View Full Version : WWYD?
04-06-2006, 11:23 PM
I am a SAHM. I am expecting my second at the end of September, at which time dd will be 15 months.
My sister's best friend recently got pregnant. It was a BIG surprise as she had been told she could probably never conceive. She never got her period due to whatever medical condition it was (forgive the hazy details, I really try not to pry) and didn't even realize she was pregnant until she was almost 14 weeks.
So, she is very freaked out. Her husband wants her to quit her job (and school) to stay home with the baby. She is absolutely determined to finish school, which means she has to keep working, because she pays her own tuition. (she and her dh keep their finances completely seperate)But since her husband wants her to stay home, he says he is not going to pay for daycare and if she insists on "pawning off their baby", she will have to find a way to pay for it.
Anyway, she has asked if I would be willing to watch her baby while she goes to work and school. This would be a great deal of time, since she works double shifts as well as going to school full time. Her baby and my baby are due within two weeks of each other.
I'm really torn. On the one hand, I really want to help her out because she has been such a good friend to my sister. I want to help her finish school if I can. I think that it is important for her future as well as her dc's. And I understand her situation and financial restraints and think that she would take comfort in knowing her baby was being well cared for.
On the other hand, I will have a newborn and a very young toddler and I worry it may just be too much. I know moms have done it before, but I don't want to say yes only to later fail her as a support system.
Thansk for listening, any advice is greatly appreciated.
04-06-2006, 11:41 PM
I'll tell you that DD was 22 months when DS was born and it is *rough-going* most days. Honestly, there isn't enough money in the world to make me sign up for even more work/stress. It would take a lot(more!) out of me and I already feel like I have nothing to give sometimes. DS(poor thing) gets bonked around a lot while I chase/rescue DD from mischief, too.
I understand you want to help her but it would be a *major* commitment on your part so you're smart to give it a lot of thought.
Best wishes. :)
mommy to DD('04) and DS('06)
04-07-2006, 12:16 AM
Yes, this is a hard one. As someone that wants to always help out and has a hard time saying no, I can understand why you might be torn. I also understand how important going to school is and how it would benefit her and their future.
Is there any way she can apply for some sort of financial aid or grants of some sort? I heard that there is a lot of money that goes unclaimed each year for furthering your education. Also, ther was a daycare located on the campus that would watch children for a reduced fee.
If I were in your position, I think that I would seriously think twice about taking on another newbie. You will have enough to worry about with your toddler and new recruit, much less have to worry about a third!!
Good luck with your decision. I hope your friend is able to resolve her issues without having to quit school and still be able to take care of herself and baby.
04-07-2006, 01:19 AM
I have twins and I think it would be quite difficult to manage two newborns and a 15 month old. Obviously, people do it but I think it would be very stressful. I am the type of person to bend over backwards to help people but frankly, I couldn't do it unless it were dire circumstances (death in family etc). Having two babies demanding your constant attention at the same time can be utterly exhausting, and I always felt terrible having to leave one screaming to attend to the other's needs. It's rough to have to choose. They were on a similar schedule for the most part (I called it survival) but it didn't always work out that way and many days I didn't have a moments rest. I wish I had more memories of each baby but alot of it's just a blur.
FWIW, I found the second half of the second year a trying time with DC (now 27 months) even more difficult than the first year since they couldn't communicate well but were becoming more independent, and this led to quite a few tantrums. They were also mobile and agile enough to get into all kinds of trouble and with such a short attention span, they needed constant monitoring. Sorry I don't mean to sound so negative, since I wouldn't trade having my twins for anything and they really are wonderful kiddos. It's very generous of you to think about considering helping out your sister's friend. She is in a tough spot.
04-07-2006, 01:37 AM
I'm there right now Alicia and agree with all the PP's. Tell her that you are flattered that she asked, but to keep asking around for someone else's help. It is so very nice of you to even think about doing this for her. I am sure she is in a spot, but it is really going to be too hard on you to care for all three babies.
My DD was 21 months when DS was born and someone is yelling (or screaming) about something most of the day (sometimes its me, lol!). I couldn't fathom trying to handle another newborn voluntarily. I am glad a mom of twins piped in as that I what I was thinking of when I read your post.
BTW her DH sounds like a great guy. :P
Maddy born 6/9/04
Jarred born 3/8/06
Co-Owner Ribbit Baby
04-07-2006, 06:26 AM
Well said. I couldn't have said it better myself.
