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  #51  
Old 05-08-2019, 05:35 PM
pulykamell is offline
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Originally Posted by manson1972 View Post
I'm sorry, but you are paying $1000 a week for daycare? I just did a quick search for Chicago daycare, and there are numerous places for around $250 a week. Am I missing something?
Yeah, this is going to vary by where you are in the city. $250/wk is probably below average, but that is about what we pay/paid in my part of Chicago, and it's not a "park the kids in front of the TV" sort of daycare, but active one-on-one where my kids have learned quite a bit. But if you're in Lincoln Park or Wicker Park or whatnot, I could believe $1K/wk (although that still feels pretty high to me.)
  #52  
Old 05-08-2019, 06:03 PM
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Minnesota is one of the more expensive states and it ran around $12,000/yr.
Ha! That's almost free!

Here in NYC, daycare for our youngest is $2,000 per month. And that's the going rate around here -- all the daycare places charge more or less the same amount.

It's tough. It was tougher during the (brief) time when our two girls overlapped. Fortunately, the older girl is in kindergarten at a public school now.
  #53  
Old 05-08-2019, 06:19 PM
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It's not uncommon for the lower-paid spouse to be the one carrying the health insurance, so that's why they "work to pay the babysitter."

Many years ago, I knew a woman who was a single mom who wasn't getting child support (her ex was a drug addict; unfortunately, I later found out that she was too) and she got a big deduction on her day care bill by coming in two evenings a week and cleaning the center, which took a couple hours. She would usually bring her son's dinner and some toys, and get it done that way.
  #54  
Old 05-08-2019, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Saintly Loser View Post
Ha! That's almost free!

Here in NYC, daycare for our youngest is $2,000 per month. And that's the going rate around here -- all the daycare places charge more or less the same amount.

It's tough. It was tougher during the (brief) time when our two girls overlapped. Fortunately, the older girl is in kindergarten at a public school now.
Well, the $12K we paid was about 5 years ago so I don’t know what it runs now. And i do remember New York as being #1 in having the highest daycare costs.
  #55  
Old 05-08-2019, 07:13 PM
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There is also the future cost of lost wages. Women (and it is usually women taking time off) who took off just one year between 2001 and 2015 earned 39% less than women who worked the entire time.
Wouldn't it be likely that women with lower salaries and no significant career prospect more often take a year off, hence that women who took a year off between 2001 and 2015 have a much lower income than women who didn't, not simply because they were hit by a 39% penalty for taking it, but because the income of a lot of them was lower to begin with and they had little expectation of higher income even if they didn't take a year off?
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  #56  
Old 05-08-2019, 07:27 PM
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We did it by the shift thing. My wife worked days and I worked nights (still do).
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Originally Posted by echoreply View Post
Another option is to press older siblings into child care responsibilities.
This is how my parents managed it for the most part. We had home daycare providers whose houses we went to up until my brother was a toddler. Then they worked opposite shifts for a few years, and once I turned 12 I babysat lil bro (six years younger) after school, and during school vacations, including all day all summer. The last part being a big contributor to the reason why he and I didn't get along until shortly before I left for college...
  #57  
Old 05-08-2019, 08:18 PM
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My daughter was fortunately working in the NY office of a British company and got three months leave at full pay and 3 more unpaid months and then put her kid into daycare. It cost about $23,000 a year of after tax dollars. Which meant at the highest marginal rate. Nonetheless it was worth it as her salary was about $100K.

One thing I am certain of: if this was a common cost for high executives, the tax code would have allowed day care costs to be deductible. After all, if you cannot work without putting your kid into daycare, then daycare becomes an employment expense, no? $100 dollar lunches are deductible, but day care isn't.
  #58  
Old 05-08-2019, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Hari Seldon View Post
My daughter was fortunately working in the NY office of a British company and got three months leave at full pay and 3 more unpaid months and then put her kid into daycare. It cost about $23,000 a year of after tax dollars. Which meant at the highest marginal rate. Nonetheless it was worth it as her salary was about $100K.

One thing I am certain of: if this was a common cost for high executives, the tax code would have allowed day care costs to be deductible. After all, if you cannot work without putting your kid into daycare, then daycare becomes an employment expense, no? $100 dollar lunches are deductible, but day care isn't.
$100 lunches are not deductible.
  #59  
Old 05-09-2019, 06:13 AM
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$100 lunches are not deductible.
Sure they are, they are still considered a business expense according to IRS though you can't deduct all of the amount.

