Author Topic: two working parents with infant?  (Read 2952 times)

mm1970

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #50 on: May 18, 2018, 11:15:10 AM »
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?
It's not either / or, it's a sliding scale.

Even full time working parents spend MORE time with their children than not (more than 50% of waking time) and a crap ton more time with their children than at work.

I don't want to work 24/7 and I don't want to be physically caring for children 24/7 either.  It's one reason why I don't homeschool, among others.

Oh and no guilt here either.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 11:21:18 AM by mm1970 »

mm1970

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #51 on: May 18, 2018, 11:17:19 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.
+1

With the first kid we both worked FT and it was fucking exhausting.  We both worked in jobs/ industries that were...resistant to part time work.  But eventually my boss quit and I jumped at the chance to ask my new boss to cut my hours.

So, I had about 1.5 years with kid #1 working 30-32 hours a week, and it was glorious (he was aged 1.5 to 3).  Second kid, I'd learned my lesson and cut my hours for the first year, to 32.

It still sucks the life out of you until the kiddo is about aged 4 or 5.

teddyfreddie

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #52 on: May 18, 2018, 10:47:36 PM »
It would be so interesting to know where (roughly) posters were responding from, as a non-US reader it seems extraordinary to think parents have so little time to adjust/learn with new babies before they return to work. I literally know of nobody, at all, in my circles who took less than six months parental leave from their workplace. The poor statutory provisions for parents in the US system must contribute to family stress, surely thats a better focus compared to working vs SAHP??

Tuskalusa

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #53 on: May 19, 2018, 12:01:14 AM »
Teddyfreddy, I couldn’t agree more. Without and real social safety net for parental leave in the US, childcare is relegated to a system of “personal choice.”  And for many, There is no real “choice” between working or not.  It’s really unfortunate the our US system, which claims to be based on “family values,” doesn’t really have any national policy or support for families.

Cassie

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #54 on: May 19, 2018, 11:47:10 PM »
We as a country are really failing parents and kids.  Going back to work after 6 weeks is barbaric. 

JustTrying

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #55 on: May 29, 2018, 11:33:05 PM »
We do, but one of us is self-employed while the other works for a traditional employer. Basically one of us works while the other watches the kiddo and vice versa. It makes it nearly impossible for us to do things as a family, but means we do both get to spend a lot of the time with our kid and not spend all of our income on daycare.

Sometimes I feel a little sorry for myself because it can feel like no other family understands our struggles, since most either have two FT working parents + daycare/nanny OR one parent that stays home, and therefore most families have a lot of family time on the weekend that we don't have. (I hate having to explain to people over and over that no, I can't do anything with them without the kid along because my spouse has to work, or no, we can't take a whole day as a family to do something fun). And then I remember that there are single parents out there! I definitely don't feel that we're just on "survival mode" as others have described. I actually feel we have a really lovely balanced life, though I wish I had a bit more time with my spouse!

Jaguar Paw

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #56 on: May 30, 2018, 06:39:36 AM »
We have a 2 year old and another baby due in July. Our plan for both is just about the same:

I will take 6 weeks off and then go back part time for another 4 weeks or so. My wife will take 12 weeks off.

After that, we have a nanny who is super awesome and has been taking care of our first, and now will our second. She also watches another child during this time. We both make 100k per year so the cost of the child care is cancelled out pretty quickly.

There was some post earlier about it being silly/selfish/whatever to go back to work after having kids. We go back to work because we genuinely enjoy our jobs, are good at our jobs, get paid too much to do our jobs, and make the world a better place by doing our jobs.  We both love our kid, soon to be kids, and sacrifice a ton to enjoy time with them. This being said, neither of us would consider quitting our career to be with our beautiful/amazing/terroristic/psychotic toddler 24/7. We also work so that we will be able to provide sweet experiences for our kids (and ourselves) that we did not get as children.


mm1970

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #57 on: May 30, 2018, 12:48:57 PM »
We have a 2 year old and another baby due in July. Our plan for both is just about the same:

I will take 6 weeks off and then go back part time for another 4 weeks or so. My wife will take 12 weeks off.

After that, we have a nanny who is super awesome and has been taking care of our first, and now will our second. She also watches another child during this time. We both make 100k per year so the cost of the child care is cancelled out pretty quickly.

There was some post earlier about it being silly/selfish/whatever to go back to work after having kids. We go back to work because we genuinely enjoy our jobs, are good at our jobs, get paid too much to do our jobs, and make the world a better place by doing our jobs.  We both love our kid, soon to be kids, and sacrifice a ton to enjoy time with them. This being said, neither of us would consider quitting our career to be with our beautiful/amazing/terroristic/psychotic toddler 24/7. We also work so that we will be able to provide sweet experiences for our kids (and ourselves) that we did not get as children.
Eh, I'd wager that the vast majority of people who call themselves "traditional" and say "why have kids if you aren't going to raise them" don't homeschool their kids, so they can just STFU.

little_brown_dog

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Re: two working parents with infant?
« Reply #58 on: May 30, 2018, 01:10:18 PM »
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? 

So it is actually the norm for children to have 2 working parents (in the US anyway) – the newest stats are something like 70% of mothers return to work after having a child. You are not unusual, you are typical.

However, depending on your geographic location, income cohort, and the parenting/lifestyle culture of your social group/area, you definitely might see far more one income families than the national statistics demonstrate. Areas with higher incomes might have higher proportions of stay at home parents, and more conservative and religious segments of the country may also have more stay at home wives and mothers due to cultural/religious reasons (never mind the financial implications related to larger family sizes - can you imagine paying for childcare for 3 young kids at once?). For example, there are many stay at home parents in the wealthy suburbs of Boston and New York, and areas that boast higher numbers of certain religious groups would also likely have a high rate of one income families.

I am a SAHM myself, so no tips on how to manage/juggle/survive. Just wanted to chime in to let you know that you aren’t abnormal or unusual from a statistical point of view :)