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The transition at work after baby - HELP!

Posted by on Dec. 30, 2013 at 6:58 PM
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It could be the pregnancy hormones, but I'm feeling very worried about working and being a first time mom. 

Right now, I work full time as a sales coordinator and a typical day has me away from home 9am until 8pm. I bring home $3,000/month. My BF is a GM of a restaurant and works about the same schedule, gone 6am until 7 or 8pm and he brings home $2,000/month. We live in Chicago and right now, we are comfortable although we live a fairly frugal lifestyle but we are able to handle unexpected costs (medical, etc.) when they arise.  When we have Baby T, we know that one of us will likely need to cut down to working part time because childcare would be far too expensive considering how much we would need to rely on it if we both stayed full time. 

We'd love to have help from family, but closest family lives nearly 5 hours away. Truly our only options are daycare, nanny or babysitters. 

My worry is that cutting down to part time might leave us with next to nothing at the end of the month after rent/bills/daycare. 

To any experienced moms out there -- how did you do it? What worked best for you? How much did you work/how much did you make that first year? What ways did you save?

Everyone around me keeps telling me, "Don't worry, you'll figure it out." But that's kind of only making me more anxious. While I'm sure it's true and I'm sure everything will come together, I'd love a little peace of mind so I can do the right research and enjoy my pregnancy without being so worrisome. 

Much thanks in advance!!!!

by on Dec. 30, 2013 at 6:58 PM
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slw123
by on Dec. 30, 2013 at 10:17 PM

You don't exactly work hours that are going to work for using a daycare.  Your best bet will be to find someone who does childcare out of their home, or hire a nanny.  But your income really isn't enough to pay for that. 

I don't see any other option except for one of you staying home or changing the hours worked.  You make more money so it makes the most sense for you to be the that doesn't change.  Unfortunately you are going to be the one that has the hardest time leaving to go back to those hours.

My best suggestion is that your husband looks for either a better paying job or that he stays home with the baby and works on the days that you are home.  He can deliver newspapers or wait tables on weekends or something. 

This is definitely one of those situations that you need to figure out before the baby gets here.

LindaClement
by Bronze Member on Dec. 31, 2013 at 2:20 AM

Oh, gawd: 'don't worry, you'll figure it out'?!?!? Seriously? Wow.

You need to do a bare-bones budget --your absolute minimums of what you can't live without (sorry: cable's not on the list!) to see if you can actually live on one income. A lot of people can --living on one income leaves one person at home to do all the stuff the family is currently hiring others' time and resources to do: convenience foods, yard or housework, laundry, repairs, entertainment, etc. 

Can you live with one vehicle? Do you live in a neighbourhood where walking is possible --to more than 'go for a walk' --or does transit work well? 

You need to look at the real costs of childcare, including emergency care (for when baby's sick, or the daycare's closed) with realistic numbers --ask around for what people really pay, and what kinds of alternative arrangements they've had to make and what they cost. It varies a lot from city to city, and from one type of daycare to another... a nanny might be much cheaper for you, or a family-centred daycare could be more flexible for your hours... or a large facility that has a larger spread of hours available.

Look at the budgets from three angles: one for each of you staying home full time --what kinds of expenses will go away because of the costs associated to working (commuting, professional fees, eating out, wardrobe, lost tax deductions, gifts for the office staff, etc.) and one for both of you staying at the same level of work.

From there, you can find what might work. 

Don't worry now ... you have months to go, and lots of time to really run the numbers to make the best decision for your family. 

Do work on the numbers today. Don't worry, find out.

TheJerseyGirl
by on Dec. 31, 2013 at 8:16 AM

 I think your best bet is for one of you to find something with almost opposite hours of the other. That way , one of you is home with the baby. It's going to be hard, but you can make it work!

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