Author Topic: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being  (Read 4753 times)

crhart2

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Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« on: March 14, 2019, 09:19:36 AM »
-Family is overstressed/unhappy
               -Iím concerned about our marriage and family well-being.  Weíve been fighting often, especially since last September. 

Problem Break Down
-My work life is stressful
-My wifeís work life is stressful
-Incessant illnesses in the family


I sincerely appreciate any support/ideas you all can offer!  Thanks in advance!
« Last Edit: May 04, 2019, 09:11:18 AM by crhart2 »

reeshau

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2019, 09:31:56 AM »
it seems that all of your options presume you must be a two-income family.  You haven't provided any income or expense details, but is this true?  (and maybe, this would be better as a Case Study, if we get that thorough)

If you could swing the finances, I would think a stay-at-home parent would both reduce work stress and keep the baby out of daycare, the source of illnesses.  (every other week is ridiculous, but every few weeks is not unusual)

Stress is the variable you are looking to reduce, but all of your actions have risks or assumptions that deal in money.  No advice will be practical unless you describe this dimension, too.

charis

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2019, 09:40:12 AM »
If you can afford it and you both want to keep working, I would look into hiring a nanny or au pair.  Yes, it's almost certainly more expensive than daycare but you don't have to take off work every time your child gets sick, and hopefully you all will get sick less often. 

crhart2

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2019, 09:44:40 AM »
Income is great.  Wife makes $80k and I make $70k.  We could, no doubt, live off of one income. 

« Last Edit: May 04, 2019, 09:15:14 AM by crhart2 »

researcher1

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2019, 09:53:15 AM »
              -1 year old in day care is sick every other week at least (not an exaggeration).  Sheís had 5 confirmed ear infections. 
              -Winter is ending which should help.  Also plan to get tubes for my child to reduce amount of ear infections. 

I would schedule the ear tubes ASAP. 
This should have a notable positive impact on the health situation. 
My experiences with my first child are much like you described.  The ear tubes helped dramatically.


mozar

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2019, 09:55:55 AM »
So have you been offered all these jobs you mentioned?

What is your current field? You listed a lot of info, much of which isn't particularly relevant.
You seem to be putting a lot of stock in boot camp. The bad news is that employers see bootcamp like an online degree. You pay a lot of money without actually learning anything that employers need. The good news is that there are a lot of good options for learning coding for free.
But it's not going to be a creative job. Most software engineers (based on what people say in this forum) spend their time fixing legacy code. For you a lot more research on the career of software engineer is in order.

I'm concerned that you are already considering divorce. Every thing you have described is normal having a baby issues. My dad still complains about how sick I made him when I was an infant/toddler and I'm 36 years old.
Also lay offs are normal things everyone has to deal with.
If you can't deal with having a baby and having a job you need to reconsider your life in a big way. Just changing jobs isn't going to help you.
And there are not good job prospects in Spain! OMG!

scantee

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2019, 10:04:20 AM »
Quote
Also, it is true that we'd like to still want to save money.  We were able to save at least $40k last year...even when my wife didn't work (or get paid) 3 months on maternity leave.

Your savings rate means nothing if you end up with a divorce. Stop trying to optimize your job situation, even just for six months, ease off your savings a bit, and pay for some niceties that will make your lives easier and more enjoyable. Ideas: cleaning service, food prep service, au pair, weekend babysitter for dates, lawn service, massages, tickets to games/shows or whatever you enjoyed doing prior to the baby. You canít do all of these things, but if you cut back on your savings, just for a little bit, you can hopefully get back to a place where you are enjoying life now rather than living for tomorrow.

partgypsy

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2019, 10:11:11 AM »
You have a lot of options you are considering but honestly you need to discuss them with your wife. You are a team, remember? You also didn't say option if a parent stayed home which parent it would be. Perhaps your wife could move to part time. Even if she quit it would not be the end of the world. In that case you would have option of moving for your job, or taking a job w travel since there is stay at home parent.

Wolfpack Mustachian

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2019, 10:15:47 AM »
              -1 year old in day care is sick every other week at least (not an exaggeration).  Sheís had 5 confirmed ear infections. 
              -Winter is ending which should help.  Also plan to get tubes for my child to reduce amount of ear infections. 

I would schedule the ear tubes ASAP. 
This should have a notable positive impact on the health situation. 
My experiences with my first child are much like you described.  The ear tubes helped dramatically.

+1 to this. I was leery of ear tubes, but they made a world of difference for my kids.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2019, 10:16:10 AM »
Since your job might be eliminated, I would wait till that announcement and see if you are offered a package. If offered, I would take the package and go and also collect unemployment. Of course on unemployment you must make an effort to find a job but no one says any job will meet your needs. I would take at least a full year off and let your wife continue working since she is making a bit more money. That way you can decompress from this past year of change and illnesses. Your wife will be able to concentrate on her job knowing the baby is in good hands. The baby won't be getting as many illnesses, which will cut down on you and your wife getting sick. Kids pick up all this stuff in daycare and school. Your job seems to not be what you want as you mentioned doing something different or looking for another job. Your wife doesn't seem to be as discontent with her job as you are so it makes more sense she keep her job. Not that it is any of my business, and you did not mention this, but having a second kid should be on the back burner till your life settles down a lot!

Plus, maybe you could consider taking some online courses while you are stay at home dad to add to your resume when you decide to go back to work. If you could get one of your relatives to watch the baby one day a week, you could consider volunteering which would also be good on a resume plus a good way to network with adults.

FallenTimber

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2019, 10:17:17 AM »
Iím so sorry that you and your family are going through these challenging times. But just remember that these days will pass and these overwhelming feelings will go with them. The biggest problem youíre facing is stress, which is compromising your familyís immune system and making an already stressful scenario even tougher. I always vote for decisions that reduce stress, even if it comes at the cost of income. All the money in the world canít buy health. But since I have no doubt youíll get plenty of great ideas here for practical solutions, Iíll offer a different perspective.

