One of the biggest unknowns for me about starting a family is what will happen after my MAT leave ends and our child turns 1. Ideally I would love to spend as much time as possible with our child(ren) during the first 5 years, before they enroll into kindergarten but I also realize a few important points:
- If I want a second child I want to qualify for MAT leave again, which means I need to get the required hours to do so in the 52 weeks prior to the second birth.
- D and I live a certain lifestyle, we aren't over spenders or huge partiers but we also aren't extremely thrifty, which means that not having my income would suck. We would have to rework our budget to either stop/reduce our retirement savings investments or cut out a huge amount of 'extras'.
- I actually enjoy my job and would like to continue to work.
D's mother is retired and would probably love looking after our child(ren) but I don't think it is a realistic option to have her be our full time daycare for the following reasons:
- She lives 30 minutes outside of the city. If I were to drop the child(ren) off in the morning it would mean that I would have to leave over an hour before my work started as I'd be driving in the opposite direction and then doubling back. Alternatively she could come to our place every day but then we would want to compensate for her fuel (which would still be cheaper then public/private daycare centres/homes). This also would be difficult on bad road days, meaning I would end up calling in 'sick' those days.
- I'm not sure she would like to commit to babysitting 5 days a week. She also checks in on her mother and sister weekly, as well as takes substituting positions as an EA (educational assistant - which is what she did before retirement) once in awhile. We would not be compensating her her lost wages so that isn't fair to her.
- I don't really want her to be the one to parent our children instead of me. I think D's parents are wonderful, generous people that raised two great guys BUT I do NOT agree with a lot of their views on things, specifically pertaining to minorities...
Options for this could be:
- My mother-in-law for at least one of these days. I think asking her to commit to one day a week would look after some of the above issues and also allow her time with her grandchild(ren).
- Licensed Child Care at a centre (if I can find one that accepts part time spots AND is somewhere that I would want my child attending) which costs $27/day until they are 2 and then $18/day until 5...not cheap
- Unlicensed Child Care at some one's home (again if I can find one that accepts part time spots AND I trust to take my child) which can cost even more then licensed child care.
- Childcare Swap with another mother (or two!), where I would look after their child once a week and they would watch mine once. This is something that I would ideally like to do but ONLY if I could find one or two mothers that I trust...in other words friends.
- Nursery/Preschool which is an option once they are 3 and then I need to look into somewhere like Balmoral Hall, as I mentioned in the previous post, or a public centre which I don't know how much it would be.