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Author: perinatal One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 308470  
Subject: Re: Upcoming Financial Ripples... Date: 8/15/2001 10:10 AM
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I suspect that you're sick of suggestions however my wife and I have lived through many of your problems and I can't help throwing in my two cents.

1. One of you should stay home with your children, at least for the first five years of their lives. No one can give your children the love and care that you can. If you don't believe that's true then you shouldn't be having babies anyway.

2. It sounds like you already feel a little guilty about leaving your children at daycare anyway. I say this because you are willing to spend whatever it takes to insure the best care possible. An expensive day care doesn't necessarily mean that it's the best place for your child. The best place for your child is with you.

3. Your husband is a teacher, let him teach and nurture his own children during the day. Maybe he can teach night school to make some extra money.

4. My wife and I decided long ago that she would be the primary parent and I would be the "bread winner". There are times along the way when she has been frustrated by her role as mom because it's often a seemingly thankless job. The kids don't appreciate your hard work while it's happening. Now that we've gotten one son through college and have two more in high school my wife can see the results of her labors. They are good kids and they are because she put in the effort to make sure.

5. As the "work outside the home" parent, I can say in retrospect that I wish that I had been the one at home. I know that it would probably have been tougher than my career but I feel like I've missed so much.

6. Enjoy every day of their young lives and spend as much time with your children as you can. There is no greater gift that you can give to your children than to be a stay at home parent. You can be their teacher and their good example, not a stranger.

7. You mentioned "parent's mental health". In today's society, the most important person is "me". Forget about your mental health for a second. Think about what your kids need. Is it better for them to be farmed out to a day care so that you can be away from them? It doesn't make much sense to me that your husband leaves his own children to go off and be with someone else's children. Also, if one of you can stay at home to teach your children right and wrong now, I guarantee that when they are teenagers your mental health will be better knowing that you've got kids you can trust.

8. I know that this sounds like a lecture but if you put your children as your highest priority you can't go wrong. One of you should stay at home during the day. If that person wants to work nights and weekends then great.

9. Pay off your credit card debt as soon as possible. One of you should work nights or weekends.

10. Don't touch your 401k. You will regret it. If one of you has to work evenings and weekends until the credit card is paid off then do it. Having to work extra would be a great way to learn about the evils of credit card debt.

11. If there is no way for one of you to give up your outside job then consider moving to a place where day care is cheaper.

12. Consider becoming a one car family.

In summary, one of you should become a stay at home parent, someone works evenings and weekends at least until the credit card is paid off, leave your retirement alone and become a one car family.

Good luck,

Tim
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