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The Cost of Child Care

Last week, Montgomery County passed into law a bill requiring written contracts for residents who employ nannies, housekeepers or cooks for at least 20 hours a week.

The next day, Washington Post blogger Marc Fisher wrote: "I've never employed any domestic worker nor do I generally believe in the idea."

Fisher should be thankful he's not an employee of Google, which wanted to charge its workers $57,000 a year for infant day care (for two children). By comparison, the average cost of infant care in licensed child care centers in the Washington region is about $10,000 annually, according to the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies. Nannies in the region generally earn between $10 and $17 per hour, based on an unscientific D.C. Urban Mom survey conducted within the past year. Of the more than 300 parents who responded to the survey, about 90 percent are very or extremely happy with their nanny.

But back to Fisher. The comment in his blog seemed to me unnecessary to the rest of the point he was making, which was that the law was an overreach in a county where nannies are largely treated well and happy with their employers. It's certainly not a way to make parents feel as though The Post's writers and columnists understand their lives at a time when The Post is actively trying to appeal to younger mothers. So, I questioned him on whether he was surprised at readers' indignation at the comment and whether he has kids of his own.

"I assumed it would strike some as cavalier and others as logical," he said via e-mail. "I have two kids, ages 17 and 12, so we've been dealing with the difficulties of juggling work and child care for many years now, and it doesn't get any easier with teenagers than it was with kindergartners. But we've preferred to adjust our work schedules rather than plant the kids with hired staff. Money was also a factor: Even if we had wanted to go the nanny route, it was never something we were able to afford. We've managed through a combination of tactics: We enroll the kids in various after-school activities, my wife works part-time some days, I work at home some days so that I can do school pick-up, and in the earliest years, we occasionally had a college student handle some of the kid transportation. I know well that many parents cannot rearrange their work schedules to accommodate schools' odd and inconsistent hours, but I felt it was important not to have our kids grow up with an employee as their main after-school guardian, so to the extent that we could, we tried to accomplish that--not always successfully, and often with considerable difficulty and sacrifice." In a follow-up e-mail asking about how they cared for their children when they were babies/toddlers/preschoolers, Fisher said that his wife "took substantial time off from work when our kids were babies, and I took shorter leave when they were infants."

In other words, Fisher and his wife were able to find solutions that worked for them and their family -- exactly like all the rest of us, whether we stay home, work and employ nannies, or send our kids to day care or preschool.

What's your solution for child care? What kind of care do you use and how much do you pay for it?

By Stacey Garfinkle |  July 21, 2008; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Babies , Elementary Schoolers , Preschoolers
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Comments


"What's your solution for child care?"

My solutions have been a lot like Fishers', minus the a-hole attitude.

Posted by: Curly | July 21, 2008 7:22 AM | Report abuse

My husband and I stagger our schedules as much as possible so our child isn't in daycare more than 8 hours a day. She's in 5 days a week. It's $1755 a month. When baby 2 is born, he'll cut down to working 3 days a week, so it will be less than $1900 a month for 2 kids for 3 days a week. That's our ideal and what we've been working toward. Yay!

I'm a huge fan of daycare centers in general, and mine in particular. The home-based centers I saw were depressing, though by word of month, I hear some are great. I don't like the thought of a nanny. It's just not for me.

Posted by: atb | July 21, 2008 8:05 AM | Report abuse

We have never had a nanny. I don't work now and the one evening a week that I am out (Friday nights) my husband stays home with the children. I know I have mentioned that I want to return to work now that the children are in school full time. My husband is against it, mainly because he thinks it is important for me to be here when they get home from school. If I went back to work we would have to hire someone for the after school hours until one of us got home.

Posted by: Donna | July 21, 2008 8:15 AM | Report abuse

what i find funny is how it is somehow horrible to think that people should raise their own children. what have we come to?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 8:28 AM | Report abuse

We stagger our hours to minimize the time, but use a Montessori-based daycare about 7 hours a day. It costs us about $1500/mo.

It's been a great experience for my son. I do think ideally he would be in about 2 hours less a day, but in both of our fields going part-time has long-term consequences.

When I was at home with my son, full time for a year, and then PT working from home for a year with an even more part-time nanny, it was indeed great. No one cares more about my son than my husband and I do.

