Author Topic: SAHM or Continue Working???  (Read 42139 times)

COlady

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #100 on: August 22, 2014, 10:06:22 AM »
I'm really disappointed - we just had a meeting at work and they said they're adding a provision to this year's bonuses (to be received in Sept. 2014) that if you leave before June 30, 2015 you have to pay it back. I'm expecting my bonus to be around $20,000.  I also have a signing bonus of $7,500 that I will have to pay back if I leave before June 30, 2015.  It's frustrating because I've worked really hard at this company.  They did say that they can use their discretion to decide in which instances the money must be paid back (small, privately owned company).  Hopefully they'll decide that my situation doesn't warrant pay back assuming I don't go back.  I've never had something going on in my life (twins) that puts so much up in the air.

My due date (40 weeks) is March 29th.  My doctor said she will not let me go to 40 weeks and that they'll induce or do a C section at 38 weeks but that most woman usually go into spontaneous labor around 36-37 weeks. This puts me at around February 28th.  And I probably can't work up until I give birth.  From everything I've read online I'll probably be huge and super uncomfortable and want to throw the towel in on work around week 30 (January 15th). So assuming I stop working around 32 weeks (could be a stretch) or January 31st, three months of FMLA would put me at about May 1st or two months short of the June 30th deadline.

Is this one of those times in life where you say "it's just money"? Quite frankly this stresses me out.  If you read the first post you can see that we're doing fine financially and that we don't "need" the money per se but $27,500 is a lot of money  to give back to your employer.

COlady

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #101 on: August 22, 2014, 10:12:52 AM »
Oh I forgot to add....they did say that if you get fired then you don't have to pay the money back. I'd rather not get fired.  If I tell them I'm not sure whether I'm coming back or not (because I'm really not sure at this point) and then tell them at the end of 12 weeks of FMLA that I need more time and they say they can't grant me that time, is that classified as me being "fired" or is that me resigning by not coming back?

We are supposed to get a document in the next week the spells out the rules about payback so maybe that document will spell out the rules better.

COlady

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #102 on: August 22, 2014, 11:08:17 AM »
Further questions...if you can't tell I'm about to have an all out anxiety meltdown.

Iím a huge planner (and as I thought I knew but really didnítÖyou canít plan out a pregnancy). I got pregnant at what I thought was the absolute most ideal time for my work projects. My 12 weeks of maternity leave would hit at our slowest time of the year and I would put practically no dent in the operations of our department.  I could then decide whether or not I want to go back but regardless I wouldn't be leaving my department in a pickle because the most important part of my job would be done. Then I find out itís twins, which I am really happy about and I do feel really blessed. The doctor said I need to be ready for anything at 30 weeks, which takes more than 2 months away from the time I have to work on my part of our annual deadline huge project. Iím confident that I can get it done by 30 weeks (Iím 9 weeks now) if I let my supervisors know whatís going on now. They need to push on other departments to get the information I need expedited. I do not have the authority to do this myself or I would.

Is there any reason you would advise against letting my supervisors (and only my supervisors, not the entire company) know now that Iím pregnant with twins at only 9 weeks? If something goes wrong theyíll likely know anyway. I am not technically covered by FMLA because there are only 15 people in my mid-west office and the other 350 employees are on the east coast.  I asked what the maternity policy is monthly before I was pregnant and was told "There is no policy.  You will have 12 weeks off under FMLA with 6 weeks paid through STD".  I believe that I am still covered by the Pregnancy Disability Act. If I do tell my supervisors here soon should I let HR know first? Does that protect me in any way?

iamadummy

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #103 on: August 22, 2014, 11:31:24 AM »
Not sure how they can get the money back if you leave early? 

I accepted a position many years back that had a signing bonus. I was suppose to stay 12 months or I would have to pay it back.
I left after 9 months.  They stated that I had to pay it back. Never did and nothing ever came of it.

