About to be married - Daycare


#1

My fiance and I are getting married in June. We’re not planning on kids for a year or two. He’s a teacher moving back from a small town to our larger one, and I work as an HR manager for my dad’s company. Here’s the problem: I make 70,000 a year, he makes 25,000. I want to be a stay at home mom, but I don’t want to try to live on a teacher’s salary. We don’t need an income as big as mine either, and it isn’t a priority to keep it that high. I was telling my sister just today that we were actually considering part time daycare. I could work part time, with an obvious salary reduction, and he would be off work by 3:30. She was horrified. She kept telling me that people who put their kids in daycare just don’t want to raise their kids and may as well get pets! I don’t want to put them in full time daycare just so I can keep a high paying job, and am not considering it. But she was adamant that ANY sort of working while being a mother is horrendous. This is the thing, her husband works for my father, and makes well into the three figures. They have a 400,000 house, brand new cars, etc. I realize she is still giving up a TON, she has four kids under the age of 12 and is an incredible mom, but she’s never had to face not having everything she and her kids needed or even wanted. I’m talking working enough to make at least in the 30,000 range, so we can still do things like send the kids to Catholic schools, let them take dance lessons, start college funds. I’m not talking about working so we can buy a house like hers. I asked what she would do in my situation and she of course said she’d make her husband get a different career (while also suggesting he work for my father in sales). He loves his job, and I think it’s an exceptional and admirable job, I want our kids to see their father the teacher, that’s home at 4:30pm, that loves what he does even though it doesn’t make him rich. She says “if that means putting your kids in a daycare AT ALL then it’s not worth it.”

The reason this is all coming up now is that in the next two years we’ll be making quite a bit more than we will in the years after that. We can and are planning on saving as much as possible. But we need to plan now, so we make decisions based on the financial situation that we’ll be in in the future. I’m torn about this, and want to do the right thing.


#2

I don’t think anybody can “tell” you what to do - you and your husband should just pray about it and make the best decision that is right for your family when the time comes.

As an 18 year veteran of marriage with children now aged 10 and 12 I can tell you it is very wise to keep the financial plan a priority - save and plan and keep a close eye on it. Thngs only become more expenseive as your family grows, or so it seems!

Being a SAHM is the more important and rewarding thing anybody could do and I look upon it as a privilege; however, I know many a mom unable - for one reason or anoher - unable to be the traditional SAHM they want to be. This does not make them any less of a mother .

Don’t let anybody else tell you what to do. You, hubby and new baby must work out what is best for the three of you. Pray and stay focused. :slight_smile:


#3

I think your sister is being a little judgmental. While I think being a SAHM is preferable, it is just not a reality for some families. I am able to stay home with my kids because my husband earns enough to support us quite well. My sister on the other hand who would LOVE to stay home, just can’t. She has to work to help support the family. She has made some compromises though such as starting work at 9am so she can see the kids off to school. The fact that you are willing to give up half your salary and work part time is wonderful! The fact that you are thinking about daycare issues before you are even pg is also wonderful! Working part-time to supplement your husbands paycheck is not “horrendous” as your sister said. Also, I think it is great that your husband loves his job…that is so important!

Here is the good news…you are thinking about this early! So start checking out daycares now! Find out every little detail so that when you choose one, you will be totally confident leaving your child there. Good Luck and congratulations on your upcoming wedding!


#4

Keep saving and don’t make any decisions that will handicap you if you decide to stay home (like acquiring a big mortgage). I’m assuming your husband will have summers off–could you plan to work summers only? I have a friend who works. Her husband stays home and homeschools. It works very well for them.

I won’t worry too much about it. Things can really change in a couple of years. You may find that your child is a highly sensitive child who won’t tolerate daycare. Or, you may find your own heart wants to stay home.

Conversely, it could also happen that working parttime really rejuvenates you.

Just as aside, I worked in a daycare years ago. That particular daycare forever soured me on daycares. I hope it is an exception, but it was terrible! Also, the director use to come around and make everything pretty for the parents. It was before I had kids, or I’d have stopped several parents to tell them how bad the care was. It was particularly bad for the babies. Eight hours of neglect and minimal care. I was very careful about washing my hands after diaper changes, but I was the only one.


#5

Just a suggestion…is there anyway you could continue to work but maybe cut down on your hours, and your husband could stay home during the day? Since is he is a teacher, he could sub or tutor part time when you are home like in the evenings. It could work.


#6

If your sister is going to make such comments, I think your “have” sister should be generous and allow your future child the opportunity to be with her children during the day for free.


#7

Thanks for the comments! I know we have a lot of thinking and a lot of decisions to make, and there are very different options out there. We did discuss him staying home, and he’s not at all opposed to that. The one thing I know I DON’T want is completely full time daycare, simply because I know we very well could make it on a salary diminished from what we currently make. We’re planning on trying to build a budget right now at what it would be at half or a little below half our combined salaries, and to put the rest away. I feel a little of the pressure has been taken off by what you’ve said, that it’s not such a black and white issue. God obviously wanted the two of us to be together, and I pray He wants us to have children, so He must know what’s best when that time comes.