However, I also learned quite a bit about my own limitations and weaknesses too. I realized that it was a peculiar kind of arrogance to assume that I would have all the magic answers or that only I could make a good day for him. Obviously, I'm his mother, and he needs my time and attention.

However I became less convinced that he needs my personal time and attention every hour of the day. We took some classes and did playdates and those things were not any "better" than his day in an environment built for kids to explore with loving adults guiding a class in a daily, secure routine.

It's funny how parents who send their kids to school are raising their kids, but parents who send their kids to daycare aren't. *shrug* I'm pretty happy with our choice and feel no need to throw stones at others' choices. It's sad that Marc Fisher felt he had to get on his horse about it.

Posted by: Shandra | July 21, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

It's really quite simple. We don't love our kids. All we want is money, money, money. Kids are just a status symbol. We'd much rather drive the nicest cars and wear the fanciest clothes than be frumpy, poor housewives, playing servants to men. You'd think you'd know that, since you're so clear about how black and white the world is.

Posted by: atb | July 21, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

We are really lucky because a family member had decided that she wanted to return to childcare just before our son was born. Because she was just starting up when I went back to work, my son has received one on one care. She will be taking on two new babies in the Fall, but I am very confident that she can handle it. The ratio in most daycare facilities is 5 babies to 1 caregiver, so we will still be under that. We pay 175 per week and we are very happy with that. Another person in my office pays 225 per week for a daycare with a very good reputation, lots of amenities including webcam, and location on the campus of our local hospital. We will probably move our son to a church-run preschool facility in about a year and half in order to help him socialize in a larger group setting in preparation for school.

Also, I don't think anyone thinks it's "horrible" for folks to raise their own kids. I often wish that I could stay home with my son, but it is just not feasible for our family - and before anyone starts with the reduce your needs arguments, we live in a very small house, drive older cars, live on a budget, etc. It still takes two incomes for us to make it and save for retirement and college.

Posted by: VaLGaL | July 21, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

175 a week! i can't get my house cleaned for less than 100 a week. guess you get what you pay for.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

atb, that was hilarious. I'm very sick of this debate before it's even getting started, but I wanted to say ditto to atb.

Posted by: RiverCityRoller | July 21, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

atb - get out and talk to some parents of young kids some time. Clothes - largely from discount stores. Cars - a 2000 and a 2001. We're not atypical. And you're condescending.

BB

Posted by: Fairlington Blade | July 21, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Shandra hits the nail on the head with this "I realized that it was a peculiar kind of arrogance to assume that I would have all the magic answers or that only I could make a good day for him."

Personally I think many Americans are uncomfortable with the concept of nannies/housekeepers/domestic help. (Perhaps it flies in the face of our Puritan work ethic?) As atb notes, nannies aren't for everyone - even if they don't live with you they are in your home 5 days per week and it can be a strange employer/employee relationship to manage. Add in dealing with wages, taxes, time-off, etc, I can see why many people do not choose a nanny.

Posted by: Kate from OB | July 21, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

We went through most options - a woman who provided licensed day care in her home; au pairs for a couple of years; large, work-provided daycare centers; and before- and after-care in the public schools; before DW decided she hated her job and became a SAHM for a few years.

What's right is what's right in your situation. We really loved the au pairs, because (a) we had two very wonderful young ladies, one from Germany and one from Ireland, come live with us and provide great care for our kids; and (b) it worked best with our schedules/jobs at the time. The fact that it was less expensive than the day care centers helped, too.

Found this quote in the NYT article interesting: "There are many people in this country -- including, I'll bet, many Googlers -- who believe that employer-provided day care, at affordable prices, ought to be like health insurance, a benefit that every company provides as a matter of course." Umm, there are lots of people in this country, including one of the major Presidential candidates, who think that health insurance should no longer be employer-provided; that that's just an artifact of salary restrictions imposed during WWII. The author's biases in that article were pretty clear.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | July 21, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Up until the kids moved to the US, they were raised full-time by their mother. DH supported her such that she could do that. We continued that support until she arrived in the US. Her first job was only at night so the kids stayed with her during the day and stayed with us at night. This wasn't done because we thought that placing the kids in daycare was bad but because it was cheaper than placing the kids in daycare. Now, she has a full time job during the day. She works 3 weekdays and 2 weekend days. The kids stay with us on the weekends and go to a private home for the weekdays that she works. This lets us see the kids and has the added bonus of saving money on daycare.