Despite how it may feel at times, these external circumstances are not controlling your stress, your health, or your marriage. Itís how you are perceiving and reacting to the circumstances. Iíve always heard people say that, but it wasnít until these past few years (where my wife and I also had a baby) that I began devouring all sorts of books on happiness, perspective, and outlook, that I realized I was in complete control of my thoughts. Itís an empowering feeling and it has completely changed my life. I no longer rely on my ability (or inability) to change external circumstances all the time, because I know I always have the power to change my thoughts and feelings about the present circumstances.

So my suggestion? Read. Learn. Reflect. Meditate. Start a gratitude journal. Focus on all of the wonderful things in your life. Tell your wife how much you appreciate her, and how thankful you are for her. Remind her how grateful you are that she has sacrificed so much. Spend 15 minutes every day doing nothing but staring at your beautiful daughter. When she cries, embrace the fact that sheís breathing and filled with energy and life. When youíre sick, use the opportunity to develop empathy by thinking of those who are in even greater pain or suffering. Find the silver lining of each cloud.

If your wife is struggling, remember that the best way you can help her is to be your absolute best self. Inspire her with your positive perspective. Lift her up with your confidence that everything will be okay. Iím certainly not saying you shouldnít work tto change your external circumstances, but donít pin your happiness on the next job. Embrace every present moment with your wonderful, beautiful family.

I wish you and your family all the best. One day these tough times will be a distant memory and a building block in your marriage.

SM2

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2019, 10:33:06 AM »
I'm sorry you are struggling. I can relate to the family stuff. My oldest had 9 ear infections in 12 months when starting day care. Our specialist would not do tubes at the young age and hoped it would change with time. And it did one my oldest got older.

And you will both get sick due to having to care for your child being sick and all the new viruses you are exposed to. Hopefully with spring coming things will get easier in this area. Just know you are not alone on this type of experience and that hopefully the worst is behind you for illness.

ericbonabike

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2019, 10:52:54 AM »
Can you reduce hourse?

you make 70k, she makes 80k.
That's 150k.

Obamacare means your employer HAS to pay for your healthcare at full time status if you work any more than 30 hours a week.
So, why not ask one or both of your employers if you could reduce hours down to a more manageable 6 hours per day.
Given the potential layoffs occurring I would think your employer might appreciate that, as it would save some money for them.

If you could live on 75% of 150k (112k)  that would work wonders.

My wife and I are both engineers and have a son who is approaching a year old.  We both did this a few months after he was born and it is the best gift I ever gave myself. 

bogart

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2019, 11:51:35 AM »
I'm sorry you're dealing with all this stress.  As others have said, with layoffs to be announced in ~3 weeks, probably worth waiting to see if you're in the group laid off or not, as layoffs can confer some benefits.

Some of what you describe as stressors (for example, a ~5-8 month old baby waking up every night between 12-4 a.m.)  sounds entirely ... unremarkable.  Like, not even worth mentioning.  I mean, sure, grueling and exhausting (though with 2 parents alternating nights, not such a big deal?) but totally to be expected.

Assuming you're still employed on 4/2, do you want just to quit your job?  You make less, and could be a SAHP, presumably identifying some ways to economize (and save on childcare) while facilitating your wife's opportunity to participate fully and energetically in the workforce.  Is that on the table? 

Polaria

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2019, 12:31:24 PM »
              -1 year old in day care is sick every other week at least (not an exaggeration).  Sheís had 5 confirmed ear infections. 
              -Winter is ending which should help.  Also plan to get tubes for my child to reduce amount of ear infections. 

I would schedule the ear tubes ASAP. 
This should have a notable positive impact on the health situation. 
My experiences with my first child are much like you described.  The ear tubes helped dramatically.

+1 to this. I was leery of ear tubes, but they made a world of difference for my kids.

As a former kid with ear tubes I totally agree on the positive impact of such operation.

SimpleCycle

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2019, 12:56:33 PM »
It sounds like you are very stressed and honestly miserable.  I can relate.  In our first year and a half as parents, we went through more sickness than I can count, one hospitalization with DD, two rounds of failed fertility treatments trying to conceive our second, and my wife's employer becoming financially insolvent so we were never sure if/when her paychecks would come.  It was tremendously stressful on all of us, and on our relationship.  It really felt like at any moment the other shoe would drop and our stress would boil over.

I think @FallenTimber has given you the best advice.  We underestimate how much changing our outlook can reduce our stress and make us feel better about our lives.  I'm not saying this is an easy answer - it's probably the hardest of all your options to implement.  But it sounds like in addition to all the stress, you also have a lot of great things going on in your life.

But changing your outlook doesn't solve all your problems, so I'd also implement a decent amount of problem solving.  First, get your daughter ear tubes, it will help.  So will the end of cold and flu season.

Second, figure out a realistic plan to find a new job.  Start networking, feeling out what options are locally, do informational interviews if you need to.  You listed a lot of possible jobs, but it's hard to know which ones are real possibilities from your post.  I don't think anything you posted sounds like a slam dunk.  You have a cushion, so I'd ride it out through this layoff round and find a good job.  I agree that coding bootcamps aren't a panacea - most people don't find hires out of them have the right skills and still need substantial on the job training, which is fine, but explains the lower salary.

Third, I'm not sure why you mention divorce.  Is your wife unhappy?  Are you?  Sure, you are both stressed, but I agree with others who say a lot of this stuff is normal life stressor stuff.  If divorce has EVER been mentioned, get yourself to a couples counselor ASAP.  I personally prefer someone who does Gottman-based marriage counseling.  Hire a babysitter to go to counseling if you need to.  The most important thing you can do for your happiness and your financial life is to attend to your relationship.  It's your top priority after meeting your baby's physical needs.

Dianalou

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2019, 12:59:50 PM »
Aside from different jobs, I felt like this could have been my husband writing this. I went back to work full time with PPD, and our relationship and house were crumbling. My husband works an early shift at his work so he's home by 2:30, but is up and out of the house at 3:00, so morning was all me.

