Author Topic: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?  (Read 3968 times)

cats

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 985
Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« on: July 25, 2018, 05:38:37 PM »
Husband and I currently both work FT and have 1 kid (age 2), planning/hoping to add a second kid into the mix within the next year.  We have been discussing my potentially staying home after theoretical kid #2 arrives.  Financially, the effect on us would be negative to potentially neutral--my salary more than covers 2 sets of daycare, but its possible that with more energy freed up to focus on his job, my husband's career (and salary) would take off and compensate.  We are fortunately in good shape in terms of savings and my husband's salary more than covers our current living expenses so we are also not in a position of "needing" my salary. So it's really more about whether we would "save" enough in time/stress/well-being to justify the expense of my lost earnings. 

Curious for others who have been in this position and decided to SAHP--what was the point at which you decided FT work was just not working for you?  Did work become intolerable or did you have a revelatory moment that your home/family needed more of you than work was allowing for?

For me, I am mostly getting tired of being SO TIRED.  I'm very diligent about getting to bed on time and even manage to sneak in a catch up nap or two on the weekends, but I'm invariably exhausted by Tuesday afternoon each week.  Last night (a Tuesday) I found myself nodding off around 7:30 pm and went to bed around 8pm (wakeup around 5AM).  Our son wakes up at 6 most mornings so I realize sleeping late is not ever going to be a possibility, but it sure would be nice to occasionally lie down and take a 20 minute nap after he goes down for his nap.  Son and I occasionally stay home together on weekdays and while he's a lot of work, I don't feel as exhausted by the end of the day as I do when I'm at the office.  Not sure if this would be the case with staying home FT.  Since we've emerged from the haze of the first year I also find I miss him more during the day, though this wasn't really the case when he was a baby.

There's nothing I can really pinpoint as "wrong" with my job except that it takes up so much time.  It does feel like my employer has implemented more little annoying rules and requirements in the past few years but so far none have been dealbreakers...but thinking over them cumulatively, working there is definitely less fun than it used to be.

AccidentalMiser

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 611
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2018, 05:48:52 PM »
If you can afford to, you should stay home and spend time with them while they're little.  The benefits of just a few years will last a lifetime.  It sounds like you are leaning that way, so I'd encourage you to give it a try for a while anyway. 

Maybe you can work out a deal with your employer to do part time or project work to stay engaged with your industry without having to step away altogether.  I'm just thinking out loud here.

My DW stayed home with the kids for most of the time they were home.  She also got two degrees and went to work when the last one went to HS.  Then she got tired of working and we didn't need the money so she went home again.  Between extra taxes, clothing, transportation and working expenses, it was less impact to the bottom line than we anticipated.

Best of luck to you!

Jesstache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 184
  • Location: CA
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2018, 07:26:59 PM »
I went back to work full time after our first was born.  When she was 1 we moved several states away for my husband to take a job in a location we always wanted to live.   I became a SAHM then for the first time.  A year and a half later, our second was born and the pregnancy was MUCH easier on me (terrible, terrible morning sickness with both) than the first because I was able to rest more than when I was working full time. 

But then... after the second was born I was going absolutely crazy staying home so I went back to work part time and it was a great balance (for me) for a while.  I became a SAHM full time "for good" again when my oldest was heading into Kindergarten and I was looking at the school start and end times, plus holidays, early release days, etc, etc combined with the taxes and daycare costs and it just didn't seem worth it to keep working and having everyone be stressed on those days.  I also have to add that my husband was more stressed on the days I worked as he was now affected daily by the kids lack of enthusiasm for being dropped off at daycare at 6:30 am and their mood swings possibly making him late, etc.

That first year with me home full time and the oldest in kindergarten was a good call.  We had a royal mess of a winter and an unprecedented 10 snow days!  I honestly don't know how working parents deal with the multitude of days off and early release days, sick kids, summer break, spring break, etc.  It's honestly easier to work with small kids in daycare with their year round set schedule than the cobbled together mess of childcare other parents have to deal with.  I know it's a few years away for you (it will go so fast though) but I completely love walking/riding bikes with my kids to school and being there when they get out of school.  I also volunteer in both their classes and get to chaperone all of their field trips.  It's so fun.

My husband (though he will not admit it because he wants me to do what makes me happy) is much much happier when I stay home as well.  Nights and weekends are all family time.  We don't spend our time rushing around doing errands or cleaning.  It's all family dinner, bike rides, walks, hikes, kayaking, etc.

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3731
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2018, 07:34:33 PM »
I stayed home after the second was born. Due to a combo of disliking my job and the cost of two kids in daycare.

Do I think the kids benefitted?  Eh, not compared to high quality childcare.

Did I benefit? For awhile but eventually it gets pretty damn boring to spend your time cleaning up after everyone else in the house.

At the end of the day, it's a risk because if themarriagegoes south you missed some serious earning potential. But like all things, sometimes the risk is worth the reward. It's really hard to keep childrearing and household chores even remotely equal with a SAHP, which can be exhausting.

I went back to work PT when my youngest was in school. I was PT for a couple years and now FT. I am glad I stayed home but I'm happier now to be mentally engaged at work and sharing the load at home. And I acknowledge i took a huge risk in being home for awhile, both in my career and in case my marriage had failed.

TheWifeHalf

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 499
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2018, 09:06:54 PM »
We decided a couple of weeks before I got pregnant. We both felt I would stay home until the kid(s) were in school, but when our youngest was 4, TheHusbandHalf got his current job, so we decided I would stay home full time.

It's not that I didn't like my job, I just felt no one could be a better mother to my kids than me.
I took my job as mom seriously and was as dedicated to it as I was to my former employment. To be honest, we do not think the kids would have turned out as well as they did if I hadn't stayed home, especially with a couple of major health issues they experienced.

Emily2651

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 16
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2018, 10:13:25 PM »
There's no right answer here, except maybe a right answer for you, but just to add the other side ... I quit work briefly when my kids were 5 and 2 (I was burnt-out to a crisp), then slowly ramped back up: part time for awhile, back to full time when my youngest started kinder. Now they're both in elementary school and I'm so very glad to be working full time (for now). The years when they're really little are hard though -- can you back off to part time? How easy would it be to re-enter if you change you mind? Those are the key questions, in my opinion.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2018, 10:16:19 PM by Emily2651 »

Sonos

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 44
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2018, 11:02:21 PM »
These replies are so informative. It really underlines for me that there is no one right answer. Itís just what is right for you.

Iíve been home with our first since I was pregnant. Being home full time has been great, but even with fairly regular (3x per week, 1.5h per time on average) breaks to work on a personal project (thanks to babysitting by grandma and great auntie), I find myself really needing more mentally challenging work. Also, now that kid #1 is walking at 16 months, Iím exhausted by the end of the day.

We are now also expecting kid #2 and Iíve decided to go back to work. My husband, who is burnt out at his job will swap out with me and be a SAHD. He will be great at it, Iím sure. And he knows (because I talk about it)  that staying home can be very hard. Great yes (being with the kid, handling home management stuff so nights and weekends are just family time, etc), but also hard (physically tiring (even if you manage to squeeze in a nap), isolating, and brain-meltingly boring sometimes). 

My experience is just mine. Iíve talked to some SAHP who love it and would never give it up. I know some that went back to work and felt it was the right decision. Iím somewhere in the middle.

My husband and I really want to have a SAHP for our kids. if our upcoming swap sticks, great. If not, weíll work out some other arrangement. We love the idea of both of us working part time and splitting being the SAHP. This feels like it would be my ideal, but in our field (tech/internet) it would be tough to work part time and not end up working full time hours for a part time salary.