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  #60  
Old 05-09-2019, 06:57 AM
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My parents did a combo of:
Mum taking a few years working from home (at what turned out to be a bit of a waste of time borderline scam, in retrospect) making a bit of extra cash selling eggs, vegetables and flowers at the gate, and growing most of our food to cut down the bills.
Having an elderly relative move in and babysit- which was OK until we started school, as she couldn't drive and school was 3 miles away down a dodgy road.
Paying a classmate's Mum to take us, and a bunch of other kids for several hours after school.
One or the other parent taking us into work (at Mum's work openly, in Dads having been told that on the rare occasions that the 'big boss' showed up, we were to pretend that it was a one off and Mum had a hospital appointment, although his immediate boss was fine with it)- then finally once they started their own business, just taking me there every day (bro was deemed old enough too stay home alone by then, but not quite big enough to babysit).

And my mother wonders why I've not got kids...
  #61  
Old 05-09-2019, 10:23 AM
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It works for a lot of families, many of whom you wouldn't necessarily consider poor, so it's pretty ignorant to take such a sarcastic tone. In cities like where I live having a single kid in daycare is literally like paying for a second mortgage. I'd say around half of my college-educated, white-collar friends made the choice to have one parent drop out of the workforce when they started a family.
There's also the idea that if you can support only having one income, raising your own children is all around better than paying someone else to do it as a job.

That's usually the main reason that I know of why the college-educated, white-collar crowd does it, even if the income/cost difference is fairly dramatic. Plenty of women with white collar jobs come to a sort of realization that they're willing to put their children ahead of their career, and accept lower (or no) future earnings, in exchange for raising their children. In my experience, women who are very career-oriented aren't having children anyway, so it's a moot point.
  #62  
Old 05-09-2019, 11:14 AM
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There's also the idea that if you can support only having one income, raising your own children is all around better than paying someone else to do it as a job.

That's usually the main reason that I know of why the college-educated, white-collar crowd does it, even if the income/cost difference is fairly dramatic. Plenty of women with white collar jobs come to a sort of realization that they're willing to put their children ahead of their career, and accept lower (or no) future earnings, in exchange for raising their children. In my experience, women who are very career-oriented aren't having children anyway, so it's a moot point.
I am pretty career oriented, and I also very much wanted a child. This hasn't been my experience at all.
  #63  
Old 05-09-2019, 12:12 PM
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There's also the idea that if you can support only having one income, raising your own children is all around better than paying someone else to do it as a job.



That's usually the main reason that I know of why the college-educated, white-collar crowd does it, even if the income/cost difference is fairly dramatic. Plenty of women with white collar jobs come to a sort of realization that they're willing to put their children ahead of their career, and accept lower (or no) future earnings, in exchange for raising their children. In my experience, women who are very career-oriented aren't having children anyway, so it's a moot point.
In my experience, this is very much not the case. In my experience, very career-oriented women tend to choose partners who are eager to share the burden of parenting and household duties. Which means neither one of them expect the other to sacrifice their career for the sake of the family.
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  #64  
Old 05-09-2019, 01:02 PM
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And my mother wonders why I've not got kids...
Heh, I was the second oldest of four, and somehow my older sister got out of it, but I had to watch my younger brother and sister a lot. Also, I never got an allowance so the only way I could earn pocket money at my age was babysitting. I started with neighborhood kids when I was 11 1/2 and continued until I got a "real" job at the local public library mid-way through my junior year in high school.

All that babysitting really killed any desire I had for kids (not my later-in-life career).
  #65  
Old 05-09-2019, 01:11 PM
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One thing I am certain of: if this was a common cost for high executives, the tax code would have allowed day care costs to be deductible. After all, if you cannot work without putting your kid into daycare, then daycare becomes an employment expense, no? $100 dollar lunches are deductible, but day care isn't.
Today there is the child care tax credit so single parents can get a credit up to $3000 and couples up to $6000. All custodial parents need to be working in order to qualify.

In my area, and I'm sure this isn't the case everywhere, the school district, cities, and counties have a variety of options for cheap, discounted, and free child care. For example, 2.5 hours per day of pre-K four days per week in my district is $400/month. Preschool at the county rec center is similarly priced. There are also cheap, discounted, and free after school programs. Those probably are not substitutes for all day childcare.

My university's childcare program is about $1500 for full day, five day care. That is the same price for the $3 million/year football coach and the $13/hour custodial staff. So, a person taking one of the full time custodial positions would essentially be working to pay for child care. The benefits might make it worthwhile, but it certainly wouldn't be adequate for a single income household.
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Old 05-09-2019, 01:12 PM
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One option is for one of the parents to quit working. This not only eliminates the cost of daycare, it also eliminates the costs associated with the second job (clothes, noon lunches, transportation, taxes...). Eating out/take-out is replaced with home cooked meals. Maid service is no longer needed.
A family unable to afford daycare is unlikely to have maid service.
  #67  
Old 05-09-2019, 01:28 PM
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There's also the idea that if you can support only having one income, raising your own children is all around better than paying someone else to do it as a job.
Gonna be Captain Obvious and say that parents still are raising their kids even if they use daycare services.

