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Old 04-20-2012, 06:04 AM
 
Location: NoVA
160 posts, read 236,108 times
Reputation: 106

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristineVA View Post

The real key to being a working parent is a flexible job. Had I not had the wonderful bosses that I had, I probably would have to quit my job as it would have been terribly stressful.
ABSOLUTELY. For NoVA working parents, flexible jobs and understanding bosses are crucial. Even better combined with a short commute, which, alas, I do not have.
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Old 04-20-2012, 06:05 AM
 
837 posts, read 1,614,496 times
Reputation: 659
ChristineVA, that's a very flexible job indeed. What I never understood is why schools end when they do...
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Old 04-20-2012, 06:21 AM
 
837 posts, read 1,614,496 times
Reputation: 659
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenjen391 View Post
ABSOLUTELY. For NoVA working parents, flexible jobs and understanding bosses are crucial. Even better combined with a short commute, which, alas, I do not have.
There's an apartment building maybe 300 feet from my office. I once saw someone drive out of it and drive into the parking garage....
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Old 04-20-2012, 06:33 AM
 
Location: Brambleton, VA
2,136 posts, read 4,637,314 times
Reputation: 1292
If you're a SAHM planning to re-enter the workforce, it helps to maintain connections. I know it's hard once you enter kid world, but so many good jobs are found here via networking. I've been out of the workforce for six years, but my husband and I worked together for years in the same field (IT), so I've been able to maintain connections socially with former coworkers. I've also done ongoing volunteer IT work from home for a community organization (low time commitment) and some freelance writing so that I have something on my resume for these years.
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Old 04-20-2012, 06:36 AM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,738 posts, read 8,948,971 times
Reputation: 3857
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagotodc View Post

YouTube - The Coming Collapse of the Middle Class

Just to share, those of you that are really interested in the rise of dual income families and the "trap" many feel will likely enjoy this lecture. It also helps of you like math and stats.

Don't let the alarmist title dissuade you, it's actually rooted in data and research not just hyperbole and fear.
This video is really interesting and goes by fast. She's an excellent speaker and very conversational. So far, the gist:
  • From 1970-2005, household income rose greatly due to the addition of the female income, BUT the salary of the fully employed male in the houshold was static, instead of rising as it had for the previous 70 years.
  • Costs of clothing, food, appliances, and cars actually went down significantly.
  • But that was more than offset by the 76% increase in housing costs, 74% increase in cost of health insurance, essentially 100% increase in cost of child care (since previously it had been self-provided, usually by the mother), and increase in taxes, since marginal taxes mean that the household is taxed higher on the additional income (from the mom's job) than on the income under whatever amount. (I.e., the combined taxes of two neighbors each making 50K is less than the tax on a married couple making 100K.)
  • Although the purchase prices and maintenance costs of cars went down, Americans started buying more of them--necessitated by moving farther from their jobs. So the cost of transportation went up.
  • That all means that 40 years ago, families spent 50% of their income on fixed, major expenses but now spend 75% on them.
  • Thus by the time modern families cover those five basic, fixed expenses, they have less to spend on the other things (clothes, food, vacations, etc.) than one-income families had 40 years ago, despite earning about twice as much income (adjusted for inflation).
  • At the same time, Americans went from saving 11% and having 1% revolving debt to basically reversing that.
That's just the first half. In the second half, she explores the ramifications and compounding factors:
  • Being able to make it on one income meant that if Dad lost his job, Mom could go to work and make up most of his income, or enough to get by at least. Now, with two incomes required, there's no one "on deck" as a backup--so if a job is lost, it's a major crisis.
  • In that same period of 1970-2005, the likelihood of being laid off has gone way up.
  • The risk is compounded in that with two incomes required, there is double the risk of a key earner being injured or becoming too ill to work.
  • The "send 'em home quicker and sicker" policy at hospitals means family members (rather than nurses) take car of the patient post surgery. Her example: In 1970, a new mom spent 5 days in the hospital after giving birth or 10 days if it was a C-section. Now it's 24 hours either way. But it's worse if someone has a serious illness or unexpected surgery, becausee a family member will have to take care of them. This means that one of those now-required second-income earners has to take off work--and if they don't have paid leave, they see a drop in the household income. So it's a double whammy.
  • Between 1983 and 2003, housing costs for families with children went up 100%--she deduces because families are "buying schools"--buying what they consider a shriking resource of quality public schools.
  • Ah! She does talk about higher-ed costs: In 1970, she says most people thought 12 years of schooling (a HS diploma) was all you needed to make it into the middle class. Now it's universally accepted taht you need a bachelor's. Problem is, society paid for the 12 years of education, whereas now, the extra four years are on you. (Plus the price of the degree itself has gone up exponentially.)
  • Interestingly, in 1970, almost no one sent their kids to preschool; now it's considered a necessity--and you pay for it. So now the bare minimum is not 12 but 18 years of education, six of which are paid for not by the taxypayer but by the family.
  • Because of all this, there are now more Americans going through bankruptcy than going through divorce.

