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 Post subject: How long should you stay home after having a baby?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:50 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:31 pm
Posts: 405
I got married to a wonderful woman this past April, and while she is not pregnant yet and we havent even talked about a kid, just thinking about such things led me to the question of how long should she stay home after having a child. Assuming there are no abnormal health issues.

Basically, its a bit of neurotic worrying, something I rarely do. I'm getting older, turning 31 this January. Its getting to the point in my life where if I want children, I cannot wait too much longer. However, at the same time, becoming a one income household would be kind of tough, though not impossible. I dont like the idea of a baby only a few months old being watched by someone else during the day, and would prefer for my wife to take a year off.

Is that normal? How long is the normal wait before going back to work? Even if we dont have children for another year or two, I think I need to start planning now, financially.


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 Post subject: Re: How long should you stay home after having a baby?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 6:47 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:29 pm
Posts: 1609
Location: Seattle, WA
A year is one common choice. Daycare in the first year is the most expensive, and also can be hard to find.

Another common choice is 3 months. For one thing that's about how long you get under FMLA.

Six weeks is about how long it takes to recover from giving birth.

I've heard of people taking anywhere from two weeks to 22 years :P So it's really a personal choice of you and your wife.

Why are you concerned about your own age? My half-sister was born when my father was in his 50's. What's important is, how old is your wife?

(There are a lot of factors that go into the choice, I just picked out a few that came to mind.)


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 Post subject: Re: How long should you stay home after having a baby?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:46 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:16 pm
Posts: 959
Perhaps her job would allow her to work from home? Have some one come in for a few hours a day if she can work from home. That way the baby is at home and she can keep an eye on the sitter.The women at my job normally take about 3-4 months off.

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 Post subject: Re: How long should you stay home after having a baby?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:15 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:31 pm
Posts: 405
My wife just turned 29, which is still relatively young, but I read that the risk for autism and other disorders increases exponentially once the man is over 35 years old. I turn 31 this January.

She is a school teacher, so she can't work from home. Although, the benefits would be that she could take half a year off and end up with 8 months before she had to be back at work.


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 Post subject: Re: How long should you stay home after having a baby?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:22 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:16 pm
Posts: 959
Actually.......my favorite she became a virtual teacher. She worked from home watched her son...maybe she could do something like that...I think your worrying yourself...you two are still really young...if I was thinking like you I would be really depressed I'm older than your wife and haven't a partner in sight to start a family and I used to let that keep me up at night.

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 Post subject: Re: How long should you stay home after having a baby?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:33 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:31 pm
Posts: 405
Virtual teacher sounds interesting. When the time comes, we will have to look into that.

And yeah, its alot of pointless worrying, we have plenty of time.


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 Post subject: Re: How long should you stay home after having a baby?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:57 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 255
You might actually want to talk to her instead of posting here. Maybe she doesn't even want to stay home. My fiance and I discussed if we have kids, he is going to be stay-at-home dad. The idea of the mom being automatically the stay-at-home choice is (or at least should be) horribly outdated.


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 Post subject: Re: How long should you stay home after having a baby?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:23 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:01 am
Posts: 5341
kaitlyn142 wrote:
You might actually want to talk to her instead of posting here. Maybe she doesn't even want to stay home. My fiance and I discussed if we have kids, he is going to be stay-at-home dad. The idea of the mom being automatically the stay-at-home choice is (or at least should be) horribly outdated.


I totally agree! This is another way the Europeans are way ahead of us in social evolution.


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 Post subject: Re: How long should you stay home after having a baby?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:32 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:31 pm
Posts: 405
Well, about that.

Lets not debate about traditional gender roles here, because while interesting it has the potential of devolving into a flame war.

So assuming we are all ultra-progressives who see eye to eye, there would still be the practical aspects.

I make twice what my wife makes, so if I were to stay home and take care of the child while she went back to work as a teacher, we would have to try to live on one modest income after having planned and budgeted differently for the last couple of years. Even under the most frugal budget we could possibly come up with, comitted expenses would probably still be too high for this to be possible. IMaybe once my car and student loans are paid off, but even then it would be extreme frugality.