Parents (not just women) that value their careers usually don’t see work outside the home as incompatible with good parenting. I’m an example of such a parent. So they are less likely to give up their jobs. What I think is usually the case is that parents who leave the workforce to stay at home either choose to do so because they don’t value their jobs very highly or because they can’t afford childcare.
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Old 05-09-2019, 01:56 PM
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Unlicensed in-home daycare. That's what we did. Much cheaper and IMO better care if you chose carefully. My son's daycare provider was like a second Mom to him, and the 4 other kids she cared for like siblings.
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Old 05-09-2019, 02:27 PM
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If you can't find subsidized day care. . .



5) quit, because it just isn't worth the hassle.
Just wanted to mention on #5.

I used to work with a woman who was a biologist and had a good career going. Only problem was it required late and long hours.

Well one day when she picked up her son he didnt want to go home with her and literally called the daycare worker "Mom". Thats when she decided no fancy career was worth this and she changed jobs.

So your right, one can quit a job and take up another which has maybe better hours.
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Old 05-09-2019, 02:34 PM
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I am pretty career oriented, and I also very much wanted a child. This hasn't been my experience at all.
The problem is to advance ones careers often requires working long hours or odd hours or frequent travel.

For example in the Navy your often gone for months at a time. I read where one female admiral finally quit because after one tour where she was gone for 9 months her daughters didnt want anything to do with her.

And even when the parents finally get home their jobs are so exhausting and demanding they have little time to do anything productive with their children. its just feed them (often take out food) and send them to bed.
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Old 05-09-2019, 02:38 PM
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Gonna be Captain Obvious and say that parents still are raising their kids even if they use daycare services.
Well maybe but for some if not most parents I know have to make a choice. Like the former coworker of mine who found her son calling the daycare worker "Mom" and refused to come home with her.

Yes, many kids spend so much time with daycare workers they literally ARE the kids parents. Dropped off at 6 am and picked up at 6 pm.
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Old 05-09-2019, 02:43 PM
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I am pretty career oriented, and I also very much wanted a child. This hasn't been my experience at all.
It's probably in the degree of career focus where we differ; the ones I'm talking about aren't having kids (or in a few cases relationships!) because they perceive that they would put a dent in their careers.

But I know plenty of college-educated stay at home parents who have chosen to stay home because they value that more than they valued their career or any future earning difference this may incur if/when they go back to work. Some had parents who both worked, and went to day care themselves, and don't want that for their kids (know a few of those too).

As far as the day-care vs. stay at home debate goes, the articles I've read seem to support the argument that it's the quality of care that counts, not whether it's at home or elsewhere. So if you're a good parent already, you can ensure that your kids continue to get that care if you stay at home.

Which is why I think a lot of parents who can make it work financially, choose to have one parent stay home, rather than roll the dice with underpaid, underqualified day care workers and/or preschool workers.

I do wonder though, how the financial math works out based on the number of kids you have? Two kids might be cheaper to put in day-care, but three might be cheaper to stay at home with, for example.
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Old 05-09-2019, 02:59 PM
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We pay almost $3K per month for childcare. It's pretty close to my entire take home pay. I own my own business now so days like tomorrow when my daughters day care is closed she'll spend the day playing with her dolls in the office.

When my oldest was born we could afford childcare in California and so I tried working from home and scheduling meetings during her nap times and then giving her the minimum care I had to while generating work the rest of the day. Eventually, I made enough it was worth it to send her to day care so I could work a full day and she could get the early education she needs to set her up for life. My youngest started daycare when she was 4 months old and it is crazy expensive getting infants cared for since there can only be 4-5 infants per caretaker. We discussed me quitting but between harming my long term earning potential, not being as good of a caretaker as
the professionals even breaking even its better to send the kids off. If we have a third kid before the oldest is in regular school I'll have to quit.
  #74  
Old 05-09-2019, 03:17 PM
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It's probably in the degree of career focus where we differ; the ones I'm talking about aren't having kids (or in a few cases relationships!) because they perceive that they would put a dent in their careers.



But I know plenty of college-educated stay at home parents who have chosen to stay home because they value that more than they valued their career or any future earning difference this may incur if/when they go back to work. Some had parents who both worked, and went to day care themselves, and don't want that for their kids (know a few of those too).



