also heavily tied to elevation, ignore that detail then; but how about the base of the question? There still exist cultures that function in high heat areas outdoors with their babies.  Of course, the answer might be "accept a higher infant mortality risk" and well, I agree- I wouldn't do that.

 Having a baby without a doubt changes your life. Anyone who thinks they can do everything they did before without change hasn't thought the decision through.  But it also doesn't mean you have to stop living life and never do anything. Especially when they are little and don't move a ton on their own.  (Again- I realize some people have high needs babies and it is hard to go out. I also realize some people won't be comfortable breastfeeding out at a restaurant or at a table of their friends for game night, etc.  We got special carriers for summer vs. the ones we use for winter. We selected times of day to go outside with less heat index. We did change some of our activities, but we didn't give up everything.)

afox

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2018, 04:14:45 PM »
The school/daycare doesnt do anything that parents could not do but knowing what to do and doing it would be a bit of work for a parent.  Its not like they are teaching 5 month olds math but its a bit more than just babysitting. 

I agree that there is a lot u can do with an infant.  At 2 months I took my son "skiing" in a pull behind sled.  He commutes to daycare/school in a bike trailer every day and and goes on longer rides occasionally.  Yesterday he got an introduction to lawn mowing and weed wacking in a an ergo pack.  Nice thing about electric lawn equipment is its quieter and doesn't produce noxious fumes so u can do this stuff with your infant!  The physical obstacle is only a small part of what I am "complaining" about.   The realbigger obstacle is the lack of our most precious resources (time and energy) that's the point of my gripe about 2 working parents.  With all the added responsibilities we dont have the time or energy to take the child skiing/hiking/biking/etc after working a long day.  We have to do a million and one things to get everyone fed and in bed and ready for the next day.  Perhaps an even bigger issue is that I feel like we are missing out on watching our child grow up as he spends the majority of his waking hours in the hands of others while we expend our limited time and energy at work. 



 

kanga1622

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2018, 06:27:28 PM »
DH and I have always worked full time since we have been parents. For the first year of our oldestís life DH worked 33 hrs a week at his day job and 15-20 hours at his night/weekend job.

The only advantage we have always had is that DH has a 10 month contract so he gets two months off in the summer. Now that the kids are school aged it only leaves about 7 weeks a year for us to cover when we are both working and school is closed. On the other hand, we no longer have daycare as an option as we no longer have a day care (as of next week when the little one officially becomes ďschool-agedĒ).

I am a major home body and introvert so hanging out with the kids and running errands is about my need for social time.

okits

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2018, 09:38:13 PM »
I read that kids start school kindergarten at 4 or 5 years old, so there is little reason for parents with 4-6 year olds to not work. 

Our kindergarten is 9am-3pm, so dual FT career families have to juggle work hours or arrange for before and after care.  If it's the first time kiddo is being exposed to a daily group setting, they're probably going to get sick a lot as their immune system builds up.  Being constantly sick (parents and kids) throughout cold and flu season (sometimes Oct-Apr up here!) is hard.  And if the secondary earner doesn't make a lot the daycare costs can still feel like a big bite. 

None of these reasons are insurmountable, but they can make the kindergarten years still-challenging for two FT careers.  I can see why age six was used, since that's the age of mandatory schooling here (kindergarten is optional).

Tuskalusa

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2018, 10:47:40 PM »
We both worked full time when our son was born. The baby years were tough, and we both like having an outlet for adult conversation. There no doubt that the first years are tough with the juggling. I always joked that I started my second job when I got home from work.

I didnít quit full time work until our son was in grade school. His daycare schedule was much easier to manage when he was little. It was year round from 8:30-5:30. Brilliant. Elementary school was 8:30-2:30, so we had to find afterschool care. But then afterschool care didnít extend to holidays and vacations. Thatís when it got to be too much, and I threw in the towel.

It really does get easier as they get older. They sleep. They eat. They use the bathroom. Youíre in the slog of it now, but it will get more fun!

Cassie

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2018, 10:59:51 PM »
I worked for awhile when we only had 2 kids and it sucked.  Once we had our third I stayed home until he was in school full time.  It really sucks to not have much time with your kids.  The time will go fast.

CindyBS

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #23 on: May 16, 2018, 08:13:53 AM »
Im curious to know how many families with very young children age 0-2  have two full time working parents? 

Best info I could find was from:
https://www.bls.gov/news.release/famee.nr0.htm

From table 4 43% of parents with kids under 6 have one working parent.  I wonder why they chose age 6?  I read that kids start school kindergarten at 4 or 5 years old, so there is little reason for parents with 4-6 year olds to not work.  I really wanted to know what percentage of families with at least one kid under age 3 have two working parents.  From my observations, and from my limited bubble it seems unusual for both parents with a child under 2 to work.  Is this true or do I live in a bubble? 