I don't know how I feel about the private home they are going to. I have to admit that it is very cheap (25$ a day for both) but other issues have me wondering. The children aren't mine so I am leaving that decision making process up to the actual parents who I am sure are doing the best they can given the circumstances.

I am sure a nanny will never grace our doorstep because there is simply not enough money being made to afford such a luxury. I wish there was because my best friend is a nanny and I would love to have our children taken care of by a loving person such as her.

Posted by: Billie | July 21, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Shandra |

"It's funny how parents who send their kids to school are raising their kids, but parents who send their kids to daycare aren't. *shrug* I'm pretty happy with our choice and feel no need to throw stones at others' choices. It's sad that Marc Fisher felt he had to get on his horse about it. "

See the first comment. Oh, and Marc Fisher is a moron, in general.

"But we've preferred to adjust our work schedules rather than plant the kids with hired staff"

"We enroll the kids in various after-school activities"

!!!!!!

Posted by: Huh? | July 21, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Nannies are for rich people.

Posted by: Scrapple | July 21, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Right, what atb said.
Fairlington Blade - I think you misunderstood atb's comments. Read it again and think sarcasm.
***********
175 a week! i can't get my house cleaned for less than 100 a week. guess you get what you pay for.

Posted by: | July 21, 2008 8:58 AM

********

I don't understand this comment. 175 per week is slightly above average for the area where we live, AND she's a family member who takes great care of our son - she treats him like a grandchild, and helps us, as new parents, figure out thinks like sleeping through the night and moving to solid food and such, too. Books can only give you so much advice, but a mother of two and person who has worked in childcare for many years is a great resource for advice and suggestions.
So, we get much more than "what we pay for."

I clean my own house.

Posted by: VaLGaL | July 21, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

"Right, what atb said.
Fairlington Blade - I think you misunderstood atb's comments. Read it again and think sarcasm."

Shucks. I was hoping both atb & ArmyBrat would be "speechless" today, but no such luck.

Posted by: Lincoln was a Republican | July 21, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

No such luck in you having anything interesting or on topic to add, either. Useless, sad troll.

Posted by: atb | July 21, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Our daughter has been in day care centers since age 4 months and it has worked out really well for us. She is now 2.5 years old and has always really enjoyed it. In fact, there are many days that the kids are having such a good time on the playground they don't want to go home.

As for cost, we currently have her in an employer-provided daycare, but it the most expensive care yet ($260/week for kids over 2; over $300/week for under 2). We were paying about $1400/month at the last center, but it was a not-for-profit. I really miss that center - a bit homier and closer to our house and my workplace. I have no complaints about her current care at all and she is 2 buildings away from my husband's.

Posted by: MaryB | July 21, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Lincoln was a Republican

But if he were alive today he'd be a Democrat.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

We live in the suburbs of Boston, and are spending about $3300/month on our 4.5yo and 6 month old, in two different places, 5 full days a week. The next year of paying for both kids, until the oldest starts kindergarten, will not be our easiest financially, but we felt that taking a year off at this point would be very difficult for both of our careers. Our infant was able to be home with us for the first 20 weeks through leaves we both took, but that was the most we could do at this point.

Posted by: LilMisBusy | July 21, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

So, let me see if I understand. Fisher's wife was the one who sacrificed her career career to take care of their kids, but Fisher's the one on his high horse, talking about how someone should be home (I have a hunch that the "leave" he took when his kids were infants amounted to a few weeks at a time)? Please. I wonder if he'd be singing the same song if his wife hadn't been willing to stay home. Would he have done it, or would he have "plant[ed] his kids with hired staff," as he so charmingly puts it?

I was a nanny in undergrad, so my opinion is biased, but I think nannies can be wonderful for children. They get someone who is able to get to know (and love) them, and whose only responsibility is their care. When I was a nanny, I didn't need to run errands or do laundry or cook or clean beyond the kids' immediate needs. I had all the time in the world to just play with them. And since it was my job, I wouldn't have dreamed of, say, letting them watch Dora as I checked out a blog on the computer (as I am doing right now with my own daughter).

I love being a SAHM. But it infuriates me when people treat staying home as some kind of morally superior choice.

