Last week my wife started looking into our future need for daycare. Sure she’s not due for another 10 weeks and then has all of summer to get adjusted and ready to head back to the classroom, but as we heard from other new parents, good daycare is tough to find. My wife visited a few places in hopes of finding the right one, but became frustrated when told the cost. With one place in particular she was pleased with what the daycare had to offer and how they work with the parent to make sure the child stays on the routine already in place, but when it came to what we would have to pay on a monthly payment her joy faded quickly.
Many of these places cost the same as a small mortgage payment with a couple almost $2000 a month. And getting in isn’t gaurenteed. Many of these places have waiting lists that your name could sit on for months before you would be able to get a spot. This is the reason for starting this process now.
We’ve also started looking at nannies or a nanny share. This option also is expensive. The hourly pay for an in home nanny watching one child is in the range of $11 to $18 per hour. Now, these prices are indicative of city we live in. Chicago is quickly becoming one of my least favorite places to live because everywhere I look a new tax is being levied or prices are going up. (I’ll stop there on the political rant before I go too far). A nanny would be great because they would come to our home and and watch our child here, but paying for that would pretty much use up all of my paycheck in a month.
Nanny sharing would be another great option if we could find another family looking for daycare and were willing to hire someone to watch two to three children. We could split the cost and take turns on whose house the nanny would be at for that particular day. But, we need to find another family who wanted a nanny.
All of this has put another option on the table for us to ponder. With the cost being so high for an in-home nanny or daycare, we have began looking at the option of me being a stay-at-home dad. I would love this option. You might be asking why not have the mom stay home? Well even though I know she would prefer that, we couldn’t afford her leaving her job. Our health benefits and majority of income come from her job.
Now I wouldn’t quit working entirely. I am actually starting to look at freelance writing jobs on-line that I could do from home in order to make this happen. My thought is I could take care of our son during the day, do any errands and cleaning that needs to be done and have dinner waiting for when my wife got home and once she was settled and handling our child I could sit at my desk and work.
Is this ideal? Maybe not, but when the cost of daycare would eat up my entire paycheck anyway why wouldn’t we look at one of us quitting our job to stay home with the baby? My biggest concern is with the idea of me being able to bring in enough freelance work to at least help some monetarily. I’m not looking to be rich but I want to make sure we can put food on the table and have a decent place to live.