The reason I ask is that I have a 5 months old and both my wife and I work and so far it is hell, much worse than I could have imagined.  We pay $1,600 per month for full time daycare that is closed 4 weeks per year.  We both love spending time with our child but between our full time jobs and caring for our child we have no time or energy to maintain relationships with friends, recreation, maintaining our physical health, etc.  We have no family help for childcare.  How do other full time working parents cope or is what I am experiencing normal, life just about work and childcare?

I would say a lot of your experience is not related to working outside the home, but is related to having a baby.  SAHP take a huge financial hit as well.  Infants/toddlers are a TON of work.   Now imagine caring for your baby with a toddler as well, nearly 24/7 with little help.  Things like showers become luxuries, you rarely get to use the bathroom alone, little adult interaction, you never sleep through the night, your house is almost always a mess and the things you mentioned - no time to maintain physical health, little time for friendships, recreation, etc.  That is unfortunately what it is like for the majority of stay at home mothers (and some dads), especially if the dad is not especially active/helping or travels a lot.   

I think things are getting better as dads become more active, but when my kids were young, every single SAHM I knew worked in conditions that would be illegal if they were a nanny or childcare worker.  Excessive overtime, no breaks, no one to help when they are sick, etc. 

One time my husband was traveling for work, and I was home alone for a week with a 8 week old and a 2 year old.  After being alone with the kids for more than 90 hours at that point with no help, up half the night, I literally collapsed in the hallway from exhaustion.   That was more a 1 time thing than anything else, but I think it is not an atypical experience for a lot of moms.

My advice is to be grateful for the little times you do have, schedule them wisely.  When you go to the bathroom, be happy you can go in private.   Do the best you can, and in a few years it does get much easier. 

YttriumNitrate

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2018, 08:16:54 AM »
For the first 15 months of my son's life, except for 12 weeks maternity leave my wife and I both worked full time without daycare or relatives nearby. It was rough, but both of us have flexible schedules so I could work a 6-8 am, 11-noon, 2-3 pm, 4-7 pm schedule (approximately) based off when my wife was home and/or when my son was taking a naps. As he got older, he was more active and those last few months were by far the hardest to be productive.

FireLane

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #25 on: May 16, 2018, 09:19:52 AM »
DW and I have worked full-time since our son was born. He's turning 2 this year.

It's not easy, but it's doable. It helps us a lot that we both have jobs where we can work from home 1 or 2 days a week, with nearby grandparents who help babysit on those days. Daycare covers the rest. Even so, there are days when we have to scramble.

It's tough to juggle, no doubt about it. You have to be ruthless about prioritizing which chores can wait. You have to make peace with the fact that you'll have a restricted social life and less time for hobbies for a while. But it really does get easier as they get older, especially once they're sleeping through the night.

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #26 on: May 16, 2018, 09:20:28 AM »
I stayed home for 9 months with my first child and then went back to work out of severe boredom.  When the second arrived, I stayed home 12 weeks and went right back to work.  My husband also worked.  About 2/3 of the people I know have two working parents; the other third have a SAHP.

Our day care was only closed 10 days a year, though (holidays, most of which we also had off work).  An extra two weeks of closure seems quite difficult to handle....and even for an infant I only paid $250/week (maybe I'm lucky and quality day care is cheap here).
 
Five months old should be when it starts to get easier.  They are infinitely portable, fairly easily entertained, and don't need to eat quite as often.  When my oldest was 6 months old, we took a vacation to Alberta and hiked all over with her strapped to my front.  I live in humidity/heat hell, and we still take the kids out when it's hot (otherwise they couldn't go outside for 4 or 5 months a year), as long as they are covered, have floppy sunhats, and we take good care to keep them hydrated.

Even if it isn't feasible to continue doing exactly what you used to do, can you modify so that you can still do some things?  A good friend of mine meets me at the park early on Saturday mornings (before it's too hot) and we walk for an hour with her baby in the stroller.  We get exercise and friendship time and baby comes along.  While we do that, her husband gets "time off" of parenting.   On nasty days, we've been known to meet at Target and walk around the store for an hour with the baby.

The gym I joined (and use religiously) offers free child care for babies aged 6 months and up.  That might solve some of your exercise issues too.  Or walk later in the evening (if your baby is like mine, he'll sleep in the stroller).

We host board game evenings at our house a lot too.  Dinner (even if it's pizza) and an hour playing games with our friends while we all take turns feeding and cuddling baby.