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 Post subject: Re: How long should you stay home after having a baby?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:57 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:01 am
Posts: 5341
Savarel wrote:
Well, about that.

Lets not debate about traditional gender roles here, because while interesting it has the potential of devolving into a flame war.


Hmm, not intended to incite a flame war. Last I knew we all think we live in a free country and individuals/couples are free to do as they choose. Has that rule been rescinded?

A few of my friends in Europe have enjoyed staying home with their child for 18 months while receiving a modest salary to recognize the social benefits to that kind of parenting. Mom could do that too, it's up to the couple.


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 Post subject: Re: How long should you stay home after having a baby?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:27 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:31 pm
Posts: 405
DoingHomework wrote:
Hmm, not intended to incite a flame war. Last I knew we all think we live in a free country and individuals/couples are free to do as they choose. Has that rule been rescinded?


Indeed it has not. Much like JD preaches with PF, when it comes to your own personal relationships, as long as no one is getting hurt, then you should do whatever works for you.

Being a stay-at-home dad definitely does not work for *me*.

DoingHomework wrote:
A few of my friends in Europe have enjoyed staying home with their child for 18 months while receiving a modest salary to recognize the social benefits to that kind of parenting. Mom could do that too, it's up to the couple.


Europe has much different system of benefits and a better safety net. There is also a much different culture that is more acceptable to random 2 or 3 month absences at work. And by Europe, we mean western Europe/EU.


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 Post subject: Re: How long should you stay home after having a baby?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:24 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 255
Hmm, you seem to have missed my point a bit. You haven't asked her if she wants to be a stay at home mom. Your post sounded a bit like you were making this unilateral decision and expected her to abide by it thanks to traditional gender roles.

I'm not trying to start a flame war, but rather point out something that may not have occurred to you. The idea of being a stay at home dad never occurred to my fiance before I brought it up, but now he agrees that if he wants kids (he does, I really don't except for that annoying biological clock not shutting up), he is the one to stay home with them.

Many women these days have no interest in staying at home for any length of time. I don't. The majority of my friends don't. Now if what your wife wants to do is stay at home, more power to her. You still have to have an open discussion though, and be prepared for her not wanting to stay home.


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 Post subject: Re: How long should you stay home after having a baby?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 5:04 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:31 pm
Posts: 405
We have talked, and we both want children.

If a woman wants children, then I assume she is willing to concede career goals in order to take care of them properly. Being a schoolteacher, its rather natural to assume climbing the corporate ladder is not one of her goals.

If she said "I want children, but I want to keep working as an elementary school teacher making a very modest income while you quit your lucratice career and be a stay at home dad just because I want to act like a crazed feminist who wont be kept down by the man" then I'd probably start looking for a divorce attorney.


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 Post subject: Re: How long should you stay home after having a baby?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:02 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 5:48 pm
Posts: 1
She could still have a career even if she is a work-at-home mom. I am a work-at-home mom and I did it not because I conceded to my husband's choice but it is my own personal choice, and it would give me more time to spend with my family. Besides, it's more convenient and practical. I guess it's just a matter of being at home with the idea of working at the comforts of your home, casting gender issues aside. I came to terms with this idea after reading the book The Secret, which really helped me a lot when it comes to setting my goals in life.

Before, I wasn't ready to sacrifice my career for my family, but after reading this book, I found out I can have a work-family balanced life. I want to share more information about this book, and the story behind it, and I hope you would let your wife read it, so that she would understand you are not forcing her to give up her career for gender supremacy's sake, but for the sake of your family. Here is the link, and I hope you'll both like this:

http://www.getrichslowly.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=12

Enjoy and Good luck!

Thanks,
Steph :D


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 Post subject: Re: How long should you stay home after having a baby?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:50 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:01 am
Posts: 5341
Savarel wrote:
If a woman wants children, then I assume she is willing to concede career goals in order to take care of them properly. Being a schoolteacher, its rather natural to assume climbing the corporate ladder is not one of her goals.

If she said "I want children, but I want to keep working as an elementary school teacher making a very modest income while you quit your lucratice career and be a stay at home dad just because I want to act like a crazed feminist who wont be kept down by the man" then I'd probably start looking for a divorce attorney.


Wow, and you thought I was trying to start a flame war!


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