What worked for us: I went down to part-time when my job determined that my position didn't warrant full-time hours year round. This was seriously the best thing that ever happened to our family. I'm home with the kids more, have time to keep the house in order, cook better dinners, be with the kids and then when my husband is home we can all do fun stuff as a family without having to worry about just preparing for the next week. Kids still go to daycare three days a week so they get to see their friends and do messy crafts and whatnot, I get to have interaction with adults not centered around bodily functions etc. Yes, our income dropped, but oh my goodness our happiness went way up! One side benefit for me: I feel so much less guilty about doing things for myself, going to get my nails done, coffee with a friend etc. because I have so much time with the kids. We also started dropping kids off with family more for just a few hours or over night so that we could have time to ourselves as a couple. Even just sleeping in, in your own bed feels so luxurious! I can't feel too bad for you on the sleep part since you had to know that going in. I literally have no slept through the night interrupted in four years and don't see that changing any time soon. Also if kids are in daycare people are going to get sick. My husband drinks alka seltzer cold every day (sort of like Emergen-C) to stave off colds and he still gets them. For whatever reason I appear to be immune to my kids sniffles (knock on wood).

Sounds like finding some time just for you and your spouse and perhaps one or both of you cutting back is what's right for you? Saving 40k is awesome, but who cares if you're miserable while you're doing it. If you or both go down to part time or one of you quits all together it's not like it has to be forever. I firmly believe that the first few years of a kid's life for the parents is just survival. Food delivery, cleaning person, gardener, whatever just to get through it without everyone wanting to kill each other.

Tass

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2019, 01:10:52 PM »
Income is great.  Wife makes $80k and I make $70k.  We could, no doubt, live off of one income.  I think the concern bigger than money is the ability to get another job as a chemical engineer in this area if she quit.  We're really in this area because my family is here.

Why would she be the one to quit? She makes more than you. Certainly there are other factors to consider, but don't limit your options unnecessarily.

Could you be a stay-at-home dad for a year while doing some self study to get yourself into a position you like better? That would also give you some resume "cover" for why you didn't work for a while. (My gut feeling is that you might also face less re-entry stigma than she would, but I could be wrong.) This combines well with Roadrunner's advice to see if you can get a layoff package.

One or both of you could also investigate part-time options.

Saving 40k is awesome, but who cares if you're miserable while you're doing it.

This.

Captain FIRE

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2019, 01:42:28 PM »
Ahh the germ bombs of toddlers attending daycare.

We were sick so much from our 2 yo in November and December that a friend of mine grilled me about whether I was pregnant or not.  As in, refused to believe my first or second denial and kept on pushing.  Apparently she and my MIL were convinced that I was vomiting from morning sickness, and ignored 1) the part where DH was sick too and 2) we have a toddler germ bomb (despite us talking about taking him to the doctor).  Asked in front of my dad too, for extra uncomfortableness, which would have been truly awesome if I was pregnant but not ready to publicly share yet.  This was extra fun to answer, because I *had* been ~7 weeks pregnant (before morning sickness would have really kicked in) but miscarried in early October.  Never apologized for asking either, even after learning of the mc privately later.

Light at the end of the tunnel:
1) The infections should decrease with the end of winter.
2) I've been told the rate of sicknesses decreases as they get older (particularly after age 1/2).  You might be over the hump.
3) Tubes were a lifesaver for friends of ours.

Has your wife considered job hunting as well?  Travel is tough on a family with young kids.  25% travel is a lot.

+1 to survival care: Cleaners, take out, etc.

Another thought to the boot camp - 3 months is a long time in a toddler's life to not see him/her.  I'm sure grandparents would give great care, but it will likely be stressful to the toddler to not have mom OR dad around, and could lead to some developmental regression.  I'd also personally be very sad if I missed out on a lot of milestones over this timeframe.

historienne

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2019, 01:55:18 PM »
I'm generally in the whatever-floats-your-boat parenting camp.  People parent in all sorts of ways that I wouldn't choose to do, and generally their kids are just fine.

Sending your kid to live with grandparents for three months, though...I don't know.  Does the baby already have a secure attachment to at least one of the grandparents as a primary caregiver?  Separation from primary caregivers can be traumatic to young children.  Disrupting a secure attachment is not something I would do lightly.  It might permanently change your relationship to your kid.

Again, I say this as someone who has travelled away from similarly-aged kids for 3 weeks at a time, which already makes me a huge outlier among the parents I know.  But the kids were with my husband, and they were very securely attached to him.  And 3 weeks was pushing it.

partgypsy

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2019, 02:10:29 PM »
I'm generally in the whatever-floats-your-boat parenting camp.  People parent in all sorts of ways that I wouldn't choose to do, and generally their kids are just fine.

Sending your kid to live with grandparents for three months, though...I don't know.  Does the baby already have a secure attachment to at least one of the grandparents as a primary caregiver?  Separation from primary caregivers can be traumatic to young children.  Disrupting a secure attachment is not something I would do lightly.  It might permanently change your relationship to your kid.

Again, I say this as someone who has travelled away from similarly-aged kids for 3 weeks at a time, which already makes me a huge outlier among the parents I know.  But the kids were with my husband, and they were very securely attached to him.  And 3 weeks was pushing it.

I would not do the 3 months grandparent thing unless there was at least one parent there. the earliest I would do (solo trip, and not for 3 months!) is in elementary school, and only if the child has a good relationship with the grandparents.
I made the suggestions about the wife being stay at home because misread the husband was making more. Still, traveling 25% and having a newborn would be very stressful for a new mother, which is why I still think the mother going to part time (for at least the first year) or the family being a one income household would reduce stress. 
but overall, the game plan should be something you BOTH are on board with, so the next step is talking with your wife to see what changes she would like or would help the most.

NonprofitER

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2019, 03:04:23 PM »
There's a lot of great comments on here already. My 2 cents.

1. The first 1-2 years of parenting are survival mode. It's wonderful! It's joyful! And its full of sleep deprivation, illness, identity shift, marital stress, lack of freetime, etc. etc. Don't underestimate how much the sleep disruption is contributing to stress, illness, and general irritibality with work and relationships. The good news is that most (though not all) children start to sleep through the night around 12 months. This is a game changer for many. 