Rebecca Stapler

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #104 on: August 22, 2014, 11:37:52 AM »
Honestly, I would work the 2 months so I wouldn't lose the bonuses -- but then again I'm not FIRE-ing any time soon, and $27k would be a windfall to us.

I don't see how they can change the terms of your signing bonus after you've already accepted it.

COlady

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #105 on: August 22, 2014, 11:37:59 AM »
I signed an agreement that said that it was a loan and that the loan would be forgiven after 2 years of service and that if I quite before my 2 years of service that I would be required to pay it back.

Rebecca Stapler

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #106 on: August 22, 2014, 11:40:20 AM »
I signed an agreement that said that it was a loan and that the loan would be forgiven after 2 years of service and that if I quite before my 2 years of service that I would be required to pay it back.

Ah, I see.

firelight

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #107 on: August 22, 2014, 12:53:48 PM »
I'm in a similar situation as yours (planner, got pregnant so my leave coincides with the slowest possible time of year and now not sure if I want to stay home or go back). We are expecting in October and have decided to take it as it comes... I know how hard it is to not plan for everything but I could see the huge toll it was taking on me to run different scenarios and options. Will all that said, everyone I talk to says things change after baby comes and there is no point planning a lot in advance. So I'd say try your best for now and relax.... Worst case, they fire you and you get to keep the 27k or at least the signing bonus... Best case, you figure out an answer to your dilemma and decide to either work till the deadline or give back the money if comes to that...

firelight

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #108 on: August 22, 2014, 12:55:04 PM »
Also telling your supervisors depends on how family friendly they are... If you think they are positive, go ahead and tell them... If not, its best to wait till the doctor gives the go ahead

saralibrarian

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #109 on: August 22, 2014, 02:14:02 PM »
So if you have to work until June 30th, 2015 to get the $27,500, you really only have to go back to work for 4-6 weeks, depending on when you leave - and I know several mothers of twins who didn't have to go on bedrest or were able to work up until closer to their due dates than 30 weeks. That's well within your husband's ability to take 12 weeks for FMLA, so he could take over while you power through. I would say it's worth it, that's really not that long. Plus, that could be your "trial" time where you go back and see how you feel about it.

A couple of other points: you say your current bosses don't like kids, but that doesn't mean they will actually make your life harder for having them. You won't know until it happens, so don't borrow that trouble until you run into it. I also second the suggestions made earlier to look at other managers you might work for or seriously consider those recruiters if you want a better work-life balance. It sounds like you are very lucky in your work to be so employable and recruitable, I would leverage that as much as possible. You might find that it works best to find a new job in a lower-stress situation that pays slightly less but has more flexibility in time. And with two, I think the nanny definitely sounds like a good plan, at least at first.

You mentioned that you don't qualify for FMLA because your office is small but it's part of a larger company - I don't think it's the size of your office but the entire company that counts for what does and doesn't qualify for FMLA, but I don't know how you are structured.

I have a 4 year old and an almost 2 year-old, with number three just barely on the way (April, if everything sticks). I have worked the entire time other than maternity leave and I feel like I'm a better person and mom when I'm working - everyone's life is more structured, I get frustrated less, am more patient, and my kids have learned incredible things that I would never have thought to teach them as a stay at home mom. Plus, I am able to do great things at work that are very fulfilling - I recognize that's not the case with everyone, so it's a big factor in why I like my current arrangement.

I second those who say just wait and see, now is not the time to make any big decisions - you have had enough change thrown at you! Even though with twins it's coming up faster, you still have a LOT of time to think and decide. Save, save, save, and keep your options open. Don't let pregnancy hormonal emotions get to you!

Congratulations on the twins (my husband would flip if that happened to us in a few weeks when we get the first ultrasound, I can't even imagine!) and it will all work out!


Cassie

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #110 on: August 22, 2014, 02:39:49 PM »
I would definitely work the short amount of time to get that much $.  Good luck with the pregnancy and congrats on having twins! 

Freedom2016

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #111 on: August 22, 2014, 03:15:40 PM »
Congratulations on the twins! Wow!

