How do you manage baby-work balance?

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  1. Hi, hope this question is in the right place. DH and I would like to have a kid in the next 3 or 4 years, but for some reason we can't figure out the logistics of how it all works.

    A little about us... we both work full time and like what we do. And we both want to be active parents who don't let strangers raise our baby. How do you balance family and work? What help do you rely on to make it work?
     
  2. It is haaaard. But manageable. :smile: I have a babysitter who lives with me but i'm going to let her go soon due to moving arrangements so we'll see how that goes. Good luck :smile:
     
  3. I am going to be working from home while raising my baby. If I have to go out for meetings etc, I will have to hire a nanny for part of the day.
     
  4. Well, it's tough and I'll tell you now, plan, plan, plan. Not saying it can't be done with both parents working, but it's very difficult and if you can swing it, you are giving your children the best gift you can ever give them by staying home.

    With #1, I stayed home the first year and then after that, he had to go into daycare for awhile (our plans of MIL watching got delayed) and it was pure he$$. Then she started watching him at first 3 days a week and then from age 3-5, every day in our home. I was very lucky and had a job that worked only 5.5 hours a day and was literally RIGHT THERE (basically home). Then, when he started kindergarten we had a babysitter who watched half days. And even that was difficult trying to manage career and piano lessons and homework and TIME with him.

    This time I have been home the entire time and if money allows, I would like to stay home, though I know DH is looking for me to go back to work soon. I'm a MUCH better mom at home than when I was trying to balance work and kids.

    In the ideal world I would work 2 days a week or part time from home just to keep my foot in the door to the work force and to keep my sanity (staying home with kids is HARD).

    So... if you can, buy a house and live so that you can survive with just ONE salary so that you have a choice in the end.
     
  5. Its tough. I run on very little sleep. As far as you raising the baby, perhaps one of you could work from home, or work part time?
     
  6. If you're dead set on not putting your baby in daycare or using a nanny, but you still want to work, then my only suggestion would be to let family members help you out. Or if you have the kind of job (or your DH) where you can work from home, at least in the first year or two of your baby's life, then that would be the most ideal scenario.

    But to be honest, it's tough. Especially in this day and age and if you want to both continue to work, that will be challenging.

    However, you'd be surprised how you just might change your mind once your baby is born. Believe me.

    Just plan accordingly. Believe me, you'll figure it out.
     
  7. Thanks for the support and ideas! Like I said we aren't close to kids yet, but I think we have to be able to see it work in our minds to get comfy with the idea. Biggest thing is we just want to do the best we can for baby! Thanks for sharing your personal stories too!!
     
  8. And daycare is not bad at all. I think it gets a bad rap from some people but to each their own. I think there are benefits to both staying home with kids and daycare. It's not letting strangers raise your kids at all IMO.
     
  9. Do you have kids in daycare?^^^

    I did and it was horrible. My son, who had not a single sniffle for a year then had something every single week. Sure, it builds his immune system you say? Well, you can build your immune system without catching every bug under the sun and can get it when your body is more mature and can fight it better LATER.

    And if that isn't letting strangers raise your kids, what is? If you drop of your children at 7 am and pick them up at 6 pm (a typical time kids spend in daycare), then who is raising them?

    I know that daycares are necessary and that not everyone can stay home or wants to stay home, but daycares are instituttions. It's a bit better when you can find a family to watch your child who watches less kids, but actual daycare is no picnic for the kid or the parents.

    After doing daycare for over a year, I vowed never to do it again, and haven't. before I had kids I didn't have as strong an opinion, but since? Man...it was the worst year of my parenting experience.
     
  10. We are still trying to decide what we are going to do when the baby comes. I plan on taking a year off work- I am a speech pathologist in a school, so I am lucky- guaranteed my position back after a year. I might return working 4 days and DH might work one day at home... which would leave us needing childcare three days a week. We might hire a nanny or look into a nice daycare. DH could drop the LO off around 9 and I could pick up at 4 which wouldn't be too bad... or I might just continue to stay home. Everyone keeps telling me I will know when the baby arrives... I just have no idea if I am going to be one of those people who loves being home or really misses work... I imagine like berryblondeboys says it's a combination of both...

