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Old 05-12-2010, 11:14 AM   #1
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That's right, I'm asking a bunch of homos on a Miata forum for child care advice.

I'm at home this morning, VPNing to work, doing the little bit I can around attending to my 3yr old daughter, and simultaneously doing research on local day cares.

We've pretty well structured our life around time with out daughter, and good family care when we aren't there since she was born. This included living with our in-laws for 2yrs (leaving our new home empty and creating a 200mile daily commute for me), and another year of my mother living close by and coming early each morning to care for our girl until my wife got home in the afternoon, or I finished homework/work, whichever came first.

Yesterday my mother took a lucrative offer and just up and left. She kind of freelances in the oil service industry, and a contact told her that he had work he was contracting out that she could handle, and that would pay more in the next few months than she could earn in a year otherwise. We had purchased a small RV for her, and were paying her a little each month, but she was mainly living off her savings. She may be back by the end of summer for me to return to school, but the way she went about it kinda pissed me off.

I thought this would mean dropping my daughter off at in-laws every morning until my mom returned, but now MIL said she's taking care of other kids (distant cousins, not even grandkids), and just doesn't want to. I didn't ask much, but know my wife was PISSED. We're both kinda tired of depending on others anyhow, and things just played out to the point we really need to make some changes.

So we've got a few options:

1. Find a good daycare

PROS
-dependable
-more interaction with other kids
-more structured schedule, knows when to expect to see us

CONS
-expensive
-never know who's taking care of her or how
-our schedules are sporadic, and we honestly don't know how to handle drop offs and pickups
-would most likely need another car since neither bike or Miata are baby-friendly, and logistics don't work out otherwise


2. Be stay at home-mommy

PROS
-ummmm....

CONS
-stigma
-still have to go to class
-lost income (40% household)
-leaning on wifey, and she's already got my ***** in a jar


3. Tell wife to stay home

PROS
-it's what we really want in the long run anyway, and what would happen when I graduate (goal)
-best childcare possible, best household dynamic possible, likely fix a lot of our marital issues, and erase a lot of our current concerns/regrets

CONS
-Lost health ins (she's consistently full-time year round, I dip below 32hr the last month of each semester)
-Lost income (60%) would mean massive loans for school, and likely extend graduation date since I would surely work a little more
-hmm...thought there were more cons


So, feel free to chime in, taking any comments, even insults, as long as they're directed at me and not my family.

troll/fagatron/post-***** away
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Old 05-12-2010, 11:24 AM   #2
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Sell your sperm to bring in needed cash?

Honestly while option 3 looks the best for the family, giving up health insurance is a very bad idea. At least with a 3 year old daughter. Is there any way you could convince your company to give you health insurance even with 2 months of the year you work a little less? Also check out E Health Insurance for what costs are on individual plans. It might be most cost effective to switch to your own PPO plan with a high deductible and a HSA to cover medical costs.

After that ask your friends who have children where they have their children for daycare. I know when I was growing up and was in day care I always went to local peoples houses that usually lived in the neighborhood. I would try to find some mother that does it locally that you can get to know some.
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Old 05-12-2010, 11:26 AM   #3
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as long as they're directed at me and not my family.
You are a total *******.

I would go the daycare option if you can afford it. It brings sanity to parents, and it give the kids lots of structure and interaction they need. No offense meant here, as I/we are in the same boat, but you being on VPN AND caring for her just isn't as interactive as what they get in even a halfway decent day care. These people are caring and dedicated to what they do. Granted, there isn't the love that family brings, but there are other elements which I think kind of make up for it.

We are having the same debate on what to do with the baby. The older twins are already at day care, the baby stays with MIL. We come home to her obviously sleeping and/or watching daytime drama on TV while she's "watching" baby Buddha. I've told Mrs that I'd rather have the little one in day care to match the other two kid's sched, and she can work a longer day and we won't be beholden to MIL's moods and schedules. The fucked up part is that it's so expensive for care for 3 kids that her take home just covers the care. But, again, it's about the parent's sanity. If we are both satisfied in our work lives we can be better parents during the dedicated family time.

Dig?
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Old 05-12-2010, 11:37 AM   #4
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Lars:

If health care is the only issue we can get around it, not so much a deciding factor really, just really ties in to the missing income if she doesn't work. Right now that doesn't come out of my check, and if it did I'd obviously have to work a good deal more. I could easily be full time year round, and get the insurance, but would take less classes each semester. I'm already looking at 3 more semesters the rate I'm going, possibly four depending on senior design project load.