And, for the first 18 months, reset your expectations.  Dinner doesn't have to be a fancy meal.  It can be a grilled cheese sandwich and an apple. The house doesn't have to be so clean it's ready for a magazine shoot, just not gross. 

Finally, be comforted that it's not just you!!!  One of my friends once confided that she didn't know how I did it - I seemed to have everything together while working and having a baby and she felt like she was struggling to make it through each week.  I laughed so hard I cried.  I had been envying HER for seeming so put together while I felt like I couldn't juggle everything successfully.  ALL new parents are going through this, we just don't all talk about it enough.

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #27 on: May 16, 2018, 09:27:02 AM »
We both have worked since our daughter was 12 weeks old (she's 13 months now). No local family. Mostly it sucks, I agree there's very little time for fun. A lot of the time I feel like we're barely keeping our heads above water and our house is a mess. Evenings and weekends are 90% chores and we haven't outsourced anything as of right now. I make a lot more than daycare costs so financially the answer is clear, but emotionally it's less clear.

The reason I keep going to work, even though my husband would be ok with me becoming a SAHM is because I personally feel like it would be unfair for me to retire now, causing him to have to work twice as long. I know taking care of kids is not really relaxing and is basically a full time job, I'm using "retire" the same way MMM does. I think if we had one at-home parent life would get a lot easier for the working parent because I'd expect the at-home parent to take over the majority of the chores and errands. We revisit the discussion often, checking in to make sure we're both still content with the status quo and it's entirely possible that I may eventually quit. I don't like working and a less hectic life sounds great, but I also want my husband to retire young and my daughter is exhausting so I don't know how I'd do as a SAHM.

Some of the things I miss about our old life would not be changed by having a SAHP. Our daughter is very energetic, inquisitive, mobile and also needs to eat and sleep at very inconvenient times throughout the day. That makes it hard to ski or hike or play sports like we used to because she's either getting into everything causing trouble or sleeping. There's no getting around that stuff, just have to wait it out. She'll be down to 1 nap a day soon and I think that will open up our lives a bit more. Just gotta keep on keeping on.

FLBiker

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #28 on: May 16, 2018, 10:50:50 AM »
DW stayed home for the first 2.5 years or so.  She was paid for the first 4 months, then unpaid (but kept her job as an instructor at a university) after that.  I was off for the first month, then part time for 5 months.  We are in the US, and we recognize that this is very unusual.  For us, though, it was great.  I'm sure it delayed FIRE a little, but not by much.

tyrannostache

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #29 on: May 16, 2018, 11:35:26 AM »
Our household has two working parents with two kids, 1 and 6. Nearest family is a plane ride away.

You are in the thick of the hardest part, OP. It will get better.

For us, the first 12 months were the hardest. Every experience was new and anxiety-provoking, baby bedtimes were crazy early (which put a huge damper on our social lives), parents are sleep-deprived, and "family time" basically ended up going to chores. It has gradually gotten easier. With my older kid, somewhere around 3.5 years old, we realized that we were really having fun together. DH took the kiddo on her first backpacking trip when she was 4.

When we had our second, it seemed to set back the clock a little bit, but the adjustment wasn't anywhere near as difficult as it was with the first. The second ends up getting toted along to a lot of activities that we never would have done with the first, and we have the perspective of knowing that these difficulties aren't forever.


We were grad students when my first was born, which was both good and bad (also, that is why we will probably be able to reach FI, but not RE). We had a lot of flexibility and were able to split child care for the first 6 months. That part sucked a lot. We worked pretty much constantly when we weren't watching the babe. We managed one day a week to be for family time, and work often ate into that day, too. The stress may have been a factor in my PPD. The kid started daycare part-time at 6 months, which was a huge help mentally and emotionally, even if it was a financial strain.

Today, we both work because we enjoy our work and because we need the money. We could probably have both of us work part-time and still be OK, but it would be tight. We're no longer academics, and family is a major reason for that. With my second, I stayed home for three months, then slowly transitioned back to a full-time (35-hour) work week over the course of two months. I have a very family-friendly workplace that doesn't bat an eye if I need to take off early or go to a school meeting. DH has a corporate job with very little paid leave a, so he just went down to part-time and started some side consulting. While the pay has been less steady, the flexibility and reduced hours have been awesome--he is able to take our oldest to school and sports and is home to make dinner every day.

On weekdays, we all leave the house by 8:30 and come home by 5:15 or so. Our house is definitely less clean than I would like, and we have "breakfast for dinner" more often than is ideal, but we do a lot of playing in the early AM and in the evening. Our older kid probably does fewer organized activities than other kids her age. Our social lives are definitely more constrained.