I hope this extra perspective is helpful. Good luck!
« Last Edit: July 25, 2018, 11:05:25 PM by Sonos »

formerlydivorcedmom

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 582
  • Location: Texas
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2018, 08:56:05 AM »
Have you had a physical recently?  My family has a genetic propensity towards thyroid disease...my sister started nodding off between 7 and 8 a few weeks ago.  She thought it was the stress of her job and being a single mom.  It's actually because her thyroid wasn't producing enough hormone.  Now that she's on meds, she's got a lot more energy.

It might be wise to rule out any medical cause of your exhaustion, whether you choose to stay home or not.

(I was a SAHM for 9 months.  I ran back to work after that.  Dealing with infants/toddlers full-time was not for me.)

cats

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 985
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2018, 10:11:48 AM »
Thanks everyone for your thoughts! Really interesting to see how it can go both ways.

I would love to do a PT version of my current job but I've been told it's not an option.  I suppose if my response were "okay, here's my two weeks notice" the tune might change a bit. I'd definitely be concerned about winding up with a lower "hourly" rate, though if the right arrangement could be worked out (i.e. I get to do the interesting parts of my job and ditch the more boring parts), maybe it would be worth it.  I think also it would be pretty hard to re-enter the workforce at my current level, but....if I were truly miserable staying home I would probably feel differently about working at something else than I do right now.  I feel pretty confident I could get *some* kind of job if I were desperate for paid employment, and I have previously (pre-kid, pre-current FT job) had good luck with spinning hobbies into small-time income streams.

The mental/potential social isolation aspect of staying home is definitely something that scares me, I think at this point moreso than the financial part of things.  We are pretty close to FI as is and our vague plan prior to the current discussion has definitely always involved some kind of downshift around the time our son hits kindergarten, but I guess now that the date is moving closer I'm thinking about it harder and the potential negative aspects are certainly popping up in my head a lot more than the positives.  I think a lot of the negatives are easy to identify (lost income potential, lost mental stimulation, would have a hard time re-entering the workforce) and the positives are harder to put a finger on because we haven't actually tried the SAHP model yet so we don't really know what we're "missing"--like, how much time would we really free up, how much would stress go down, would our overall health really improve that much?  etc. 

nessness

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 310
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2018, 07:41:13 PM »
Don't underestimate how tiring it is to stay home with two little kids. My husband works some weekends, and on the weekends I'm on my own with them, it feels like a break to go back to work on Monday. That doesn't mean it might not be worthwhile to stay home with them, just that I wouldn't count on it to be restful.

Kyle Schuant

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 517
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2018, 01:22:03 AM »
If you think you're tired now wait till you have the second kid.

How happy is hubby with his work? Maybe he'd like to be the one staying at home. Past birth and breastfeeding, there's nothing a woman can do a man can't in child-rearing.


Is it paid work in general, or just this particular workplace that's tiring you out? 60 hours in one may be great while 40 hours in another is awful.
 
Consider too the total hours of wherever you happen to work; between 40 hours a week and zero there is perhaps some middle ground. Many stay-at-home parents feel happier with some part-time work; there's a reason for the stereotype of the busybody parent's association mother - she just wants something to do outside the home! So you may want to keep doing it part-time. As well, even your current workplace may be more tolerable with limited hours. In my own work, doing it for 20 hours a week I'm very happy, I might not be happy with 40hr and I'd definitely be sick of it with 60hr.

remizidae

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 116
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2018, 10:16:13 PM »
Do your research before you take a big risk like this. Reread The Feminine Mystique. Read Breadwinning, Babies, and Bargaining Power. Familiarize yourself with all the stories of former stay-at-home mothers forced to go on food stamps when they unexpectedly had to support themselves. My mother had to reenter the workplace at 50-something, and despite having a master's degree, minimum wage was the best she could do.

Unless you're already FI, dropping out of the workforce is a hugely risky choice. It will affect the power balance in your relationship in ways you likely haven't planned for and don't want. Do you really want to model for your children a relationship in which the man works and makes the major decisions, while the woman is dependent and does all the housework and childcare? Is that the kind of relationship you want your children to emulate? Do you know that stay-at-home mothers have much worse physical and mental health on average? And, the data shows kids will be fine with 2 working parents.

I know being tired sucks, but there are other solutions for that. Can you take one day a week to be alone/catch up on sleep/stay with a friend while husband cares for the kids? Can you wait a few years before having #2 (or stick with one)? Can you hire a nanny or use a babysitter more often?

littlebird

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 108
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2018, 07:17:00 AM »
My husband and I both work in tech, have a 16 month old and I just put in my 2 weeks notice. For us it was a combination of expensive childcare, my hatred for my job and a recent health scare on my part that had me reevaluating my priorities. Originally we were talking about me quitting after we have a hypothetical second child next year but this moved up the timeline. It's hard to leave a baby you love at daycare to go to a job you hate. The way we see it the definite pros are: less stress for working parent, he can go to work earlier and get home earlier because he won't be doing drop off, no need to save PTO days for sick baby or school holidays, reduce spending by ~$25,000/year because no daycare, I'll take over chores and errands so more quality family time. Definite cons: reduced income because I make way more than $25k/year. Of course there are a huge number of potential pros and cons, maybe his career will advance more quickly with me taking care of the home front, maybe I'll be bored to tears, etc, etc.

It's scary taking this leap from working parent to SAHM, but I figure if it doesn't work out in the short term I'll go back to work. Long term, I have no expectations of getting back into tech. The field just moves to quickly and I know if I take 5 years off I'll be unhireable. It's true it's a little risky for me to be stepping out of the workforce. My husband could die, so we're increasing his life insurance. We could get divorced, but we have a strong marriage and I have a strong family safety net to fall back on.

I went to daycare from 6 months of age and I think I turned out fine, so this isn't a fear of daycare based decision for us. It's about living the life we want to live. YMMV.

ender

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4306
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2018, 07:37:42 AM »
I don't feel as exhausted by the end of the day as I do when I'm at the office.  Not sure if this would be the case with staying home FT.

A few things to consider. First, you will probably get less done during the day than you expect. But you will also get a lot more done during the day than you do now (while at work).

Nearly everyone I know with a SAHP is able to have more "family time" because you have someone who is able during the day to do various things. Even if all that is accomplished during the week other than keeping the kids alive is getting groceries, that's 30-60 minutes more family time you get in the evenings. If you can move even just 2-3 hours of "what we'd have to do on weekends/evenings" to the day that makes a big difference in your family life. When you figure how many hours you are busy with keeping-the-family-running things, an extra few where neither parent has to do them in the evening makes a major percentage difference.

For some people this is really important. Some don't care as much.

Second, a lot of people who stay home can find communities and have social activities still. This is very important - most people can't just go from being around people 40+ hours a week to being around a kid without some negative impact socially/emotionally. Having some community, whether church or friends or moms groups or neighbors, can be really impactful on the "will you like SAHPing or not."

Third, longer term you can make the option to homeschool a lot easier if that's something you want.

Last, you may be able to take a longer break and "try it out" -- give yourself a timeframe you will reevaluate. Put a calendar reminder or something.

FIRE@50

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 347
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Maryland
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2018, 07:55:16 AM »
If you want to pay someone else to raise your kids and you are concerned that you will be "truly miserable staying home" with them, I have to ask, are you sure that you actually want to have children? I don't mean to be overly blunt, but I do think it is a fair question.

cats

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 985
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2018, 10:47:40 AM »

Unless you're already FI, dropping out of the workforce is a hugely risky choice. It will affect the power balance in your relationship in ways you likely haven't planned for and don't want. Do you really want to model for your children a relationship in which the man works and makes the major decisions, while the woman is dependent and does all the housework and childcare? Is that the kind of relationship you want your children to emulate? Do you know that stay-at-home mothers have much worse physical and mental health on average? And, the data shows kids will be fine with 2 working parents.