2. As others have said, the constant cycle of illness is normal. Even when one parent stays at home!  Babies/toddlers get sick All. The. Time. They touch everything in public places and live with their hands in their mouths. Illness will drastically reduce in frequency over the next couple of years. I swear. +++ on the ear tubes!

3.  Note that the happiness curve for parents is rough the first few years. The daily grind is HARD when kids are fragile and require constant supervision. Parental and personal happiness often improves as kids get older (before taking a dive again during the teen years). Hold on! It's going to get easier!  Gaining back free time, space for hobbies, consistent sleep, marital time, etc. can feel painfully slow and gradual the first year, but it builds and things open back up again. (*note that people with multiple kids say the difficulty clock "resets" on those tough years with each new baby - compounded by sibling joys and challenges. We only have one so I can only speak as a family of 3).

4. Your wife - if she's like the majority of women - is likely also grappling with frustration over her own postpartum stuff. New body. Potential decrease in  confidence. Milk making (if applicable). Resentments can build for both of you as you non-verbally (or verbally) compare and contrast who has it easier/ who has more free time/ who is getting more sleep, etc. Even the most egalitarian/ open-communication marriages can suffer as you both take turns pity partying. This is normal, but I recommend you both giving each other more grace, more patience and more support, regardless of how much you're already giving and whether you think you are already the person giving more.  Offer to take the baby alone unexpectedly for a walk so the other person can have 20 min to Do. Absolutely. Nothing. 

Invest in help with food/laundry/date night, etc.  Resist the urge to keep score.  Remember, the first 1 - 2 years is Survival Mode. You're on Team Survive!  The house looks like shit when you got home and it was your wife's turn to keep everything in order - are the baby and wife still alive? Excellent! A win for Team Survival!  No one had a chance to wash clothes this week but you survived the most interrupted night of sleep of the week?  High Five your Teammate and tell her she looks smoking with those bags under her eyes!  If you run towards your partner (emotionally, logistically), chances are, she'll eventually pick up on it and run towards you too - maybe offering you a chance to sleep in while she makes the coffee. Think of it as a long game team sport, rather than an individual marathon that's stacked against you.

I totally get where you're coming from. Yes, explore some job options (in consultation with your wife). But know that new jobs come with stress of their own as you learn the norms, upskill, figure out new office politics etc. The best thing you can do is invest heavily in your health and marriage regardless of income or job.  We somehow were both in school FT and working (me PT, my spouse FT) while we had a newborn. She's almost 10 now, but we look back at the first year as a blur. It makes us laugh how tired and strung out we were, but enduring it together made us stronger as a team.

You can do this. It will get better!

Off the Wheel

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #22 on: March 14, 2019, 08:18:44 PM »
There's lots of great advice here, so I'm not going to add anything substantial.

However, one thing someone said to me once that I've held close in my marriage is... take divorce off the table. Sometimes things are hard. Sometimes they're stressful. Sometimes they're absolutely fucking shitty. Just. Don't. Leave. It will get better.

OneCoolCat

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2019, 10:09:13 PM »
Become a SAHD for a bit (if you can afford it).  It's painfully obvious that the whole 2-income thing isn't working for yall at the moment.

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2019, 04:29:24 AM »
Quote
Also, it is true that we'd like to still want to save money.  We were able to save at least $40k last year...even when my wife didn't work (or get paid) 3 months on maternity leave.

Your savings rate means nothing if you end up with a divorce. Stop trying to optimize your job situation, even just for six months, ease off your savings a bit, and pay for some niceties that will make your lives easier and more enjoyable. Ideas: cleaning service, food prep service, au pair, weekend babysitter for dates, lawn service, massages, tickets to games/shows or whatever you enjoyed doing prior to the baby. You canít do all of these things, but if you cut back on your savings, just for a little bit, you can hopefully get back to a place where you are enjoying life now rather than living for tomorrow.

This.  And consider the single-income route.  We had to make some significant changes with baby #1.  I watched money fly out the door for a while.  Drove me nuts, in a way, but I kept that to myself for the most part, because it was definitely the best thing for the family overall.  (I even told myself a few times: this is cheaper than divorce - and we weren't anywhere near a divorce, just to be clear.)  Having kids is hard, especially early on.  And especially without family nearby - I feel you there too - particularly the wife's family.  It will wear on her more than it seems; she probably watched other family members receive lots of help from parents & etc. with raising kids whereas she doesn't have that *and* she doesn't have anyone telling her she's doing great, the baby is amazing, etc. unless your life is set up the right way.  (Which is another reason to consider single-income, even if only for a season.)  It's just a lot of stress on the wife in that situation, and on both of you.  And, I'll give a hard second to @Off the Wheel 's advice: take divorce off the table.  Not even worth thinking about.  It takes all your problems and multiplies them.  I mentioned it above only b/c you're already thinking about "what if"s, and that's a what-if that you don't want to open, think about, or get to. 

Also, great points by @NonprofitER about being in survival mode.  That's how to evaluate things.

Towards that end, it helps to get your wife dates/breaks whenever you can so she can take time to actually relax a little.  Get her out of the house, and, if you have a sitter/something, away from the baby for a bit.  (If either of your parents are around and could come over for a bit - week or two - consider that, too, just for the added help, assuming that would be helpful.)  Get yourselves some time away to de-stress and just enjoy yourselves.  Go places where you'll have fun without thinking of home, baby, and stress, and even when you're tempted to work through problems or think about those stressful things, don't.  Set a time and place later for that, and just go have fun!  Your wife needs it, and I'm sure you do too. 

And as others mentioned, 3 mos away w/o parents while grandparents watch the baby is a bad idea...recipe for all kinds of problems, not least of which is with grandparents and wife (who can't really be expected to reasonably be away from her tiny baby that long and be OK).  That's one of those things that would probably fall apart mid-way through, if not sooner.  Plus it raises all sorts of other opportunities for problems.  Better solution: bring grandparents TO you for a while, if that's workable.  So you can get that bump AND you can both get away a little while not upsetting things much. 

