stay home mom or worry about childcare?

Hannelore - posted on 06/29/2009 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I recently graduated from my second University and during this time my parents come from Romania to helps us with our baby who is 15 months now.
While I was trying to look for a job, counting on my mom to stay with us until September, she kept insisting that I will not find a job so soon (yes, talking about support!!) and that she is bored here, with no friends, and nothing to do because I am home.
It hurt my feelings, first of all, because I have been trying to accommodate her needs. Secondly, it disappointed me thoroughly, because I was counting on them to help us achieve some of our dreams- and theirs too: to get a job and buy a house.

She is leaving next week and I am facing a big dilemma!
Should I stay home and take care of my child, raising him in a loving, happy environment or still look for a job?
I go back and forth and I can't decide yet.
I would love to stay home....my husband and I grow up without much affection and love and care from our parents (old school) and we would like to break the circle and fully show our love for our son (and maybe a future baby too). This is my first choice, but I still have mixed feelings about it. I just graduated, I would love to work in what I was trained to do(advertising and PR), my student loans are pretty substantial, and my hopes for a house are ruined under the new conditions. I am also afraid that if I do not get a job now, in 5-6 years when I could maybe go back to work, after we raise our second child, it would be even harder to get back into the job market, and my skills would fade away.
My husband works as an RN and with all his overtime, we would be on a tight budget. We are not even sure we would be given the right credit, although I know lots of people who seem to manage it.
But what about a new baby? Can we manage more expenses?

One the other side, if I get a job, what kind of childcare would we be able to afford and still be happy about it? Day cares are not on option for us, as I have worked there before. Those people work hard, but for the money you pay you don't get quality care, not a lot of affection and consideration of the individual needs of a child.
Maybe working part time and around my husband schedule would be a solution, but I think it is very hard to find a job in PR/marketing/advertising that offers so much flexibility with a good pay. If the pay is lousy, it's not worthy to work, because I would pay more for a flexible babysitter.

I do understand my mom's side of things, or at least try to . She doesn't speak English, she has no friends, and she cannot communicate with my husband, and she is used to always do something not just sit around doing nothing all day long. I myself have not fully adjusted to the new country and the culture, even If it's been 6 years since I left Romania and 4 years since I moved to US. I am still trapped in two words, between my country's tradition and my husband and now my son's culture. I just hoped that my mom's love for me and for her grandson, who loves her very much, would make her happy and welcomed in our home, but I guess it didn't.

Any suggestion, any advice, any comforting words?

4 Comments

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Hannelore - posted on 06/30/2009

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Thank you all for your honest opinions. It really helps me work through my feelings and my plans for the future.

Mandy - posted on 06/29/2009

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I have been in your shoes as well with trying to make that decision. I worked full time until my first baby was born. I then started working part time since I was able to find a friend to watch my baby. After baby #2 came around, I wasn't able to find the best situation for my children so I started working per diem. I work about 10 hours a month when my husband is home. We now have 3 children and I'm glad that I stay home with them. I do have a doctroate degree and went to school for several years so it definitely was a sacrifice for me. Thankfully, my husband does have a good job allowing me to stay at home with the kids. What I would suggest is to do your research. Try to search for jobs but don't settle for anything. Make sure it's something that you really want to do. Also, look into different childcare arrangements and again don't settle for anything. Go with your gut on this and if it feels right, go for it!

Lynlee - posted on 06/29/2009

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You are in a bit of a predicament, however know that these things work out for the best. I would advertise and ask all your friends if anyone knows of an elderly couple without grandchildren or grandchildren they don't see much. Find out whether they would look after your baby for you. Often they will do the job for free or very cheaply as they love to spend time with children and will be like a foser grandparents. We had an elderly couple who looked after our son when I needed to work and they loved him so much and they did it for free!



I also feel like you do about whether to work and keep current with my career or stay at home. I chose to stay at home because I wanted to bring up my child. I figured that childbearing is a part of my life too, not just my career. Have you thought about doing volunteer work in your career area? It is a great way to get contacts, keep current in your career and though you don't get paid, you may be offered paid work when they see what a good worker you are? Also it will not be so hard to go back to work once you have finished having babies, because you will know people in your field and still be current in the way things are done.

Sara - posted on 06/29/2009

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Hiya!



Firstly, I think you need to try and forgive your mom. I understand what you mean, and believe me, I know what it is like to be disappointed by parents or even parents-in-laws. But in reality, she raised her baby (you) and now she has her own life to lead. If she doesn't feel that it is the right thing for her to stay with you and your family, then while it might be sad for you (and possibly even for her) she needs to follow her own heart and her own destiny. We are all responsible for our own dreams.



Secondly, I do not see a problem at all with going to work and having a nanny for your son. You need to make sure that the person you get to watch your child is someone who you are comfortable with. All of my three children have attended daycares and/or stayed with a childminder in their life and I wholeheartedly believe that they are the better for it. It doesn't mean that I love them any less, or that I spent any less time with them. In fact, I've always found that when I've been able to work, I actually spend MORE quality time with my children rather than less. When I've been a stay at home mom, I've had a lot of responsibilities including running all of the errands and keeping the house tidy, as well as taking care of my children. It is a lot of work. When I've gone to work, I've found that I miss my kids so much during the day that it is so nice to get home and see them and be able to spend time with them! I'm actually more focused on them while I was working as well then when I stayed at home with them. I think often people mistake being a stay at home mom with being more nurturing or more loving, and that is simply not the truth.



I am currently going to school for my MSW, and my son will be attending daycare in the fall. I am very happy for him to do this because he is now 2 1/2 years old and he needs the socialization that a daycare will give him. I do enjoy staying home with him at the moment, but I don't fully believe that it is the best thing for him. I looked all around the area where I live as I am very picky about where my children spend their time, and found a daycare that I absolutely adore. I am very excited for him to start their in the fall and am quite sure that he is going to love his time there!



Having said that, you need to decide what is best for you and your family. If you do go to work, don't feel guilty about it though because as long as you pick someone to watch your child who you are comfortable and happy with, then they are in good hands and you will be all the more excited to see your child when you get home from the day! If you do decide to stay at home, don't feel guilty about that either. If you stay home for a few years, then you stay home for a few years. Only you can decide this, and once you do, remember that if you think you've chosen wrongly, you can always change your mind! It is never too late.



Good luck with the decision-making!!!



Sara

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