Posted by: NewSAHM | July 21, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

"We live in the suburbs of Boston, and are spending about $3300/month on our 4.5yo and 6 month old, in two different places, 5 full days a week."


WOW - what else is there to say but WOW! I can't imagine how much you pull down to be able to afford that.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

"Lincoln was a Republican"

"But if he were alive today he'd be a Democrat."

What would Jesus be?

Posted by: Mmmm | July 21, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I find it really bizarre when men fall in love with women without ambition or drive in life think that somehow their way is the best way. I fell in love with the most energetic woman I ever met. She was in medical school and I was getting my MBA. I can't live without her. She wants to be a doctor for the rest of her life. She is saving people's lives. I have a good management job and when my kids are old enough I' going to turn one of my consulting companies on full-time. It's who I am. My wife is who she is. The parents or grandparents or aunts and uncles are probably alive because she was working the emergency room when they came in one night. I don't have to apologize for the lives she saved, why do people act like I should?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I feel lucky that I live in an area where there are a lot of illegal aliens. Paying in cash for childcare helps save a significant amount of money, plus its nice to introduce my 2 preschoolers to a diverse upbringing. Yes, its a shame that I pay about 3 times more per man hour on my lawn service than I do for childcare, but Why should I pay more than the going rate when the service is just as good?

PS The men that mow/trim my lawn are most likely illagal alieans too, but that's not my problem.

Posted by: 1 BMW, 1 Camero | July 21, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

"We live in the suburbs of Boston, and are spending about $3300/month on our 4.5yo and 6 month old, in two different places, 5 full days a week."


WOW - what else is there to say but WOW! I can't imagine how much you pull down to be able to afford that.
--------

well we have family friends who are paying $4300 per month for 4 kids in DC. Those numbers are high for DC, but not outrageous.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Jesus would be non-partisan.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

"In fact, there are many days that the kids are having such a good time on the playground they don't want to go home."

Who would want to go home to 2 worn out working parents that don't even want to raise their own kids? Evenings and weekends sounds more like a divorce arrangement than anything else.

Posted by: of course they don't want to go home | July 21, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

1 BMW, 1 Camero

"PS The men that mow/trim my lawn are most likely illagal alieans too, but that's not my problem."

You might want to learn how to effing spell before you start dissing people...

P.S. The men who do my lawn work/snow removal are from Puerto Rico....

I pay them $20.00 per hour + tip.

Posted by: Bad back | July 21, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

child care -- 0
orthodontia -- 0
summer camp -- 0
college tuition and expenses - 0
asthma and allergy meds - 0
clothes, designer jeans, sneakrers -- 0
gamebox, playstations, WII, etc. etc. -- 0
car for the 16th birthday -- 0
car insurance for a 16-y.o. -- 0
psychiatric therapy for constant masturbating and nose-picking -- 0

When you don't have kids your money can go to so many other places.


Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

When I went back to work, my youngest was about 6 mos, and I didn't want him in full time day care til he was one. We found a wonderful young lady, and it worked out very well, for us. So well, we kept her til she had to leave (school/visa thing). She was there when the oldest had days off, etc. It was really nice - she did laundry, etc. She was wonderful.

Then we got an au pair, and the experience was just as good. It was nice to have her here, she lived with us, the kids loved her, etc.

Then I quit my job and DH wouldn't let me keep au pair :(. Oh, well. So now I'm home with the kids. I definitely like it and am happy that I am able to do it. I am hoping to go back to work some kind of part time at some point, we'll see. We are far from rich - when I was working, or now. We had a bit more money when I was working, but it's not an incredible amount. I mean, seriously.

I think DH likes that I'm home - he never has to go to the supermarket, or target or whatever. And I was responsible for day care and food and stuff while working anyway - so to me, it works better for me home. When the kids go back to school, in a few weeks, I'll be able to get more done around the house....

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I have friends where the husband has a schedule where he works 2-10. So basically, he gets the mornings, she gets the evenings. They pay almost nothing for a nanny (maybe $200-250 per week?). It's at least $600 for full time care. So it works for them, but they never see each other... :)

Posted by: atlmom | July 21, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

9:49 troll- I thought we already established that people who have to work clearly don't love their children. While we would love to have our children in 24 hour a day care, it's just not possible. And, of course the don't spend time with exhausted parents at the end of the day. We leave them with a sitter and go out to a nice relaxing dinner.