Cassie

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #30 on: May 16, 2018, 11:56:55 AM »
My kids are long grown and they don't remember if the house was clean or what they ate.  They do remember us spending time together so don't sweat the small stuff.   Some day when they are gone your house will be clean and quiet:))
 

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #31 on: May 16, 2018, 12:05:15 PM »
Are you both working because you absolutely need to or is it so you don't delay your FIRE?

Or because you both like your careers and don't want to make the sacrifice of being out for a few years.

Maybe I am finding that I am more traditional when it comes to these things, but why have children then? Do you just think of children as an accessory to your life? I have a hard time understanding why you would want to be at work rather than spending time with your children, and if that is the case then maybe more thought needed to go into the decision, children are the definition of sacrifice.

Liberty Stache

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #32 on: May 16, 2018, 12:10:32 PM »
...The realbigger obstacle is the lack of our most precious resources (time and energy) that's the point of my gripe about 2 working parents...

We've done it the past 3 years with both people working in big jobs that require travel. It sucks at times but what really helped us was looking for efficiencies. Some random tips:

-Batch prepare food. I will pack 2-4 days worth of school lunches for our little one (buy extra containers). We cook more than we need and eat leftovers. Probably saves 2-8 hrs/week
-Outsource low value work. We live in a condo (no yard work) and outsourced deep cleaning every two weeks. Probably saved 10+ hrs/week
-If you have the flexibility at your job, run errands during lunch. It frees up your evenings and weekends.
-Give each other a night a week or a few hours a weekend for a baby-free break.  You both don't need to be caring for the child at the same time. It really helps the sanity even if it only allows you to go to the gym or for a quick after work hike.
-If you don't have family support, pay for a babysitter to come for an evening, even if its after the baby has gone to sleep so you two can go out for dinner or a drink.
-You'll want to train your little one (at about 1-2 yrs old) to 'help'. They typically love helping because they feel like an adult. Now by 3 he's doing a lot of small stuff that helps (clothes in the laundry, almost potty trained, puts his [plastic] plate in the sink, get's his own water, picks up some of his toys, etc)
-Be ok with the house being messier than it was pre-baby
-Put the kid in white, long pants/sleeves with a hat and bring lots of water. He/she will be fine in the heat.

Remember, while some of these suggestions require spending money, its temporary and you will cut it out of your budget at a latter date.

Cassie

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #33 on: May 16, 2018, 12:12:12 PM »
Afox, could you drop down to p.t. work?

Liberty Stache

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #34 on: May 16, 2018, 12:16:09 PM »
Are you both working because you absolutely need to or is it so you don't delay your FIRE?

Or because you both like your careers and don't want to make the sacrifice of being out for a few years.

Maybe I am finding that I am more traditional when it comes to these things, but why have children then? Do you just think of children as an accessory to your life? I have a hard time understanding why you would want to be at work rather than spending time with your children, and if that is the case then maybe more thought needed to go into the decision, children are the definition of sacrifice.

Please save the guilt trip. Everyone has different values and different things they want out of life.

It goes both ways: I find it difficult to understand why someone only want to dedicate their entire waking life to their children and can't find anything else that interest them enough to prioritize it in their life. In my view, SAHPs typically end up very boring people once the kids are independent. <-- Just because I can generalize, doesn't mean it's true to everyone. Please stop guilt tripping new parents about their personal choices

littlebird

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #35 on: May 16, 2018, 12:25:17 PM »
Agreed Liberty Stache! That's a pretty rude thing to say zoltani. There's enough guilt out there for working parents without piling on about it.

zoltani

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #36 on: May 16, 2018, 12:46:51 PM »
Are you both working because you absolutely need to or is it so you don't delay your FIRE?

Or because you both like your careers and don't want to make the sacrifice of being out for a few years.

Maybe I am finding that I am more traditional when it comes to these things, but why have children then? Do you just think of children as an accessory to your life? I have a hard time understanding why you would want to be at work rather than spending time with your children, and if that is the case then maybe more thought needed to go into the decision, children are the definition of sacrifice.

Please save the guilt trip. Everyone has different values and different things they want out of life.

It goes both ways: I find it difficult to understand why someone only want to dedicate their entire waking life to their children and can't find anything else that interest them enough to prioritize it in their life. In my view, SAHPs typically end up very boring people once the kids are independent. <-- Just because I can generalize, doesn't mean it's true to everyone. Please stop guilt tripping new parents about their personal choices

If you consider a career more important than caring for your children why have them. It is a valid question. I am a product of two working parents, raised by day care and TV, so I suppose that is why I have bias about this as I don't think it is ideal. I've had conversations about it with my parents and they regret working so much. Your guilt is yours to own, I am not responsible for your emotions. Guilt can be useful and can signal that you are actually NOT living according to your values, otherwise why would you feel guilty?