This is definitely something that concerns me--my mother was a SAHM and I think she experienced a lot of what you talk about, but my MIL was also a SAHM and she seems to have had a really different outlook and it seems my MIL and FIL might have a more "equal" relationship (though I didn't grow up with them and don't have the same kind of relationship with my MIL that I do with my own mother so who knows what she is hiding, right?).  So I think my husband and I have two very different outlooks on what a one-income family might look like and it's tricky to know ahead of time where on the spectrum we might really end up.

If you want to pay someone else to raise your kids and you are concerned that you will be "truly miserable staying home" with them, I have to ask, are you sure that you actually want to have children? I don't mean to be overly blunt, but I do think it is a fair question.

Uh, thanks?  Despite all the hard parts, my son is currently a major source of joy in my life and I feel overall happy about being a parent and I do think we are currently doing a good job of raising him.

I think I (and a lot of other people on this board) am struggling with the fact that in the US at least, there isn't much room for middle ground between working FT and staying home FT, so you often have to decide between two non-ideal options.  I do not want to pay someone else to "raise my kids" (and I think even now that is not what I am doing...I pay someone to care for them during the hours when I am working but I am still the one raising them in terms of instilling values, etc.).  As far as "truly miserable staying home", I know there's a possibility that I might find parenting two young kids isolating or that the more difficult aspects of parenting (enforcing rules, dealing with tantrums, etc) might wear me down more than expected and start to outweigh the more joyful parts.  I don't know for sure that that would be the case but I think it's reasonable to wonder about it and try to evaluate the likelihood of the worst case outcome happening.

I doubt anyone knows 100% for sure before having kids that they will love parenthood or that it's absolutely the right decision for them.  And I really doubt that anyone actually experiences parenthood exactly as they planned and expected.  But if you do happen to fall into that group, great job on knowing yourself and your future kids so well!

BeanCounter

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1543
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2018, 11:44:40 AM »
OP, I certainly can't tell you what you should do but I can empathize and tell you my story (or at least where we are in our journey as parents thus far).
We have two boys, now 9 and 5 years old. I had always thought I would stay home but for a variety of reasons I have kept working. Things that have helped-
-I like my job ok. I'm certainly not miserable there.
-We have had wonderful, and I do mean wonderful, childcare. An infant nanny from ages 0-3 for both kids and full time preschool from 3-6. Had we not had this level of care my choices would have probably been very different.
Yes childcare has been very expensive. But I think losing my earning power, having a gap in my career would have been much more expensive.
Yes, working with two kids is often exhausting. Not everything gets done around the house and sometimes I miss out on things at school (my job is pretty flexible though so that helps). BUT, there is value in showing my boys that mom is an equal contributor. We have great discussion about both my work day and my husband's at the dinner table, and the boys ask questions about our work!!
We've also had great college aged summer nannies that take the boys to all kinds of fun things in the summer- which quite frankly we couldn't afford to do if we only had one salary coming in. Do I sometimes feel sad that I'm not the one going? Yes of course. But, then some days I'm just fine doing my adult thing in the office instead of making them do chores and homework and listen to them tell me they are board for the 50th time.
We are now FI. And as much as I enjoy working I'm considering retirement (at 42) or maybe doing some consulting work (which I could not have done before they were in school- there is no such thing as part time childcare). It is becoming clear to me as my oldest gets to middle school, it gets harder to find great care. They age out of many camps and afterschool programs, and they don't want a nanny around. It's also hard for young nannies to help a kid navigate all the social stuff (can they go here? do this? for how long? etc.)  They need someone to drive them to lots of places. And too much of being home alone in an empty house can increase normal teenage depression. And two boys alone together at home tend to fight with each other.
Anyway, its been working great but I'm starting to feel like they need Mom more now. And since we have reached FI, I can pull the plug and never worry about re-entering the workplace again if I don't want to.
YMMV. Best of luck!
And the people that say "why have kids if you're not going to raise them" are ignorant. It's just an ignorant statement.

sisto

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 902
  • Age: 49
  • Location: Sacramento, CA
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2018, 12:07:36 PM »
My wife had a long commute and was really hating it. I sat down and did the math and found that most of the income was going to pay child care. I told her she should just quit since she was so unhappy. That was in 1993. Now I can't say it was all perfect there were times we struggled, but we made it work. For us it was the right thing. Our kids liked it too, but sometimes not because they always had supervision and didn't get away with stuff as much as they might have liked. It did allow me to focus on my career and my wife does take her job seriously even to this day and of course the kids are all grown now. We both know that she has the tougher job. You have to do what's right for you and your family.

FIRE@50

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 347
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Maryland
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2018, 03:01:51 PM »
And the people that say "why have kids if you're not going to raise them" are ignorant. It's just an ignorant statement.
How am I ignorant for asking a question? Have you lost track of where you are? Have you read the blog? Are you aware that Mr. AND Mrs. MM both retired to raise their child? Some might say that is a little extreme, but you think that even the suggestion that one parent temporarily quit working to raise their children is ignorant?

StarBright

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1004
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2018, 03:16:24 PM »
@BeanCounter  - your post was inspiring! I'm 5 years behind you and this gave me such hopeful feelings:

"We are now FI. And as much as I enjoy working I'm considering retirement (at 42) or maybe doing some consulting work (which I could not have done before they were in school- there is no such thing as part time childcare). It is becoming clear to me as my oldest gets to middle school, it gets harder to find great care."

I noticed it somehow got harder when my oldest started kindergarten and I'm hoping to do exactly what you describe above. I remember reading once that middle and high school are when hands-on parenting becomes most important (after the early attachment/baby period) and I'm hoping to be available for it.

Cgbg

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 82
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #20 on: July 31, 2018, 04:42:25 PM »
Iím an engineer. So is my husband. Way back when I was an EIT (initial licensing before a PE license), I had both my boys while working at my first job out of college. When the oldest was 2-1/2 and the youngest was 14 months, I quit.

There were three reasons: 1. I was catching flak for taking leave to care for sick kids. The employer is much more supportive nowadays. 2. I wasnít actually making money because daycare took up much of my salary and working expenses took the rest of it. 3. Daycare was in my building at work, and one day I watched my oldest get slapped by a daycare worker because he didnít want to nap. The worker was fired but that was the final nail in the coffin of my emerging career because frankly that shit stays with you.

I stayed home for 8 years. I volunteered as they got older and eventually I realized that I was putting in 40 hours a week for zero pay. My former boss had told me to check them out again when I was ready to come back and so I did. A year after coming back, I sat for my PE and passed it.

My kids turned out fine- they are both off to college, studying....engineering of course. One on a full ride and one on an almost full ride. Both honor students in college. I was able to stay home during some kind of important years. Iím sure they wouldíve been equally fine had I continued to work.

My former coworker is my boss. She makes about $25 more a month than I do. So maybe I would be making more now if I hadnít walked away from my career for 8 years but I can also just drink less beer each month.

BeanCounter

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1543
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #21 on: July 31, 2018, 05:01:52 PM »
And the people that say "why have kids if you're not going to raise them" are ignorant. It's just an ignorant statement.
How am I ignorant for asking a question? Have you lost track of where you are? Have you read the blog? Are you aware that Mr. AND Mrs. MM both retired to raise their child? Some might say that is a little extreme, but you think that even the suggestion that one parent temporarily quit working to raise their children is ignorant?
It's an ignorant comment because it assumes that there is only one way to raise children- to be with them 24/7/365. And it is full of underlying judgment. Especially when the OP already has said child. It assumes that somehow working parents are NOT raising their child unless one parent stays home.
Yes I have read the blog. And MMM retired because he wanted to pursue other interests, some of that was to raise his child but don't be fooled to think that's was his only reason.
So do tell us your story FIRE@50, have you been a stay at home parent for any number of years? How did it work for you?