This part really struck a chord:
"I wish I had more memories of each baby but alot of it's just a blur."
04-07-2006, 07:42 AM
My DD1 was 14.5 months old when DD2 was born and I found it quite challenging to say the least (and I have help!). I think you will have a trying enough time to take care of your own two. I really recommend declining her offer. I know she's in a tough spot but it may be too much of a burden on you.
Not to pry into their relationship, but it doesn't sound very healthy - separate finances (one thing to have separate checking accounts and credit cards but for him not to help pay for her tuition or daycare of their baby . . . very strange) and his attitude about her continuing school, etc. Just had to comment. I'll shut my mouth now.
04-07-2006, 07:45 AM
I wouldn't do it. That's just too much to handle. ... Sounds like she and her husband have some serious underlying issues they need to work out. I hope she can finish school. Does she have any family she can turn to? Maybe she can qualify for grants for working moms or something.
04-07-2006, 07:59 AM
That would be a big undertaking 3 under 2. I know that most home daycares are only allowed 2 under 2. Could you offer a day or 2 a week? You will need time with just your 2 dc too.
My sister got pregnant in college at age 19. Her DH wanted her to quit and stay home also. They came to a compromise and she took of 1 yr to be with her DS she was able to bf him until 11 months and not have to place him in daycare at a really early age. Could she go part time or take some time off?
04-07-2006, 09:01 AM
My dd and ds are 15 months apart, and I actually didn't think it was very hard at first. I think it might have been harder actually if my dd was a little older when my ds was born. I find it MUCH more dificult to manage them both now that my ds is up and running, and running, and climbing, etc. You get the picture. That being said, I really think that taking care of your dd, your newborn AND another newborn is an awful lot to ask of yourself. Your time with your newborn is precious. You also don't know how your dd is going to react to the new baby. If you have TWO new babies taking your attention away from her, that could be tough!
I often feel guilty that I haven't/don't pay enough one-on-one time with Kieran as I did with Anna. She just demanded so much of my attention, and he was such a good baby! I know this might sound horrible, but I honestly think that after a while I would resent my friend for asking of such a big sacrifice from me. I know you want to help her, so why don't you offer to watch her baby on the weekends for a few hours so she can do homework and study?? If you are really torn, you could also tell her that you just need to see how things unfold in your own household after your new baby is born, and that you will have to determine if you can watch her baby then.
I feel for your friend, but you know, not even her own husband is supporting her in this, why should you?? He is really the one who needs to stand up and help her get through this!
04-07-2006, 10:15 AM
Nope, no way!! That would be like having twins and a toddler! My girls' are 18 months apart and for all of the money in the world I personally wouldn't do it. Unless you have a ton of help with your own kids, your own house and support for you, no way, it will be so hard and exhausting. It was crazy the first few months at my house. Both girls had reflux so I went from one baby finally going to sleep right into another baby that didn't sleep for over a year, plus I had a 4 year old at the time. Crazy doesn't cover it. I did not have any help at all though, not even from dh.
And you already said if it doesn't work out you don't want to leave her stuck.
To be honest I think her dh is a real jerk but I am making a snap judgement and admiting that.
04-07-2006, 10:49 AM
I agree with the PPs. I'm always the kind to help out (often when it's not even good for me to do so...I'm working on that one.LOL), but this situation sounds like it would be way too stressful and tiring. I agree with the PPs that it will be hard enough with your new baby, and it would be that much harder and more exhausting with another newborn at home.
It's nice you want to help out, but I would recommend not saying yes. If you want to help her, maybe you could try to find some programs or grants for student moms, or maybe you could give her some ideas on where to find help (if you know of any places).
I know this is a tough situation to be in, but I think it would be a thousand times more complex if you agreed to do this.
I wouldn't do it. I know you feel like you want to help, and as much as that makes you a great person, you need to take care of yourself and your kids, and that may mean that you don't help out in this situation. She isn't batting an eye at doing what's best for her, so and you don't need to feel obligated to pick up the slack. I don't mean that to sound harsh for her, because that's not what I'm trying to do. I'm simply trying to remind you that you are feeling a bit of obligation that you don't need to own. Your responsibility is to care for your toddler and your newborn and yourself (husband, etc), not someone else's baby. Trust me when I say that you will have your hands full. And you will never, ever get those early, precious, but sleep deprived, stressful days back. Do you really want them to be even more of the "blur" that someone else mentioned? Think about it. I wouldn't be as worried about failing as her support system, but rather, feeling like you missed out on cherishing those momements w/ your kids! I've just gotten through 4 months of a newborn and toddler and it was crazy, but wonderful crazy! I can't imagine my focus being distracted by having to care for another's child, no matter how much that child or mom might need it. I just can't fathom not being 100% available to my own kids when they needed me these last months.