As far as the day-care vs. stay at home debate goes, the articles I've read seem to support the argument that it's the quality of care that counts, not whether it's at home or elsewhere. So if you're a good parent already, you can ensure that your kids continue to get that care if you stay at home.



Which is why I think a lot of parents who can make it work financially, choose to have one parent stay home, rather than roll the dice with underpaid, underqualified day care workers and/or preschool workers.

Or alternatively, good parents might believe that their good parenting can offset any suboptimal daycare or babysitting experiences. The babysitter watches TV more than she engages with the baby? The daycare center staff don't all have advanced degrees in early childhood education? Big freakin' whoop, as long as Mom and Dad provide stimulation and attention once they get home from work.



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Old 05-09-2019, 04:01 PM
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I do wonder though, how the financial math works out based on the number of kids you have? Two kids might be cheaper to put in day-care, but three might be cheaper to stay at home with, for example.
At 3 kids its also why many choose to keep the kids at home and hire a nanny. A nanny might be only at most $500 a week (thats $100 a day). Even $1,000 a week is cheaper than many daycares you all are talking about plus again, you dont deal with hauling them to and from the daycare and they also will have someone on days the kid is sick.
  #76  
Old 05-09-2019, 04:41 PM
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Well maybe but for some if not most parents I know have to make a choice.
Well of course you have to make a choice. My point is simply that “use daycare” and “raise your own kids” is a false dichotomy.

Fathers working 40+ hours has been the rule for a long time, but I rarely see anyone shaming them for this or accusing them of foisting their parenting duties off on to others. But oddly, it seems like working mothers are expected to just sit there and silently accept the idea that they are not raising their own children. They get lectured about choices in a way that men don’t.
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Old 05-09-2019, 04:46 PM
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Or alternatively, good parents might believe that their good parenting can offset any suboptimal daycare or babysitting experiences.
Good parents also put in a lot effort finding good daycare. And often pay extra for that.
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:52 PM
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But that is a nanny. When people say "child care" are they normally talking about nannies?

It seems similar to if I said "I spend 80K a year on food costs!" when I really mean "I employ a personal chef that costs 80K"
I've heard, anecdotally via a coworker, that top-tier Waldorf/Montessori daycare for a single child in the Boston area can run $40k a year. $50k for a nanny that's qualified to care for a special needs child sounds plausible to me. Keep in mind that we don't know how special those needs are.
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Old 05-09-2019, 09:03 PM
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I know a working couple with kids, they spend more on daycare than I spend on all my bills.

Which begs the question, what do couples who have trouble affording daycare do?

I assume if you have differing shifts you can switch childcare. If one parent works a first shift and the other works 2nd or 3rd, you can shift who takes care of the kid.

You can ask family to watch kids.

I'm assuming some couples do co-op things with other parents where they maybe get a few other couples and one parent takes all the kids on one day, then another parent takes them all on a different day, etc.

Basically how do people who can't afford daycare do it?
You seem to be an educated person. Why in the hell do you use "beg the question" in such an unusual manner?
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Old 05-09-2019, 09:18 PM
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For what it's worth, we live in Ohio, and we spend about $11,000/year for one kid at a Y-run daycare. It's fine. I'm not particularly impressed with the academics, and the teachers tell me she's the "smartest" kid in a class where the majority of the kids are 6-9 months older, but it suits our logistical needs right now.

We're definitely trying to get her in to a public pre-K magnet program this fall, though. A big issue is that there's no standard before/after care program for the pre-K kids. Each school is different; some have arrangements with the local rec centers for a few bucks a week. Others will give you the number of a neighborhood lady who runs an unlicensed outfit out of her home. Others have no arrangements at all.

This is challenging when school hours are 9-3:30, and when one parent works 40-45 hours per week and the other works 50-60.

So even when high quality public pre-K is an option, our choices are limited by the logistics of before and after care. Which means that when we apply to the lottery to for magnet schools, we can only list those schools with reasonable extracurricular arrangements, meaning we limit our overall chance to get in to a magnet pre-K... etc.

It's frustrating. It wouldn't be financially disastrous for us if we had to suck it up and pay the $20-30k per year for a private Montessori pre-8 school that's within reasonable driving distance, but it twists my chaps a bit that it's only slightly less than tuition at the local private university.
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Old 05-10-2019, 12:10 AM
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In Taiwan, grandparents often become the people taking care of the kids, even if the parents could afford daycare. They have three years of kindergarten here, so kids start at the age of three. There are afterschool programs which are pretty reasonable, but a lot of grandparents watch the kids after school if the kids aren’t enrolled in one of the programs.