BeanCounter

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1543
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #22 on: July 31, 2018, 05:09:45 PM »
@BeanCounter  - your post was inspiring! I'm 5 years behind you and this gave me such hopeful feelings:

"We are now FI. And as much as I enjoy working I'm considering retirement (at 42) or maybe doing some consulting work (which I could not have done before they were in school- there is no such thing as part time childcare). It is becoming clear to me as my oldest gets to middle school, it gets harder to find great care."

I noticed it somehow got harder when my oldest started kindergarten and I'm hoping to do exactly what you describe above. I remember reading once that middle and high school are when hands-on parenting becomes most important (after the early attachment/baby period) and I'm hoping to be available for it.
I'm so glad!! So many stay home when their kids are babies and plan to go back when they go to school. But that's really difficult! School schedules are wonky. Daycare is open 6-6 nearly every working day of the year!
When the boys were small, our summer and afterschool nannies just played with the, kept them safe, fed them and took them on fun outings. Pretty simple. I've noticed the last couple summers I have been receiving a lot more texts from the nanny during the day. "can S go to this friends house?" "Can they do this?" "Can they go here?" "can this friend come over?" The social/friend stuff is just harder for a nanny to navigate. I'd rather be at home base calling some of the plays for this stage. My mother was a middle school teacher and she always told me that you need to be around for middle school and high school- "for milk and cookies" she would say. That's code for the afterschool "download" kids frequently do when they walk in the door and grab a snack. Someone needs to be there just wiping the counter and listening. :)


CindyBS

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 342
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #23 on: July 31, 2018, 05:51:34 PM »
My mother was a middle school teacher and she always told me that you need to be around for middle school and high school- "for milk and cookies" she would say. That's code for the afterschool "download" kids frequently do when they walk in the door and grab a snack. Someone needs to be there just wiping the counter and listening. :)

I have hs and ms students.  +1 to this.

Kyle Schuant

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 517
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #24 on: July 31, 2018, 10:30:26 PM »
I think I (and a lot of other people on this board) am struggling with the fact that in the US at least, there isn't much room for middle ground between working FT and staying home FT, so you often have to decide between two non-ideal options. 
According to the BLS in the USA, 2.4 million women with children under 6yo are working part-time, and 7 million full-time. Someone else can dig into the figures, but just glancing at them it looks like the proportion of women employed full-time doesn't seem to change much as the kids get older, but whether they're employed at all goes up. So some women are finding a middle ground.

Obviously, some careers more easily allow for part-time work than others, and some allow for self-employment more easily, too - I mention that since with self-employment you've more freedom to choose how many and which hours you work, that's one reason I chose it. But if you're willing to give up your career for your children, you will probably be willing to change your career. Going from (say) lawyer to book-keeper can't be worse than going from lawyer to no paid work at all.

My point is that if you take the time to think about and plan things a bit, and perhaps do some course of study, there may be some part-time options for you, so you can still pull in a bit of income and - more importantly - keep at least one of body, mind or soul challenged and stimulated as you spend most of your time with your children.

And of course as I mentioned, once the child is born, apart from breastfeeding there is no day-to-day child-rearing task a mother can do that a father can't. Too often people's lives are determined by inertia - the tendency of an object to keep moving at the same speed in the same direction it was going unless acted on by an outside force. So the woman has the baby and needs to be at home for a bit, then she's breastfeeding and stays at home - and then suddenly five years have gone by and she's still there. But it need not be so.

This forum likes to focus on money, but money is just a tool to build you the lifestyle you desire. As you plan carefully with money, and discuss between you and your spouse what you want to achieve and how best to do it, so too should it be with other aspects, like who wipes the bums all day. Maybe hubby should be the one at home?

Cpa Cat

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1562
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2018, 06:37:33 AM »
If you want to pay someone else to raise your kids and you are concerned that you will be "truly miserable staying home" with them, I have to ask, are you sure that you actually want to have children? I don't mean to be overly blunt, but I do think it is a fair question.

For some reason, no one ever asks men why they want to have children if they don't intend to be stay at home dads. It's certainly a common enough question for women who consider putting children in daycare, though. There's an implied judgment to this question that the correct way to be a mother is to be a full time caregiver. That's why someone called you out on it, whether or not you intended it that way.

FIRE@50

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 347
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Maryland
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #26 on: August 01, 2018, 08:40:26 AM »
And the people that say "why have kids if you're not going to raise them" are ignorant. It's just an ignorant statement.
How am I ignorant for asking a question? Have you lost track of where you are? Have you read the blog? Are you aware that Mr. AND Mrs. MM both retired to raise their child? Some might say that is a little extreme, but you think that even the suggestion that one parent temporarily quit working to raise their children is ignorant?
It's an ignorant comment because it assumes that there is only one way to raise children- to be with them 24/7/365. And it is full of underlying judgment. Especially when the OP already has said child. It assumes that somehow working parents are NOT raising their child unless one parent stays home.
Yes I have read the blog. And MMM retired because he wanted to pursue other interests, some of that was to raise his child but don't be fooled to think that's was his only reason.
So do tell us your story FIRE@50, have you been a stay at home parent for any number of years? How did it work for you?
My wife and I agreed that she would quit her job shortly after our daughter was born. When she was two, we started sending her to preschool part-time to get some socialization. All of this resulted in us having less money, but we have absolutely zero regrets over it.

BeanCounter

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1543
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #27 on: August 01, 2018, 08:56:58 AM »
And the people that say "why have kids if you're not going to raise them" are ignorant. It's just an ignorant statement.
How am I ignorant for asking a question? Have you lost track of where you are? Have you read the blog? Are you aware that Mr. AND Mrs. MM both retired to raise their child? Some might say that is a little extreme, but you think that even the suggestion that one parent temporarily quit working to raise their children is ignorant?
It's an ignorant comment because it assumes that there is only one way to raise children- to be with them 24/7/365. And it is full of underlying judgment. Especially when the OP already has said child. It assumes that somehow working parents are NOT raising their child unless one parent stays home.
Yes I have read the blog. And MMM retired because he wanted to pursue other interests, some of that was to raise his child but don't be fooled to think that's was his only reason.
So do tell us your story FIRE@50, have you been a stay at home parent for any number of years? How did it work for you?
My wife and I agreed that she would quit her job shortly after our daughter was born. When she was two, we started sending her to preschool part-time to get some socialization. All of this resulted in us having less money, but we have absolutely zero regrets over it.
Your wife may have told you that your child needed to preschool at two for "socialization" but it was really because she wanted some fucking peace and quiet.
I love my children. But being with the children aged 2-5 all day by yourself is not easy. Doing housework, running errands with them, going to play groups, it's all hard.
If she came to you and said she was miserable and struggling, would you tell her "well, too bad you chose to have a kid and do this" or would you offer to quit your career and stay home.
Get your head out of the sand dude.