Just my 2 cents.
04-07-2006, 03:04 PM
What she is asking you is unfair, and not well thought out.
First it sounds like her DH is @#$%. I would want to continue school too if I was her. The reality is she probably can't work full time, take a full load of classes AND have a baby. I work for a university. She needs to make an appointment with the financial aid person on campus and see if she can get a loan etc. They should be able to help her. So she shouldn't have to work. Check into the daycare on campus ASAP!!!!! They usually have a long waiting list. Sometimes they also have student grants. So her schooling is taken care of. Since it is DH's kid too, he can watch the DC on weekends. She can work some sort of job to get some pocket money for herself or maybe she'll have an easy baby and can work from home. As for childcare, if the daycare isn't an option, maybe there are a few night classes she can take, or maybe you can work a deal with her to watch her child for a couple of hours for classes, then she watches your brood 1 day a week for a few hours for you to have some "me" time. That would be fair. She probably isn't going to be able to take classes this fall anyway, and 6 hours for the spring semester will be plenty to start with.
- Where there is a will there is a way. I wish her, and you, well.
Karin and Katie 10/24/02
My sitter can only keep 2 children under 2yo, and 3 under 3yo. You'd be signing up for 3 under 2yo, and honestly, it's tough enough for our sitter to have 2 under 2yo, especially when one of those is very jealous of his little sister and wants to be in the sitter's lap whenever his sister is.
I know you want to help, but I'd be hesitant to agree to this plan.
Couldnt agree more with the PPs.
By taking on one more kid, you will probably be compromising the quality of the time you spend with the rest of your family. You are staying home so that you can do the best for your kids, not to help some one out.
Even if you are 100% sure that you want to do it, your DH might not like the idea. If you are exhausted with having to deal with three kids all day, most probably you will not be able to enjoy the evenings with your DH. Your personal life will be surely affected.
If you do decide to go ahead with that, I would make sure with DH first that both of you are OK with it. It is better to say no right now so that she can make other arrangements.
04-07-2006, 05:39 PM
There are resources for her. Financial aid to pay for school. Grants to cover childcare costs while attending school. She needs to see a person at her school's financial aid office and women's office ASAP. Her husband's stance on this is D-I-S-U-S-T-I-N-G. She needs to finish school if she feels she needs to finish school *period*. I worked, went to school and had a newborn baby but I had a supportive husband that was caring for Toby during the day and a job with a lot of flex time. I can't imagine doing it without a supportive parenting partner that is contributing to childcare costs and childcare time. Frankly, given this guy's attitude, she might want to think long and hard as to if her spouse is going to be a good father.
04-07-2006, 09:48 PM
You are awesome to even consider it. Enjoy your new babies!
04-08-2006, 03:43 AM
You are so nice to even consider helping out your friend this way, but I totally agree with the PPs, it's difficult at best, and you wouldn't be able to give 100% to your own DCs. FWIW, my at-home childcare provider is only allowed 3 full-time kids under 3 years of age per local regulations, and she's a full-time licensed childcare provider. I think your friend needs to look into options and resources that her college may provide for student moms. Many colleges have awesome childcare facilities for students and faculty (at a great cost too), and can also provide financial aid. If she doesn't have that at her college, hopefully she can find someone else to watch her baby while she's in class.
04-08-2006, 07:42 AM
I think that you'd go crazy with two newborns and a 15 month old on your own! That's an awful lot of hours to be running crazy - you'd never get out of the house on your own, honestly.
FWIW, how can she be a SAHM at the same time that they are keeping their finances separate? Is he going to "pay" her for watching the child that also belongs to him, or will she be broke until she goes back to work?? If he "paid" her to watch the baby during the day, then she could use the money to go to school, and maybe you could help her with that childcare (much less time than working two shifts and full time school). Sorry, couldn't help but point that out even though it wasn't part of your original question!
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