I'm a red panda

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #37 on: May 16, 2018, 12:58:15 PM »
Are you both working because you absolutely need to or is it so you don't delay your FIRE?

Or because you both like your careers and don't want to make the sacrifice of being out for a few years.

Maybe I am finding that I am more traditional when it comes to these things, but why have children then? Do you just think of children as an accessory to your life? I have a hard time understanding why you would want to be at work rather than spending time with your children, and if that is the case then maybe more thought needed to go into the decision, children are the definition of sacrifice.

Maybe because both my husband and I feel we do important work that contributes to society in a positive way.
And by continuing to work I feel that I am being a role model to my child that a woman's role isn't just as mother. 

If someone wants to be a SAHP, they should be. But not everyone is called to that.

And quite honestly, if I choose to later be a SAHM, I feel like the elementary/middle school years are when kids are way more demanding of parental time than as an infant. My 13 month old is thriving in daycare.

Mrs. Fire Lane

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #38 on: May 16, 2018, 01:06:46 PM »
Maybe I am finding that I am more traditional when it comes to these things, but why have children then? Do you just think of children as an accessory to your life? I have a hard time understanding why you would want to be at work rather than spending time with your children, and if that is the case then maybe more thought needed to go into the decision, children are the definition of sacrifice.

Maybe I'm sacrificing the time with my child now so that I can spend a lot more time with him later? And so that he will never have to worry about student loans? And so that we can travel and literally show him the world?

I do have some guilt about working but I work from home 2x a week so I'm not apart from him as long as other working parents are. But children are resilient and the time he spends with his grandparents and in daycare has benefited him tremendously. They teach him things I don't know how to do or wouldn't have thought of, and he is vivacious and social. My best friend is a stay at home mom and was never away from her first son more than a few hours until the hospital stay for her second kid. When it was time for kindergarten he spent the first two weeks crying for hours. When I leave for the day my son whines for two minutes and then he's back to playing.

Cassie

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #39 on: May 16, 2018, 01:13:05 PM »
I think each person needs to make that decision for themselves. If the parents are confident in their decision their kids will be fine. I worked for about a year when I had two and then stayed home with the third until he was five. Once kids are in school it is so much easier as they have their own activities and interests. My pension is half of what it could had been if I had not stayed at home for awhile.   My friends that kept working have more $ then we do because of this.  I sent my kids to what was called nursery school a few mornings a week for 2 1/2 hours for socialization and to prepare them for school.  Once my kids were in school I would have been bored if I had stayed home then.   However, others have so many hobbies, etc that they feel differently. 

Liberty Stache

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #40 on: May 16, 2018, 01:28:58 PM »
Are you both working because you absolutely need to or is it so you don't delay your FIRE?

Or because you both like your careers and don't want to make the sacrifice of being out for a few years.

Maybe I am finding that I am more traditional when it comes to these things, but why have children then? Do you just think of children as an accessory to your life? I have a hard time understanding why you would want to be at work rather than spending time with your children, and if that is the case then maybe more thought needed to go into the decision, children are the definition of sacrifice.

Please save the guilt trip. Everyone has different values and different things they want out of life.

It goes both ways: I find it difficult to understand why someone only want to dedicate their entire waking life to their children and can't find anything else that interest them enough to prioritize it in their life. In my view, SAHPs typically end up very boring people once the kids are independent. <-- Just because I can generalize, doesn't mean it's true to everyone. Please stop guilt tripping new parents about their personal choices

If you consider a career more important than caring for your children why have them. It is a valid question. I am a product of two working parents, raised by day care and TV, so I suppose that is why I have bias about this as I don't think it is ideal. I've had conversations about it with my parents and they regret working so much. Your guilt is yours to own, I am not responsible for your emotions. Guilt can be useful and can signal that you are actually NOT living according to your values, otherwise why would you feel guilty?

Where's the line? Do you feel the same way about working parents who send their kids to public (or private school) for 1st-12th grade vs. home schooling because 'why have kids if you don't educate them yourself' as well?

Additionally, do you realize that throughout most of mankind history, both parents 'worked' in some form and children were viewed as cheap and necessary labor, not the bundle of love and joy they are today (economically worthless but emotionally priceless)? That having a stay at home parent is a luxury made popular by the post WW2 boom for mainly white parents?

BTW, no guilt here. I just hate the guilt trip by the oh so many people (usually older white mothers/grandmothers) who claim it's 'horrible' you put the 'poor poor baby' in daycare. Like the kid isn't loved and will grow up to be a degenerate if you aren't they one to change the poopy diaper at 9 mo old. Give me a break.