In Japan, far more women quit working. There is day care, we had our children in daycare. I'm not really sure what the backup plan is for those who can’t afford it.

For the question of working or staying home with the kids. My mother completely shocked that my wife wasn’t going to give up her career and stay home. She didn’t say much, but she’s said over the years how important she thought it was. Of course, this was the mother who failed to protect us from the abusive father, which had far, far more negative consequences than had she had worked. I tend to not take much child raising hints from her.
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:37 AM
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For the question of working or staying home with the kids. My mother completely shocked that my wife wasn’t going to give up her career and stay home. She didn’t say much, but she’s said over the years how important she thought it was. Of course, this was the mother who failed to protect us from the abusive father, which had far, far more negative consequences than had she had worked. I tend to not take much child raising hints from her.
I've read too many horror stories on reddit about abusive, narcissist parents to ever believe that stay-at-home parenting is ALWAYS the best option for kids. Lots of parents may not want to "roll the dice" on some untrained caretaker, but it's not like the dice isn't rolled a trillion times with an untrained parent. Which would be most parents.
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Old 05-10-2019, 10:03 AM
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Good parents also put in a lot effort finding good daycare. And often pay extra for that.
Sure, nobody's disputing that. It's just that for some, staying home is a better option, either strictly for financial reasons, or because they believe they can provide better care for their children.

And generally speaking, when people buck societal expectations for either gender, people talk shit about it. Which is why working women get a lot of shit for not staying home, AND a man who quits his job and stays home is viewed as something of a loser.

Neither is fair or accurate, but that's how society works.

And as far as the stay-at-home or pay for day care and continue your career, I *think* the thinking is that most people who would castigate someone for putting the kids in daycare are those who believe that stay-at-home parenting is de-facto better than day care for the children. And as a result, they think that prioritizing career over providing the best care possible for one's children is extremely selfish, IF you could afford to do it.

It's not that simple- a lot of it depends on the parenting ability of the parents as well as the quality of the day-care- shitty stay at home parents are worse than a good day care.
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Old 05-10-2019, 10:22 AM
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I've heard, anecdotally via a coworker, that top-tier Waldorf/Montessori daycare for a single child in the Boston area can run $40k a year. $50k for a nanny that's qualified to care for a special needs child sounds plausible to me. Keep in mind that we don't know how special those needs are.
Sure, but I always thought that only millionaires and the like would be sending their kids to a $40k a year daycare. Not someone only making $100K or less.
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Old 05-10-2019, 10:44 AM
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Sure, nobody's disputing that. It's just that for some, staying home is a better option, either strictly for financial reasons, or because they believe they can provide better care for their children.

And generally speaking, when people buck societal expectations for either gender, people talk shit about it. Which is why working women get a lot of shit for not staying home, AND a man who quits his job and stays home is viewed as something of a loser.

Neither is fair or accurate, but that's how society works.

And as far as the stay-at-home or pay for day care and continue your career, I *think* the thinking is that most people who would castigate someone for putting the kids in daycare are those who believe that stay-at-home parenting is de-facto better than day care for the children. And as a result, they think that prioritizing career over providing the best care possible for one's children is extremely selfish, IF you could afford to do it.

It's not that simple- a lot of it depends on the parenting ability of the parents as well as the quality of the day-care- shitty stay at home parents are worse than a good day care.
For us--and my husband quit his job to stay home with our son--it's been less about what was best for our son and more about what was best for our family. I am sure that what my husband was making could have more than covered the cost of daycare we would have considered good, and that he may well have thrived in such an environment. But we didn't want our lives to be as hectic as two-parent-working families always seem to be: it's so much more complicated to deal with running a household, and things like a sick kid mean you have to juggle insane logistics. Part of it is just that I, personally, LOVE my job and I knew that if we both kept working, it would stall out my career a lot more: it's important that I can work early or late as need be without a lot of planning. We also had some ideas about his education that wouldn't have worked if he were in childcare: we needed one of us to be working with him daily in a way that you can't pay for.

But here's the deal: I don't think my son would have been worse off if we'd both stayed in the workforce. I think my marriage would have suffered, and my own happiness. The problem is that in America, you can't ever admit to that being your motive. If you could've worked harder and been more miserable and made a little more money, you should have and your a shitty person if you didn't. So saying "We stayed home because this is the lifestyle we wanted" just doesn't fly. You have to say "We stayed home because it's what's best for any kid, and we want what's best for our kid, and people that make a different choice don't love their kid like we do".