As everyone is saying, just hang in there.  Year one is rough.  It's survival mode.  It'll get better eventually. 

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2019, 04:53:43 AM »
Become a SAHD for a bit (if you can afford it).  It's painfully obvious that the whole 2-income thing isn't working for yall at the moment.

This this this. Get yourself on the lay-off list for April if you can.

Pigeon

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #26 on: March 15, 2019, 06:20:43 AM »
I would hire the nanny and continue to look for a new job.  It doesn't sound like the ones you are looking at are going to be an improvement, but that doesn't mean there isn't something better out there.  Job hunting takes time.  I wouldn't ask to go part time or reduced hours unless you want to have a target on your back for the next round of layoffs.

Working at a place with layoffs looming is stressful and demoralizing.  This, on top of a new baby, is a miserable combination.  When you are in the middle of a situation like this, it's hard to keep in mind that it's temporary.  You can find a better job and the baby will be easier eventually.  I'd stop worrying about frugality for a little while and start figuring out how to make your lives easier for the time being.  Go back to frugality mode when you can manage better.

I couldn't tell if you are serious about divorce.  From your description of your situation, the problem doesn't seem to be with your wife.  Unless you don't love your wife anymore and can't see a future together, I don't see how that could possibly make things better.  Divorces and shared custody situations are expensive and very stressful.  Maybe a marriage therapist is in order.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2019, 06:22:30 AM by Pigeon »

MayDay

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2019, 07:18:37 AM »
We are two chemE's as well, and went through layoffs when our kids were little.

My only complaint about your post is that baby waking once a night is nothing :)

It sounds like you guys need a break. Do you have paid time off? Start taking a half day every week. Get the nanny if you don't get laid off. Get the tubes done asap. Don't make any major decisions until everyone has had a break. If you do get laid off, stay home for a few months, collect UI, and rest and recover so you don't jump right I to another bad situation.

It's hard to tell from your post who is more stressed, bit is does sound like it would make sense for you to be a SAHP for a while. I will also echo everyone that coding bootcamp sounds like a bad idea! My H is self taught in Python and now does manufacturing analytics. That makes more sense than trying to get a entry level job.

One more thing- you said you are in Lex because of your family. Where are they in all this? Are they staying home with sick baby, giving you date nights, etc? If not, you and your wife should definitely job hunt in other areas. Just because you both work doesn't make it impossible- look for jobs with a big company, and once you get an offer, tell them your spouse is also an engineer and needs to find a job.

lizzzi

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #28 on: March 15, 2019, 08:07:28 AM »
I realize the wife makes more money, but no one has mentioned maybe she should be the one to quit her job and be a SAHP. I think the OP and his wife need to discuss this--it's not all about the money--which one should work and which one should be the SAHP. I agree that sending the baby to the grandparents for three months is a bad idea--just too long of a time to be away from Mommy and Daddy at this young age--too much risk of too many emotional issues and interruption of smooth development of the baby. If there were some kind of national disaster or something that made it imperative, it might be different. Right now the jobs and the moneymaking are not what is most important. OP and his wife need to make do with less to get through this and...yes...Survive. I think that wall sign "Live, Laugh, Love" is a little trite--you see it everywhere--but in the case of OP and his wife it is exactly what they need to do.

Babies get you up at night and they get sick all the time. Taking care of little ones is exhausting, and a full-time job in itself. People tend to not tell you that. You're going to be a wreck the first year or so with a little one, and I think you just have to let your housekeeping standards drop, try to sleep or rest when the baby does, and perhaps come to terms with the fact that you can't work outside the home as much as maybe you'd like to. The OP and his wife will have years and years to work as engineers--but that tiny tot won't be little very long. I'd like to see them chill out and be able to enjoy her. And each other. (Yes, this is a Mom and Grandma speaking. I have so totally been there/done that--it seems like it goes on forever, and then it's gone in an eye blink and you wonder where those days went .)

partgypsy

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #29 on: March 15, 2019, 08:41:45 AM »
Once you get through this layoff threat, if you asked your wife, if she would like to go to part time or even stay at home Mom for awhile, or for you to to reduce stress, what do you think she will say?

This is the piece of information that we are missing in your posts.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #30 on: March 15, 2019, 09:39:39 AM »
Another vote for ear tubes. Our clinic requires 6 ear infections in a one year period, however.
They were the most amazing thing we did for our baby.

Also- the first few years suck. They are hard.  I think just making it known that you both know this and agree it, and as someone else said are existing in survival mode might help. Just transparency.  My husband and I know there is very little "us" time right now.  It's just trying to make it through the days.  Give each other grace that you are both doing the best you can.

I also don't know about the SAHP idea, regardless of who makes more money. Is that what you'd want? Neither my husband or I have any interest in being a SAHP for instance. It would be awful for both of us, and ultimately for our daughter (and soon to be son).  And, as a former teacher- the kids who didn't go to daycare all get sick like crazy in kindergarten or first grade. They have to build up the immunity sometime.

Life with a baby, and with a toddler is hard and exhausting. I've never been sick so much in my life.  She had a good period of time around 16-20 months where it was easy to get her to sleep and she stayed asleep, but now at 23 months we are up every night again.

crhart2

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #31 on: March 15, 2019, 11:49:57 AM »
Thanks everyone for the support!  I'm watching closely, but haven't yet had a chance to respond.  Ultimately, we have about as many resources as a person could have in this situation, so we just have to decide what's most important to us. 

I think a key point of differentiation is to define the problem as a family/marriage issue.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2019, 09:12:38 AM by crhart2 »

mm1970

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #32 on: March 15, 2019, 11:56:32 AM »
Income is great.  Wife makes $80k and I make $70k.  We could, no doubt, live off of one income.  I think the concern bigger than money is the ability to get another job as a chemical engineer in this area if she quit.  We're really in this area because my family is here.

