Sunday, July 25, 2010

Staying at Home vs. Working Outside the Home

This week's topic at Multiples and More is staying at home versus working outside the home.

Do you work outside the home, or stay home with your kids?  I stay home.

How did you come to that decision?  Frankly, the decision was made for us because of the cost of TWO in daycare (or with a nanny).  I had always wanted to stay home anyway, but didn't think we could afford it. I had every intention of going back to work after the girls were born, not because I wanted to but because I thought I didn't have the choice.  But as it turned out, putting them both in daycare would have consumed most of my salary, so what would be the point of being away 50+ hours a week (I had a horrible commute) for a few hundred dollars?  So, I "got" to stay home after all.  It's very tight financially, but SO worth it!

Are you glad that you made that decision?  Absolutely.

What is your favorite aspect of working, or of staying at home? Being there for all the "firsts", and just being there.  Your least favorite aspect?  Lack of money.  I miss shopping (or rather, buying).  I miss eating out.  I miss going to movies.  I miss going to plays/concerts/museums/festivals/etc.  I miss traveling.  Of course, even if we had the money, most of that would be limited anyway due to childcare issues (not much family nearby and haven't found a teenage babysitter).

If you stay at home, did you have to make adjustments to your lifestyle in order to make this work?  Absolutely-see above.

Do you plan to continue what you are doing now, or will you make a change in the future?  I plan to go back to work once the girls are in school full-time.

What advice would you give to a mom who is pregnant, and trying to decide whether to stay home with her kids, or go back to work?  First of all, I would encourage anyone to stay home if at all possible.  For some it's just not possible and I get that.  But let's be honest--if you could ask any newborn to 5-year-old whether THEY would prefer their mommy at home or working, I seriously doubt many kids would say "working", even if they really like daycare and I realize some kids really do.  My personal feeling is that children should be cared for by their parents, not a hired stranger (again, if at all possible).  To me, that just makes logical sense.  But, I realize SAH is just not for everyone (however, if it was the "sitting around on your @$$ all day" aspect that was turning them off, I would invite them over for a day for a serious education as to how totally inaccurate that is!), so I would just say that they need to do what they feel is best for them and their kids.  While being home affords you the opportunity to be the primary caretaker, spend much more time with them, let them set their own schedule and be there for all the "firsts" (not to mention being able to hit Costco and Target during a weekday morning when it's much less crowded), some might feel it's better to work outside the home and be able to afford vacations, a bigger/nicer home, more activities/lessons, college, etc.  I can totally understand that.  It's up the parents to decide which is more important or desirable.

1 comment:

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

(Visiting from Multiples & More!)

I really miss eating out and shopping and travelling, too, but at least right now, I don't think about it too much. As you said, our schedule is so tight with the girls (and with not having family / babysitters available), I don't know how we'd make much more time even if money were no object!

We have recently found a "house sitter" that we have had over a couple of times after the girls were in bed for the evening (at 7:30). I didn't have to worry about how she would interact with the girls, as she never sees them! The first time we did this, my hubby and I went for a really nice dinner...drinks, appetizers, steaks, desserts, etc. That, PLUS the sitter cost, was really high. It was a big treat - our first dinner out in 17 months or so - but we decided we wouldn't do that again for a while. Instead, we had the sitter back, and we went to the Mexican restaurant and split an order of fajitas, and finished the evening with ice cream at the Dairy Queen. :) It was much more economical, and it was just as enjoyable being "out and about", regardless of where we ate and what we did.