Today my co-workers took a sudden interest in my plans for post maternity leave baby care. Senior designer, who was a stay at home dad for 5 years commented that he couldn't imagine leaving a 4 month old in day care. The single 25 year old ladies chimed in that they couldn't imagine it either, the horror - a 4 month old in day care. The single guy had no comment.
My boss has been insisting for years that I convince husband to be a stay at home dad. He hasn't brought it up lately, for which I'm grateful.
It's all so awkward; obviously in a perfect world all women might want to be a stay at home mom but I'm afraid that by choosing to live in South Florida and owning a home during the worst housing market of my lifetime which prevents selling and moving seem to indicate I will be a working mom. I'm not upset or depressed with this idea; I seem to have always had a firm grip on reality and I do the best with the hand I'm dealt.
My only idea so far is to ask my boss for "work from home Friday's" and have husband take off Thursday's so thus reducing day care to 3 days. Beyond this my baby plans are limited to putting together a baby registry. I promised husband I would do this tonight but have instead spent the evening reading favorite blogs and writing my own. Guess I best be working on that registry or my complaints about husband's absent mindedness towards household chores will fall on deaf ears.
One of the worse things about having a baby is that EVERYbody has an opinion. On daycare. On breastfeeding. On a pacifier - yes, or no? On the buggy (sorry, stroller) you choose. And so on. I will keep mine to myself - and just tell you what we actually did with our first.
We did a nanny share. I teamed up with a like-minded new mom I met at antenatal classes (frankly, the main reason I did them), and we employed a nanny together, to look after both our babies at the same time. Every month she spent two weeks at our house, and then two weeks at theirs, thus splitting the burden of travelling and providing nappies etc. It worked reasonably well for 18 months, by which time we both felt our kids were ready for day care, and in the event they even ended up at the same nursery.
It was great for the kids, because it meant they had a sibling on-tap, and great for us, because it reduced the cost but still meant we had control of the situation. Not so great for the nanny - quite hard work - but she lasted the distance and 3 years later, Boy #1 is due to be a part of her wedding, so clearly we are still on good terms.
I can recommend it - but whatever you end up doing, do it because it feels right to you, not your co-workers, some nut on the blog, or your mother & mother-in-law...
Wow that sounds like a really great idea. I really appreciate that you shared this with me.
You do what you have to do. I stayed home because it made sense, not out of any "we can't put a baby in day care" feeling. In fact, the deciding factor in whether or not I was going to stay home this year was that the day care we were waitlisted on didn't have any openings by the time my wife went back to work. Had they been able to take our 5 month old you can bet I wouldn't be an at-home dad right now. I love it, and don't regret it, but it wasn't my first choice for how to spend this year.
Hi Backpacking Dad - thanks for sharing your reasons for staying home. I have to admit, I'm always curious as to what motivates people to make their stay at home decisions. I'm constantly told "your mindset will change the instant your baby is born" and this is mindboggling because how can I anticipate an unknown emotion??? Anyway, thanks again for sharing.
I think to each his own. You have to do what is best for your child. As someone who has known you for almost 18 years, I can't even see you staying at home with your baby. I mean that in no offense. You can take the pressure of a ton of stuff (kudos to you!), but I am not sure you would be able to deal with staying at home with her 24/7. I think you would get bored and restless. How is that good for her? It isn't.
I felt like I was always meant to stay at home with my kids, but I still get bored and restless too.
I think you will be more appreciative of your baby girl with the time you will spend with her. As long as you set your daughter above work and do what's best with her, timewise, I think daycare will work fine for your family. Just find a daycare that makes your ideals about raising her a priority and you shouldn't feel guilty.
When people ask about things that are none of their business, just tell them that you Mike are doing what's best for your family and don't entertain their nosy questions anymore. Even your boss. That's kinda of audacious of them to be asking anyhow.
I love your experience Crazy Wild Berry! I'm new at this and not used to anyone having opinions about my personal choices except family and they have been completely quiet through the entire thing! Anyway, Husband and I have a secret plan that we are working on and it might be a great compromise to day care. Stay tuned.
Hey, anytime! I will be anxious to hear what your "secret plan" is. Sounds exciting already! LOL! I will stay tuned! :D
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