#8

You really won’t know until the time comes. The first time you hold that sweet baby, EVERYTHING changes! Save as much as you can now and keep praying for guidance. --KCT


#9

He could always be a Stay at home dad. You obviously make much more money than him and that way daycare could be avoided all together…
You could work part time also–until your child is in school and then go back full time as then dad will have the same hours as the kids (my father was a teacher and he drove me to school every day and drove me home every day)…
Good luck on your decision.

I also think it’s a bit mean of your sister to say that women who continue to work and put their children in day care should just have pets–that’s ridiculous! My sister in law just announced to us yesterday that she is pregnant (has a 6yr old and 1 yr old) and I’m sure she plans to continue working full time…and I don’t happen to think she’s evil!


#10

[quote=KCT]You really won’t know until the time comes. The first time you hold that sweet baby, EVERYTHING changes! Save as much as you can now and keep praying for guidance. --KCT
[/quote]

Why are you agonizing over this right now before you are even married? You can be prudent and mindful of savings, but to worry at this point? God does not want you to worry about this right now. He wants you to pray, listen and trust. I know it is hard but we have cares enough each day to focus on.

Step one - focus and pray for your upcoming marriage.


#11

[quote=Dubervilles]He could always be a Stay at home dad.
[/quote]

That is what has worked for DH and I :slight_smile:


#12

[quote=bookgirl]My fiance and I are getting married in June. We’re not planning on kids for a year or two. He’s a teacher moving back from a small town to our larger one, and I work as an HR manager for my dad’s company. Here’s the problem: I make 70,000 a year, he makes 25,000. I want to be a stay at home mom, but I don’t want to try to live on a teacher’s salary.

. But we need to plan now, so we make decisions based on the financial situation that we’ll be in in the future. I’m torn about this, and want to do the right thing.
[/quote]

don’t know why you are getting married if you are not planning to have kids right now, but I guess that is your business, or so DD would tell me. Since you ask, though, I might suggest you may not be asking yourselves the right questions. The dilemma is not who makes how much money or what your sister’s opinion is (she doesn’t have any more right to tell you what to do than I do), but why are you getting married in the first place? What is the reason for marriage? If is for your mutual sanctification, the procreation of children and unity of the spouses, you are quite right to examine your situation now and begin planning for the future.

hat are the choices you should be making together about career, where to live, how to live that will further the goal of mutual sanctification? On a practical note I would advise a daugher of mine to save as much as possible, first maxing out 401K and teacher’s pension, and learning to live one one income from the beginning. If you learn to live on the smaller income now you will be free of financial problems for the rest of your life. You both have to agree to accept the limitations of that philosophy. What you cannot do is agree to live simply, and then resent others in the family who seem to have more, spend more, or criticize you for yor choices.

Start now to discuss what are priorities:
where to live
what kind of house and furnishings
transportation
what is your vocation
what are my gifts
education, Catholic schools, college savings etc
stewardship of time, talent and treasure
leisure time
what kind of family life do we want
how much are we influenced by our extended family’s expectations?

I think stewardship is the place to begin, a spirituality of what has God given us, what is his plan for us, how do we glorify him in all we do individually and together.


#13

[quote=puzzleannie]don’t know why you are getting married if you are not planning to have kids right now…
[/quote]

Annie,

Sorry to burst in right now, but that statement just hit me the wrong way. Children are not the only reason to get married. The Church says so too.

John


#14

[quote=John Higgins]Annie,

Sorry to burst in right now, but that statement just hit me the wrong way. Children are not the only reason to get married. The Church says so too.

John
[/quote]

True, but holding off having kids to make more money might not be what God desires of the couple. However, perhaps there is some different reason? I think in most cases, being open to life from the get go is the more virtuous choice.

Good point, Annie. :thumbsup:


#15

I for one think daycares are far too overused. Parents who truly need to use them in order to make ends meet (keep a roof over their heads and food in the tummies) I have no problem with. My problem is those parents who wish further their careers at the expense of their children (by putting them in daycare 8-5, 5 days a week). To me, these parents have their minds in the wrong place. The rearing of children is the parents’ job, not some outsider’s job.

That’s my two cents. For what it’s worth, I saw this post on the Ask Father Question Box the other day (I edited the misspellings):

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 12:12 am:
“Hello Fathers, I have been asked a question that I cannot answer by my sister: whether it is really appropriate for parents to put their kids in daycare. Not single parents who have to work and have no choice, but middle class families who use daycare to keep a career alive, make extra money for the second car, etc. without even trying to see if they can sacrifice with one income. It seems like so many parents just “give their kids away” to be raised by someone else, and at such early ages. My sister is thinking about the daycare option, and I’m trying to convince her against it, and she wants to know if it’s really all that bad - if it’s even sinful. I told her the only thing I know is that your vocation is to be a wife and mother, not a career lady. Is there anything more to be said?”