I'm going to echo several things others have said:

--Go back to work after mat leave to hit that June deadline. Agree that it's not a lot of time, and would be a good road test of how you feel being back in the workplace.
--DO NOT mention daycare costs as any kind of justification for a raise - particularly given your non-kid-friendly bosses. Get an offer from a competing company and use THAT to make your economic case. (You could also benchmark the salaries of the other high-paid folks in your office to demonstrate that there is a clear pattern of your firm paying x% more than the market avg, and if you provide comparable value you should also be paid similarly.) I once supervised a guy who asked me for a raise "because he needed more money." That is the hardest internal eyeroll I think I've ever made. It wasn't connected to one SHRED of business value he brought to the table. Needless to say he didn't get the raise, AND he lost my respect.
--I haven't seen you comment at all on the idea of DH staying home with babies? I'm a little baffled why that doesn't seem to be on the table, especially since you earn almost identical salaries but you have way better perks and it sounds like more career/financial potential?

To share our experience: DH and I both worked, earning comparable salaries (~$100k each) when DS was born 2 years ago. I stayed home for 4 months (unpaid), then DS went to an in-home daycare as I went back to work. Excellent experience with the caregivers there and I felt much less angst than I expected to about our arrangement.

About a year ago I got a big client opportunity across the country and it just made sense for DH to leave his job. It was clear at that point that my job is the one with much more income potential, plus I enjoy it more than DH liked his work. So DH has been a full-time SAH parent to our toddler for about 10 months now and this arrangement is working really, really well for us. So much so that, although we envisioned this as a 1-year experiment after which time DH would go back to work, we think we're going to keep this going when #2 is born in October.

COlady

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #112 on: August 22, 2014, 03:37:25 PM »
Here's an integral part of the FMLA regulation that many people aren't aware of. I wasn't aware of it until a couple weeks ago.  Do I think my company will let me go during my 12 weeks? No.  Can they? Yes.

Employer has 50 or more employees within 75 miles of your jobsite.


Regarding my husband being a SAHD - - We've talked about it and it doesn't make sense for a number of reasons:

He's an electrical engineer (electronics) with 6 years of experience.  He's getting glowing reviews and working his way up quickly. His earning potential is much higher than mine as I really have no desire to be in a position higher than the one I'm currently in.  I like people reviewing my work. I have no desire to be "the guy".

Also, in his field it would be much harder for him to work part time to keep his foot in the door like I can do.  I know that I can find a job anytime I want another one, he on the other hand probably wouldn't have the same luck.

Hopefully all goes well with the delivery etc. and the babies don't have extensive medical costs after their birth that are not covered by my health insurance.  If this is not the case then we'd obviously have to re-evaluate.

COlady

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #113 on: August 22, 2014, 03:41:21 PM »
Oh and Sara, congratulations on the new one! I hope everything goes well, I know how scary it can be in the beginning.

Freedom2016

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #114 on: August 22, 2014, 03:46:35 PM »
Here's an integral part of the FMLA regulation that many people aren't aware of. I wasn't aware of it until a couple weeks ago.  Do I think my company will let me go during my 12 weeks? No.  Can they? Yes.

Employer has 50 or more employees within 75 miles of your jobsite.


Regarding my husband being a SAHD - - We've talked about it and it doesn't make sense for a number of reasons:

He's an electrical engineer (electronics) with 6 years of experience.  He's getting glowing reviews and working his way up quickly. His earning potential is much higher than mine as I really have no desire to be in a position higher than the one I'm currently in.  I like people reviewing my work. I have no desire to be "the guy".

Also, in his field it would be much harder for him to work part time to keep his foot in the door like I can do.  I know that I can find a job anytime I want another one, he on the other hand probably wouldn't have the same luck.

Hopefully all goes well with the delivery etc. and the babies don't have extensive medical costs after their birth that are not covered by my health insurance.  If this is not the case then we'd obviously have to re-evaluate.

Fair enough - thanks for elaborating.