FIRE@50

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 347
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Maryland
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #28 on: August 01, 2018, 09:04:31 AM »
And the people that say "why have kids if you're not going to raise them" are ignorant. It's just an ignorant statement.
How am I ignorant for asking a question? Have you lost track of where you are? Have you read the blog? Are you aware that Mr. AND Mrs. MM both retired to raise their child? Some might say that is a little extreme, but you think that even the suggestion that one parent temporarily quit working to raise their children is ignorant?
It's an ignorant comment because it assumes that there is only one way to raise children- to be with them 24/7/365. And it is full of underlying judgment. Especially when the OP already has said child. It assumes that somehow working parents are NOT raising their child unless one parent stays home.
Yes I have read the blog. And MMM retired because he wanted to pursue other interests, some of that was to raise his child but don't be fooled to think that's was his only reason.
So do tell us your story FIRE@50, have you been a stay at home parent for any number of years? How did it work for you?
My wife and I agreed that she would quit her job shortly after our daughter was born. When she was two, we started sending her to preschool part-time to get some socialization. All of this resulted in us having less money, but we have absolutely zero regrets over it.
Your wife may have told you that your child needed to preschool at two for "socialization" but it was really because she wanted some fucking peace and quiet.
I love my children. But being with the children aged 2-5 all day by yourself is not easy. Doing housework, running errands with them, going to play groups, it's all hard.
If she came to you and said she was miserable and struggling, would you tell her "well, too bad you chose to have a kid and do this" or would you offer to quit your career and stay home.
Get your head out of the sand dude.
You really have no idea what goes on in my house. You sound like you have a lot of guilt over the decisions that you have made.

Of course raising kids is hard. So are a lot of other things. Paying someone else to do those things simply because they are hard is the definition of anti-mustachian. You don't have to have (more)kids. The OP was able to simply answer my question. What is your problem?

FIRE@50

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 347
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Maryland
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #29 on: August 01, 2018, 09:10:05 AM »
If you want to pay someone else to raise your kids and you are concerned that you will be "truly miserable staying home" with them, I have to ask, are you sure that you actually want to have children? I don't mean to be overly blunt, but I do think it is a fair question.

For some reason, no one ever asks men why they want to have children if they don't intend to be stay at home dads. It's certainly a common enough question for women who consider putting children in daycare, though. There's an implied judgment to this question that the correct way to be a mother is to be a full time caregiver. That's why someone called you out on it, whether or not you intended it that way.
There was no mention of sex in my question. I don't care if it is a mom, a dad, or both that stay home.

Millennialworkerbee

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 81
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #30 on: August 01, 2018, 09:17:24 AM »
We have a 2 year old and another one due next month. We also recently switched to a one income household. We went into it thinking that it was temporary but  each week that goes by, we love it more and more.

We are lucky to be in a LCOL area where daycare is ďaffordableĒ at $330/week combined for our kids (2YO and infant). The middle ground we are thinking about is  paying for FT child care but having one parent only work PT to have some scheduled kid-free time to get household/family stuff done. I do realize that we are in a unique position where PT pay could potentially cover FT child care for 2 kids. Not everyoneís situation is like that.

Life seems to be so much easier with one parent at home for some portion of the normal weekday hours. He can get the car inspected during non-peak hours and last minute trips to the pediatrician are no big deal. He can start dinner prep before picking up our son from daycare so we can eat at a normal hour and already has the dishes done most nights too. It is awesome.

BeanCounter

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1543
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #31 on: August 01, 2018, 09:36:20 AM »
And the people that say "why have kids if you're not going to raise them" are ignorant. It's just an ignorant statement.
How am I ignorant for asking a question? Have you lost track of where you are? Have you read the blog? Are you aware that Mr. AND Mrs. MM both retired to raise their child? Some might say that is a little extreme, but you think that even the suggestion that one parent temporarily quit working to raise their children is ignorant?
It's an ignorant comment because it assumes that there is only one way to raise children- to be with them 24/7/365. And it is full of underlying judgment. Especially when the OP already has said child. It assumes that somehow working parents are NOT raising their child unless one parent stays home.
Yes I have read the blog. And MMM retired because he wanted to pursue other interests, some of that was to raise his child but don't be fooled to think that's was his only reason.
So do tell us your story FIRE@50, have you been a stay at home parent for any number of years? How did it work for you?
My wife and I agreed that she would quit her job shortly after our daughter was born. When she was two, we started sending her to preschool part-time to get some socialization. All of this resulted in us having less money, but we have absolutely zero regrets over it.
Your wife may have told you that your child needed to preschool at two for "socialization" but it was really because she wanted some fucking peace and quiet.
I love my children. But being with the children aged 2-5 all day by yourself is not easy. Doing housework, running errands with them, going to play groups, it's all hard.
If she came to you and said she was miserable and struggling, would you tell her "well, too bad you chose to have a kid and do this" or would you offer to quit your career and stay home.
Get your head out of the sand dude.
You really have no idea what goes on in my house. You sound like you have a lot of guilt over the decisions that you have made.

Of course raising kids is hard. So are a lot of other things. Paying someone else to do those things simply because they are hard is the definition of anti-mustachian. You don't have to have (more)kids. The OP was able to simply answer my question. What is your problem?
My problem is the perpetuation of the ignorant comment that you made. Which is typically made by MEN.  Men such as yourself who are actually NOT "raising their own children" (by your own definition).
Such comments make me angry, not guilty.
I once came back from a two week vacation and in a meeting at work someone welcomed me back. I thanked them and said that it was good to be back. Then a male sitting across from me at the board room table said "well, I guess you don't like being with your kids very much". I should add that I was the only women in the room at that board meeting and it was a comment made to "put me in my place".

Someday when your daughter finishes her education and begins her career, I hope she never encounters this.
When you make comments like you did above, you perpetuate this idea that one parent HAS to stay home to parent. It is usually the women that ends up staying home. So whether you realize it or not you are taking away choices for your daughter.

Best of luck OP- I hope you find what works for you all!! You do you, with zero guilt!
« Last Edit: August 01, 2018, 09:38:44 AM by BeanCounter »

FIRE@50

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 347
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Maryland
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #32 on: August 01, 2018, 09:48:07 AM »
BeanCounter, I'm sorry that you have had some negative experiences in your interactions with men at work, but you are putting quite a filter over my question based on your personal life experiences. The OP stated that they don't need both jobs. They also stated something that stuck out to me so much that I felt the need to quote it.

I would have loved for both of us to stay home with my daughter (as the MM family did) when she was a baby and even now and I'm sure there are many fathers that feel the same way. Like I said, my wife and I talked it over and decided that it would be best for her to stay home. This was largely based on the fact that I made more money than her at the time.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5972
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #33 on: August 01, 2018, 11:35:17 AM »
Thanks everyone for your thoughts! Really interesting to see how it can go both ways.

I would love to do a PT version of my current job but I've been told it's not an option.  I suppose if my response were "okay, here's my two weeks notice" the tune might change a bit. I'd definitely be concerned about winding up with a lower "hourly" rate, though if the right arrangement could be worked out (i.e. I get to do the interesting parts of my job and ditch the more boring parts), maybe it would be worth it.  I think also it would be pretty hard to re-enter the workforce at my current level, but....if I were truly miserable staying home I would probably feel differently about working at something else than I do right now.  I feel pretty confident I could get *some* kind of job if I were desperate for paid employment, and I have previously (pre-kid, pre-current FT job) had good luck with spinning hobbies into small-time income streams.

The mental/potential social isolation aspect of staying home is definitely something that scares me, I think at this point moreso than the financial part of things.  We are pretty close to FI as is and our vague plan prior to the current discussion has definitely always involved some kind of downshift around the time our son hits kindergarten, but I guess now that the date is moving closer I'm thinking about it harder and the potential negative aspects are certainly popping up in my head a lot more than the positives.  I think a lot of the negatives are easy to identify (lost income potential, lost mental stimulation, would have a hard time re-entering the workforce) and the positives are harder to put a finger on because we haven't actually tried the SAHP model yet so we don't really know what we're "missing"--like, how much time would we really free up, how much would stress go down, would our overall health really improve that much?  etc.
I wanted to talk about this a bit.

