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Hi Glenn!

Let me start off by saying that I just got married 6 months ago to the most beautiful, compassionate woman in the world. And I found out that I'm going to be a daddy!!! YIPPIE!!! The thing is.... My wife and I both work, and I make enough to support us so that my wife wouldn't have to work. After the baby is born she wants to continue working, which means that our baby would have to go to daycare. I don't like the idea of our child being raised by stangers in a daycare, and I'm trying to convince her that being a SAHM is the way to go. But she doesn't want to hear anything about it. Does anyone have any input on this? Am I being unreasonable?

Wow congrats on both your marriage and the new baby!

I wasn't sure I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom either. Circumstanaces lead to me being between jobs suddenly just before we found out we were expecting our first, and I found out folks weren't too excited about hiring a soon to be mom in the social work field (talk about irony). So I opened an in home business, and temped a bit while I was expecting and had planned to get back to work full time once my son was born. Well six weeks after he was born, I looked at him and thought "if I was working full time, my maternity leave would be over now" and knew there was no way I could have left him for full time work.

I've continued with the part time business, and have occasionally worked part time for others to cover a financial shortfall in our family, but overall I have been a stay at home mom. I have grown to realize while it's important to be there when they are babies, it is even more important for me to be there now as my son approaches his teens. Now I work full time but from our home, so I'm still here when the kids come home from school.

I suggest you ask your wife why she wants to work full time. It could be that because you're both still pretty young (early 20's? I'm assuming since we've run into each other often on the teen board.) and she may want more work experience. Or she could be worried about giving up her identity which can be pretty much tied to her job at this stage in life (mine was).

Financially, you two need to run the numbers on one parent being home versus two working fulltime. We discovered that after taxes, daycare and work expenses like clothing and gasoline, that I could have gone back to work fulltime for $1.50/hr. I decided that wasn't worth the stress of working 40-50hrs a week to clear $60-75. We would have probably spent most of that on eatting out once or twice a week because we were too tired to cook.

Staying at home is a tough job. No offense to working moms, but I think staying home has been the most challanging thing I have ever done. I did have a circle of friends that both worked and stayed at home, so I had support to handle the transition. But if her entire circle of friends are at work, that makes the transition a bit harder. I discovered no matter how close I was to people at work, once I left the office, that relationship changed forever. I had to work on creating new friendships with other people to replace those work relationships. Or maybe she's not sure she can handle being home with a baby alone all day. Maybe she wants to know she could go back to work if something were ever to happen to you. (Now is the time for you to do some serious estate planning: wills, living wills, insurance, durable powers of attorney for health care. Before the baby is born! Could she continue to stay at home if you were hit by a bus? Would she have go back to work and support your family? Could she do that if she had been out of her job field for several years?)

No matter what you and your wife choose, it will be the right decision for your family. If she stayed at home and was miserable, that would be as poor a choice as if she chose to work when she really wanted to be home. Maybe she could find a way to stay involved in her field through either classes or part-time work or projects. She might find ways to volunteer too. There are also programs out there to help moms at home get out of the house with the baby.

Also, on a personal note, no matter what you two chose, don't forget you'll be a couple long after the baby is grown and out of the house. Find a good babysitter and go out on regular dates as a couple. Keeping your marriage strong is the most important gift you can ever give your children.

Always ;-)

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