One of my main concerns leading up to the birth of our son was our finances and how we were going to afford all of the expenses that come with a new human. Newb Mom and I discussed all of our options and ran the numbers. In the end we decided that she was not going to go back to work and that I would work a second job to bring in the difference of what we needed in our budget.
The Cost Of Daycare
There were a few factors we had to consider when we were making this decision.
- How much time would we get with our son?
- Can we find daycare that we are comfortable with and is in our budget?
- How much income would Newb Mom really be bringing in (net income – cost of daycare = contribution to budget)?
This seems like a simplified list, but that is purely for the sake of this post. When we started looking at daycare we quickly found that the cost for an infant was crazy, and if you wanted the daycare to be in a nice part of town you could plan on an additional 40-50%. When we took these numbers and compared them to what my wife made at her job, there was not much left of her paycheck at the end of the month. We then had to decide if it was worth it for her to go to work for what was left over after daycare and if we were alright with our baby boy spending his days with someone else. Since we wanted to avoid both of us being away from him as much as possible and the gap in the budget could be made up by me working a second job, we decided she should stay home.
Working Two Jobs
So the catch with our plan was that while my wife got more time with our son, I got less. I had to decide what I was going to do for a second job and quickly. It wasn’t like I could just walk into a place and get hired on the spot. I began running through side jobs that fit my criteria:
- Open late enough that I could get hours during the week
- Paid enough that I could cover the gap in our budget
- Awesome enough that I wouldn’t end up walking out
My first thought was a coffee shop. I love coffee, I have done it before, and they are usually open late enough that I could do the closing shift after work and get a good four to five hour shift in. All my other options seemed to miss on at least one point – the video game store wasn’t open late enough, the sporting good store didn’t pay enough, and the hardware store wasn’t awesome enough. Then my wife found a position at a tech school for an Adjunct Professor. They needed someone who could teach at least one program in MS Office. I went for the interview and got the position. Within a few weeks I was teaching MS Access two nights a week and home with the family the rest.
Making Time For Family
I quickly realized that I had to be a lot better about budgeting my time with my new schedule. I was out of the house two nights a week, and spending two more grading and preparing for class. Gone were the days of video games and movies, now I spent every spare moment playing with my boy or getting in quality time with the wife. To complicate things I decided to continue my freelance web design work on the side with the hopes of some day replacing my part time gig.
It hasn’t been easy but it has definitely been worth it. Knowing that my wife is at home with the baby while I am at work is more comforting that I could have ever imagined. On top of that, my wife has made our son and our family her full time job, and she does all the house work during the day. No vacuuming for me!