On the other hand, if my husband had had a job he loved (which he didn't at the time) and had wanted to stay there, there's no way I would have quit my job. I am SO unsuited to being a stay-at-home. Until my boy turned 5, summers about drove me insane. I adore him, but Jesus, I do not like amusing/supervising anyone under 5. That lifestyle--me staying home--would NOT have been best for my family, no matter what. The logistics and hassle of two working parents would have been better than that option. But, in the same way, you can't admit to being a Bad Mom and not liking staying home, so mothers who work can't say "I'm not a good full-time caretaker, so I would rather pay someone who is good at it and enjoy my mornings and nights and weekends with my kid while still having an outside life." That makes you selfish. So you have to say 'I would love to stay home with my kid, but I am making a sound financial choice and here are all the reasons it's objectively the best thing for anyone's family and anyone who does differently is just foolish".
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:36 AM
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Oh yeah, there's no real concept in society that you might not actually want to make as much money as you possibly can, or that you may not want to run the show, or whatever. The overriding attitude seems that everyone should want to garner as much money and power as we possibly can.

You wouldn't believe how many people are just astounded that my wife chose to stay home to raise our kids rather than continue being a lawyer. People just don't get it- they seem to think that it's insane that someone would trade having to bill 2000+ hours a year (not just work, but bill) and working 60+ hours a week and all the stress that comes with it for staying home for a few years to raise children. It was partially a break from the stress, partially a desire to avoid things she'd experienced in her own childhood, and partially a reassessment of what she actually wants do long-term.

I think ultimately the real obligation is to figure out what's actually best for the children, whether that's a parent staying home, or both working and finding a good system of care. I actually get the whole idea that maybe having a parent stay home isn't best; I have some relatives where I'm 100% sure that their children are better off with their mother working, and not staying home with them, as her personality is one that is better NOT rubbed off onto her otherwise great kids.

A lot of people don't see it like that- they have some really absurd mystical beliefs that the mother being home is the absolute best option, which isn't true at all. Fathers, grandparents, family members, or even just loving and competent child care staff can provide terrific care and education.

The people who have it worst though, are the ones who can neither afford to have a partner stay home, nor can they afford to obtain high quality child care either. They're just sort of stuck with what they get, whether it's the local city rec center, an unlicensed day care, or random nanny or something.
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Old 05-10-2019, 12:36 PM
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You wouldn't believe how many people are just astounded that my wife chose to stay home to raise our kids rather than continue being a lawyer.
I'd believe it easily - we got the same thing when the Lovely and Talented Mrs. Shodan quit her job to stay home with our (two) children. And not just astonished - some of them seemed to be genuinely offended. Male and female.
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I think ultimately the real obligation is to figure out what's actually best for the children, whether that's a parent staying home, or both working and finding a good system of care. I actually get the whole idea that maybe having a parent stay home isn't best; I have some relatives where I'm 100% sure that their children are better off with their mother working, and not staying home with them, as her personality is one that is better NOT rubbed off onto her otherwise great kids.

A lot of people don't see it like that- they have some really absurd mystical beliefs that the mother being home is the absolute best option, which isn't true at all. Fathers, grandparents, family members, or even just loving and competent child care staff can provide terrific care and education.

The people who have it worst though, are the ones who can neither afford to have a partner stay home, nor can they afford to obtain high quality child care either. They're just sort of stuck with what they get, whether it's the local city rec center, an unlicensed day care, or random nanny or something.
Yes. Maybe high-quality child care compares favorably with having a parent stay home to raise them full-time. But that costs an awful lot. And not all child care is high-quality.

We decided, overall, that everyone would be better off with more Mommy and less Money. We talked about me doing it, but we agreed that, long-term, I had more income growth potential, and she wanted to do it more. So we compromised, and did it her way.

Regards,
Ward Cleaver
  #88  
Old 05-10-2019, 12:40 PM
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And as far as the stay-at-home or pay for day care and continue your career, I *think* the thinking is that most people who would castigate someone for putting the kids in daycare are those who believe that stay-at-home parenting is de-facto better than day care for the children. And as a result, they think that prioritizing career over providing the best care possible for one's children is extremely selfish, IF you could afford to do it.
It's seems to me that you're saying the same thing you've said earlier, just in a slightly different way. We understand that this is your position. Or rather, that you think that this is others' position.

In case it's not clear, my position is that people who judge working parents (AKA mothers) usually do so not out a genuine concern for children, but because judging others helps them feel superior and justified in their own choices. So you dropped out a college to become a SAHM and before you know it, 15 years have gone by and you have zero work experience? Well, if you feel extra self-conscious about this (maybe everyone in your family are doctors and lawyers), then you're going to find a way to deal with that psychologically. That may mean convincing yourself that all those doctors and lawyers, with all their money and degrees, are selfish, uncaring, and are endangering their kids. But not you. You are winning because you are a good parent, even if you don't have a job or a degree.