As far as your question 'Why have them while continuing to work?' (I'll treat it as a serious one), the answer is different for different people. For us, we are along the same lines as Mrs. Fire Lane & red panda. We see value in our work and plan on spending a lot of time & adventures with our kid(s) both now and in the future to literally show them the world. We also realize that we can do more good in the world by building up a large 'stache to help others by literally creating a money machine that spits off money for good (charities, etc) vs. further greed. For many others, passing along DNA to the next generation is extremely important and is wired into human nature. Additionally, it's about total lifetime happiness: While I would probably have more 'fun/freedom' right now, I would be significantly worse off / depressed mid to later in life if I didn't have a family (plenty of studies out there that support this). I would feel that I missed an integral part of the human experience. For others, some people aren't 'baby people'. They enjoy ages 4 to adulthood but can't stand the dirty diapers and crying / lack of communication. To each their own. Its a personal choice that everyone needs to make for themselves and it should NOT be criticized by others because they have different values.

tyrannostache

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #41 on: May 16, 2018, 03:54:33 PM »
Are you both working because you absolutely need to or is it so you don't delay your FIRE?

Or because you both like your careers and don't want to make the sacrifice of being out for a few years.

Maybe I am finding that I am more traditional when it comes to these things, but why have children then? Do you just think of children as an accessory to your life? I have a hard time understanding why you would want to be at work rather than spending time with your children, and if that is the case then maybe more thought needed to go into the decision, children are the definition of sacrifice.

Please save the guilt trip. Everyone has different values and different things they want out of life.

It goes both ways: I find it difficult to understand why someone only want to dedicate their entire waking life to their children and can't find anything else that interest them enough to prioritize it in their life. In my view, SAHPs typically end up very boring people once the kids are independent. <-- Just because I can generalize, doesn't mean it's true to everyone. Please stop guilt tripping new parents about their personal choices

If you consider a career more important than caring for your children why have them. It is a valid question. I am a product of two working parents, raised by day care and TV, so I suppose that is why I have bias about this as I don't think it is ideal. I've had conversations about it with my parents and they regret working so much. Your guilt is yours to own, I am not responsible for your emotions. Guilt can be useful and can signal that you are actually NOT living according to your values, otherwise why would you feel guilty?

I am also a product of two parents with professional careers, and I had a childhood full of loving care. My mom (RN) worked fewer hours than my dad (MD), but both worked at least 3/4 time.

It's a valid question, but it's also a biased one (as you admit). It implies that a parent who also pursues a career believes that a career is more important than caring for children. It assumes that a parent who doesn't want to spend all of their waking time with their kids is not caring for them. It's dishonest to ask a loaded question like that and then pretend you're not trying to criticize people who have made different choices than you.

But let's pretend it is an honest question. I work 1) because I need the money, the health insurance, the retirement plan, etc; 2) because I am lucky enough enjoy what I do, I am good at it, and I think it serves society as a whole; 3) I don't want to be with my kids 24/7--I am a better parent when I am working on engaging projects. I chose this particular career because it allows me to have the best balance I could find between spending time with my family and developing professionally. I have passed up development opportunities because they would take too much away from my family. And I've dropped a potentially lucrative side hustle for the same reason. I carefully chose a daycare with people I trust, expanding the circle of those who love and care for my kids. That is part of caring for my children. My daycare is part of my village. My coworkers are part of my village. Building a strong village is part of how I care for my children.

cats

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #42 on: May 16, 2018, 06:12:36 PM »
We could afford to go down to 1 income but I continued to work.  Obviously everyone is different but for me:

1) My work provided some intellectual stimulation that my infant did not.  Ideally I would have been able to maybe work at a reduced capacity but I did need that part of my brain exercised and with a young baby to care for, it's nice to have your employer forcing it rather than having to self-motivate

2) Even accounting for daycare and taxes and so on...I make enough money that continuing to work adds quite a bit to our savings each year, so does make a difference in our time to FIRE.

3) As some others have alluded, I think that for the very young years, a GOOD daycare is just as good as a SAHP.  There is a lot of societal/medical consensus on what babies need or what is harmful, so if you are will to pay for it, there's a good chance you can find a daycare or nanny who will do things the way you want them done (e.g. no screen time is very important to me...no reputable daycare these days is going to tell you they are fine with a half hour of Sesame Street each day). When you start to get to kindergarten+ age, I think that's the time when there is less of a defined societal consensus on what is "right" or "important" and what you want for your kid vs. what the school provides will start to diverge more...meaning you need to step in to fill that gap (e.g., you think your kid could bump up to the next level of math but the school disagrees, so you need to find time to help your kid with extra math drills while you also battle the school)).  I would rather have my son in daycare now if it means I have the opportunity to quit my job when he is 5.