Also, it is true that we'd like to still want to save money.  We were able to save at least $40k last year...even when my wife didn't work (or get paid) 3 months on maternity leave.  We plan to move to spain in 5 years where incomes are much much lower.  Ideally, we'd like to at least have our house/apartment paid for once we're in spain. 

Of course, we'll have to evaluate.  Money doesn't mean anything if you lose your wife, and then heavily strain your relationship with your child.
I'm sorry, but you are in the sucky part of life.  I did that, we both worked FT the first 18 months after I had my kid.  I was sick constantly for 5 months.  I had maybe 30 healthy days?  I am also a chemical engineer.  It does get better.  On the plus side, that kid of mine NEVER gets sick  now, after the first year of daycare.  Seriously.  He just turned 13.  He'll get the sniffles for 2 hours, go to bed, wake up normal.  We wonder "allergies?" then someone else goes down 2 days later.

Can your wife cut her hours?  I was so brutally exhausted that I asked to go part time.  Was told no.  That boss left.  Asked the new boss.  He said "sure!" when the option was be going nutso.  (Or you could cut your hours).  It made a MASSIVE difference to our happiness level for me to cut down to 30 hours a week.  2 extra hours a day.  So great that when my group got Axed and they were giving me a new boss who said "no part time", I quit to go to another company and work part time.  (Ironically for that boss that originally said no!)

Also, +1 on the cleaning person, or whatever.  That helped immensely.

My kids are 6.5 years apart in age, so when I had kid #1, I was a bit better prepared.  I took off 2 weeks before the due date, I eased my way back in for a couple of weeks, I cut my hours to part time for the first year, I pumped more frequently.  Still sucked!  My kids were not good sleepers either.

Survival mode.  That's all it is right now.  In fact, I wouldn't recommend any parent try to do something "new" for the first year or 1.5 years.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2019, 01:04:54 PM by mm1970 »

partgypsy

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #33 on: March 15, 2019, 01:37:09 PM »
Thanks everyone for the support!  I'm watching closely, but haven't yet had a chance to respond.  Ultimately, we have about as many resources as a person could have in this situation, so we just have to decide what's most important to us. 

I think a key point of differentiation is to define the problem as a family/marriage issue.  While I've been focusing mainly on getting out of my job, really when I step back and think about it, making the most cash or having the best career probably isn't worth it.

sorry if i'm repeating myself, but I do want you to differentiate two problems: one is that you are not happy with your job. Two is that both you and your wife are stressed out/sick/exhausted.
While I know it sounds easy to solve both problems with 1 thing (you quit your job), that may not be the right answer and may end up making your wife feel more stressed out (having all the financial burden on her, missing time with the baby).

So I'm being serious here, when I say while it is great to bounce off ideas off people in this forum, you really need to talk to your wife about what SHE wants and what would make her less stressed. For God's sake she fell down and broke her nose! She may be tough but don't let her become a mascocist. I know because I have been in a similar situation before.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2019, 01:39:44 PM by partgypsy »

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #34 on: March 15, 2019, 02:06:38 PM »
Egads you are having a rough go.
You are wise to try to do something to care for family well-being. 
Having two non-sleeper babies with chronic ear infections I offer this:  It was about 20 months of pure hell - no sleep, merry go round of a variety of virus.  You are getting close to the time when toddler and you have had just about every damn thing or a close enough proximity of it that it can't flatten you for as long.

Our son stopped having ear infections around 15 months and his were never too bad (responded to antibiotics quickly)  Daughter seemed to have chronic ear infections to the point that her ear drum ruptured. And we learned that you can't have the surgery until the ear drum heals.  And it doesn't heal with an ear infection. The ear tubes solved one of the problems with the chronic ear infections- it didn't stop the infections, it just meant that we could give ear drop antibiotics instead by mouth.  So much easier and then we didn't have the tummy problems from antibiotics and as much night time waking from pain when lying down.
I was hesitant about the surgery because it could damage the ear drum - but so does the rupture and no one explained the ear drop antibiotics for future ear infections.  So I waited it out with my son and he switched his infection of choice from ear to throat anyway.
I send wishes of healthfulness. 
And advice to recognize - this will pass but right now, you are in the trenches.  Reduce your expectations of what you can do at the moment.  Do a "just good enough job" at everything.  Lower your standards of cooking, cleaning and grooming. Get as much sleep as you can.  Give yourself a longer block of time to get your hours.  Wash your hands as often as you can.  Get outside into nature and breath deeply in the forest. 
I hope you can connect with local parents who are through this stage and family that can offer some respite. 

StarBright

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #35 on: March 15, 2019, 02:36:15 PM »
I think someone mentioned Gottman style counseling if you are leaning towards marriage counseling. If you aren't, I would highly recommend proactively reading any/all of John Gottman's books on relationships .


Gottman has lots of good stuff on the most destructive habits in marriages. I actually read a chapter about him in Malcolm Gladwell's Blink and it changed how I approach my own relationships. His own books are excellent and have techniques and suggestions backed by science and lots of studies. They are seriously good stuff.

Plus a million on the eartubes. After my oldest got his tubes he went from waking up 7-10 times a night down to only 2-3 - it was a life saver for our sanity and health.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2019, 09:08:33 PM by StarBright »

partgypsy

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #36 on: March 15, 2019, 02:44:12 PM »
In retrospect I wish we got the ear tubes for my youngest. She had many recurring ear infections from 6 months-2 years, and even older. She has pretty bad dyslexia. We learned during testing one specialist felt some of her difficulties with language may have been exacerbated by her not hearing well during this time : (

Villanelle

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #37 on: March 15, 2019, 04:40:46 PM »
In response to the question about becoming a one income family, you responded with concerns about your wife being able to get another job.  She makes more money than you do and your company is clearly struggling and your job not secure.  Why would she be the one to leave her job?  Volunteer for the lay off and hopefully take your fat severance (and the UI that you'd likely qualify for after that) and give your family some breathing room.  Take the kid out of daycare, saving a lot of money, and find other ways to use your time to cut expenses.  Find any part time gigs you can to bring in a few extra bucks without adding family stress.  (Walk a neighbor's dogs, run errands for someone, mow a couple lawns, short term pet sitting--not in your home--etc.) 

