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Author: zsimpson Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 42361  
Subject: Re: How do you (working parents) do it? Date: 1/5/2009 2:09 AM
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That's a tough question to say. I can take the time off or go part-time, DH can't (or risks a foolishly generous pension plan). Affordability isn't really an issue, but he is the one who really wants kids and he is far better suited to being a stay-at-home. Plus it's hard to look at the missing cashflow and not resent it.

Something that zuzu lightly touched on is how your attitudes may change after having a child. I was a network engineer before we had kids. I had absolutely no intention of staying home. I could not imagine being alone with a child all day, nor could I imagine giving up my career which I had worked so hard to build. I too, had a rather generous income, and I truly loved my job, and really could not imagine EVER wanting to be at home.

I took six months off to have Muncho, then went back to work for six months. Between the fact that I only saw her for about an hour in the morning and an hour and a half in the evening (I had a long commute), and the fact that when something happened, I would have to take time from work to check on her, I realized I was not able to give my my job the attention I felt I should as an employee, nor could I give my baby the attention I felt she deserved. I felt like everyone was getting short changed, including me because I was being torn all over the place. My husband and I talked and I decided to turn in my 2 weeks notice. I came home, and haven't regretted it. After the girls started to grow, we put them into a Catholic pre-k, 2 half days a week. I started looking at the bills and started freaking out. I didn't know how we were going to handle paying for private school for both kids. I won't go into details, but I simply did not consider public school an option.

I was talking about the bills one day, and one of the moms said, "We're planning on homeschooling." I said, "What's that?" I had never heard of it other than in many generations previous. I had no clue anyone was doing it presently. So, we decided to homeschool both girls.

Anyway, this was an extremely long winded way of saying one thing you cannot take into account now is what your attitude will be after you have kids. You may want to stay working, or you may decide you really do not want to be working, or you may decide you only want to work part time. The old saying, "Everything changes when you have kids" is EXTREMELY true, but not in the ways you think when you do not have them. The things that change are not life around you. The thing that changes is your complete attitude towards what is important to you, and I do not know about other folks, but I really had no clue even though many people told me this repeatedly.
Kathleen
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