I know for sure one of the hardest decisions T & I have ever made in our 11 years together is what to do about child care for our child. And for sure, it has been the most important decision during this pregnancy so far.
Shortly after we found out I was pregnant and of course had time to process everything, we started thinking about child care….one, because we knew that we would have to sign up some place quickly but also because of the budget. We knew child care was going to be expensive, but we soon found out that child care for a baby is actually slightly more than our mortgage. (mouth slightly ajar, eyes wide open, & body completely frozen and in shock!)
Now child care is the one area where I don’t think you want to make decisions based solely on the cost. i.e. I am not going to Craig’s List to find a cheaper child care facility! We knew of a couple places in our town and because I had friends at all three places knew how much it would cost and what the facility was like. I heard first hand pros and any cons. IF this was the route we were going to go, we at least knew what to expect. But in the back of both our minds we just didn’t know how we would afford it.
Then one day when I was having lunch with Terry he suggested something that I had never thought of mainly because I never thought he would be interested nor was an option. What if he quit his mediocre and poor paying job to stay at home with Henry during the day and then gets a part time job in the evenings.
We talked about it for awhile. The pros and cons. And then we both decided to think about it to ourselves and see how we felt in a couple days.
Let me tell you, from the beginning I was in love with the idea IF it was one that we could find a way to work out.
Terry could easily make at least half, if not more, working part time compared to what he makes working 55 hours a week (he doesn’t get compensated for 15 of those hours). We wouldn’t have to pay child care for at least the first year; maybe two depending on how the first year goes. Terry would have to work a part-time job to supplement income, however luckily I have a husband who is a hard worker and doesn’t mind doing whatever jobs he needs to do. And finally, and most importantly, Terry will get to be at home with Henry….and honestly, how awesome is that?!
Terry and I have talked about this many times since our first conversation. Making sure we could do this and it was the right decision for us. We talked about how Terry felt, taking on this role as a “stay at home dad” while working part-time. We talked about financial issues and how we are going to do this. We talked about how he felt about leaving the place he worked for almost 16 years (that was an easy decision for him). We talked about how he would finish getting his associates degree and how his schooling would play out in the future. And we talked about what we felt would be best for Henry right now and based on our current situation.
We both agreed that Terry staying at home was not just the best decision but also the right decision for us at this time. It is not a permanent solution, as in a year or two we want him to go to child care, but right now this is what works for all of us.
Folks, let me tell you I am 100% THRILLED about our decision!
I am so excited that Terry will get this special opportunity to stay home with Henry. To watch over him and care for him and have that bond that a son should have with his daddy.
Am I jealous? Absolutely not.
Do I wish it was me that was staying home? You know, not really.
I am sure it will be hard going back to work and I will wish I was at home but it is no harder than any working parent who has to leave their child. But I actually think Terry is much better suited for this role. Terry doesn’t like to be bored, so I know he will be keeping himself busy and doing whatever he can around the house when he has free time. That is just how he is. Me, I don’t mind being bored and I definitely don’t mind putting cleaning off, for let’s say a nap with my son! Plus, I know Terry needs this and to get out of where he is. Myself, I have a good job that I don’t mind going to every day and feel like I need to go to for not only financial reasons but for my own sanity! (It is a whole other post, but let’s just say I do not do well alone with my thoughts and become very obsessed with certain things.)
Overall, I am so happy about this decision. I mean, who else would I want raising our child? I know it will be tough at first until we get use to a new schedule, a new budget for ourselves and Terry finds a part-time job. But I think in the long run, it is totally worth it and I know I will be so happy to come home every night to my two boys and I am thrilled to see Terry in this role and know he will do an exceptional job at it!
So any other stay at home parents out there, Terry and Hank will be available for play dates starting this fall :)