Did my wife make the right decision? Biological Clock or Sick Days?

A few weeks ago my wife and I were discussing her options for continuing her career with the publishing house she currently works for. My wife is a rather high up executive at her House and does quite a bit of out of office work. Most people she works with are the workaholic type and they rarely if ever take sick days. My wife is of the philosophy that when you are sick, you take a sick day…especially if you have the FLU.
One of the secretaries where she works developed the flu a month or so ago. Since then several people have developed it. Now my wife is a Germaphobe, she wipes everything off with alcoholic wipes and is contantly washing her hands.
Being the head of her department, her job is one where she needs to be accessible by others in the House at all times during the day. In recent months she has been doing a fair bit of tele-commuting from home. No big deal, she likes her office upstairs, it’s got a very nice new computer in it, and a few sky lights, tons of plants, a nice fluffy Chaise and a big wide open space…the room is 25 x 15.
Recently, she and I were discussing her options and I asked if her company would furnish a virtual office in our house. Meaning new state of the art video conferencing equipment, copier, fax (industrial - so we don’t have to use ours) and anythig else she may need. And you know what her company said? Yes!!

So now after the new year my wife will be working from home, her office will stay where it is at the publishing house, and they will furnish her home office with the vid equipment already in her office at the pub house. So thats good right? Yes…welll until I heard the other half of her intentions.

“<snip>…Well honey, this will be great for when we have children…I can stay at home with them and they won’t need to go to day care…<snip?”


Kids. Lil’philosophers running around the house terrorizing the dog.

:eek: Breaking arms on the treehouse. :frowning:

I’m ready! I really am. But my question for the dopekind is: I wonder if her intentions were really to get away from all the sick people in her office, or if they were to be home because SHE wants kids sooner than later. We are both in our thirties and are quite career minded. We both want kids, but she has been changing lately, changing from not even looking at kids clothes, cribs, walkers etc…etc… to researching heavily online the safety specs and what-nots about certain cribs, and baby bedroom furniture. [I of course would design the room, and make a really cool kids space for the little buggers. Murals, indoor tree house…I don’t know imagining is one thing building is another.

So from what I have said, does anyone think this move to a home office on the part of my wife is just the begining of phlosphrs family getting larger? Or should I really not be looking into this as deep? Jeez, I’m off from work and home alone for two days and my imagination runs out of control!

For what it’s worth, it’s generally a bad idea to assume that if you have children at home you can work at a paid job AND care for the kids at the same time. First of all, many employers will not pay you to “work” at home as an alternative to providing for alternate child care while you work. You cannot adequately do both office work and child care at the same time. One or the other will suffer.

If both of you want children, do discuss the whole thing seriously. Sometimes people assume they can wait until the waning few ticks on the biological clock, and discover that conception does not come easily to them.

Shit, a whole month. Lucky bastard.

Phlosphr, it is my honest opinion that your wife is seriously considering starting a family. She’s set up a home office. she’s researching cribs and whatnot online, and she’s mentioned it aloud to you. These all seem like pretty strong signs that you need to go to Lowe’s and purchase the building plans for a kickass treehouse.


MLS - when looking back at what I wrote, I see it seems we have not discussed it at length. However, I’ll tell you we have discussed it at length several times for the past few years. We always knew we wanted one or both of us to stay home with the kids. This was something we kept as central to our plans. My wife also would not be working for the first 6 months if we do have a baby in the next few years. She’d be on maternity leave. I am not going to be retiring from my school for quite some time, and my wife has a great position where she works…When we do decide to have children (most likely sooner than later) she will most likely be staying home. She is a tough cookie and I have no doubts that she will make the right decision when it comes to staying home and working or not when we have kids. Our children will not suffer anything if she does decide to stay home and work, we are quite sure of this. And the most likely scenerio would be my wife would take a leave of absence, for an undetermined period of time.

Don’t Ask - :slight_smile:

Hey, I know! ASK HER.