(I will pick only mildly on your comment "I don't want to be 'the guy.'" I realize this was more of an afterthought than a central driver of your decision, but it caught my eye. Due to how I was raised (traditional gender roles) I used to be quite uncomfortable with the thought of being the primary bread winner. But, turns out, it plays better to both of our strengths to throw out the stereotypes and gender expectations, and just do what works for us.)

tweezers

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #115 on: August 22, 2014, 05:12:34 PM »
They could legally fire you while on FMLA, but from a sex/disability discrimination lawsuit perspective it would be highly unlikely they would do so.  I know there are fewer than 50 people in your office, but company-wide there are 350+.  Given that, its almost a certainty that they consult with an in-house or retained lawyer before all dismissals (for whatever reason).  Any HR lawyer would flag firing a postpartum employee while on maternity leave as pretty much inviting a lawsuit.

With that said, I too am a planner and it was super challenging to let go of what I couldn't control.  I had singletons, which I know is completely different than twin pregnancies, but I worked right up to both of their births (my water broke at the office at 41 weeks with my first....good excuse to bail out of that conference call!).  My best friend has two sets of twins and she went to 36-37 weeks with both (and was still working right up to when she had her first set).  I know anecdotes mean nothing, but what I'm saying is that its all an unknown for you too despite the statistics.  Given that, planning as much as you can with an adaptive management mindset will help immensely.   

If I were in your shoes I would proceed with the mindset of working as long as possible before the babies are born, and once you get closer to your due date and a better idea of what that time frame will look like, I would try to find a caregiver to look after your little ones for the time between the end of your expected maternity leave and the June 30 date for being vested in your bonus.  Even if it costs more than a long term caregiver, it won't be $27K.

Good luck.

PS.  I second course11 on your "be the guy" comment.  I have a daughter and a son, and I am the sole wage earner in our family (my husband stays home with them).  Its my feeling that gender stereotypes need need to be tossed.

COlady

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #116 on: August 22, 2014, 05:34:32 PM »
"The guy" comment wasn't taken as intended. What I meant was that I have no desire to advance much further than I am in my career. I don't want to be the responsible party to sign tax returns, etc. I take comfort in the fact that my work is reviewed and that if it's wrong for some reason it's not me who will be held accountable. I didn't mean it like I have no desire to be the breadwinner.

lhamo

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #117 on: August 22, 2014, 06:13:44 PM »
First of all, congratulations!

Second, take some deep breaths.  You'll be fine no matter how this works out.

Third, does your DH get any family leave, and if so how much?  If so, he could potentially cover for awhile if you had to go back for a short time to retain the bonus.

One other option to consider, if your company would allow it, would be to go back on a PT basis slightly earlier than you would if you took all your family leave at once.  That is how DH and I handled it when our first was born.  I think I took 6 weeks off full time, then went back 2 days a week for a couple of months, then 3 days a week, etc.  He only took a couple of days off right after the birth, and then used the rest of his leave to cover my work days.  My mom also came to help right after the birth, and then she and my sister came again when DH had to make a work trip/go bring his parents back.  They watched our son for the next 6 months. 

It sounds to me like it might be a good idea to share the news with your work now so that you can be sure your big project is covered in case you need to be out early.  I think most employers would appreciate having the advanced notice.  This would also give you the opportunity to speak with HR and figure out what the options REALLY are in terms of leave.  Be sure you understand how they define FMLA, short-term disability and long-term disability.  I really short-changed myself because I thought that I only had 12 weeks max of leave, so I busted my butt and kept working right up until the last workday before DS was born.  He was breech and I went through a lot of hell those last few weeks trying to get him to turn, with tons of appointments with different types of people and an attempt at an external version that was more painful/traumatic than my eventual c-section.  It wasn't until my last appointment with my midwife when we scheduled the c-section with the OB she worked with that she told me she could have approved me for disability leave any time, and that it wouldn't have affected how much time I could take after the birth.  Maybe that is something wierd with NY leave and disability policies, but my point is you should be asking people what the options are and not assuming you understand how all the different types of leave work and coordinate together. 