Steeze

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #43 on: May 16, 2018, 07:37:21 PM »
Hello Parents!

DW and I are making plans for our first child next spring. We are thinking about taking the first 1-2 months off, then returning to work. Hopefully we can arrange some remote work, but as it stands neither of our jobs allow.

So, being that we are in NYC, full time daycare is 2k/mo. So there is that. However, DW's parents are semi retired and have offered to move in with us for 6 months at a time, possibly on overlapping shifts that cover up to 9 months. My parents are 3 hours away and have offered to watch our child for us when my in laws travel home. We would likely do some combination of these with part time childcare 1-2 days a week if we could get into one that allows part time.

To make it all work we would have to move to a 2-br that would increase our rent around $1000/mo. All in we are prepared for increased expenses of 2k-3k, which will cut our savings in half, but not change our lifestyle at all. This will delay FIRE 2 years or so.

Any thoughts on the larger apartment for our parents to stay with us? Cost wise could be a wash if we still do part time daycare. DW really wants her parents to move in. I think it would be great too, although I'm sure challenging at times.

Or how about sending the child upstate on weekdays to stay with grandparents? They already do the same for my sister, and it brings them more joy than burden,  her daughter is 5 now.

Any thoughts are welcome, thanks!

ysette9

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #44 on: May 16, 2018, 07:50:59 PM »
In my circle having one parent at home is a luxury most people can’t afford or don’t choose to pursue. In my experience, having a 5 month-old is brutally hard regardless of whether one parent is at home or not. It is just really, really hard to parent a young baby. Things get much better in another six months and by age 2 life was beautiful for us again.

With my second I was happy to get the break of returning to work after 4 months.
I would have loved to have suddenly earned double to keep my husband home after his paternity leave ended. In the end it is probably best for both of us to be at work and have that mental stimulation. Being at home with a little is amazingly tough and not everyone is cut out for that.

Summary: hang in there a bit more before making any final decisions. Things do get significantly easier in the near future.

Acorns

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #45 on: May 16, 2018, 09:37:37 PM »
I took 9 weeks maternity leave then went back to work full time (10-12 hr days) after my first was born. At the time, my husband was gone from home around 14hrs a day because of a brutal commute. I quit working when my oldest was 11mo old and I was pregnant with my second child. I don't know how we survived that first year, it is a complete blur of exhaustion and sickness (the baby was constantly sick from daycare, so of course I was too). Now I am a SAHP working very part time ~24hrs/month. I would say that going to work is "easier" for the 10-12hrs/day I was at work, but home life was very difficult (getting everyone out the door at 5:30am suuuuucks). I would love to go back to work but juggling three different school/daycare schedules, commuting, random no school days, sick kids, etc would probably drive me crazy and not be worth the enjoyment I would get from working. In my area, the only families I know who successfully have both parent working without being constantly tired and run ragged either have an au pair or full time nanny, or family living close by who can help out.

afox

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #46 on: May 16, 2018, 10:56:20 PM »
In my area, the only families I know who successfully have both parent working without being constantly tired and run ragged either have an au pair or full time nanny, or family living close by who can help out.

My experience too.  I do know a few families with infant and 2 working parents but upon closer examination they almost all have a "saving grace" of family support, an au pair, or are literally hiring everything out. 

My 3 months of paternity leave were perhaps the best 3 months of my life.  I truly enjoyed spending a lot of time with my family and enjoyed not spending time and energy on work.  I would give up my career in an instant if I could get half as much money (just enough to live on) to stay home with my child.




Tuskalusa

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #47 on: May 17, 2018, 08:07:07 AM »
Agree that it is extremely challenging to raise kids with two parents working. Looking back, Iím glad I worked FT when our son was an infant/preschooler. Those were some of my highest earning years. They essentially topped off my 401k. One of the reasons I was able to quit when our son got to grade school was because I had saved enough over the course of my FT working life.

So itís a balance for sure. And thereís no great answer for everyone. Things might have been easier day-to-day with one of us home during the early years. But I can see now that we would have taken a pretty significant financial hit with that decision.

tyrannostache

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #48 on: May 17, 2018, 11:29:30 AM »
Hello Parents!

DW and I are making plans for our first child next spring. We are thinking about taking the first 1-2 months off, then returning to work. Hopefully we can arrange some remote work, but as it stands neither of our jobs allow.