I hear the tick-tick-tick of someone’s biological clock. No biggie, but as someone else said, don’t expect to work and care for kids. Both will suffer. You can get an au pair to help out, but it sounds like your wife’s career will require video conferencing and a professional atmosphere…the little ones won’t fit into that picture. Nothing a good lock on the door can’t fix, but she’ll have to expect to miss out on kid stuff even if she’s home with them all day.

Good luck! Sounds like some lives will be changing in a big way!

FaerieBeth - :slight_smile: Ok!

This is exactly what would prevent her from working while caring for lil’ones. I am honestly excited about the prospect of having kids! I know I am going to be a wonderful dad! I don’t mind changing diapers either!

Aaaah, Phlosphr, I mean this most sincerely and with affection. You have no idea until you settle in at home with the kiddies how all consuming they are. I know… I thought like you do now. At 6 months they are starting to be highly interactive and independantly mobile (crawling, grabbing) and that is not conducive to getting any work done. I stay home and make sure the kiddies ( 2 1/2 years and 2 1/2 months) are fed, cleanish, and occupied and the girl still bugs daddy 100 times a day.

Also, your wife will need to examine her germaphobic tendencies. Kids are germ, drool, snot, vomit, poo and pee factories. They also consider everything their bodies make interesting and a toy. My daughter has tried to eat her own poo when she pooed in the tub and she proudly brings boogies to me on her fingertips.

I hear ticking… lots of ticking, and I hope conception is easy for you when you decide to go for it. It wasn’t for us and it was only after the doctors gave up on us that we got pregnant.

Seriously… take all your ideas about what kids will be like and toss them out the window. They will do you no good :slight_smile: Like I said… I’ve been there.

Good luck :slight_smile: When I first started reading I thought you were going to be complaining about morning sickness!

Hmmm. pooping in the tub seems…err…ok! :slight_smile:

The fact is my wife and I both love children…babies, toddlers, droolers, barfers whatever! They will be loved wholly :):):slight_smile: more to come soon…brb

Get busy and do the horizontal hula now, without delay. Her eggs are getting older by the minute.
You can’t believe the trouble, expense, and heartache involved in going though fertility procedures that may or may not work.

And or course, we are expecting that the treehouse will have internet access for the SDMB.

I know you guys will love your kids… I didn’t mean to imply you wouldn’t… I just remember all to well the hubris I suffered from before I had children :slight_smile:

They are an eye opener and change your whole world in the most amazing ways. They also suck your brain cells out your ears and bleed your energy reserves. Wouldn’t trade them for anything though. Although they aren’t teenagers yet.

Sounds like you will be wonderful parents. IMHO the prime requisite is loving and wanting. Without meaning anything negative to those who had “surprises” or started in early, one thing that is in your favor is this: Having done lots of the things you wanted to do, and making a conscious, serious decision to have a child, when the inevitable happens and you have a really bad day/night – child fussy or sick, house a mess, no time to yourself, tired and cranky yourself – you can say in complete truth, “I did this on purpose.” Having had to go the infertility treatment route myself (can you tell?) this thought did help me keep things in perspective.

I will guarantee that you will make mistakes. Some big, some small. But if there is basic, genuine, caring love behind those mistakes, your kid(s) will know it.

Checking crib specs online sounds like a pretty serious symptom of baby-lust to me. I bet your wife would like to start sooner rather than later. Have a great time starting your family!*

But, do listen to all these wise folks up there who tell you that kids are all-consuming and that working at home full-time and having the children there is not a workable combination. Get a nanny to help out. (I’m a SAHM and I could use a nanny, or a maid, sometimes!) Or something like that.
*And, it’s OK if you don’t feel completely ready. You probably never will. Becoming a parent is kind of like getting on a rollercoaster blind-folded. Wheeee! Aaaaaiiiighghghgh! Wheeee!

Amen to that, sister. My little nightmare has had the flu for the past 3 days, spiking to almost 104 temps; not sick enough for the doctor, too sick to sleep at night. I’m shocked I can still type.