In 6-8 months, you can revisit, when your baby is a bit older and hopefully somewhat healthier, and sleeping a bit better.

Of course you need to discuss this with your wife and see how she feels about it, but this is probably where I'd start, meaning it would be the first thing I talked with (not to!) my spouse about.

MoolahLula

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #38 on: March 15, 2019, 07:23:46 PM »
Talk to your wife.  Ask her what she would like to do in an ideal world.  Iíve been to both Spain and KY and they are worlds apart, and that canít be easy on her in addition to the other stresses you talk about.

If you can get your local family on board with helping you out more, do it!  Build your network of babysitters and laundry washers, people are often happy to help and just waiting to be asked. 

Outsource some of the most painful home chores like laundry and cleaning with a service if you feel you can afford it. 

mkl

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #39 on: March 15, 2019, 08:07:30 PM »
Ah, I'm so sorry your family is struggling. A few thoughts as someone in tech, who survived a baby...

- Book an appointment for ear tubes. In the meantime, drop milk out of the the toddler's diet for a week. If the earaches subside, keep it out for another 6 months.  My pediatrician had me do this prior to tubes, since in his experience milk makes some babies phlegmy, and can be enough to tip babies over to earaches since their canals are narrow. Felt a little weird but worked like a charm for us and it's a low cost, low risk experiment while you wait for tubes.

- Google The Gottman Institute and sign up for the Marriage Minute. You'll get two minute long exercises each week. They are extraordinary- and don't wait too long or you'll burn up your goodwill towards each other.

- Make an appointment for yourself to see a Cognitive Behavior counselor for 3-4 sessions of stress management techniques. As others have mentioned, with the exception of the illnesses, your baby's sleep pattern is in the normal range and you might benefit from building up your coping mechanisms. Consider getting screened for Asperger's - it's common among those of us in engineering and can explain an unusually strong reaction to your routines being disrupted. If nothing else it can be useful to look at coping mechanisms other adults have used.

- Reach out through your wife's family contacts in Spain to see if you can find a Spanish au pair. Your wife might get comfort from having someone from home there, and an au pair will significantly ease the stress until you can reduce the work travel.

- Have a heartfelt conversation with your wife about how to lower your family stress and still get yourselves to Spain. If she truly prefers to continue to work at full steam, then you can drop to part time. Would she be happy if you worked and she dropped to half time for three years, till baby was ready for pre-school? That would allow her to still save some for the Spanish plan, but lower the immediate stress. It would also let her take the baby to Spain for longer visits each year, which is how a German friend of mine was able to stomach raising her son in Seattle, so far away from her family.

And some thoughts on your options...
   
        -Take 25% travel job in town 45 minutes away. Hecks no. Absolutely no. Having two traveling parents and a baby in day care is almost impossible, even if one of you has total control over their travel schedule- which is rarely the case. This is going to jack your stress up not down.

        -Transfer within my company, assuming I keep my job April 1. Could be amazing for the family if you're wife would be ok cutting back at work until the baby is a little less demanding. And less stress at home means you could start exploring part time coding camps or Lynda.com style classes to stretch your mind and your skills.

        -Take temporary contract job at a good, but time-demanding company. This is what I did and it worked well, just confirm that you have a 6 month emergency fund, and a high confidence that you could get another gig if this one ended. And that your wife can scale back half time- otherwise you'll just be back in the soup.

        -Take 50% traveling job with an excellent company. Even if your wife quit, I still  wouldn't- most people I've known who travel 50% are really struggling. It leaves you feeling chronically adrift in a very hard to explain way. See Lost in Translation for a preview.
         
        -Take operator job at excellent company with hopes to move to an engineering job. I would, but only if your wife was also going to scale down- otherwise it won't offer any immediate reduction in family stress and that's thing one.
           
        -Additional Resources/ideas
              -Part-time work as engineer for me or my wife?  Weíre both engineers.    Absolutely the best idea yet. I'd start by seeing if your wife would genuinely enjoy it, since she could then take the baby to Spain for longer visits, buying you some time to make the big move. If not you drop back to part time and use the spare hours to Lynda.com your skill set up.
              -Could get an au pair. Excellent, especially if you could get one from Spain- may help your wife to have someone from the home country in the house.
              -I do have family close by that has started to help much more. Fabulous- get a standing weekend date where you each get 2 hours to yourself and then 2 hours with each other.

Dee18

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #40 on: March 15, 2019, 10:02:16 PM »
I went through a similar time with my daughter constantly having ear infections and getting sick myself with colds, bronchitis and sinus infections because I caught what she caught at daycare.  If I had it to do over, I would opt for a home daycare with just a few children.  Regarding the ear tubes: My daughter got them in February and they fell out in March.  The doctor wanted to put a new set in.  I drove 150 miles to a specialist I read about in Time Magazine....I was truly desperate.  He told me that we should not do ear tubes again in March/April because children had ear infections much less frequently in the summer months and her Eustachian tubes would probably grow and then drain properly.  I also got a referral for a pediatric ent in my city, who concurred with that assessment.  Both docs told me that childrenís Eustachian tubes often grew large enough to solve the problem right about when parents were so exasperated that they got tubes put in.  One doc called them ďthe tonsillectomies of the Ď90s,Ē referring to the fact the so many kids got unnecessary tonsillectomies in the 1960s-2000.  Some articles on point:
https://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/15/health/15brody.html. Re ear tubes
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2018/11/05/tonsillectomy-tonsils-removed-unnecessary/

Tuskalusa

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #41 on: March 15, 2019, 11:22:10 PM »
 Lots of great advice here. Totally agree that the first years are super hard. If thereís a way to ease the stress, itís totalky worth exploring every option.

