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 Post subject: Re: How long should you stay home after having a baby?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 5:00 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:19 pm
Posts: 1776
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Savarel wrote:
When I made the statement about assuming a woman is willing to concede career goals, it was said in the context that *I* would be the other partner, so there was no need to include both partners.


Then why did you say the general form of "a woman" instead of the specific form of "my wife?" How many wives do you have?


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 Post subject: Re: How long should you stay home after having a baby?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:45 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:31 pm
Posts: 405
This would be why I wasnt going to discuss it. Gender roles and discrimination are one of those topics where people become instantly irrational, sort of like abortion, war, or religion. You just mention one of these things and suddenly people are at each other's throats.


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 Post subject: Re: How long should you stay home after having a baby?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:31 pm 
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Savarel wrote:
This would be why I wasnt going to discuss it. Gender roles and discrimination are one of those topics where people become instantly irrational, sort of like abortion, war, or religion. You just mention one of these things and suddenly people are at each other's throats.


Actually, reasonable people discuss the issues rationally. The only pro-gender-stereotype, anti-abortion, pro-war-against-those-of-a different-religion people I know are just too deluded by their own irrational superstitions to have an intelligent conversation about these issues.

(Oops, did that really slip out?)


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 Post subject: Re: How long should you stay home after having a baby?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 2:39 pm 
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Posts: 238
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stannius wrote:
Wow, some harsh comments here, and at one of our own this time.

Just because a man works while a woman stays home with a kid doesn't mean they are locked in the shackles of traditional gender roles.

On the other hand, the best people to make a decision is the two people involved. There are a lot of choices and you have the most information about what will probably work best. So you do need to talk to your wife about all this, some time in conversation between now and when it's too late :)

Feelings do change after you hold that baby in your arms - so build some flexibility into your plans.
Agreed.

Savarel has given adequate justification as to why his wife would be the one staying home, so there should be no need to drag this into any more of a 'gender role' argument than what it already is. Please offer non-judgmental financial advice to Savarel, or move on to the next thread.

My own advice would be do go with what works for you and your wife, and save up as much as you feel is necessary to get you through the time off work. My wife and I have two kids, and both times it was my wife who stayed home for 3 months with them -- partly because I make more money than she does, and partly because of the biological needs of a newborn child -- ones that can only be provided for by a mother. You can call it nature, or you can call it the work of the deity of your choosing, but there is a definite bond between a newborn child and the parent that has carried it in their womb for almost 10 months.

Both times we scrimped and saved every penny to build up enough to cover her 3 month maternity leave, and had nothing left by the time she went back. I wouldn't advise that anyone cut else cut it quite so close, but we survived, and that is what matters. It seems a little extreme to think that you must have well over a year's worth of emergency fund in a bank account in order to have kids.

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 Post subject: Re: How long should you stay home after having a baby?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:20 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:24 am
Posts: 51
Location: Petaluma, CA
While it seems it doesn't apply in this specific case, I thought I'd remind everyone that there is also the option of both partners working part-time, so they both have time with the baby while stil keeping their jobs. Obviously doesn't work with every job (or everyone) and if the income discrepancy is too high it might be a hard adjustment, too. But I thought I'd throw it out there, it doesn't have to be one person doing 100% of it, I know several couples who went the half-and-half way and it worked well for them.

To answer the question at hand though, I think, like others, that it's a discussion to have with your wife. If she is to stay home, as seems to be the most realistic option in your case, then how long she stays home will largely depend on how comfortable she is with other people taking care of her child, and how comfortable she is not working.
Since she is a teacher, does it mean the time she takes off would have to be in semester increments?

Also, you say you haven't even talked about a kid... Do you even know that she wants some? It seems to me it's something to discuss early on in a relationship, what if you want some and she doesn't?

