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Old 07-24-2014, 06:01 PM
 
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I have 2 kids, 1 is autistic (4) and another healthy boy 2 yrs

I don't know if I am making the right decision. I have been a SAHM since 2011. My shift would be 8-430 but 7:15-5 with transit. Husband does shifts and gets some weekdays off (but sleeps).

Has anyone done long days with young kids? I'm nervous but it pays very well and I need to build a nest egg in case my autistic son is never independent. The daycare is good but such long days... Advice? It is $5k/month in a low COL.
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Old 07-24-2014, 06:18 PM
 
Location: here
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There is no "right" choice. You will be sacrificing no matter what you do.

The sooner you go back, the sooner you start to accrue PTO and gain seniority, and the sooner you can retire.

The downside is obviously reduced availability to your kids.

I was home when my kids were in preschool through kindergarten. They were 7 and 9 when I went back to work full time, and it was hard. I quickly realized that, even though they were gone all day at school, there was a lot that needed to happen between 4 and 5:30 pm, and I wasn't there to do it. I reduced my hours and it has made a big difference. I sometimes wonder if they even remember or realize that I was home with them all that time.

Maybe if you go back now, you will have more flexibility by the time they have homework and after school activities.

I do have a friend who went back to work but had to quit because she kept getting called to pick up her autistic son. I hope that isn't the case for you.
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Old 07-24-2014, 06:30 PM
 
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Our daughter and son-in-law have 3 boys, including a set of twins who are 8 years old. One of the twins has speech and co-ordination issues and some suspect that he might be somewhere on the autism spectrum (I have my doubts but I digress...). Our daughter works a demanding job while our son-in-law has a part-time job with hours that don't conflict with hers. They do it this way so that one of them is there with the kids. That helps in the rare cases when the school calls and needs one of them to pick up a sick child. They both have said that they don't know what they would do if both of them worked full-time.

You need to do what's right for you and your family. Weigh the pros and cons and the "what ifs" (what if there is an emergency at school, who will handle it?, etc.) Only then can you come to an informed decision.
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Old 07-28-2014, 12:42 AM
 
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It's incredibly hard to decide.

Do you have a community around you, people who can watch the kids after school if need be? Any chance at reduced hours or going in earlier?
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Old 07-30-2014, 09:29 AM
 
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It is a hard decision to make but I would suggest you to start working. It is for your kid. You are right about needing a nest in future if things dont go as planned.
I have a long commute too an I leave home at 6:15 and return at 5:30 PM. It will break your heart to leave the kids at daycare for that log but it has to be done, for whatever reason.

Good luck.
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Old 07-30-2014, 12:07 PM
 
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It was easier for me when they were younger. I worked until my youngest was going into kindergarten. I had a great babysitter. I dropped them off at her house and they spent the day in a family environment and doing things they would have done with me being home---zoo, swimming, visiting farms, etc. I quit working because I wanted to be involved at school, story time, homeroom mommy, etc. Within a few months, I started working part-time because I was bored while they were in school. The job was flexible and allowed me to still be involved in school and home when they weren't in school. I returned to working full time a couple of years later.

When my youngest was in 4th grade, I quit work to be a SAHM for multiple reasons. The children no longer wanted to go to the neighbor's house after school because they no longer got along with the neighbor girl. We allowed them to come home since it was only 20 minutes until their father was home. He got home around 4:15 and I got home after 6:00. I'd come home and the kid were out playing and no homework was done. That wasn't the reason I quit working though because we could have made changes to the after-school care, rules, etc. The real problem was the youngest was sick constantly and both my husband and I were trading taking off days. One of us had to quit before we both lost our jobs for calling off work so often.

I haven't worked since my youngest was in 4th grade, with the exception of a brief 3 years I returned to work part time when they were in high school. It was really important for someone to be here during the teen years to keep an eye on them. They are now in their 20s, and I started my own business last year because I became accustom to having free time and a flexible schedule. I never want to go back to the corporate world.

Only you and your husband can decide what's best for your family. No decision is set in stone. You can always return to being a SAHM or cut back your hours if it's not working. If you feel you need to build the nest egg, give it a try and see how it goes.
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Old 07-30-2014, 02:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
No decision is set in stone. You can always return to being a SAHM or cut back your hours if it's not working. If you feel you need to build the nest egg, give it a try and see how it goes.
I second this. Remember that if it works out terribly you can always quit a job. However, a good offer is probably an excellent opportunity to try it and see if it works.

I went back to work 7 months after my son was born. I was incredibly nervous about it as my own mother was the model of an involved, excellent stay at home mom. But in my particular case, my son is very social and thrives on social interaction at daycare; he absolutely loves it. Sometimes he seems disappointed that he can't see his all his friends on the weekends. I got a lot more comfortable with the situation once I tried it and it has worked out really well so far. It has also shifted the home responsibilities to be much more even between me and my husband, which I think is healthy for everyone.

On the other hand, I know parents whose kids didn't take to group situations as well and they found alternative arrangements after an initial trial. You won't know unless you try.
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Old 07-30-2014, 03:22 PM
 
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I have a bit different perspective. What therapies is your autistic son getting? Are they at home or at your daycare? Lots of parents of autistic children quit work because of the schedule they need to keep to have the child in appropriate numbers of hours of therapy. If he gets ABA, the recommendation is for 30 to 40 hours per week. This is expensive, but very worth it.
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Old 07-30-2014, 08:33 PM
 
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30-40 hours of therapy per week? How is that even possible?
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Old 07-30-2014, 08:47 PM
 
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Thanks all. Sorry for my late reply, we just moved across the country which as you can imagine was very hard on him.

He will be at daycare 7am-4pm or 5:30pm (depending on dad too). 7-11ish is daycare with a 1:1 assistant (not yet but in the works) and then 12-4 is an intensive program nearby with therapists psychologist etc.... Starts September

Not working isn't an option as I should mention "low COL" in my country is still $400k mortgage lol I do not live in the USA. But care here and respite is free until 19.

I think I will just have to give it a shot... I am too burned out from years of care I would love some way to secure a financial future. I worry a lot about if he is never independent or too much pressure on my healthy son when I'm gone.
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