Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Day Care

This is not about the great debate - stay at home, work out of the house.... It's about finances.
There are some realities in my world. Regardless of my preference, I will be going back to work in the fall.
This really is good timing to be pregnant though, for a teacher. I get to have the baby in May and then have two full months off without missing work (but remember, teachers don't get paid for summer!) but then mid-august, I'm going back. Here is my debate.
Full time?
Part time?
You'd think this would be an easy answer, but it's not.
You want some numbers? I'll give you numbers.
My district is amazing. They have a day care center that runs concurrent with the school year calendar, so you're not paying for days that you aren't working. HOWEVER, they insist that everyone is enrolled 5 days a week for a full day each day. So that means that even if I have a 60% job contract that I will be paying for a 100% daycare. HOw much is that said day care? 51 dollars per day. Each month has varying amounts of work days depending on holidays, but that means that some months have 23 work days in it. Do your own math to find that this is a LOT of money. So if I work part time, then a huge chunk of my paycheck is going to day care that I wouldn't even be using all of! I'd work say from 8-12, but be paying for day care from 7-4.
Strike that idea.
Option 2, work full time. Yes, daycare would be a big expense, but we would certainly be able to afford it if I was full time. But then from 7-4, I am away from baby girl awesomeness. And tired when I got home. And not excited about cleaning/cooking/running to the grocery store - but I would have a good attitude that this is only temporary and an AMAZING problem to have.
Option 3 - work either full or part time and try to work our moms into sharing duty of watching the baby. My mom just decided last week that she is going to retire from teaching. She is an amazing woman but I feel like it's not fair. It's a huge burden to put on her, so we are thinking about sharing that with DH's mom. But DH's mom is not so much in good health. She would be fine watching an infant, but as soon as we had a mobile human on our hands, there really is some legitiment cause for concern.
PLUS, (some of you may hate me for saying this), but if I work full time and then the grandma's watch the baby, I think I feel like I'm not actually raising the kid. It's one thing to be part time, and have grandma's watch baby, but to be full time, that's about 9 hours a day that this child is going to get to bond with them and not me. So do you know what's in my heart of hearts? If i were to work full time, I would want the child in the day care. I feel like it's more reliable, it's not as big of a burden on the grandparents, so they would be more willing to watch the baby at other times (like for fabulous weekend get away trips with DH later on, or just date nights...). But working part time I wouldn't mind them watching the baby. Asking for 4 hours is different than asking for 9 hours.

This is our new debate. This is a wonderful problem to have, and I have not lost perspective of this. This baby girl has lots of people clammering to watch her. Everyone is ready to love her. But I hate my reality of having to work. But that's not something to lament. I'm just glad we have the options God has given us, and we're thinking that this is totally going to be worth it. I'm so ready to meet this little girl (but of course, hopefully not for at least 14-16 more weeks!).

If you made it this far reading, than you deserve a treat. Go do yourself a solid for me.


Lisa said...

I had the same problem when I thought I was going to go back to work. It's a very hard decision.

Courtney said...

Very tough decision. Am I running the numbers correctly that daycare would cost you about a thousand a month??!! Yikes!! I find it hard to believe that you could make a lot of profit working part-time with that expense. I guess you could work full-time but then you really miss out on time with your sweet baby. I guess if I woke up in your shoes I would probably consider working part-time with the grandmothers taking care of your baby.
And please don't get mad at me for saying this...but are you sure you have to go back? Really take a hard look to see if there is any way you could stay at home. Several things to think about...how much more income taxes will you have to pay per year when you add in your salary (will it put you into the next tax bracket?). Gas, more medical sick visits for baby (if you choose daycare), more takeout/restaurant meals, childcare...it adds up. We figured out that on a mid-30K salary that we would just about break even compared to me staying at home. Again please don't get upset...I'm just trying to think of ideas! Car payments? Do you have any? Could you live with one reliable car and a clunker or downgrade both cars? We have definitely had to make sacrifices, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

erin said...

I completely understand where you are coming from. I am so lucky to be able to stay at home right now. However, with my first I was not able to. We, too, have very loving parents who were willing to watch our son and save us the expense of daycare. However, I struggled with dealing with DH's mother. On the other side, though, daycare is SUCH an expense. What is comes down to is that baby girl gets loving, competent care. It is clear that is your priority and will be the end result no matter what.

PJ said...

I'm so happy to be having my babies during the summer also! It was perfect timing. I'll still do some maternity leave at the beginning of school though. Maybe a month.

I'm pretty sure that I'm going back to work full time, and so we are weighing our options too. Daunting.

It's great that you have the option of working part time!!!

The option of yours that looks best to me is, working part time for at least the first year and having the grandma's share childcare. I'd much rather have family care for my babies than someone I didn't know.

Tough decision.

Anonymous said...


I Believe in Miracles said...

i struggle with this daily.

i'm looking for a PT job. i have a fabulous set up with church friends watching her, but right now i'm working FT.

and daycare for us is $100/day. yes. OUCH.

we're sucking it up for jan, but not longterm. no longer than 1 month.

good luck making the decision! it's not easy.