Also consider whether unpaid leave is an option for you at any point, and figure out what the tradeoff would be between that and paying back the bonus. 

Oh, and one other thing -- I tend to be a "hope for the best, plan for the worst" kind of person myself, but if you are in good health and physical condition you may be able to work much longer than you think.  You just never know.

Good luck working it out and keep posting your updates.

rujancified

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #118 on: August 25, 2014, 11:11:24 AM »
I don't know much about FMLA, but do you get any extra time for having multiples?

COlady

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #119 on: August 25, 2014, 01:56:33 PM »
My husband and I talked about all of this over the weekend and we're thinking that he will probably take FMLA time (he works for a large publicly traded company) so that I'm able to go back to work and keep my bonuses. His leave won't be paid but it won't cost $27.5k so we'll come out ahead.  Maybe our parents will be available to help out for a bit too. Who knows, maybe I love being back at work.

Regarding additional time off for having multiples - no your employer is not required  by law to give you additional time. My employer might choose to be nice and give me additional time but they aren't required to.






COlady

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #120 on: September 04, 2014, 10:49:47 AM »
I've been pretty stressed out about this bonus stuff. I really don't want to pay the bonuses back but the stress of knowing that I might (assuming my company doesn't say "don't worry about it", which they might) have to if I don't go back to work for 4 - 6 weeks after the babies are born is stressing me out.  I don't know how I'm going to feel at that time.  Both my parents and my ILs keep telling me that I need to quite worrying so much about the money and that we're just fine (they know we make good money and that we save but they don't know hard numbers). I told them that it's around $30k that I would have to pay back.  When I suggested that my husband might watch the babies for 4 - 6 weeks while I go back to work I could tell my MIL did not agree with this (because that means I would not be exclusively breastfeeding).  My father said I need to quit worrying about money, my job now is to take really good care of these babies.

Both of our parents are very smart about money and are setup pretty well for retirement.  What am I missing here?  I think $30k is a significant amount of money, enough to make special arrangements and sacrifices for.  Unless they want to give us the $30k, I don't see myself not working the 4 - 6 weeks if I'm required to. I wouldn't feel right taking $30k from either set of parents even if they offered it.  I honestly wouldn't be over the moon surprised if my husband's parents offered it to us.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2014, 11:31:20 AM by COlady »

Cressida

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #121 on: September 04, 2014, 11:03:20 AM »
So first you want to manipulate your employer into giving you a giant raise by threatening to quit, and now you want to manipulate your in-laws into giving you $30K by threatening to go back to work and not breastfeed? Look, not everything in life is handed to you just because you're awesome. Just deal with your circumstances in the way that seems best and quit the shenanigans. Frankly, if your in-laws are that generous, I'm not sure why you're even on this forum.

firelight

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #122 on: September 04, 2014, 11:07:56 AM »
COlady, I can understand where your parents are coming from. Trust me, right now all the stress you are feeling is affecting your baby. Is any decision about the bonus worth it to harm your kid? If it makes sense just choose to go back and once the kid is here, you can revisit it to make a better suited one. Even if you stress out all you want now, once the kid comes, that would throw a whole new set of issues into it. So for now, choose what makes sense now and then revisit later.  So stressing too much about anything when pregnant.

I know its hard to give up control but we can't control everything in pregnancy.

COlady

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #123 on: September 04, 2014, 11:21:03 AM »
Cressida, apparently your reading comprehension could use some work because I said "EVEN IF THEY OFFERED IT TO US WHICH I WOULDN'T BE SURPRISED IF THEY DID, I WOULD NOT FEEL COMFORTABLE TAKING THE MONEY FROM THEM".  If you have nothing helpful to say then don't say anything at all. I feel bad for you - you must be a miserable person.