    You are smart to be thinking of this now, it's such a big decision. I thought we would have made our minds up by now, but I guess you never really do and situations are always changing!
     
  11. You know, at one point in my life I would be all PC and say that daycare is fine, but now that I've been a mom for a minute and I see all sorts of kids, I now swear by stay at home or nanny or parents that are AROUND. The most well-adjusted kids are those have their parents around and have consistency. The kids in our neighborhood, my son's friends, etc, the ones that have major issues are mostly the parents are always working or on the run.

    I see it a lot and the more I see the best gift we can give our kids is our presence, not money, not toys, not 'stuff'. Quality time alone is bunk, it's got to be quantity. I've heard it from the schools too - kids whose moms (or dads) are home are easier kids to deal with than daycare raised kids.

    Not saying all daycare is bad and that parents CAN'T find a balance, but it is so difficult to do it and most parents DON'T do it. To make it work, it basically means you work and the rest of your time HAS to be the kids - not going out with girlfriends and time away from family or running kids from one activity to another (where you aren't really spending time with them). The best parents eat breakfast together, dinner together and spend time together.

    So, the 'easy' way to do it is to stay home so that as a parent you aren't stretched too thin. If you go the daycare route, just know that the time remaining should be together time - period. Since most working parents don't do that, that's where the problems arise. Way too many kids are shuttled from place to place and I always wonder, then WHY did these parents have kids then?
     

  12. In fact I did for MANY years and the daycares he used were fantastic. The people were caring and taught him many things. Yes he did get sick here and there nothing major and now he never gets sick. They played a part in raising but did not raise him and he is in no way any worse off for it. He even decided to go there before and after school instead of a family members house because it was fun and they had great activities.
    He is 10 and if you ask him what he will tell you is my mom works hard and I want to be like her. I was also a single mom with him and yes had family help as well but they work too. He went there so I could go to school and have a good career. He went there so I could be a nurse and help people. He went there so he could learn to write and read well before other kids his age. My son has never felt unloved or uncared for and we do all sorts of things together. His being at daycare didn't change what values and beliefs he has.
    It was a great experience for us and it has been for all of my working friends. In fact my SAHM friends are hating that at the moment.

    Like I said there are plus and minus to BOTH! I do not go after people for their choices and I feel like you are going after those that make that choice. I was simply giving her another perspective to something.

    I almost feel that you are saying career moms are lesser moms or something. I do not think that about SAHM's. I appauled those that can do it. It is hard work and people often do not give enough credit to those moms. But same can be said about career moms too.

    btw we do eat breakfast together and dinner together and talk about almost everything. He hasn't missed out on any of that!
     
  13. I too believe that kids can turn out wonderful either way. Both my parents worked and my sister and I were raised great with values and responsibilities. I feel by both of my parents working, they showed us how raising a family and having careers could work.

    I personally, don't know what I am going to choose, but I do not feel that I will be doing a disservice to my child if I choose to work.
     
  14. I'm glad it worked for you, but it also sounds like you had help from a host of people to help it work and you STILL made it a priority to spend time with your son and that is GREAT.

    I'm probably jaded because I see an awful lot of kid shuffling and not enough family time. People start their kids in tons of activities at the age of 2 or 3 and by the time they are in school, it's school, ballet, Tae Kwon Do and piano lessons and soccer. The kids are in before school care, school, after school care and then straight to activities every day of the week and add in homework. WHEN do these families ever sit down and talk? or play board games? or just relax? They are eating on the run and it's rush, rush, rush.

    And I did say it CAN be done with daycare, but it takes dedication by the parents to work hard to make it work. It's just easier to find that balance if you aren't pulled too thin. For me personally, I couldn't do it while working and I was a HUGE career person with great aspirations, but I wanted to be a great mom and advance my career and I couldn't do both... I chose the kids for now. Career can come later.

    ETA: I did work from the time my son was one year old to age 7. I plan to go back to work when my youngest gets into school and this time I am doing a career switch to become a teacher so my hours are more compatible with theirs. My husband is gone 8 am to 7 pm and works on weekends from home quite a bit too. ONE of us needs to be home more than that.
     
  15. I work at most 2 days a week... that's how we do it!