I work in engineering with a bunch of PhDs.  Not generally known as family friendly, very go go go work long hours, etc. etc.

When kid #1 was born, I broached the subject of working part time.  Rah rah hardcore boss said "sure, but we'll have to demote you because you can't POSSIBLY work 30 hours a week and still be a boss."  So I dropped the idea.  And then when my kid was 1.5, he quit to go start a new company.  My new boss was actually not local - so when we were on the phone one week I asked if I could cut my hours to 30 and he said "sure!"  No demotion.  In fact, it was pretty awesome because:
1. I indeed got to do the fun stuff and off load the boring bits to the 2-3 guys who worked for me.  And, this was a win-win because it forced them to learn new skills.
2. My company switched me to hourly. So on those weeks that I ended up working 35 hours?  Got paid for 35 hours not 30.
3. Less of a need to use vacation time for sick days, doctor's appts, etc. - because I could just work an hour longer a couple of days a week (I was still paying for full time child care when all was said and done, because I was working 6 hours a day).
4.  So much easier - I could work 3:30 pm, pick him up, take him to the park and play, stop at the grocery store, go home and cook.

Alas, after a year and a half, we had changes at work, and new boss said "I don't believe in PT work".  I argued with him and the VP and got nowhere (I was happy to go back to full time with a much delayed promotion). So, I quit.  To go work PT for old boss at new company.  (There weren't many new moms at that company.  First, I quit.  Then the other one quit when they pressured her to go full time.  Then, the third one, who had a kid after I left, quit.  By the time the fourth one had a baby they said, "hey, maybe part time is better than replacing experienced engineers!")

Fast forward to second kid at new company, went to PT for a year.  Would have gone longer if I could have.

For my friends who have quit, it seems to be kid #2 or kid #3 that does it.  Depends on $ and exhaustion.  My kids are 6 years apart, so I actually got to breathe in between them.  I feel like you don't come out of the fog until age 4.  Those who have the ability to cut their hours (money and work place), do.

I do have some friends who are finding it very difficult to go back into the workplace.  Their kids are all in school now - but they've been off for 5-8 years.  And they don't want to work full time, because of kid schedules.  In my experience it is MUCH easier to go PT in the job you have (or work from home for part of the time), than it is to get a PT job.

My advice, because I still work and always have (with no guilt - I mean, my husband doesn't feel guilty, why should I???), is to keep working and see how it feels.  It's easier to go back full time, decide it sucks, ask for part time.  If they say no, then quit.  If they say yes, win-win!  If you quit first and decide it sucks, it may be harder to go back to work.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5972
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #34 on: August 01, 2018, 11:40:30 AM »
If you want to pay someone else to raise your kids and you are concerned that you will be "truly miserable staying home" with them, I have to ask, are you sure that you actually want to have children? I don't mean to be overly blunt, but I do think it is a fair question.
Do you stay home with your children?

has anyone, in the history of the world, ever asked a man this question?  I mean this quite literally, ever?

https://aplus.com/a/author-lauren-groff-mom-work-life-balance-question?no_monetization=true

Quote
Mothers ó especially those in the spotlight ó have grown accustomed to being asked how they balance both their personal and professional pursuits. But, when The Harvard Gazette recently asked Lauren Groff, the award-winning author of Fates and Furies and Arcadia, how she juggles motherhood and her writing career, Groff respectfully declined to answer the question.

"You are a mother of two. In 10 years you have produced three novels and two short-story collections. Can you talk about your process and how you manage work and family?" Harvard staff writer Colleen Walsh asked.

"I understand that this is a question of vital importance to many people, particularly to other mothers who are artists trying to get their work done, and know that I feel for everyone in the struggle," Groff said. "But until I see a male writer asked this question, I'm going to respectfully decline to answer it."

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5972
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #35 on: August 01, 2018, 11:43:33 AM »
And the people that say "why have kids if you're not going to raise them" are ignorant. It's just an ignorant statement.
How am I ignorant for asking a question? Have you lost track of where you are? Have you read the blog? Are you aware that Mr. AND Mrs. MM both retired to raise their child? Some might say that is a little extreme, but you think that even the suggestion that one parent temporarily quit working to raise their children is ignorant?
It's an ignorant comment because it assumes that there is only one way to raise children- to be with them 24/7/365. And it is full of underlying judgment. Especially when the OP already has said child. It assumes that somehow working parents are NOT raising their child unless one parent stays home.
Yes I have read the blog. And MMM retired because he wanted to pursue other interests, some of that was to raise his child but don't be fooled to think that's was his only reason.
So do tell us your story FIRE@50, have you been a stay at home parent for any number of years? How did it work for you?
My wife and I agreed that she would quit her job shortly after our daughter was born. When she was two, we started sending her to preschool part-time to get some socialization. All of this resulted in us having less money, but we have absolutely zero regrets over it.
Oh, so you DIDN'T quit your job to stay at home.  So you DIDN'T raise your child.  Huh.  Funny that.

okits

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7707
  • Location: Canada
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #36 on: August 01, 2018, 12:59:41 PM »
If you want to pay someone else to raise your kids and you are concerned that you will be "truly miserable staying home" with them, I have to ask, are you sure that you actually want to have children? I don't mean to be overly blunt, but I do think it is a fair question.

FIRE@50, I also find the attitude that daycare is "paying someone else to raise your kids" to be really offensive.  By that logic, you have offloaded all the raising of your children to your spouse.  Your logic is that you personally don't do the weekday, daytime childcare so you are not raising your daughter.

You might not get called out on it every time you say it, but plenty of people disagree with you.  It gets exhausting repeatedly addressing why that statement is closed-minded and sexist, so we typically take turns.

Hula Hoop

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 761
  • Location: Italy
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #37 on: August 01, 2018, 01:51:28 PM »
If you want to pay someone else to raise your kids and you are concerned that you will be "truly miserable staying home" with them, I have to ask, are you sure that you actually want to have children? I don't mean to be overly blunt, but I do think it is a fair question.

FIRE@50, I also find the attitude that daycare is "paying someone else to raise your kids" to be really offensive.  By that logic, you have offloaded all the raising of your children to your spouse.  Your logic is that you personally don't do the weekday, daytime childcare so you are not raising your daughter.

You might not get called out on it every time you say it, but plenty of people disagree with you.  It gets exhausting repeatedly addressing why that statement is closed-minded and sexist, so we typically take turns.

So glad you said this.  Such sexist BS.  My husband never gets asked this but I get it all the time.

elliha

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 366
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #38 on: August 01, 2018, 03:07:01 PM »
I don't disagree that day care means that you pay for someone else to help raise your kids and why should you not do that if you don't have access to many relatives that can help you with this. It is almost impossible to fully raise a kid being just a mom or dad. We don't have any relatives in the town we are living in (actually a niece is moving here in 3 days but we haven't had any relatives here until now) so who would help us take care of our kids? Sure, a friend or two might help but not everyone is going to spend hours and hours with someone else's kid for free so even a friend would have had to be paid at some point.

The people who I pay to help raise my kids are kind, loving, educated people who try to do the best they can to help my kid develop and I am extremely glad they are part of our life. I would love to be at home more and spend more time with my kids and I might work part time for a while soon but I am eternally grateful for all that the daycare workers have done and the role they have played in my kids' life.

