Thursday, June 14, 2007

Day Care Part 1

I found my post on day care was getting way too long, so I split it into two parts.

I go out to lunch many days during the week. I work in a suburban area, so often there are lots of moms and kids at the restaurants I go to. Most of the time the kids are young (under 5). Most of the time it is not a mom struggling with twins.

Nonetheless, for a brief second, I get a pang. I want to be hanging out with my kids. I want to see what they're up to. I miss them. I order my food, without struggling to find high chairs (with straps) and go back to work. Where I do work and also have time to read various blogs (which I'm almost certain I'm not supposed to be doing).

We were fortunate that my husband wanted to stay home with the kids. When we were in the planning stages, he and I had talked about him staying home. That and how scandalized some of our more conservative (his and mine) families would be. Then, when we found out we were having twins, there wasn't a question about it. For the record, the conservative family members were less scandalized than we had anticipated.

For the most part, after we found out we were having two, it was a financial decision. My company only gives mothers 6 weeks off of work for a delivery, 8 weeks for c-section. While there is some matching for day care, it doesn't really cover the cost.

Which is expensive. A friend of mine kindly shared the price she paid at a local day care. She paid $225 per week for an infant. Just to give out even more financial information, that's a mortgage payment for many families. On top of that, we would be putting two babies in a day care - so double that mortgage payment. Financially, given my husband's salary, it just didn't make sense. We would be paying for him to be able to work.

Obviously, depending on the region of the country you live in, how old your kids are and whether or not the day care is licensed makes a difference.

But any way you add it up, it's expensive.

So the idea that I would or could stay home was out of the question fairly early on.

Yet I found it surprising that even in the six week haze, where the twins' weren't sleeping well, and I was recovering from child birth - there was a part of me that didn't want to go back to work. It was a little shocking.

Shocking because I knew from a young age, I wanted to have a career. More than anything, I knew what I didn't want. I didn't want to be a stay at home mormon mom like almost all the mormon women I saw growing up. Trying to feed a ton of kids, trying to keep up with the kids and not spend lots of money. For some people, this is what they want. I just knew it was not what I wanted for myself.

Just as I was almost certain I wanted to live with someone before getting married - I knew that I would probably not stay home with my kids (if I had them). It wasn't really a conscious decision. I just knew it would probably drive me crazy. I watched as staying home was very hard on my mom - who struggled with depression. The truth is, I like working outside the home. I want to further my career - there are a whole host of other reasons I won't go into, but it's really best for me.

The way the cards worked, my husband stayed home. But if they had fallen another way, I would have been in a situation where I needed to look into day care. I guess with that said, that's why I take criticism of families who decide that day care is the right option personally.


Floating in the Milk said...

I returned to the workforce a little over five years ago, after a bunch of years at home. Looking back, I think I struggled with low-level depression for much of my time at home, but I was unable to identify what was wrong, because I was so sure I was doing what I was supposed to. I admire that you knew from a young age what you wanted and were able to follow through with it.

Freckle Face Girl said...

I think it is very important for women to have the choice without the pressure of ruining her kids whether she stays home or goes to work. Having said that, I would like to try being a SAHM for a year or so. I really want to see how they live (or I just want a break from work). :)

Unknown said...

My husband is a stay at home dad, and we love the set up. I don't think he is a MR MOM-that phrase drives me crazy. He is a much better stay at home parent than I would be!

Aerin said...

Thanks Mari - it's amazing how contraversial this is!

Thanks FITM - that's why I think it's so important that every Mom/family be able to make this decision for themselves. The idea that there is one "right way" just doesn't work.

FFG - thanks - best of luck to you!