The whole SAHM vs working mother debate is fraught with insecurities, doubts, and guilt; it's a rare person who is adamant on either side whose motivation is not tainted with this stuff. So unless you truly know the underlying thinking of everyone who wags their finger at working parents, I would not assume that their stated reasons for their judgement are their true reasons.

BTW, the same pettiness occurs in the breastfeeding debate. 99% of the time, hardcore breastfeeding advocates just want to feel superior and special . They don't actually believe babies are harmed by formula; they just need to feel as though enduring all the pain and inconvenience that they experienced with their kids was justified. (I say this as a woman who is still breastfeeding her own: fed is best. Don't kill yourself trying to breastfeed if formula is accessible to you. Motherhood is hard enough.)
  #89  
Old 05-10-2019, 12:48 PM
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In my understanding, there can be advantages to day care that go beyond convenience and allowance for working -- for example, in day care, kids might be socializing with other children (often new children) all day, rather than just with mommy or daddy and maybe a sibling or two. There are advantages to having a parent stay at home as well, for certain, but day care does have some good things that are harder or even impossible from parenting at home.
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Old 05-10-2019, 12:51 PM
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In case it's not clear, my position is that people who judge working parents (AKA mothers) usually do so not out a genuine concern for children, but because judging others helps them feel superior and justified in their own choices. So you dropped out a college to become a SAHM and before you know it, 15 years have gone by and you have zero work experience? Well, if you feel extra self-conscious about this (maybe everyone in your family are doctors and lawyers), then you're going to find a way to deal with that psychologically. That may mean convincing yourself that all those doctors and lawyers, with all their money and degrees, are selfish, uncaring, and are endangering their kids. But not you. You are winning because you are a good parent, even if you don't have a job or a degree.
But it goes the other way, too: working parents who are burned out and stressed and hate their lives and secretly worried that whatever problems their kids have (and all kids have problems) were caused by the decision to stay in the workforce also lash out and decide that SAHMs "wasted their potential" or were "too lazy" or "couldn't handle it" or "sat on the couch". They say things like 'I can't imagine what you even DO with your day" or "I have to do everything a stay-at-home does, but I do it between 6-10" or "Must be nice, if you can afford it", as if it's a vacation to Hawaii.

Both sides can be nasty when motivated by a desire to sound superior or to deflect their own insecurities.
  #91  
Old 05-10-2019, 12:55 PM
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In my understanding, there can be advantages to day care that go beyond convenience and allowance for working -- for example, in day care, kids might be socializing with other children (often new children) all day, rather than just with mommy or daddy and maybe a sibling or two. There are advantages to having a parent stay at home as well, for certain, but day care does have some good things that are harder or even impossible from parenting at home.
I think that's a false dichotomy. Almost all SAHP families I know put their kids into some sort of pre-school once they are potty-trained--mom's day out type programs are pretty inexpensive and very common. There's also gymnastics lessons, T-ball, church groups, extended family . . . I mean, yes, a kid with a stay-at-home parent MIGHT end up struggling in unfamiliar social situations when they hit school age, but it's not an impossible barrier.
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:02 PM
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But it goes the other way, too: working parents who are burned out and stressed and hate their lives and secretly worried that whatever problems their kids have (and all kids have problems) were caused by the decision to stay in the workforce also lash out and decide that SAHMs "wasted their potential" or were "too lazy" or "couldn't handle it" or "sat on the couch". They say things like 'I can't imagine what you even DO with your day" or "I have to do everything a stay-at-home does, but I do it between 6-10" or "Must be nice, if you can afford it", as if it's a vacation to Hawaii.

Both sides can be nasty when motivated by a desire to sound superior or to deflect their own insecurities.
Yes, this is true. In case this was missed in my last post, here it is again:

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Originally Posted by ywtf
The whole SAHM vs working mother debate is fraught with insecurities, doubts, and guilt; it's a rare person who is adamant on either side whose motivation is not tainted with this stuff.
  #93  
Old 05-10-2019, 01:15 PM
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I am pretty career oriented, and I also very much wanted a child. This hasn't been my experience at all.
None of my girlfriends did this either.

Not working has a huge cost in a career job. You lose the 401k contributions at the point in time where putting money aside will do the most good. You loose benefits. You loose the years of experience that is going to lead to higher paid positions over the long term. Since women who are college educated are often having children during the early part of their careers, you might as well throw that degree away - by the time you come back into the work force with a old degree and a few entry level years of experience you are worse off than having no degree at all.

