Balancing Work and Family

I have a two year old beautiful daughter and another child on the way. I love my job, but it breaks my heart when my little girl cries for me to stay home with her so we can be together all day. I really need some fun filled ideas as to what I can do to have the best of both worlds, but also still have that check coming in to help support my family. I appreciate any advice.

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Somer from Enid, OK

January 4, 20070 found this helpful

It is very hard for a parent when a child cries to be with them...There are a few ideas my family has used in the past...but one that has stuck with me came from a friend...he had two girls and he and his wife both worked...they made a special effort to spend time with their children weekly...the Mother was a teacher...and therefore her days were taken..

but one night a week...she had a mothers night out with each girl...it was difficult at first but she discussed with them what they would like to do ahead of time and if it were feasible...she would do what they wanted to do...whether it was to go to a movie..out to eat...shopping...stay home and make cookies...etc...their father..who is a psychologist...did the same...one night a week he did something special with each girl...allowing them choices as well...and if there was something special at school...such as when they had parents come and have lunch with them...he made the effort to schedule around that so h e could go...then once a week...they did something together as a family...

this couple made sacrifices...their daughters are grown now.....and both girls will tell you...the memories they have are unbelievable...and so cherished they plan to do the same with their children...I'm not sure how old your daughter is...but

if she is old enough to understand...maybe you can give her some ideas of things you could do with her when you are free to give her something to look forward to...then I had a friend who gave her daughter three dollars a week for the daily chores she did...and at the end of the week...she took her to the local dollar store and allowed her to buy anything in the store she wanted as long as it wasn't harmful to her...another idea would be to have a basket filled with small wrapped gifts...maybe allow her to choose one at the end of the day if she doesn't cry...until she gets use to your being away...and you could even do that with activities...

allow her to choose one if she doesn't cry when you leave...these are just a few ideas...I know there will be lots more for you...I hope this helps

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January 4, 20070 found this helpful

Is she crying because you are leaving, or because of where she is going? Maybe there are underlying problems at a daycare or dayhome? And she is unable to tell you in words?

As far as ideas go you could get some special activities for when you are at home making supper and she can be with you in the kitchen helping you. She can be the fetcher and she can wash the veggies.

Set the table and do helpful things.

My daughter loved to cook in her kithcen when Mommy was cooking in hers....we moved it in the nook and she cooked for her babies what mommy was making for her babies!

Then we play games and read books and or go for a walk. She loved it.

Hope this helps you out.

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January 4, 20070 found this helpful

Maybe she's afraid you won't be coming back. I know that sounds silly but kids get strange ideas sometimes. Try leaving something of your's with her to keep until you get back. nothing valuble but perhaps an inexpensive necklace from the $ store she could wear under her shirt. If you make a big deal of taking it off and putting it on her she will feel very special and very important. You can also tell her if she starts missing you to just touch the necklace (or whatever) and think of you coming back soon. Then make special time for her to spend with you once you get home (helping in the kitchen or sharing a special story, etc) hearing you tell others what a big girl she was and what good care she took of the ----- will help her feel important and proud too.

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January 5, 20070 found this helpful

this is going to be an unpopular post, but I must state it anyway.

I know it is difficult for you and also too late for this advice for you.

However, I feel it would be in the best interests of ALL future children if the parents would wait to have children until they can stay home and care for them. I have to wonder what is the point of having a child only to have someone else do the majority of the care??

I know this is possible, if you put the childs welfare above the desire for a child.

My god daughter was married and waited 7 YEARS to have her children so she could be a stay at home mom, until she and her husband had a stable enough life to devote the time and energy and care that each child deserves.

The way the world is today and the way the children are turning out, the future children need all the help and guidance they can get - given by their parents - not daycare providers.

And, yes, before, anyone states this - I was a working mother....I was young. As the commercial says "you live and learn"...many aspects of my two childrens' lives fell by the wayside due to working schedules.

If I were young again and could do it all over, I would wait for my children until I could stay with them.

Thanks for listening...as I said, I know it will be unpopular, but I feel, it should at least be considered.

My god daughter was 20 when she made her decision to wait...we need more 20 year olds like her!!