I would seriously recommend putting up a case study to see how you might be able to transition to one income, at least for a few years. Having one parent at home managing the house and hanging with the munchkin can be life changing for the family...as long as that position is valued. Since youíve been living through the pain of two parents working, I have no question that the at home spouse will be valued.

Itís scary to leave the workforce, but I truly believe that thereís usually a way to get back to work when youíre ready. Itís just might look different.

I left a high-paying, high-stress, long-travel gig when my son was in 4th grade. When I was ready to go back to work, I started an entry level gig part time at a non-profit. Iíve worked my way backup through the ranks, and Iíve found a fulfilling and family friendly career. I wish Iíd had made the move sooner,but the fear of lost income held me back.

It will absolutely get easier with time. Please keep us posted on what you decide.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2019, 11:41:24 PM by Tuskalusa »

Hula Hoop

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #42 on: March 16, 2019, 01:35:41 AM »
I agree with the others that from what you've told us, you should be the stay at home parent if you decide to go this route.  You earn less and your job is less secure.  Is there some reason why your wife should stay home rather than you if you decide that one of you needs to stay home?  (apart from traditional gender roles)

My younger daughter also got ear tubes and they are amazing.  Like night and day.  But of course, you need to speak with your doctor re. whether they would solve the problem in your child's case.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #43 on: March 16, 2019, 08:35:16 PM »
Not sure itís been explicitly said, but the kid will get sick less when not in daycare. It seems like illness is a big source of stress right now.

dleavitt

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #44 on: March 19, 2019, 09:20:31 AM »
Okay, you've gotten a lot of well-deserved sympathy.  Now comes encouragement on the family side of things: you can and will get through this.  I know this because my wife and I both work full time, and have had 3 kids in the last 4 years with the youngest being 8 months and still getting up at least once a night.  Lots of sickness, second got tubes last year and it was a life-saver, but 2019 so far there hasn't been a single one of us not on some sort of antibiotic or antiviral medication at any given moment.  And while we haven't had to deal with the spectre of looming lay-offs, the first quarter of the year is by far the most stressful work-wise for both of us.  I'm working 70-80 hours a week, my wife closer to 55, all while scheduling around doctors appointments, sick days, etc.  What gets us through is our relationship, and our commitment to make space for us to have couple-focused time.  Get a baby-sitter (family or otherwise) and just get some time alone!  Go out to dinner and a movie, go to a park, whatever.  One weekend my wife and I just got a AirBnB and just read books the entire time.

As someone else mentioned, lower your standards for house upkeep and stuff and chip in as much as you can.  We haven't folded laundry for weeks.

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #45 on: March 19, 2019, 01:25:30 PM »
As someone else mentioned, lower your standards for house upkeep and stuff and chip in as much as you can.  We haven't folded laundry for weeks.

We ate a lot of sandwiches and packaged meals when my kids were between 1 and 2.5.  No one had the energy to cook.  I hired a cleaning service to come twice a month because babies = nasty floors, and no one had the energy to clean them.  We hired a lawn service too.  All those things that most Mustachians don't do...it was a lifesaver in those days.  I think we did our own laundry, but it's all a haze.

If you can arrange it, work at home a few days a week.  That helps both reduce your exposure to germ-carrying humans (except the adorable toddler who spews germs all over you), AND it reduces stress because you have time for doctor's appointments or an extra hour of sleep.

My son had constant ear infections from 1 - 3.5 years old (when he finally got tubes), and when he had one he insisted on being held. I learned to type pretty well with one hand so I could work while I was home with him.  I hadn't realized how much his hearing and speech development was affected until he was older and qualified for speech therapy.   I hope tubes do make a difference for your child.

crhart2

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #46 on: March 20, 2019, 09:31:55 PM »
We will get through this!  Thanks again for your help!
« Last Edit: May 04, 2019, 09:13:39 AM by crhart2 »

reeshau

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #47 on: March 21, 2019, 03:44:46 AM »
Especially as a mechanical engineer, it looks very feasible to build the skills necessary to get a web development (and then software development) job.  People are getting jobs at my local bootcamp in Lexington, KY, but I donít want to spend the $12k.  My plan get the severance package and train hard over the next 6 months. 

Don't forget to pay attention to / ask for job re-training as part of the layoff package.  They might pay you to switch!

I work as a engineering manager in a factory.  I donít know how it'd be possible for me to work part-time.  I guess I can ask, but I donít think thatíll be well received. 

Does your plant work 6 or 7 days a week?  Could you be "the weekend guy?" If they could save on overtime for the full-timers, it could be a great fit.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2019, 07:57:53 AM by reeshau »

Tass

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #48 on: March 21, 2019, 09:12:00 AM »
By my understanding, lots of people are told no when they ask for part-time, until they respond "Okay, I'll quit." Then there's somehow a new way to work it out.

Don't do this if you aren't actually willing to quit, obviously.

Villanelle

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Re: Need Help to Avoid Divorce & Improve Family Well-being
« Reply #49 on: March 21, 2019, 11:04:46 AM »
Instead of "seeing" if you get the layoff package, if you think that's a good option for you, actively let it be known that if more layoffs happen, you are interested.  There is risk here because they may be less willing to negotiate on the package and if you don't like it, you are kind of stuck.  (If you know any of those laid off in prior rounds, talk to them about their package, whether it's what was offered or if they negotiated into it, etc.)

Would you want to SAH *and* have your wife go part time?  (And when I say "you", I mean it in the plural sense--as a plan both you and your wife have discussed and generally agree to.  It's still not entirely clear how much of what you posted is just you, vs. how much has been discussed with your wife.)  If not, I wouldn't have her bring this up until your figure out the next round of layoffs.  But when she does, she can bring it up as a temporary thing, assuming you guys feel that will be sufficient.  If she's just having trouble adjusting and present it to her boss as a temporary situation, and one to which she is willing to attache a hard end date, that might be more palatable.  "My family is really struggling right now with adjusting to the baby and illness.  If I could go down to 4 days/week, 32 hours, that would really give us some breathing room and after 8 weeks of that, I'd be prepared to come back to full time."