Will:

I dig. Wife really does want to be home though, and I'd hate to see her go to work just to pay someone else to take care of our girl.

We both see the advantage of more interaction and structure. We have both had our share of MILs, first me with her mom, and now her with my mom. Not having those heavy family issues may just be worth the ~$600/month alone.


So, so far we've got two advocates of outside care, which will be the easiest to move into and maintain, and allow us to both continue with our career/life plans which ultimately facilitate our real goal of a traditional famiry.
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Old 05-12-2010, 11:46 AM   #5
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*****, what with your bisexuality, you will never have a traditional family.

Here in NY, getting health coverage costs at least $1100 per month for a family plan. We do have a state subsidized child health plan, which is very cheap but has very low parental income limits, and most full time wage earners don't qualify, especially with only one child.

$600/month isn't bad for full time day care, if that's what it is. We are at almost $900/month for the twins for just two days a week. We were told we would get a 10% HOV discount if we added the baby, which is a help. BTW, don't forget that there is a 25% tax CREDIT (not deduction) for day care, so at the end of the year the $600/mo is really only $1.99 (or $600*.75), or however the math works out. Point is, it may not be as much as you think.

Good luck, man. BTW, the baby is really mine. She looks JUST like me.
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Old 05-12-2010, 11:59 AM   #6
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Wife stays at work since she has the health care. Don't give that up.

Look for "mothers day out" in your area. Usually offered through church day cares. My little one is in "mothers day out" 4 days per week 8:30 - 12:30 $140/mo. You can't beat the price. Since she is three, you can try a preschool. It should be cheaper than daycare (it's only half day) You could take a couple morning classes, come home to take care of child, then maybe take a night class when your wife get's home from work.
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:20 PM   #7
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Good luck, man. BTW, the baby is really mine. She looks JUST like me.
Oh man, thanks for the good news, little less stress today.

Wife does have really, really good healthcare, and with me on a motorcycle, a 3yr old with childhood asthma, and regular concerns it's something we don't want to let go.

Local church care is what I'm looking at now, and where the $600-700 figure comes from. It's a LOT, but when I consider what we pay my mom, plus the favors, plus the gas in her truck, plus all the other crap, we get well past 50% of that figure, so it's probably worth it.

She also won't be spending all day in front of the TV anymore, but some structured learning in the morning, and lots of play in the afternoon.

Recently I've been taking her to the park every other afternoon and she looks for friends. She just says: "parque, ninas" which means she wants to go find someone to play with. She'll scout out someone her age and follow them around for an hour or so.

She used to have more interaction with her cousins when we were at the in-laws, but since moving back into our own home (good for us) I'm sure she's suffered a little. My mom was taking her to my aunt's house to play with her kids a couple of times a week though, but I think that's dropped off a little.
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:56 PM   #8
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Keep the insurance. Especially with the asthma, one serious day could cost you several months worth of work.

My wife is a stay at home mom, but we started our kids at pre school starting at a half day a week at 2.5 yrs, and slowly raising it till their at 4 days a week just prior to kindergarten. The care given is exellent, and all the benifits listed above are true.

We just did our kindergarten orientation for our oldest, several weeks ago, times are different these days. They want the kids coming in, to not only know their ABC's and numbers, but knowing their sounds and being able to spell some sight words. This can't be accomplished at home unless momy and daddy are really dedicated.

Kids entering kindergarten un prepared tend to get frustrated with school, because they are playing "catch up". This frustration may set the tone for their academic career.

We have an option here at my work where our money used for preschool is taken out pre tax, this is helpful.
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Old 05-12-2010, 01:00 PM   #9
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My son did 2 years in day care. He's home now that the wife dosen't work.

Pros to day care:

Child does learn a lot
Learns how to socialize with other children

Cons to day care:

Your child will get sick A LOT! Like at least once a month.
It's expensive

The only other problem with my son being home now is that he literally attached to my wifes hip. He dosen't give her a chance to breathe.
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Old 05-12-2010, 01:24 PM   #10
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Obama can help you.
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Old 05-12-2010, 01:41 PM   #11
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Obama can help you.
FUUUU that's the last thing I need.
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Old 05-12-2010, 03:16 PM   #12
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Found a place, a mile from my house, with 10 5-star reviews on Yahoo local, and who absolutely impressed me over the phone describing the daily activities and lessons. I pass the place daily on the way to school and thought it always looked nice, and we're about to head up there for a tour.