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January 5, 20070 found this helpful

Let your daughter "look after" something of yours whilst you are away from her. Give it to her each time you leave her. I used a teddy, but it could be a hat, badge, bracelet, hair tie or anything else, but it must be yours! (you might need to make or buy something to make sure it is kid safe)

I had to do this with my 2 year old when I worked and it did the trick. She used to cry as soon as she saw that I was wearing work clothes. It took a few days to get into it but soon she was getting "Mummy's teddy" off the bed to look after until I came home, and magically no more tears. Looking after the teddy gave her something else to focus on and made her feel special even when I was not able to be there. The teddy had to be put back when I came home, but if she was ever sick, she was able to have it with her all night.

I hope this helps what ever you decide to do. My baby is now 7 but still asks for Mummy's special teddy if she is sick.

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January 5, 20070 found this helpful

What do you do for a living and can you do it at home? If not see if you company will have a daycare in the building so you can see your daughter for lunch and she knows you are nearby for her. I know its the hardest thing you have to do is leave her. What do you plan on doing when the next one comes along?

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January 5, 20070 found this helpful

While I agree it is best to be home with your child, I realize that the question wasn't whether or not you should work outside the home, the question was how to balance your responsibilities better.

Check out www.Flylady.net. You will learn how to manage your household duties and responsibilities so much easier and faster that you will have more time to devote to your daughter and family and simply enjoying them during the precious little hours that you are at home.

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January 5, 20070 found this helpful

You could consider substitute teaching. The school calls you and if you can come in, great, if not, it's ok to say no. Sometimes they call way ahead of time and sometimes its at the last minute but you can always say no. You'd probably be home by 3:00 and still have the afternoon to spend with your daughter. Sometimes they only need subs for half the day. Also, many high schools have day care centers as part of their child care curriculum for students, so you might even be able to sub at a school where you can take your daughter with you. Along those same lines, maybe working at a preschool or daycare your daughter could attend would be an option.

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January 5, 20070 found this helpful

About waiting to have kids-- some people try to wait, but nature runs its course and the kids come along anyway. Just a thought to consider next time anyone feels the urge to get on their soap box.

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January 5, 20070 found this helpful

I won't be popular, either, but if there is any way at all, stay home with your child. Have you penciled out your work-related expenses? Figured in the cost of gas, insurance, special clothing, fast food dinner when you're too tired to cook, etc? Deduct that from your actual take home pay. You may be surprised at how little you actually get to put toward such "foolish" things as the rent, heat and light bill, etc. In fact, you could probably earn that much staying home and doing a little babysitting, hair styling or whatever your talent is. I don't think small children need lots of exciting, fun things to do nearly so much as they need a parent to stay home with them. Forgive me if I sound cold. I don't mean to. I realize that women have been taught for the last 30 years that they "have" to work, but it's just possible that they don't. I stayed home with our kids, and I'm very grateful for the time with them, especially when they were teenagers! We gave up weekly dinners out at the burger place, movies and even electricity. We thought that was the most important choice. I found ways to save money. We ate what we grew. When the kids got in trouble they cut firewood, which heated the house. As they were old enough, they found work and paid for their own extras. When we put up green beans, we all sat around the kitchen table chatting and snapping beans. One daughter raised a heifer calf and used the sale money to get established when she graduated from high school. I sewed many of their clothes and bought whatever we could from the thrift store. I sent for rebates and saved the money. I sold aluminum cans and saved the money (got lots of exercise walking that way, too). It was all worth it! I don't know if this would work for you or not, but I wish the best for you and your family. God bless you!

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January 5, 20070 found this helpful

As hard as it is to watch those gorgeous eyes well up with tears, separation anxiety is very much a part of being two (or many stages of young childhood). I'm sad to share that when your new bundle of joy arrives, you may face a whole new set of hurdles to overcome (for your sake I hope not, but it happens). It's a hard adjustment for kids, but I believe it is a valuable life lesson. It's OK to learn that people leave and come back just like they say they will. I like the suggestions of special reminders of mommy or a special mommy-daughter activities (probably good for both of you...). I don't know what your schedule is like, but if you have fairly regular hours, maybe set an alarm or a watch to go off when it's time for mommy to come home. Also maybe a large calendar (I bought a large, plain desk calendar from an office supply store and printed stickers/labels on my computer) to mark days that mommy & daddy are at work, home, special activities, whatever. We have the kids place the stickers and "x" off days as they are completed. No surprises when Mommy works on Monday. You could also pack a special bag/backpack/purse/whatever the night before so she feels like she is going on an adventure (or off to "work" just like Mommy). Good luck to you (be strong!), this too shall pass! ;)

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January 5, 20070 found this helpful

Hi Somer,

Lots of opinions on this. It's always difficult to balance home, family and working. Yes, it's nice if you have your children after you are well established and don't have to work but there are many that have no choice, if they don't work, they don't have a home.