Cutenila, thank you for the response. This is probably what they're trying to tell me and I appreciate hearing it from a neutral party. Hearing it from your parents is so different. I need to chill the heck out. What will happen will happen. I don't know why I've yet to figure out that you can't plan this stuff. I've planned my whole life out and it's worked great so far....until now :).

firelight

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #124 on: September 04, 2014, 11:35:27 AM »
COlady, you're welcome. I hear ya about being a planner and it working out great. I'm in the same boat as you and am expecting my first soon. I was super stressed over daycare options and other stuff but have finally chosen a workable solution and made peace. I know the one I've chosen is still not the best choice but that is the best I can think of right now. There are too many unknowns that thinking through all would just make us go crazy.... And on the end, nothing is anyways going to work out exactly the way we plan it when it comes to kids. Guess we have to start getting used to being less of planners when it comes to our kids and wing it when needed.

Hannah

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #125 on: September 04, 2014, 11:59:10 AM »
1. Congratulations on twins!
2. Remember that you have 12 weeks from the time you go on FMLA to make decisions, so you have plenty of time to change your mind no matter what decision you make.
3. Remote work has been great for me- could it work for you?

Would you be willing to bring up the possibility of remote work with your manager?

It would be awesome to get the FMLA clock ticking as late as possible, such as the day of your scheduled C-Section, then you could spend the entire 12 weeks with the twins recovering.

Considering that its twins, you could request remote work after they are born as well for a bit of additional recovery time (do hire a work in home nanny during this time though). This would get you to the end of your required time period and you could quit or you might decide to stay on full time.


rujancified

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #126 on: September 04, 2014, 12:01:31 PM »
Oh, CoLady! The whole situation sounds incredibly stressful. The intersection of family & money can be so trying and I'm sorry to hear that the parentals may be adding to the stress.

Your stress seems to come from not being able to predict how you'll feel about returning to work once the babies are here. That's fair and valid, because there's no way of knowing for sure how you'll feel. But concerns over breastfeeding v formula and FMLA for your husband are a) putting the cart before the horse and b) no one else's business outside of you and your husband.

My advice can be taken with a boulder of salt, because I don't have kids (and I don't know your family dynamics), but can you take a step back from sharing future plans with extended family? Are you asking for or receiving unsolicited advice?  Family is important to me as well, but I don't traffic in unsolicited advice from them anymore I do a stranger on the street. A firm "Husband and I will sort that out when the time comes" is a gentle way to tell everyone to butt out.

FWIW, I would go back to work for 4-6 weeks for 30k (again, take a look at that boulder of salt over there!). I'd also meet with an attorney to make sure there was no way around not paying it back first.

Very best of luck to you.

Argyle

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #127 on: September 04, 2014, 12:34:39 PM »
First of all, don't worry about being stressed!  Every pregnant woman feels some stress, because there are so many decisions to make and yet so much that is out of anyone's control.  So do not worry that you are hurting the babies by being stressed.  Being stressed is the human condition.  That said, obviously it's more comfortable for you if you can get as many things pinned down as possible.

I agree with not sharing plans with extended family any more.  For some reason everyone wants to put their oar in about childraising.  Whether it's breastfeeding, strollers, baby yoga, disposable diapers vs. cloth, SAHMs vs. salaried mothers, daycare, preschool, educational toys, plastic toys, wooden toys, Disney, TV, computer screens, video games... It is endless.  You just have to close your ears and say "We're doing what's right for us," with a look of "Case closed."  Childraising seems to bring out the interfering self-righteous busybody in much of the population.  Even your own parents or in-laws don't get to say what's right for you.  They had their turn, and these are your children.

Any mustachian would see that $30,000 as worth working to get.  If something comes up that makes it unfeasable, well and good ó it's not a loss you could never recover from.  But if it does indeed turn out to be only 4-6 weeks of work that you'll be in a good condition to do, it would be a shame to leave it on the table.  I'd love for my parents to have deposited $15,000 in a college fund for me at birth!  And you'll be able to do it twice!

I think part of the situation is that you'll just have to proceed step by step, making decisions as you go.  Best of luck!

historienne

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #128 on: September 04, 2014, 12:39:27 PM »
When I suggested that my husband might watch the babies for 4 - 6 weeks while I go back to work I could tell my MIL did not agree with this (because that means I would not be exclusively breastfeeding).