I’m a work-at-home mom. I’ve been telecommuting since July, and caring for my 16 month old daughter. It is difficult to get work done and still keep her happy, safe, and occupied all day. There is more TV involved than I’d care to admit, and a lot of time in her playpen.

Phlosphr, for your wife to be able to work at home full time in a job with high pressure and lots of meetings, some sort of in-home care is probably gonna be required.

Starting in January I’m going down to just under half-time and I cannot wait - I’ll be able to work during her naps and fufil all my work comittments, and have much more time to devote exclusively to my kid. And be able to go out to gym classes or swim classes etc. without feeling guilty about not being at my 'puter.

From what you’ve written it is pretty clear that your wife wants a baby, and yesterday! It isn’t something to go into without a lot of thought, but at some point you have to just quit thinking about it and take the plunge. Though someone out there probably has regrets, no one I know (and I know a LOT of parents) who has invited a planned child into a comfortable financial picture has ever said “Gee, I wish I hadn’t had my kid so quickly.”

It is a life changing event, you probably know that, but there isn’t a way to describe it so that you’ll truly [i[know* what you are getting into. Once you get used to the new normal it enriches your life enormously and I think is an experience not to be missed.

And making a baby is a lot of fun! :smiley:


A job at home and kids? Oh dear…well, she’ll be okay until the kid does more than cry for a bottle and sit in a bouncy seat…then she’ll be up a creek without a paddle. You may want to look into the idea of having a 4 hour a day Nanny. She will need the help.

All us women wanna be super momma, but eventually our batteries kinda die. That is what turns us into real mothers. Knowing how to calm a kid, catch a toddler, block a sneeze, and still look gracious while doing it :wink:


That’s the sound of the biological clock in a non-pregnant woman who’s actively checking out cribs online. Your wife is developing a case of what my mom friends laughingly refer to as “baby-rabies.” Women who aren’t looking to get pregnant real soon look at and coo over baby stuff when it happens to cross their path, they generally don’t actively seek it out.

As for the home office, I’d say it’s a little of column A and a little of column B. She’s gonna have to get over that germ-phobic stuff if she’s gonna be a mommy, though; children are little petri dishes on legs.

In other words, when she’s in the home office it’s still a solid, 8-hour+ day, yes? Executive level, huh?..

Hmm… she must be quite productive for the company to be able to justify that expense to the bean counters…


I have known many women who work from home and have kids. Guesss what - you can’t do office work AND look after a child. It will not work. Your wife will need someone to watch the kid(s) while she is working, whether she works in an office or at home, whether the kid is at outside daycare or you have someone come to your home. Especially if she is executive-level, must-be-available-at-all-times. A Very Important Caller is not going to put up with hearing “Please hold while I finish changing junior’s poopy diaper” or the equivalent.

Two points:


  1. It is ALREADY later.**

That’s right, my friend - your wife’s fertility is sinking faster than beef sales after an outbreak of Mad Cow Disease. A woman’s fertility peaks BEFORE 30, she’s on the downslope. Right now is later, so if the two of you plan to have kids you are well advised to start now.

So, in a sense, her “baby-craziness” makes some sense.

No, your imagination is NOT out of control - you’re being a Clueless Male. To be fair, she is also being a Clueless Superwoman.

To cover the main points once again (and add a couple):

  1. Yes, she is actively thinking babies in a big, big way.

  2. If you want children start NOW

  3. She will have to get over her germ phobias if she’s going to have kids. I am told one finds the bodily excretions of one’s own offspring less repellant than the excecretions of others, but all comments about kids being crawling-walking goo-poo-and-germ factories is true

  4. If she thinks she can take care of a kid AND work productively in her home office at the same time she is only fooling herself. The child will need auxillary supervision during work hours.

  5. Daycare is not a Hideous Evil. The little tyke spending a few hours a day away from the parents can do the entire family good, and improves the chances of the little rugrat growing up to be a highly socialized executive him or herself. It is an option to be considered, not dismissed out of hand. While bad daycare is a horror, good daycare can be a blessing to all involved.

You’re having kids, dude. It’s on now. No more flaming pitch catapults, etc. for you.