Once thing I've noticed hasn't been mentioned, how do you react when your child cries. Do you look at her like you are commiserating with her or do you smile and say, see you soon! Children really react to how we handle things and the more you act like it is fine, the better they will feel about it.

How does she act, after you leave? Does she continue to cry or does she stop and go about her day? If she gets over it quickly then the best thing to do is to leave quickly or leave when she is not watching.

Having been both a stay at home, work at home mother and working outside the home mother, I know it can be a balancing act. Let us know how this works out for you.

Susan from ThriftyFun

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January 5, 20070 found this helpful

The solution that worked for me was this:

Until my youngest child went to kindergarten I had a daycare in our home......back then it was called "babysitting"! My youngest had playmates and we had additional income.

When my youngest started school I started driving a school bus. I was home when my children were......weekends, summers, holidays, Christmas vacation, Spring break, "snow days". We left home in the morning and returned in the afternoon at the same time so they were never "latch key" kids. Our schedules always coincided. After a year of bus driving I was able to add an additional job.....school related also. I started working as a cook's assistant in a school lunchroom. I was able to run my morning bus route, drop the children at school, park the bus, and then go into the school to work in the school kitchen. By the time lunch was over and all the pots and pans and floors were scrubbed it was nearly time to load up the bus again and deliver the children to their homes. This worked out very well for us. The pay was not all that great and the jobs were certainly not glamorous but I do not regret doing it. I had the peace of mind of always being there with my children. I continued to do this until my older children were of driving age and mature enough to watch the younger ones. At that point I found a "real" job, working 8 to 5. I sure did miss being off in the summer tho'. LOL

Maybe there is a way for you to work out something similar. There are many different types of work available in a school.

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January 6, 20070 found this helpful

Some mothers have found working in the evenings to be a viable solution dependent upon the husband's work schedule. Of course, there are not plentiful opportunities in the evenings outside of retail work. However, if you determine what you net after taxes and daycare expenses perhaps you can still bring something home via evening work and be home during the day. You will also save money being home by preparing all meals at home, less transportation costs and clothing/drycleaning costs, etc. But, if a full-time salary is a must then you can make the most of your evenings before bedtime and on the weekends. Definitely check the local paper, free publications, word of mouth for free events for toddlers. The problem is that alot of these are geared to moms who are home during the day. Try your local library for events, and as the children get older you can do the home depot free workshops on Saturdays, the craft stores have free or low costs events, and book stores have free story times on Saturday mornings. Borrow books, videos and music from the library to use at home with the children and to gain ideas. Parks are wonderful too when the weather permits. Hope it helps.

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January 6, 20070 found this helpful

Wow that's pretty neat about the lady who drove a school bus and then worked in the cafeteria-- she made extra money AND saved on gas!

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January 10, 20070 found this helpful

The state of the family today tells me that more mothers should have stayed home and raised their children. My son turned out respectful and well mannered but if I could turn back the hands of time, I would go back and do just that because I feel that I missed out on so much that I will never be able to get back. I love my son and he loves me, but there is some emotional distance with us I feel I lost by giving my time and energy to an outside job. Invest a few dollars in some books or get them from the library and research how to do it. It really sounds like your heart wants to be home with your children. It will not be easy and it will take some hard work and probably some sacrifices ... like living in an affordable modest house instead of the huge one in the high class neighborhood, careful budgeting, not eating fast food or eating out so much, shopping the food sales, planning meals from them and cooking from scratch instead of from convenience foods, couponing, and #1, monitoring what your children are exposed to so as to not give in to the blatant commercialism with your children to keep up with the Joneses and that drives so many parents in debt. I could go on and on, but if you want it, I truly believe that you can make it happen. Here are a few books I wish I would have had access to. Good luck!

Shattering the Two-Income Income Myth: Daily Secrets for Living Well on One Income (Paperback)

by Andy Dappen

Miserly Moms,: Living on One Income in a Two-Income Economy (Paperback)

by Jonni McCoy

You Can Afford to Stay Home With Your Kids: A Step-By-Step Guide for Converting Your Family from Two Incomes to One (You Can Afford to Stay Home With Your Kids) (Paperback)

by Malia McCawley Wyckoff, Mary Snyder

The Smart Mom\'s Guide to Staying Home: 65 Simple Ways to Thrive, Not Deprive, on One Income (Paperback)

by Christine K. Walker

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