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Staying home with Baby (long)



I love teaching, I teach first grade inner city, I'll be tenured next Sept 1st, there are a lot of stresses with standards/curriculum like most places, learning walks, staff turnover but still like it. However, I am wondering if it makes sense in my life to do it over the next few years:

*Our first baby is due April 06, and we don't have any family/friends to help with daycare. At this point, God-willing of course, we would like to have a few kids.
*My husband travels anywhere from 1 to to 4 nights a week, on average 2 nights a week. While he probably won't do that forever, that's the situation now. Drop-off/pick-up from daycare and most night responsibilities would be mine and I have a 30-45 minute commute to work.
*Daycare around here is 300/wk for an infant. I think that is equivalent to about half of my take-home pay with a salary of 40,000.
That being said, finances would be a problem if I quit.
*I would need to make some income staying home. My ideas so far are: tutoring elementary and/or upper (masters is in ELED and am working on ECE, I have a B.S. in Biotechnology with chemistry concentration and a B.S. degree in technical writing), picking up some freelance work in technical writing (or trying to), home daycare, or teaching preschool/kindergarten at a place I could bring our baby to. Also, I am very good at making Christmas wreaths, people have offered to buy, I could sell in Boston suburbs for probably 50.00 a pop.
*Right now my husband and I make approximately 140,000 combined, which is barely enough to cover our mortgage, school loans, car payments on used cars, food, gas, etc., utilities, essential home repair (roof, heat, etc.) on a fixer-upper 1200 sq. ft. 1 bath house in the New England area. We are not big spenders, and my husband does most of the work himself. I don't know where we could cut money except cable and the daily newspaper. I could probably be more careful with food and gift-giving. But I'm guessing I'd still need to bring in around 20,000+

Any ideas on what I should do? Right now I am assuming I will be going back to work in the fall. That is a comforting idea too, but in my heart I wish I could do something to stay home and bring in some income that way. The other thing is, is that because I'll be tenured in the fall I get a bunch of sick days that have been piling up (that I don't have this year so will be taking some unpaid maternity this spring except for a small insurance stipend) and so I could take maternity leave from April until end of school year and could take another 6 weeks in the fall which would be paid days and add up to the total allowable amount of 13 wks. It would make sense financially and for my family to stay home April through Sept. rather than paying 1000 plus for Sept daycare, but if I do quit, that doesn't seem very ethical to tell them end of Sept I wasn't coming back after missing the beginning of the year! And when I say "quit," I mean take a year leave of absence which I can do with tenure, and then take it from there to see if it'll even work or not...

Chicago Teacher

Full Member
Same boat

I, unfortunately, don't have much advice, but I wanted to say that I am in the same position you are in. I am due with our first baby in May '06, and my husband and I would love for me to be able to stay at home. My husband is also a teacher, so his salary is not great, but we feel like we can do it if we are very frugal. My mom always worked when I was growing up, so I'm having a hard time feeling comfortable with the financial security if I don't work too.

We have talked about some of the same ideas you mentioned - tutoring, home daycare, etc. I actually teach in an alternative setting, so I'm also talking with my current workplace about coming back part time after next summer or possibly even doing something from home.

Anyway, sorry I don't have advice. I'm interested to see if other people have ideas.



Together you make 140,000...without your income it would be 100,000...and you won't have enough money to support the 3 of u?

You are spending to much somewhere. Just my opinion.

Brooke S.

Senior Member

Your cost of living must be very hight. Is it possible for you to move somewhere with a lower cost of

In the State of Florida, we have what is called Florida Virtual School and it is for students in 7th-12th grades. You can do all the "teaching" from home. All of the curriculum is set and you just grade it and talk with parents and students via phone and email. The starting salary is $40,000. Maybe they have something like this in your state.


Full Member
I'm with you!

Same boat here too and have discussed the same ideas with my husband. Only I am not pg yet. Hope to be in the next year. We just made a couple of hundred dollars selling some things on ebay and that's my new kick. I think that I can thrift store and yard sale shop and resell on ebay. Tutoring is also a GREAT idea that I love and will probably do. I wanted to start my own business - but just don't have that drive.

I am also in FL and have a student whose sister does the FL virtual school - That is also something I have looked into - teaching from home - YEA!!!!


New Member
I'm in the same boat

Our first is due June 22 of 06 and we are debating whether or not I should stay home too. My hubby would love for me to stay home (which I would love to also) however, he recently quit his fulltime job and is working part time for our family business of home remodling/renovation. This will only bring home $2400 a year which is not enough to cover costs. He is also going to school full time to get his 2nd degree. My salary is only $25,000 and we bring home together usually 50,000-60,000 with the money we make from the remodels and stuff. So I am debating whether or not to go back to work part time to help cover costs.