Along the lines of "don't borrow trouble" - you don't know right now what your breastfeeding situation will be anyway.  You might have one or both babies need formula supplementation anyway.  You might be a terrific overproducer, so that it's easy to pump as much as both your babies need.  You just can't know in advance, so I would not make this a deciding factor. 

I'd also go back for long enough to get the bonus, both for the money and because it will allow you to get a better sense of how you feel about working.  Plus, I think that having some time with Dad as the primary caretaker is GREAT for setting you two up for equally shared parenting in the long run.  Especially if you do end up staying home, it will help him to know that he is just as capable of being the primary parent as you are.

Final, unsolicited advice: y'all have money to throw at this problem.  Twins can be rough (from what my friends say; I've only had one baby at a time).  I'd think about looking for a mother's helper to come in during your maternity/paternity leaves to help out at least part time.  That might also give you a sense of how your babies would do with a nanny or in daycare.  Most importantly, you'd have time to take a shower, and backup for when both babies seem to be crying at once.  If you find a good person, you could even upgrade her to nanny if you do decide you want to stay at work.  I know this is not really the board for "spend more money" advice, but for me, this is what all the frugality is for - having enough money to save my sanity when I really do need it.

Oh, and cross-posting, yeah, the research on stress effects on babies is from cases like women in refugee camps or abusive relationships.  The level of stress you are dealing with sucks for you, but is not likely to have an impact on your baby's development. 

yoga mama

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #129 on: September 04, 2014, 12:55:38 PM »
I highly highly recommend going back to work for those 4-6 weeks to get that bonus!  You could try to work out other arrangements, like PT or work from home - but even for a high earner, that is a lot of money.  It seems overwhelming now, I know!  I have no experience with twins but my husband is a stay at home dad for 2.5 years now, we have the 2 yo and a 10 month old and although some eyebrows were raised in my family, it has worked out very well for us.  I went back at 5 weeks with my first son (after a c section) and although it wasn't easy, it wasn't THAT big of a deal to be honest.  I never cried, especially since I knew he was home with Daddy.  My point is - you can do it, even with small babies, especially with that kind of incentive, for a few weeks before deciding that you are just done working.  I would bet that after a couple years, you would look back and those weeks will only be a small blip in your memory.  And don't let your ILs' opinion change your mind - it is YOUR family that is important. 

Regarding breast feeding - going back to work at 8-12 weeks is not incompatible with exclusive BFing, in my mind.  I guess, yeah, they might drink from a bottle instead of the boob, but many mamas exclusively pump, especially with preemies, are able to provide breast milk ONLY to their babies.  I know plenty of NICU moms who have worked hard and would be very offended at the suggestion that their infants are not EBF. :) 

Pigeon

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #130 on: September 04, 2014, 03:15:07 PM »
I've got two kids and I worked right through.  We had an awesome in-home daycare, and my kids thrived.  Frankly, I would have been bored out of my mind staying at home, and no way would the kids have had as much fun with me as they did at daycare.  They have nothing but fond memories of it, and even though they are teenagers, we still go back to visit.  So I don't buy for a minute that daycare is necessarily a bad thing.

I cannot imagine walking away from your job situation and the bonus.

One other thing you should think about is the long term effect on your social security and your earning potential if  you are out of the workforce for an extended period of time.  It may be very difficult to get a good job when you are ready to go back to work. 

As for saving so much from not working, I don't see that.  I had a long sabbatical a few years back.  I didn't find my spending changed appreciably.  I maybe spent a little less on gas, but that's about it.  I don't do expensive lunches or spend a ton on clothes.

That said, yes, there are challenges to working full time and having kids.  I actually find it harder once they got older and were involved in afterschool and evening activities.  I have very little me time.

