Stay-at-Home Dad?

So one of the issues related to being pregnant 2 years before The Plan had scheduled is a lack of funds for childcare. You see, in 2 years the husband’s restaurant loan will be paid off, which frees up enough money for him to double his salary. What would this mean for childcare? Well, with nannies running from $12-$15 a hour (so $2,000 – $2,500 a month) and daycare averaging $1,000 a month, the new raise would either cover daycare entirely or make having a nanny feel like paying for daycare, i.e. we would be in good shape.

But it’s not two years from now, is it? Well, let’s just say we’d be losing money if my husband keeps working and we pay for a nanny (if anyone out there is contemplating starting a restaurant and is not independently wealthy, my advice would be don’t). That leaves daycare. And I’m not opposed to daycare, but it’s not ideal either. Even with great teacher ratios of 4 babies to 1 caregiver, that’s still a lot of time the small one will be sitting in a chair (kinda like his mom does all day, but I digress). It’s one thing when he can crawl or even sorta play with other kids – then daycare is like an extended playgroup. But at 4 months? Well, it sounds like I’ll be paying a lot of money for someone to supervise that he doesn’t fall out of a plastic swing. Additionally, I have a feeling no daycare is going to allow me to send in a kid with g diapers and glass bottles, which is something my hippie at heart husband and I would like to use in an ideal (i.e. completely untested and unrealistic) world. So I repeat, while I am not against daycare, it does involve sacrificing some of our parental ideals.

But there is another option. Hubby could stay home. I hesitate to grow too attached to this idea lest some employee of his decides in January that she really needs to find herself by quitting immediately and flying to Nepal to study basket weaving, leaving me two weeks to find an open spot in whatever daycare facility will take us (did I mention that planning is my cooping mechanism?). These are the perils of owning a small business (and why I am corporate all the way). But the husband brought this up again last week and the more he thinks about this, the more he says he could pull it off, at least for a little while.

So right now the very tentative plan is that hubby will hire someone to take his place at the shop (which will cost less then a nanny, even though we pay our staff pretty well), and stay home starting in February when his busy season begins to wane (and my maternity leave is up). He’ll stop by the shops every morning with the small one in tow to pick up bills and check in on things and head back to the home office to pay bills and book caterings between dirty diapers, bottles and total baby melt downs. Upon my arrival home from work at around 5:30, I’ll get handed the small one for the night shift and I assume a large glass of bourbon will be poured for my utterly spent entrepreneur cum house husband. This will last until Labor Day, when dad’s busy season returns and the small one, now 10 months old, will be big enough for us to send him to daycare with slightly less guilt than we would face at 4 months of age.

In sum, that’s three months home with mom, seven months hanging out with dad, and then a year of daycare before he can go to the local Montessori preschool and my neighbor (who could rightfully from here on out be known as my savior) takes him home and nannies in the afternoons until we’re off to kindergarten. That’s a plan – a pie in the sky, we will never pull this off, stay-at-home parents (and restaurateurs) everywhere are now laughing at my naïveté – plan, but a plan none the less. Now I just need to figure out how to implement it, not to mention come up with the slightly more realistic plan B.

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