So, God willing, we'll make it with the three of us making 20,000-25,000.


not necessarily

This is the reality in some parts of the country. Real estate prices are outrageous in certain areas. A 1500 sq. ft. home in southern California is going for $650,000 dollars and up. Even with a $140,000 double income, this would be a stretch. New England prices are probably similar. And heating costs are a lot more.


Senior Member
I quit when my second child was

10 months old. I also had a two year old at the time and I had an excellent job in the accounting department of a local factory. I took my baby to her 10 mo. check up and the doctor was doing something he called the "Denver Developmental Check Up" just asking could she do this, that, etc. ONe of the questions was does she play patty cake. Well, I was floored to realise I wasn't really sure of the answer. My days were just filled with dragging babies to sitters, dragging them home, haul in the diaper bags, start dinner, get the wash going, clean the house, pack the bags for the next day - it was so unbelievably hectic, I just wasn't finding time to do those all important things with the kids. I told my husband that night I was done. He about had a heart attack since I made the same that he made. I put my notice in the next day (crying) because I loved my job, but I knew I could go back to work, but my babies wouldn't be babies for very long. I was a stay at home mom until my third child went to school. Then I returned to college for a teaching degree. I never regretted it for a minute. We were so worried about the finances, but we were actually better off. Between what I saved on a "work" wardrobe, no longer having to maintain 2 good cars (got a clunker grocery getter), more home cooking (from scratch), time to clip coupons - honestly, we had more money in the long run. We ended up saving enough to buy a used motor home. I redid the entire inside of it and we took the kids all over the place on vacations where we didn't spend anything on hotels and cooked everything in the motor home. I did do some odd jobs on the side that I could do with my kids, but mostly for Christmas money and school clothes money. Now my two daughters are both teachers. It seems like all of that was just yesterday. Their childhood will be gone in the blink of an eye, so you may have to sacrifice financially in order to quit, but if you don't, you might be sacrificing even more than you can imagine.


Senior Member

I had my first baby 9 1/2 years ago and relly never thought of staying home. I do have family around (next door even) but everyone worked full time and oculd not help. Personally I felt that I would be a worse parent if I stayed home. I am not a homemaker and would often go out shopping so I need to support my habit. I financially could quit but I carry the insurance and that would bankrupt us. We have been toying with having our 4th child but I will work up to the day and come back when my 6-7 weeks are over. Daycare is expensive and so is school so you have to decide if you are ready to adjust your income that way. My children are around the age of those I teach and I have found myself burning out on school. I am ready to teach another level at another location or within this school.


Junior Member
This kind of stuff is always hard and is totally a personal opinion. I live in Northern NJ and the cost if living is very high!! I make about 50,000 and my husband about 60,000 and we just about clear a bit of extra money each month. Have you thought about refinancing your house to take a bit of extra money to get you through a year of leave? We just refinanced, paid off all our credit cards and home equity line, student loans, etc. We lowered our monthly expenses by about 600. In the end when we sell our house we'll have to pay off more but it is very helpful for now. I have two kids, 18 months and almost 4. My husband doesn't get benefits so I don't have a choice about working. I was off for 9 months with my first and then worked Nov-June part time (district decision, no benefits) and with my second went back when she was almost 4 months. It was very hard the second time since I was still nursing and that didn't last long after I went back to work. Good luck in your decision.



Hi everyone,
Thanks for all of your input. Yes, I would consider moving to a place with a lower cost of living, but all of our family is here, within the hour, and there's no nearby town within the hour that's any cheaper. Living closer to my family would be equal (starter ranch houses in high three's), but I don't know if I'm romanticizing that idea of having life be perfect near my mom and dad. And near my husband's family is out as a starter is in the sixes with most modest houses around a million. I frankly don't know if we could handle another move (we've had to move several times in the last few years). Maybe that sounds like I'm not serious enough about cutting costs to stay home, but I am :) I'm brainstorming about all of your ideas for other sources of income...I can't think of any "sure" thing, although I realize there's no magic key, and I'd essentially be trading one type of stress for another. Not a bad thing necessarily, just trying to find out what might work for us. I'd miss my job that I have now, yes, but I can't imagine it's ever going to seem the same anyway, once I'm in the marathon of transport to daycare, battling the nights of commute and suppers with my husband away a few nights a week, and only bringing home half of my take-home now. I think that arrangement is going to create a strain on our family and mine and my husband's relationship. I just need to figure out how to bring in at least about 300 (I think) a week. I'm leaning toward the tutoring. I'd just have to advertise enough. I've done it before, but would have to work out the logistics of going to their house vs. coming here--either way I'd have to hire a sitter for my child as family is too far. Still I could make more visits to my parents during the week if I were home, at least a visit a week which is important to me. Thanks for your ideas...



One more thing, I will look into the refinancing. We're also going to see a financial advisor to see if we can map this out on paper.