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Stay at Home Dad? or daycare?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hi all! Sorry I've been so absent, but life is busy. It seems like the only time I can relax is when I'm at work.

Ross & Lilly are now 4 months old! I can't believe it! They are doing great and are such a joy! Lots of toothless grins and giggles at our house!



Last Monday was the first day of daycare. I dreaded it so much (and still do). When we went for a visit last Friday to get a tour and meet the teachers it was utter chaos! Most of the kids in their "class" are around 1 year old and walking. Kids were bawling all over the place! They also were exchanging each other's chewy toys and falling all over things. One little guy almost hit his head on a bench when he fell.

The first thing hubby and I said to another is "Are we sure we want them in daycare?"

Here's the situation... I'm the breadwinner in the family. I make about 3X what hubby makes. I also have a career that has very high potential for advancement as my company is very large. Hubby works in a hospital laboratory as a manager over the blood bank department. He could probably go up the chain if he jumped to other hospitals or if the one or two higher managers resign or retire. The cost of daycare for twin infants would eat half of his paycheck.

He is currently thinking about quitting and staying at home, but is so hesitant about it. I guess I don't get it. I know if the roles were reversed I wouldn't even think twice about it. To be honest I know it is a ton of work and can get pretty mind dulling staying at home. But it is much better than the alternative - daycare.

I think it comes down to stereotypes and the male ego. Let's face it - a lot of people still think of the man in the household as the primary income earner. I'm living in the midwest where these stereotypes hold pretty true.

I don't have time to get into all the details, but does anyone have any personal advice or can relate? Does the daycare thing get better? Any other alternatives (I know a nanny might be an option, but I know I'd dread having someone in my house... and there are other issues with that.)

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • SLIMCRUISER
    I have been a home based child care provider for 38 years now. I love it, and for the most part things go smoothly. (There are the moments...sometimes seems like hours when every child is miserable and crying.) It can be very overwhelming for new parents to visit a day care when it is "in full swing"....what seems like chaos to you probably wasn't really. There is always a lot going on!
    In my program now I have a family with 2 toddlers who have a stay at home dad. They started part time day care when they were 15 months old.(2 full days) The dad worked part time week ends and a couple of evenings during the stay at home time. Could your husband work part time? Would he lose his seniority/managerial position if he took a long leave? Would it be fairly easy to get back in at the level he's at now? Can you work less days a week for a few more months?
    This dad also started a "stay at home dads" community support group. 3 or 4 dads get together with the kids once a week and do things like the children's museum....or picnics...or local events. They support each other and help each other out with parenting issues!
    To answer your first question...day care DOES get easier once you get to know the providers and other parents. Maybe a part time day care center or family day care would be a better option for you IF he can work part time. Good luck with your decision.
    Patty
    ps...one more thing, kids thrive when they are with other kids...they are social beings and with quality care they become happy, healthy, confident, independent children ready for school.

    3046 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/7/2012 1:15:09 PM
  • LUCKYDUCK2
    I had to first go back and catch up with your other blogs. :)
    First..CONGRATS on the birth of your two beautiful babyjoys. :) They are so precious.

    My daughter took six months off her job with maternity leave to care for my new Grandson. Now, both she and Jon are at work, and like you...Daycare was just not an option. We Grandmas take turns watching little Riddick and love every minute with him. The kids to bring him to our homes to watch. Do you have family who you could "hire" ?

    I would be hesitant with Daycare also because of all the illnesses the children share to easily.

    I see nothing wrong with your husband staying home to watch your children. It is your family and your decision. The question is...when he goes back into the workforce...will he be able to get a job in his chosen field again and will he start at the bottom again?

    You said there are many issues to address about bringing someone into your home. Can those be resolved?

    I think one of you staying home is good and my second choice would be a Nanny with a hidden camera involved.
    3082 days ago
  • WILSON425
    My thoughts are a smaller private daycare. Not as much chaos and germ swapping. And hold off as long as possible. Do you want to hear about their 1st steps or see it? I did not have a choise. As a single Mom I was the only bread winner.Best of luck with the little cuties!
    3084 days ago
  • THINRONNA
    You have just the cutest darn babies ever!!!! I just had to get that out first!!!

    So...here is very different from there. Both men and women take time off. One person gets a year off(either the Mom or the Dad each family chooses but it is usually the Mom) So there is none of that stereo type here. In fact, our next door neighbor just got done with her year and now her husband is taking about 9 months off to be with their baby. They will have her in day care this fall. Their thoughts on it are this...this time happens only once and the opportunity to take time off for their baby is now and he wanted to do it...to enjoy the experience and live in the moment knowing that work will always be there.

    Now twins may be a little different! I cannot imagine! My kids were a little older when they went to daycare...Quin was 6 months and crawling...Liam was 18 months. Quin has spent time in our lives both in and our of daycare and does well either way. Liam NEEDS daycare! lol! He is so much happier in daycare and was such a bored, unhappy person alot of the time, with out it. So I think it depends on the child.

    Good luck with this. Either way you guys go, I do believe you will all adjust...we have lived in so many situations and I have to say our kids seem OK so far!

    Thanks for posting the pic! Enjoy the time...it will fly by! emoticon
    3084 days ago
  • 180IN2012
    First your babies are adorable. My little guy is almost 4 months old too! I'd suggest avoiding daycare or delaying it if you can. I'm taking a 5 year break from my career, and when he is in kindergarten I'll start looking for a day job again.

    There is a big gap between my children and I really enjoy the time I get to spend with him now. We had a few issues with daycares. More illnesses. Unexplained bumps and bruises. The usual. But to me if you don't know how they got hurt you weren't really watching them.

    Perhaps telling him he has the chance to make a huge impact in his children's lives, and he gets to be superdad will help. Also if you live in a bigger city look for Dad Groups. We have a few here in town. SAHD who meet up, chat, and have Dad's nights out too. They take the kids to the park, movies, car shows, horseback riding, etc. I sometimes join them because my son seems to like their activities better than the ones I choose =p
    3084 days ago
  • PRETTYLILHEFFER
    I don't have kids of my own, but I did work in a daycare for quite a long time. I am a firm believer in center day cares! Things do get nuts though, but that happens. I would still keep them in if you want. Maybe check out some other centers in your area. Keep the options open!
    3084 days ago
  • no profile photo CD9148934
    I worked in a daycare (between the infant and toddler rooms), and if you can delay putting your cuties in daycare, I definitely suggest it! It would break my heart to see such little ones being dropped off for such long days. This is the time in their lives that you really see huge changes, and you might miss out on that if half of their day is spent in other people's care. Just a thought :) Best of luck with your decision!
    3084 days ago
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