“Lydie, Your attitude toward the matter of daycare is the correct one, but you may find trouble convincing your sister about that.
The mere fact that God creates human beings as babies needing love and care and not as grown individuals indicates the mind of God in this matter. Surely in normal circumstances no one can provide the love and care that babies need as well as the parents of the babies. Nature itself tells us that no one can love a baby more than its own mother. Entrusting a child to daycare should be done only in cases where there is a real need for that, and not just as another option.
The Catholic Church, of course, favors large families; but she also teaches that parents should not have children that they cannot rear properly. (No, artifiical birth control is not the answer. Self-control is the answer.)
Whether or not it would be sinful for your sister to use daycare depends upon the circumstances. A really serious reason for using daycare would permit one to use it.
With prayers for all concerned, Fr. Auman”

askfather.net/discus/messages/874447/874601.html?1136801531

However, what you are wondering about is part time day care. I work part time myself, though my kids aren’t in daycare - they are in daddycare. I work the two days he has off, so he’s home with the kids. It wouldn’t seem to me too tragic to have children in part-time daycare - even if you (or hubby) could get a job from 8-12 and then have afternoons off to be with the children. If your husband could stay home full time, then that too would be great so long as he is the kind of guy who wouldn’t resent that. A lot of men wouldn’t and couldn’t want to do that.


#16

[quote=John Higgins]Annie,

Sorry to burst in right now, but that statement just hit me the wrong way. Children are not the only reason to get married. The Church says so too.

John
[/quote]

It hit me a little harshly as well, but I can understand that Annie may have deduced that from the order in which I mentioned things. We want to have kids whenever we have kids, and we will be using NFP all the way. I’m actually a patient of Dr. Hilgers’ at PPVI Institute and have been for a year for other problems, so we’re set. Those other problems are why we’re hoping to postpone a pregnancy for a year, and definitely no more than two. It has nothing to do with making more money. Actually, my concern was that while we don’t have children and we’re both working, we’ll have a healthy combined income. But we need to decide now how we’ll be living then so that we can plan for that. I own a small townhome, do we need to sell it? Can we buy a real house, what will our payments be, etc. Of course I’m concerned about money but not because I want to make a lot. Part time daycare was one of our options, as I’ve said, full time never was. Him being a fulltime Dad was one as well, as is me being a full time mom. My problem was that my sister reacted violently to me even considering or thinking about daycare, and I didn’t really know how to react to that, or what to think about it. I wasn’t of the opinion that even moms who DO have their kids in FT DC, even for emotional reasons and not financial, were bad moms, or that they shouldn’t have had kids in the first place. Are you saying that since we’re not in the position where we could be financially stable on his salary for me to stay home full time we shouldn’t even get married? I might mention as well that we’re both 30, so kids are NOT something that we want to just “see what happens” with. As I said, it’s best for us in the next one to two years not to have them, but if we do of course we’d love and except the whole situation as God’s will. That’s a hard decision to make though, b/c as a 30 year old woman I feel that I don’t have that much time left TO have kids.


#17

[quote=bookgirl] That’s a hard decision to make though, b/c as a 30 year old woman I feel that I don’t have that much time left TO have kids.
[/quote]

That’s not true. Where did you hear that! In the hospital where I delivered, 30 was the average age for one’s first child according to the nursing staff.


#18

[quote=jrabs]That’s not true. Where did you hear that! In the hospital where I delivered, 30 was the average age for one’s first child according to the nursing staff.
[/quote]

I meant that I’d be 32 by the time I had my first child, and I don’t want just one. We’d take one if we got one at 48. But I’ve always heard that you move up to “high risk pregnancy” at age 35, and that only leaves time for what, 2, maybe 3 pregnancies? I KNOW we can be pregnant after that, I just want to take advantage of my non “high risk” years while I can. But, again, to the point we know of it really is in our best interest to wait a year. Once again, if it happens before that obviously God knows we can handle more than we think we can, but we really think we’re using NFP for the right reasons at this point. It’s just overwhelming! We’re really focused on good planning and making good choices, which is why all of this is coming up now.


#19

[quote=puzzleannie]What you cannot do is agree to live simply, and then resent others in the family who seem to have more, spend more, or criticize you for yor choices.

[/quote]

I don’t resent her at all, I was just hurt by her extreme reaction, and it made me second guess myself.


#20

well I know what I would do if my sister tried to tell my how to run my life, but I am sure you are a much nicer person than I am. The whole SAHM vs working thing has me baffled both sides want to be free to choose what works best for them, but feel compelled to force everyone else to comply with their choice, as if somehow if I choose the alternative I am in some way condemning or criticizing their choice.

Some women are meant to work in the world and have been given a job to do in filling God’s plan, and the gifts with which to do it. finding a solution to child care is a challenge that can be done, Mr. Mom being one valid solution that has worked well for many families.

some women have immense gifts for full-time homemaker and mother, and by the way working moms are also full time moms, and probably work hard longer than most people on the planet. whether it is prudent is something each family has to judge for themselves.

some kids do best at home with mom, but some kids flourish in day care or in other arrangments. no one solution or choice is perfect for every woman or for every family. as I said before, begin with asking the right questions on priorities and essentials, and the right answers on the side issues will fall into place.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.