About the age thing, in France where I was born and raised, the average age for a first child is 30. Since most people who have children have more than one, it's very common for people to have children at age 35 or more. And France isn't full of people with health issues, so while I'm sure your risks increase after 35, you'd need to look at how much. For instance, I've read that for women, the age they're most fertile is something like 15 or 17, meaning it decreses every year after that. But quite obviously, women in their 20s and 30s are still able to have children, so it's not like 17 is the "limit".
It's just a statistic. Maybe the figure raises from 0.01% to 0.011% or something. I think it's more important for your child that you make sure to be ready financially and emotionally and certainly don't rush due to that clock you think is ticking, know what I mean?
It's certainly good to think about it, though, so you know what to expect. But I think this question is the kind that doesn't havea fit-all answer. Every case is so different that it's really a case-by-case kind of thing, so talking with her and researching what kind of benefits she would get and so on is probably going to be more helpful than asking here.

Good luck, at any rate!


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 Post subject: Re: How long should you stay home after having a baby?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 6:15 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:19 pm
Posts: 1776
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Avistew wrote:
I've read that for women, the age they're most fertile is something like 15 or 17, meaning it decreses every year after that. But quite obviously, women in their 20s and 30s are still able to have children, so it's not like 17 is the "limit".
It's just a statistic. Maybe the figure raises from 0.01% to 0.011% or something.


The risk of complications and disorders actually rises dramatically after the woman reaches age 35. Specifically, incidence of Down's Syndrome goes WAY up. That's actually part of the reason that there's a perception that Down's Syndrome is becoming an epidemic. Nothing has changed with the disorder - women are simply waiting longer to have children nowadays, so more children are being born with Down's Syndrome. Sarah Palin's son, Trig, has Down's Syndrome. That wasn't an unlikely, unfortunate "one-in-a-million" coincidence - Palin was 44 years old when she had him. At that age, the risk of Down's Syndrome is 1 in 40. For comparison, at age 20, a woman's risk of having a child with Down's Syndrome is only 1 in 1400. Those are terrible odds, and the turning point is age 35. It's not linear.


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 Post subject: Re: How long should you stay home after having a baby?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 3:06 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:24 am
Posts: 51
Location: Petaluma, CA
I realise that, kombat, but the OP's problem was with his age as a male. While I can believe 35 is late for women, considering they won't be able to have children for much longer, it seems to me 35 is still rather early for males, since they can have children when they're double that age. So I don't think the day men turn 35 the problems rise exponentially.
I guess I could be wrong. Still I would suggest making sure you are ready financially and emotionally before deciding to have children rather than rush "before it's too late". If when you're ready you feel risks are higher for them, after all, you can adopt one instead.

I just worry when I see people trying to have kids before a specific deadline that's related to time and not things like a situation or money or something, because I know too many people who did that and really regretted having kids at a time they couldn't care for them as well as they would have liked, and sometimes didn't even get to raise them themselves because they had to both keep working full-time or even two jobs, etc.

Of course I might be too quick to detect a pattern that might not be here at all. It just seems to be it's better to say "We're going to have children now because we want them now" than "we're going to have children now because we're afraid we might not be able to later". KNow what I mean?


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 Post subject: Re: How long should you stay home after having a baby?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:48 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:17 pm
Posts: 28
It is basically a personal choice. I have a toddler, but I am at home taking care of him. I am also working from home. But let me warn you that working from home and taking care of the baby at the same time is one hell of a job. Sometimes, I feel so stressed out that I feel like chucking my job and doing full-time child care, but I know I won't do that. I love the money that comes in and the lifestyle that comes with the money. After all, the money is for the kid, right? I have chosen this because I want to be close to the child.


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 Post subject: Re: How long should you stay home after having a baby?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:27 am 

Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:35 pm
Posts: 451
Location: USA
Really I'm not sure why you are even posting here. What was your question again? Sounds like you have strong preferences (and possibly your wife does too) that your wife be a stay at home mom. Then the answer is, as long as possible, as long as it's financially feasible. Only you know your financial picture to know how long that can be.

Personally I'm old fashioned, prefer if possible to have one of the parents be at home as a primary caregiver, at least until kids are in school. Fortunately my husband agrees. That's why my husband is a stay at home dad :D


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 Post subject: Re: How long should you stay home after having a baby?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 10:35 am 

Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:50 pm
Posts: 752
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Here in Canada, it is pretty common for dads to take time off too. This shouldn't just be about your wife taking time off, unless there is some reason you think you would be unable to ever return to work. In Canada, it's becoming more common for dads to take even 4 months off.

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