And staying home isn't free. You are still investing in groceries (as for lunch out, lunches pack). Your home kid expenses go way up (we never had to buy play doh for our kids, it was available at daycare). You still go through clothes - and perhaps faster since jeans wear out if you are on the floor with kids faster than a pair of Target dress pants that you sit in a desk in. You still have transportation costs to get the kids to the library or the zoo

Statistically children do better when their mothers engage in meaningful work they like. If that's staying home with the kids, then kids do well. If that is working outside the home, then kids do well. Kids do less well, statistically, when their mothers are forced into something they don't want to do - i.e. staying home if they wanted a career, or being forced to work a job they hate.

Some women who can't afford daycare get public assistance. A lot have their parents or even grandparents watch kids. Some open up home daycare businesses - licensed or unlicensed - to bring in money and stay home with kids. Some find a way to take their kid to work. Some do shift work - trading child care hours with a spouse or friend who has alternate shifts. Some end up leaving children far too young to be home alone watching even younger kids.
  #94  
Old 05-10-2019, 01:34 PM
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I think that's a false dichotomy. Almost all SAHP families I know put their kids into some sort of pre-school once they are potty-trained--mom's day out type programs are pretty inexpensive and very common. There's also gymnastics lessons, T-ball, church groups, extended family . . . I mean, yes, a kid with a stay-at-home parent MIGHT end up struggling in unfamiliar social situations when they hit school age, but it's not an impossible barrier.
It's not a dichotomy -- socializing with other kids is obviously possible for stay-at-home parents. But it might be easier under some circumstances with daycare. I'm saying that stay-at-home parenting is not necessarily superior to daycare in every way.
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Old 05-10-2019, 02:07 PM
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It's not a dichotomy -- socializing with other kids is obviously possible for stay-at-home parents. But it might be easier under some circumstances with daycare. I'm saying that stay-at-home parenting is not necessarily superior to daycare in every way.
Has anyone claimed that it's superior even in most ways?
  #96  
Old 05-10-2019, 04:14 PM
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Gonna be Captain Obvious and say that parents still are raising their kids even if they use daycare services.

Parents (not just women) that value their careers usually don’t see work outside the home as incompatible with good parenting. I’m an example of such a parent. So they are less likely to give up their jobs. What I think is usually the case is that parents who leave the workforce to stay at home either choose to do so because they don’t value their jobs very highly or because they can’t afford childcare.
I don't agree with that. Many SAHPs (men as well as women) do it because they feel the child(ren) are the biggest "project" of their lives, and make this sacrifice in order to do it.

As for career-oriented women not having kids, there is some truth in that, if the career really is going to mean that they can't be the kind of parent a child needs. Plenty of men have made this same decision, believe it or not - both famous and not famous. One reason is because they realize that their job would be an unfair share of the child care on the (usually) wife's shoulders.

Last edited by nearwildheaven; 05-10-2019 at 04:15 PM.
  #97  
Old 05-10-2019, 04:16 PM
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Just wanted to mention on #5.

I used to work with a woman who was a biologist and had a good career going. Only problem was it required late and long hours.

Well one day when she picked up her son he didnt want to go home with her and literally called the daycare worker "Mom". Thats when she decided no fancy career was worth this and she changed jobs.

So your right, one can quit a job and take up another which has maybe better hours.
Was she single? If not, what about her husband?
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:21 PM
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SAH parents and "housewives" still exist, just more likely to be a man doing it these days. My kids were never in daycare. Another option is working opposite shifts, which is what happened most of my childhood. Mom was a chef (nights) and dad was a breakfast cook at the same restaurant. Once kids are in school it's a little easier, especially these days with much more before and after school care (some provided by schools) available. That wasn't much of a thing when I was kid. When I was 12 my mom got a 9-5ish office job and Dad died. I was a latchkey kid and watched my siblings for the 2 hours after school.
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Old 05-12-2019, 08:39 AM
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It isn't the same thing at all. It just means a babysitter that works full time. A Priest's schedule has to include late night meetings, many hours on Sunday morning and the occasional trip into Boston to give last rites. It is incredibly expensive. I had a medical procedure done a couple of months ago and I offered to pay for the nanny/babysitter. It was $200 cash. She has to pay a lot of that every single day and I also have to pay for my daughter's care. There are very few people that responsibly afford more than two children these days.
Good heavens, how does she have time for blow jobs on demand?
  #100  
Old 05-12-2019, 08:46 AM
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Was she single? If not, what about her husband?
She was married and her husband also worked.

Now what frustrated us was she was constantly taking days off to stay at home with her kids. Days in which we all had to do her share. That can get very frustrating after awhile.
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