Last edited by Carlingtonian; 04-20-2012 at 07:41 AM..
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Old 04-20-2012, 07:30 AM
 
Location: Fairfax, VA
1,449 posts, read 2,803,107 times
Reputation: 471
I will need to come back to the lecture - sounds so interesting!

I was in the hospital for 4 days after my c-section, so I don't know that people are out in 24 hours after a c-section. It isn't standard, that's for sure. I know people who have come home in 2 days, but 1 is insane if any hospital allows that. But as to the family members taking care afterward, my husband took a week and a half off of work. Even with my mom there, we needed both of them for those first few days. I did NOT recover quickly and would have had real trouble caring for my new child without that additional support. Thank goodness we all had good healthcare, flexible employers and wonderful leave policies.
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Old 04-20-2012, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Great Falls, VA
771 posts, read 1,205,369 times
Reputation: 1286
I remember the CEO of my workplace once sent a poll asking employees what perk would we like to have: a gym or a daycare? Even though I don't have children yet I voted for a daycare, knowing that they are often prohibitively expensive. Unlike a gym, which costs $30-40/month.

The great majority of employees here are in their late 20's and the gym won by an overwhelming margin, and we have a gym now. I know a lot of those people who voted for a gym and have started families since regret their votes.
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Old 04-20-2012, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Prince William County, VA
664 posts, read 1,620,544 times
Reputation: 368
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagotodc View Post
ChristineVA, that's a very flexible job indeed. What I never understood is why schools end when they do...
The mission of the schools is to educate children, not to provide childcare.

Honestly, that is one reason why I will stay home as long as possible, even though my kids are all in school now. I'm not going to depend on the schools to be a babysitter during the hours I would work--snow days, teacher in service days, other emergencies...too many things happen.
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Old 04-20-2012, 07:48 AM
 
Location: among the clustered spires
2,380 posts, read 3,863,596 times
Reputation: 869
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kembek View Post
Ok. show of hands: How many of you wish you had been raised by daycare/babysitter? Anyone??

I once heard a speaker ask a sold out audience that very question. NO ONE raised their hand.
Your choice right, other choices bad.
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Old 04-20-2012, 08:16 AM
 
37 posts, read 96,158 times
Reputation: 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kembek View Post
Ok. show of hands: How many of you wish you had been raised by daycare/babysitter? Anyone??

I once heard a speaker ask a sold out audience that very question. NO ONE raised their hand.
:Raises Hand:

First, my parents are the ones who raised me - three or four years of attending daycare does not negate the work they did in shaping my upbringing. But I attended daycare when I was a kid, and I have some great memories. I was an only child, so I looked forward to seeing my friends and had some really wonderful teachers there.

Like the pp said, just because it doesn't work for you, doesn't mean it's the wrong choice for others.
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