Thank you sweet baby Jesus in a tuxedo t-shirt.
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Old 05-12-2010, 04:16 PM   #13
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How old is the kid? I was a latch-key kid from about 3rd grade on up and it was great. I never got into real trouble aside from riding my dirtbike down the street and it taught me to take care of myself. Is this no longer an option?
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:11 PM   #14
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The only other problem with my son being home now is that he literally attached to my wifes hip. He dosen't give her a chance to breathe.
That is because he needed his mother and he was shipped off to daycare instead. You did good when you made the move. Your son clinging to mommy is proof that kids don't need the "structure" of daycare. Daddy not paying attention while VPNing is still 100x better than a stranger ignorning or abusing your kid. Your son's entire life will be shaped by what is happening while he is a kid.

I suggest #3. Whatever it takes to make it happen will be worth it. There are no CONS to this decision.
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:52 PM   #15
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My son and daughter both go to a day school. Its a little different than daycare, kind of setup like I remember Kindergarden. They are 2 and 4 and have a blast.

Pros
Learn a lot
Interact with other kids
Peace in the house as I work from home

Cons
Expensive, like more than my mortgage
Sick a lot
Some teachers suck


Just make sure if you put them in daycare its a good one, normally this means expensive
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Old 05-13-2010, 12:59 AM   #16
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I vote daycare man esp if you do your homework and realy check the place out before hand, the social dynamics and overall independence your daughter will get from it will serve her well when she needs to adjust to a school enviroment in a few yrs.
Also the + is alot of those places can take the kid so you and the wife can go and do something to relax for a day or whatever you pussywhipped hispanic wife having ***** do for enjoyment.
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:29 AM   #17
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A good daycare can be awesome, a shitty one can be terrible. Do your home work and pay attention to your kid while they attend. You'll know if something isn't right. On occasion drop by unannounced at different times to see what is going on.

A good daycare isn't just about babysitting and watching your kid. A good daycare is more like pre-school (or pre-pre-school). I'd avoid any place that has a lot of staff turnover. The daycare we take my daughter (2yrs) to is the same daycare we took our son to, he's now in after school care. Over 3 years later and most of the core staff is still the same, the consistency is good and we know the people.
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Old 05-13-2010, 12:00 PM   #18
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Well, after the tour yesterday we were floored.

Completely blew away our perceptions of day care. I say day care, this place is really a pre-school. Good schedule, awesome security, good menu, lots of activities. We've done what we can at home between "Your baby can read" and just spending time with her, and are glad to know she'll be on a real curriculum for at least a year before going to public school.

I read a lot of reviews and talked to everyone local I knew. This place is actually $100/month less than some other places, a few of which had a couple of bad reviews. For me it only took one hint of a bad review to discount a place. This isn't buying a part or a piece of motorcycle gear where you can expect one or two negative reviews, this is my kid, and the one voice in the crowd crying foul may represent underlying issues.

Anyhow, we're going to try it. Talked to my mom last night and she'll be in Mississippi for MONTHS, but is making some absolute bank, so she'll be able to return and care for my daughter around school until I gradumacate, and possibly after.

Family is always best, but when you're out of options it's comforting to know there are great places out there you can trust your kids with. Hell, I trust this place much more than any public school I was forced to attend.

We are changing our work schedules to where one of us is home more often. She'll actually spend 20% less time away from us, seeing me in the morning until mid morning drop off, and my wife mid afternoon, then both of us when I get home in the evening.

Thanks for the advice guys, and kudos Robert, I admire your ability to say exactly what you're thinking based solely on your experiences and garnered wisdom. I may get a good raise after I finish this huge project I'm working on at my internship, which will either allow me to let wife stay at home sooner than planned, or graduate sooner by saving and taking more classes, a means to the same end.

Oh yeah, and all the recent discussion regarding this has prompted my wife and I to say it's time for Thing 2.
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Old 05-14-2010, 03:21 PM   #19
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Gospeed, saw this article and thought about your thread: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37147870...e_health_news/
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