I was at home with my mom until I was 6 when I was in very part time daycare and I started school at 7 and being at home with mom had its benefits and I loved parts of it but I was also often lonely and bored. The ideal for me would have been part time daycare and then time with mom I think but most of us cannot ever do the ideal thing with our kids and we have to make do with what we can do. I cannot be a SAHM and my husband can't be a SAHD so daycare is a good option and both my kids like it. My daughter will start school in a couple of weeks and will do school and after school care. When she is old enough to go home on her own will be the time we get out of child care but until then I will be thankful of the people who help us make our kids great because they truly do that.

okits

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7707
  • Location: Canada
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #39 on: August 01, 2018, 05:30:10 PM »
I don't disagree that day care means that you pay for someone else to help raise your kids

"Paying for help" is not what FIRE@50 said.

If you want to pay someone else to raise your kids

Kyle Schuant

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 517
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #40 on: August 01, 2018, 06:51:00 PM »
Yeah, I think we're all grownup enough to toss this judgemental crap about "OMG someone else is raising your kids!" It's time to look at a bit of history.

In the past most people lived in villages of 50-250 people. Everyone had 6+ kids. Having so many kids meant each one wasn't treated as preciously. If you have little Johnny and Jane, then Johnny and Jane might be unique special snowflakes. But if you have Johnny, Jane, Marty, Maria, George, Georgina, Robert and Roberta, then... wait, when was Marty's birthday, again?

Since everyone has 6 kids, that also meant that as well as their 2-4 surviving grandparents, every kid had 6+ aunties and uncles and 20+ cousins. There was always someone to watch over the smaller children. Always. Your children were always being brought up by someone else. And this was considered to be a good thing. It was good for children to kick around with other children and get the input of a whole bunch of different adults on life and skills. Cousin Jane would teach you to climb trees, Uncle Jim would teach you to cut wood, Grandma Jenny would teach you how to cook vegie soup, and well Auntie Marie was always trouble, but at least she'd have some wild stories to tell of her travels. Everyone brought up everyone's children.

Then along came clean drinking water and vaccination, and infant mortality went from 25 to 2%. With that and industrialisation, family income went up, and pensions appeared - there was enough spare wealth to pay people to sit around doing nothing productive. Previously, you needed to have 6+ kids to have 4-5 survive, leaving 1-2 to look after you in your old age, and maybe 1 of them would make good, become an artisan or priest or something and bring some wealth and prestige to the family. But with indoor plumbing, pensions and education out there, almost all the kids survived, and you didn't need them to look after you, and each of them could get a good education. So now we're down to 1-2 children per couple.

But 1-2 children per couple means we have them later, too. Now we don't have 2-4 surviving grandparents, we have 1-2, and usually they're so old they can't help much. And 1-2 children per generation means maybe just 1-2 aunties or uncles, and at best 5-6 cousins. This might be enough except that we're not in villages any more, so those people are scattered across the city, often the country, and sometimes even internationally. So we're down to just the parents.

With just the parents and 1-2 children, it's not enough that the children just grow up to be more or less healthy and non-criminal, they all have to be great sportspeople and violinists and take out the maths prize, too. With fewer children, we repose all our unreasonable hopes and dreams and own regrets into their little selves. And somehow this is all supposed to happen with the support of just 1-2 parents? Oh and by the way, advance your career lots, too, or you're a failure, and for fuck's sakes don't get fat because that's the worst thing ever. Hurry up, Chantelle dear and get your shoes on, time for your lacrosse game.

If you just want your children to grow up more or less healthy and non-criminal, you need two parents for that, the stats are that one alone often can't do it. That means both mother and father involved with their child. And if you want more than that, then you definitely need more people involved - teachers, coaches and so on. Since we're not living in villages hoeing beans any more, if you want your child to be more than healthy and non-criminal, you have to pay for that help.

Again: children have always been brought up by adults other than their own parents. Always. The only question is whether they're relatives doing it for free, or non-relatives being paid for it.

Relevant sidenote: old episodes of Sesame Street are marked PG because the children do things like ride through construction sites on their bicycles without their helmets on, and in the first episode an old man invites a little girl into his house to have ice cream. Fifty years ago, this was considered normal: children will take risks, and other adults will engage with them harmlessly.

Now our culture has changed, and any risk at all is unacceptable, and all unrelated adults are to be considered a threat. You can't insist that parents keep their children in cotton wool but that they must do it all alone. That just doesn't fucking work. It takes a village to raise a child, the only question is whether some people in that village get paid for it.

I have chosen to stay at home with my children. But this is not a moral requirement, nor is it wrong for one gender and right for the other. If a woman wants to whack her kids in childcare for five days a week while she does her job, well they're her kids, so she can do as she fucking well likes. If the father doesn't like it then he can quit his job and stay at home with the kids instead. That's what I did.

One of my pet hates is the chickenhawk, the person crying for war who would never themselves volunteer to fight. Likewise, anyone telling others to live a life they themselves would never live. It's your life, and your kids, do whatever you think is good. I only suggest that there are options other than those most commonly chosen - the woman staying at home and doing zero paid work - and that each couple should sit down and discuss these, and review things over time. It's important to plan and discuss and plan and discuss and so on, otherwise one day you just flip out like Gemma Atherton.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2018, 10:54:12 PM by Kyle Schuant »

okits

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7707
  • Location: Canada
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #41 on: August 01, 2018, 07:09:53 PM »
But 1-2 children per couple means we have them later, too. Now we don't have 2-4 surviving grandparents, we have 1-2, and usually they're so old they can't help much. And 1-2 children per generation means maybe just 1-2 aunties or uncles, and at best 5-6 cousins. This might be enough except that we're not in villages any more, so those people are scattered across the city, often the country, and sometimes even internationally. So we're down to just the parents.

The only thing I would add to this is that with better healthcare and more divorce you might have 4 surviving grandparents, with up to 4 step-grandparents.  They might all live far away, but when they start to become sick and dependent you (or you and your one sibling) need to step in and provide eldercare.  While you are raising a few young prodigies, killing it at your career, and successfully not getting fat. 

Modern times!

BeanCounter

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1543
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #42 on: August 01, 2018, 07:42:39 PM »
@Kyle Schuant- best thing Iíve read on the Internet today. Well said. Especially the part about reevaluating. So important.

Kyle Schuant

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 517
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #43 on: August 01, 2018, 11:04:15 PM »
The NZ PM is returning to work - full-time, by the way - six weeks after giving birth. I call that pretty hardcore, but whether it's 6 days, 6 weeks, 6 months or 6 years, the relevant point in this instance is... the father is staying at home with the child. The Guardian doesn't mention it, which is perhaps a good thing. Maybe it shouldn't be mentioned. Maybe a stay-at-home dad should be taken for granted - just like stay-at-home mothers have been.

Full-time paid work, part-time paid work, none; father at home all the time, mother at home all the time, both at home some of the time. One does it for two years then the other does it for two years. One studies, one pursues the career. There are many, many options. Consider them all, and be ready to change later if preferences change.

Cassie

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4564
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #44 on: August 01, 2018, 11:29:30 PM »
I have both worked and stayed home with kids. By baby # 3 I stayed home until he was in kindergarten.  Then I went back to work.  I think it is more important to be home with Little kids than older ones.   However, kids will thrive in daycare or at home if their parents are confident in their choices.  Also did never leave kids alone when older so used other options. Once kids are in high school they are so busy after school they are occupied until the parents get home.

elliha

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 366
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #45 on: August 02, 2018, 02:35:43 AM »
I don't disagree that day care means that you pay for someone else to help raise your kids

"Paying for help" is not what FIRE@50 said.

If you want to pay someone else to raise your kids

I know but I think that while it is untrue that a parent that uses daycare gives up all parenting and lets someone else raise their kid it is also important to accept that the time a child spends in daycare is important for their development and that this part of the package we offer when we raise them. What happens at daycare is not completely erased by the parenting you do when you get home and vice versa. As a working parent I always I always give those that say "daycare is paying someone else to raise your kids" a partial credit here, I do pay someone to do this for parts of the day but that it is part of my plan for parenting. When many don't have access to other relatives to help them or the relatives themselves work daycare often is a very good option because it is superhard to take care of a kid all by yourselves even if you leave the working part out.