So, being that we are in NYC, full time daycare is 2k/mo. So there is that. However, DW's parents are semi retired and have offered to move in with us for 6 months at a time, possibly on overlapping shifts that cover up to 9 months. My parents are 3 hours away and have offered to watch our child for us when my in laws travel home. We would likely do some combination of these with part time childcare 1-2 days a week if we could get into one that allows part time.

To make it all work we would have to move to a 2-br that would increase our rent around $1000/mo. All in we are prepared for increased expenses of 2k-3k, which will cut our savings in half, but not change our lifestyle at all. This will delay FIRE 2 years or so.

Any thoughts on the larger apartment for our parents to stay with us? Cost wise could be a wash if we still do part time daycare. DW really wants her parents to move in. I think it would be great too, although I'm sure challenging at times.

Or how about sending the child upstate on weekdays to stay with grandparents? They already do the same for my sister, and it brings them more joy than burden,  her daughter is 5 now.

Any thoughts are welcome, thanks!

Wow, steeze, those are all tough options. Is there any way one or both of you could take more time off work? By 2 months, the baby will only be 8 weeks old. Mom will barely be recovered from childbirth. With my first, it took me 6 weeks to recover, though I did have some complications. Going back to full-time work then would have been awful. How demanding is your work, and how long are your commutes? How much do you each care about your jobs?

As for sending the child to grandparents 3 hours away for the weekdays, that seems like the worst possible option. I couldn't imagine being away from a baby for multiple days and nights. Especially if your wife is breastfeeding, that will be extremely difficult. Not to mention the nightmare of making multiple 3-hour trips with an infant.

Only you and your wife can determine whether having her parents living with you for 6 months at a stretch will work for your family. Do you trust her parents to respect your parenting decisions? How will you deal with being up in each other's space all the time?

Aside from cost, what's the hesitation about full-time childcare? It's often not a huge savings to do part-time vs. full-time, particularly if  it still requires you to make other choices (like moving) will add to your expenses. So if you do move to a larger apartment, you'll add $1k, but you'll also need part-time daycare ($?). And that will give you the added up-front expenses of moving. Could you get a nanny for $3k/month?

Tthere's no way around throwing money at the issue, one way or another--either reducing income or adding to expenses or both. So you need to figure out what is most important to your family: having grandparents as child care, continuing to work full-time, avoiding full-time daycare as long as possible, etc.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 11:31:28 AM by tyrannostache »

SimpleCycle

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #49 on: May 17, 2018, 12:18:52 PM »
My children spend 45 hours a week at daycare.  They spend 75ish hours sleeping.  That leaves 48 hours a week with me and my wife.

We both work for a variety of reasons, and none of them is "not wanting to raise our children".  We also both grew up in 2 parent working households and I know for me, it was great to have the example of parents who didn't subscribe to rigid gender roles and split parenting roles according to their abilities.    In addition to her full time job, my mom taught childbirth classes one evening a week, which gave me undivided time with my dad.  We went stargazing and built my first toolbox and all sorts of fun stuff during that time - it is one of my most cherished memories of our time together.

To answer OP, we have two children, 1 and almost 3, and we both work full time.  As I mentioned, our kids are at daycare about 9 hours a day, which is enabled by our short commutes.  But as others have mentioned, we are in this arrangement because right now, we both want to be working and it furthers our goals for our family.  I also stayed home until our oldest was 6 months, and I honestly don't think it made life much easier.  Having sub-6 month old children is a hard gig, either way.

Basically, there are two things that make this sustainable for us.  First, we just had to accept that during the first year of having a new baby, you are TIRED.  It is a huge life adjustment to care for tiny people, no matter what your work situation is.  It is temporary and it takes some time to find your footing as a new parent.

Second, we focus on using our time in the ways most important to us, since time is limited.  Basically, like MMM, but for time rather than money.  So we have a cleaning lady.  And low expectations for what we will accomplish while our energy and attention is shifted to keeping small people alive.  We've tried to find innovative ways to maintain our friendships and relationship.  Every other week we do "date night in" after bedtime.  One partner plans the date, which is some sort of meal, interactive activity (we've learned Italian phrases, tried to hula dance, done wine tasting and chocolate tasting, etc.), and sometimes a movie.  The non-date weeks, we invite friends over for dinner, or one of us springs the other for some time out with friends.  But again, we didn't have the energy for any of this the first year and that is okay.  On weekend days, we do family activities, I take the toddler to the community garden, we enjoy free stuff around the city, or we take them to the park and ride bikes and scooters.  We try to keep things low key, we have family quiet time every afternoon where the kids nap and we either nap or do hobbies or stuff around the house.

You are really in the thick of it right now, and it will get better.  Only you can do the math on if two working parents makes sense, but knowing that most people are stretched thin during that first year was helpful for me.