Author Topic: Men going part time when kids are born (or part time just because you want to)  (Read 2671 times)

epower

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My wife and I have made the decision to start trying for children. We have always had the idea that she would be a stay at home mother and continue it if she enjoys not having to work.

However, this would mean at this stage I'd have to continue working full time and build my career in order to cover the costs of having a 3/4 person household.

I've always liked the idea of working part time (as opposed to retiring fully) but don't feel it's possible when we have young kids.

What are the options here? Would love to hear your experiences or plans for your scenarios also.

Lady SA

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My DH and I have a similar plan. We are currently 25 and hope to have our first child at 30, so currently ~4.5 years out.

At that point, both of us will have been working and saving like crazy, and we will have something like ~$500k stashed. When our first child is born, I would stop working completely, and DH continues full time. Our thought on that was his employer is SUPER flexible and he can work from home once or twice a week, plus one kid wouldn't be too overwhelming for one parent to deal with.

Then ~3 years later, with just his salary, we will still have saved further to reach ~$700k. We will have our second child, and he will go down to part time so we parents aren't outnumbered. That part time job will be just enough to just cover living expenses and anything left over will be saved too. The idea is to always be able to at least cover our living expenses so our stash grows untouched. Also, DH's job is in an industry where he needs to keep up to date on technologies so he doesn't feel comfortable leaving completely, he wants to keep his foot in the door.

Then when kids are school age, DH would go back up to either full time or 75% time (he wants more time off in the summers) and I would also find a part time job for fun and to get out of the house.

« Last Edit: June 28, 2017, 01:50:52 PM by LadyLB »

FLBiker

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Here's what we did:

We had a daughter a little over two years ago.  Wife has stayed home since then, she's going back to work in August.  I took a month off, and then used sick leave to work 3 days a week for the next five months.  Then I was back to full-time.  In a few years (3-4) a potential plan is for me to go to a 9 month teaching position (currently admin).  My wife is also 9 month teaching, so we'd all have summers off.  We'll see.

I work in a very supportive environment for this kind of thing (in terms of policies).  Wife has kept her job, is just on unpaid leave.  And my job was protected for 6 months after my daughter was born, I could use as much leave as I wanted during that time.  However, culturally, there have definitely been some questions.  Multiple guys I work with said things like "boy, it must be great to be out of the house" or "it must be great to be back".  Nope.  Would much rather be home with my family.  I also feel like it would be challenging to be promoted further, although I think that has more to do with the fact that I don't check my email / phone 24/7 than anything else.  Fortunately, the position above me doesn't appeal to me at all -- too much travel, constant communication demands, lots of dotted lines, etc.

epower

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What is your net worth?  What are your annual expenses?

Combined net worth is approx 400k. Annual combined expenses are approx 45k.

dess1313

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This is also a very personality based decision.  what is right for some, won't be for others.

Instead of one of you staying home with child, could you both go to a .7 or .8 EFT and enjoy some of the same benefits?  A lot of mom's where i work go to .5 EFT as well.  it depends on how flexible your jobs are, and how easy it is to flex child care around both partner's jobs

TheGrimSqueaker

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One of my co-workers just took an extended paternity leave (his employer allowed it). I think it was badass and I wish more men would do it. His child no doubt benefited from having him around. He was a full-time dad for a few months.

I don't see what's wrong with a dad going part time. Mothers go part time on a regular basis; why not fathers?

One possible option would be if *both* parents go part-time and rig their schedules to not overlap, so that each of them get one-on-one time with the kid(s) and both can be present as parents. But there would still be the equivalent of a full-time salary to help maintain the household.

2Cent

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It depends on your field, but working 2-3 days a week kind of part time is not really an option in most jobs where you have more than just day to day concerns. For kids you should also remember that after a few years they start school, so you could start working part time like 6 hour days or something. Or even you could start early and  stop early to pick up the kids and have your wife start late to drop the kids and stop late.

It would be good to consider that it is not always easy to get back to work once you stop for a longer time. I know several woman who stopped working because of kids and where not able to get back because the field moved on and recent graduates are more qualified than they are. They are quite bored with their lives as house wives looking after kids and cooking and cleaning while they used to be architects and marketing managers etc.

historienne

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You may be interested in the book Equally Shared Parenting.  Written by a couple who both went part time after having kids. They talk about the process of negotiating part time arrangements in professional jobs.

My husband went to 75% time for awhile - he got an offer from another company and used that as leverage to negotiate the part-time arrangement.  Ended up back at full time when he found a job that he liked more.  He is happy at the new position, but I selfishly miss the part-time days!  I've worked 100% time throughout, and we have two kids.

Kyle Schuant

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I do it.

It's not often spoken about, but having someone at home actually saves a lot of money. And the great thing about money saved vs money earned is that money saved isn't taxed.

My wife is a full-time professional, I have a part-time (15-20hr pw) gym business at home. It earns me about 1/2 of what I'd earn full-time working for someone else, and some smaller fraction still what I'd earn if I ran it as a business with its own dedicated site.

But set against that is lower expenses from not paying for childcare, less money spent on restaurant and junk food, on driving and so on. Financially we're about the same, and I get to be with the kids - which is both good and bad. Money's not the only part of this equation. Remember, nobody wants to be the last lines of Cats in the Cradle.