JanetJackson

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 530
  • Location: United States
    • How I actually made $50 just for taking a survey and being in the healthcare marketplace
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #46 on: August 02, 2018, 06:24:28 AM »
I just wanted to pop in here, hoping my little note will be welcome even though I am a SINK and have no plans to child-rear.
Falling asleep at 8 and waking up at 5 is nine hours.  Nine hours of sleep is perfectly healthy in terms of need. 
When I was younger it didn't affect me as much to occasionally pull a night of 5 hours of sleep or less before a full work day, but as I got older I felt myself burning out HARD.

I sleep trained myself to sleep a full 8 hours of sleep in 2016 or so, but I occasionally found that I'd sleep 9... and when I did I felt MUCH better.  I logged/journaled how I felt for a few weeks after different variations and after much googling to make sure nine hours of sleep was REALLY ok... I realized I'm one of those people who needs nine hours and thrives after nine hours.  ::Shrug::

My production has increased during waking hours, my skin is much clearer, my hair is shinier, and I'm generally a better human.  It's been about two years of fairly consistent (I have my days) nights with nine full hours of sleep (I'll very occasionally math it up to 7 hours and a two hour nap, etc. etc.).

Yes it's left me with less time to "do things" but also increased the value and the quality of the things that I do when I am awake.


Just a note! :)

okits

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7707
  • Location: Canada
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #47 on: August 02, 2018, 06:44:16 AM »
I just wanted to pop in here, hoping my little note will be welcome even though I am a SINK and have no plans to child-rear.
Falling asleep at 8 and waking up at 5 is nine hours.  Nine hours of sleep is perfectly healthy in terms of need. 
When I was younger it didn't affect me as much to occasionally pull a night of 5 hours of sleep or less before a full work day, but as I got older I felt myself burning out HARD.

I sleep trained myself to sleep a full 8 hours of sleep in 2016 or so, but I occasionally found that I'd sleep 9... and when I did I felt MUCH better.  I logged/journaled how I felt for a few weeks after different variations and after much googling to make sure nine hours of sleep was REALLY ok... I realized I'm one of those people who needs nine hours and thrives after nine hours.  ::Shrug::

My production has increased during waking hours, my skin is much clearer, my hair is shinier, and I'm generally a better human.  It's been about two years of fairly consistent (I have my days) nights with nine full hours of sleep (I'll very occasionally math it up to 7 hours and a two hour nap, etc. etc.).

Yes it's left me with less time to "do things" but also increased the value and the quality of the things that I do when I am awake.


Just a note! :)

Hi @JanetJackson !  Thanks for popping in.  Is the actionable part of your experience that people should be trying to sleep 8-9 hours a night so we feel better and are more productive during the day?

JanetJackson

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 530
  • Location: United States
    • How I actually made $50 just for taking a survey and being in the healthcare marketplace
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #48 on: August 02, 2018, 07:27:59 AM »
Hi @okits!  The actionable takeaway is that it's different for everyone, but people should find that optimal level of sleep, and strive to attain it somewhat regularly. 
In my experience, exchanging a few of my waking hours for sleep has paid in dividends during my well-rested waking hours.

I just wanted to pop in here, hoping my little note will be welcome even though I am a SINK and have no plans to child-rear.
Falling asleep at 8 and waking up at 5 is nine hours.  Nine hours of sleep is perfectly healthy in terms of need. 
When I was younger it didn't affect me as much to occasionally pull a night of 5 hours of sleep or less before a full work day, but as I got older I felt myself burning out HARD.

I sleep trained myself to sleep a full 8 hours of sleep in 2016 or so, but I occasionally found that I'd sleep 9... and when I did I felt MUCH better.  I logged/journaled how I felt for a few weeks after different variations and after much googling to make sure nine hours of sleep was REALLY ok... I realized I'm one of those people who needs nine hours and thrives after nine hours.  ::Shrug::

My production has increased during waking hours, my skin is much clearer, my hair is shinier, and I'm generally a better human.  It's been about two years of fairly consistent (I have my days) nights with nine full hours of sleep (I'll very occasionally math it up to 7 hours and a two hour nap, etc. etc.).

Yes it's left me with less time to "do things" but also increased the value and the quality of the things that I do when I am awake.


Just a note! :)

Hi @JanetJackson !  Thanks for popping in.  Is the actionable part of your experience that people should be trying to sleep 8-9 hours a night so we feel better and are more productive during the day?

cats

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 985
Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #49 on: August 02, 2018, 09:57:24 AM »
I think I (and a lot of other people on this board) am struggling with the fact that in the US at least, there isn't much room for middle ground between working FT and staying home FT, so you often have to decide between two non-ideal options. 
According to the BLS in the USA, 2.4 million women with children under 6yo are working part-time, and 7 million full-time. Someone else can dig into the figures, but just glancing at them it looks like the proportion of women employed full-time doesn't seem to change much as the kids get older, but whether they're employed at all goes up. So some women are finding a middle ground.

Yes, but note the number of women with children under 6 who are working part-time is less than either the number of women with children under 6 who are working FT or the number of women with children under 6 who are not in the labor force.  Anecdotally, most FT working mothers of young children that *I* talk to (and fathers, when the topic comes up) would prefer to have some kind of part-time employment than work FT or stay at home FT.  Of the mothers I know who do work part-time, I personally know ONE who was able to cut her career, full-time, job down to PT hours.  That's the ideal scenario.  I know of a few others (maybe 2?) who are now doing things like working retail or bookkeeping, which may not be awesome but I would consider not awful--it would provide a regular paycheck and some interaction with other adults.  I know of multiples who are "working" selling MLM products (makeup, diet shakes, cooking gadgets, etc.) and the statistics on those suggest they are not making any money at all (and for myself I find MLMs to be pretty icky and since so much of the selling seems to occur online these days I question whether it even provides any social interaction benefits). I know of a couple others who are teaching English online in the wee hours, which sounds like a recipe for poor health if done regularly. So while those stats show that it's possible to find a middle ground, my personal friend group suggests that it's extremely difficult to find real part-time work (i.e. bookkeeping/retail type jobs or better).  Of the women I know who are doing these "part-time" gigs, only the first one I mentioned seems able to afford regular paid child-care.  The others are having to fit work in around being the full-time caretaker of the kids and they don't regularly pay for childcare---so they are staying home full-time AND working part-time, because their partner's income does not cover their expenses (or their desired level of non-childcare spending...). This is not to say good part-time options don't exist at all, but I think you might be taking an overly rosy view of the stats you are citing.  I notice you don't live in the US--have you ever?

At any rate, part-time work for one or both of us, or SAHD with me continuing to work are also possibilities my husband and I are batting around.  I think I am slightly more inclined towards staying home to care for kids, vs. my husband would be more focused on staying home to run the household--a few less hours for both of us would probably be the ideal outcome but also the hardest to execute due to employer expectations, the pairing of health insurance and other benefits with FT employment in the US, etc. etc..  At the moment, one fully at home and one fully working is the option that seems like it might be easiest to execute and I posted because I was interested in knowing, for folks who had done that downshift, what was it that pushed them to make the move, and then how did life after the downshift measure up to expectations.  Without a strong financial reason to exit the workforce (i.e. don't earn enough to cover the cost of childcare), I do wonder if we are becoming a pair of frogs who don't notice that the water temperature is rising until oops! we've been boiled to death.  From the responses I've gotten, it sounds like money is typically the big push, and that kids needing more of your time as they get older is push number two.