Posted by: atb | July 21, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

When you don't have kids your money can go to so many other places.
-----

but your mind still obsesses over the Post's "On Parenting" blog. You can talk the talk, but what you write says, "My biological clock is ticking and I can't stop thinking about being a parent even for one Monday morning."

Sigh, you need therapy with the quickness.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Atb: it's amazing how much you have accurately portrayed everyone here on this blog. Ya know, you should be a mind reader or something. Truly uncanny.

I mean, seriously, all I did this summer was plop the kids down in front of the TV - why do anything else? That left me to sit and drink wine and eat bon bons.

They're in camp now. Oops! wait...

Posted by: atlmom | July 21, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Right now, the cost of childcare for us is zero. That's because I'm a SAHM again as of two weeks ago. I'm glad I've made this choice, but it is not for everyone. It really bothers me, actually, when one particular SAHM at the bus stop is like "Oh, aren't you just so GRATEFUL that you can be home with the kids again?" Like I was biding my time working until the day when I could quit. There are parts of work that I really, really miss, but life is much saner now for all of us. And I intend to return to work after my youngest starts kindergarten and I've finished my Master's.

atb, your post made me laugh out loud. I don't know why (for some groups) it's a crime/sin for women to like working, to prefer working to staying home with their family. I've never seen someone berating a man on this blog for his choice to work instead of operating a daddy day care.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | July 21, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

As I was typing my post, I fully expected the response by the 9:49 AM troll. So, thanks so much for obliging!

Posted by: MaryB | July 21, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I'm trying a new if you can't beat 'em, join 'em approach. You can't change the mind of a "true believer," so you might as well agree with them to the point of ridiculousness.

Posted by: atb | July 21, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Like ArmyBrat, we've tried a lot of options: home daycare, daycare center, Montessori school as well as stints as a stay-at-home mom. This summer, we have an au pair until September.

All of these options worked out well at the time. We had a wonderful home daycare situation (only two infants/toddlers) for my daughter when she was an infant but we moved her into a daycare center when she needed more children interaction. Then she went onto Montessori. When our son was born, I stayed home with the children for a few years. When I went back to work this past winter, we knew about the summer au pair option and thought we would try it. It's been a good solution for us this summer.

I try to keep an open mind about childcare options. What works with one child may not work with two children; what works now may not be a good solution in five years; and what seemed insane five years ago (e.g., au pair) may be a reasonable option now.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Granny has always hepped out with the youngin's so I could a-go huntin' and trappin' more. Need losta' weasel to keep their mouths full!

Posted by: Jed Clampett | July 21, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Back when most moms were SAH, during summer we kids would play outside for hours at a time without any adult supervision. Most of the moms might as well have not been home, since they just wanted us out of the house.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

what i find funny is how it is somehow horrible to think that people should raise their own children. what have we come to?

Posted by: | July 21, 2008 8:28 AM

We have come to a point where most of us are a bit more honest than you about how children come to be "raised".

In the good ol' days, neighbors, sisters in law, cousins, grandparents, and older siblings traded off watching the families' collective youngsters so both parents could afford to feed them. It took both parents' best efforts, whether working in sweat shops, sewing at home, working a 1-acre garden, adding a part-time security job or cab-driving shift to a full-time factory job, to feed, clothe and keep safe a family of 3 or 4. Do you remember when most families had 4 - 8 children and the eldest was perpetually in charge of the younger ones? Not mom. Not dad. The twelve-year old sister.

What are others permitted to do for your children before they intrude on the bubble that is "raising" kids? If kids go to Vacation Bible School and someone gives them a snack, is that "raising"? When they go to piano lessons or football practice, is the instructor or coach "raising"? Sleepaway camp? They are with counselors for a whole week. Are the counselors "raising" them? Fisher refers to "after-school activities". Those are run by care-givers, too.

So when do you dismount your high-horse and realize that your only problem is with women employed outside the home, not with alternative caregivers in the form of siblings, friends and grandparents?

Posted by: Ashleigh | July 21, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Back when most moms were SAH, during summer we kids would play outside for hours at a time without any adult supervision. Most of the moms might as well have not been home, since they just wanted us out of the house.