Cressida

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #131 on: September 04, 2014, 06:58:25 PM »
Cressida, apparently your reading comprehension could use some work because I said "EVEN IF THEY OFFERED IT TO US WHICH I WOULDN'T BE SURPRISED IF THEY DID, I WOULD NOT FEEL COMFORTABLE TAKING THE MONEY FROM THEM".  If you have nothing helpful to say then don't say anything at all. I feel bad for you - you must be a miserable person.

yeah, I can tell you genuinely feel bad for me.

My reading comprehension is fine. I get a distinct vibe of entitlement from your posts. If you don't want to consider that possibility, that's of course up to you.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2014, 01:12:37 AM by Cressida »

COlady

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #132 on: July 14, 2015, 01:43:32 PM »
People asked for updates on my situation when we got it all ironed out so here goes:

The babies were born at 36 weeks (back in March) perfectly healthy at about 6 pounds each and are now about 4.5 months old.  We were in the hospital for two days and all went home together, no NICU time! Yay! My MIL stayed with us for the first 2 months which was extremely helpful with the sleepless nights.

My work has been EXTREMELY accommodating.  I ended up going out on bed rest at 31 weeks so my FMLA started 5 weeks before the babies were even born.  I worked out a great contract arrangement with them - I'm working about 20 hours per week for $75/hour, which actually works out on a salary basis to a raise for me. I've been working 3 days per week and have a nanny come to the house.  Finding a dependable, trustworthy nanny has been difficult - much more difficult than I imagined. It's so funny to read back through this thread thinking that I wanted to be a SAHM.  There's no way I could do it! I would lose my mind! I feel like part-time really is the best of both world for me. Oh and my work didn't require me to pay any of my bonuses back because I still have a relationship with the company.  I need to learn to worry a whole lot less!

Thank you everyone for all the input that you provided. It's helpful to consider what other people have been through when analyzing these types of decisions.

lhamo

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #133 on: July 14, 2015, 02:01:41 PM »
Yay!  So pleased that things went smoothly with the birth and that you found an arrangement that works for you, your family, and your employer.  Win-win-win!  Good luck keeping things balanced as the kiddos grow.  And hope you settle on a good/stable nanny situation soon.  I think finding someone part time is especially challenging.

greenleaf

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #134 on: July 14, 2015, 02:29:08 PM »
Your situations sounds good! but I agree that finding a nanny is stressful.  Since you are looking for part-time (i.e. not a professional nanny) and I'm guessing you have some flexibility to work short days, I recommend looking specifically for a SAHM (or dad, but that's rarer) whose youngest child is around 7, and who suddenly has a lot more time now that the youngest is gone most of the day. We've had two nannies that fit this description and both have been great (the first moved out of state sadly).  It can be a win-win, if you can offer "mother's hours" (8:30-3 ish).  The nanny gets a part-time job with the right hours and you get someone who is likely better educated and more experienced that many childcare workers (One of our nannies was a former elementary school teacher).

MicroRN

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #135 on: July 15, 2015, 12:25:34 AM »
So glad to hear that you and the babies are doing well, and that you have a good work situation!  The nanny-finding can be difficult because the professional nannies usually only take jobs with FT hours.  Greenleaf has a good point about looking for a SAHM, especially if you're ok with them occasionally bringing their own child when school is out.  I really understand the part-time thing - I work 24 hrs/week and it's perfect.   


yoga mama

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #136 on: July 16, 2015, 05:16:41 PM »
Congratulations!!  Thanks for the update!  I'm glad to hear that things are working out so well and that PT work is a great situation for you!

Krnten

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #137 on: July 16, 2015, 06:32:49 PM »
Congrats!  I'm so glad it's worked out so well for you.  This was a great update to read.

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: SAHM or Continue Working???
« Reply #138 on: July 16, 2015, 09:08:32 PM »
Congrats, sounds like you figured out the right answer for yourself.  We remained a 2 income household with our first, and then went SAHP when we had our second.  The intersection between finance and lifestyle is always interesting, there are no black and white answers as long as you don't go to far to an extreme (debt-wise or workaholic)...