---------

Actually this is very true of my neighborhood, except that my mother, who wrote children's text books, welcomed all the kids over to our house. This was ridiculous enough that she eventually became a nursery school teacher, since she was taking care of all the neighborhood kids anyway- might as well get paid for it. true story! I remember being 12 or 13 and there could be half a dozen 4 year olds in the basement that my 8 yr old sister was reading a story to or teaching how to use scissors because the SAHMs just kicked them out of the house. The 1980s, it was morning in america and the moms hated staying home and drank. They'd all be back in the office by 1989.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

So when do you dismount your high-horse and realize that your only problem is with women employed outside the home, not with alternative caregivers in the form of siblings, friends and grandparents?
-----

My mother's main complaint when I was a kid was with the moms who hired "housekeepers" who were actually nannies. As my mother said, if you leave the kids alone with the maid while you go shopping, she's not a maid anymore.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

10:00 -- I just like to rattle your cage once in a while.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

"My mother's main complaint when I was a kid was with the moms who hired "housekeepers" who were actually nannies. As my mother said, if you leave the kids alone with the maid while you go shopping, she's not a maid anymore. "

Why didn't your mother mind her own business?

Posted by: MYOB | July 21, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

We pay $300/wk ($1200/month)total for 3 part-time sitters for my 3yo son.

We have used part-time day care in the past (our local Goddard School allows 2 half days as a minimum, which is great). The one think I don't like about Goddard is how it is age-stratified and kids move out of a particular classroom once they age. My son aged out of a particular teacher he loved, and it seemed unfair to me to make him leave her just because of that.

So we use local part-time nannies right now and my son will return to Montessori school (5 days wk/mornings) in the fall, with sitters in the pm.

Two sitters have known my son since he was 7 mos old, the third met him earlier this year and has a son his same age.

Posted by: SJR | July 21, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

"We live in the suburbs of Boston, and are spending about $3300/month on our 4.5yo and 6 month old, in two different places, 5 full days a week."

I'm ashamed to admit I don't even make $3300/month. I'm obviously in the wrong line of work, I need to start a daycare in an affluent area. Its apparent these people are willing to pay for decent childcare.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Why didn't your mother mind her own business?

Posted by: MYOB | July 21, 2008 10:36 AM

********

Um, why don't you mind yours?

Posted by: pot meet kettle | July 21, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

"Back when most moms were SAH, during summer we kids would play outside for hours at a time without any adult supervision. Most of the moms might as well have not been home, since they just wanted us out of the house"

True. In my neighborhood, in the summer, most of the kids "ran the streets" from dusk 'till dawn. Our parents had no idea where we were or what we we doing.

Posted by: Whitebread | July 21, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

NewSAHM

"I love being a SAHM. But it infuriates me when people treat staying home as some kind of morally superior choice. "

I don't give a rat's a$s what other people think of my choices. Saves me a lot of time & energy for the good stuff in life.

Posted by: Ditch the pretentious bores | July 21, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

"We enroll the kids in various after-school activities"

"a college student handle some of the kid transportation"

In my world, these equate to a form of daycare. Marc Fisher is living a lie if he thinks he has never employed domestic help. Oh wait, since one was a college student then it doesn't qualify as domestic help.

Posted by: SE | July 21, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

"Back when most moms were SAH, . . ."

Spoken by someone ignorant of US history.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Let's take a page from the Lizard handbook & stop answering the troll, because this will drive it even nuttier.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

"I'm ashamed to admit I don't even make $3300/month. I'm obviously in the wrong line of work, I need to start a daycare in an affluent area. Its apparent these people are willing to pay for decent childcare."

I don't make $3300/mo either, so we're not sure how we'll handle it if we have a second child but as people have said, arrangements change. :)

Posted by: Shandra | July 21, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Ours has been in center-based care since she was four months old. We've only had to move her once, from her wonderful infant/toddler center to her current Montessori School. To me, consistency and quality are very important and to her, as much time as possible interacting with other children is important, as she is an only child and loves other kids.

Posted by: Olney | July 21, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

yeah, my grandmother was working 10 hour days , with a commute, after her husband died. She left her two girls home (school aged) so they came home after school by themselves, and took care of themselves. She had little choice.

But years ago - EVERYONE worked. The 50s was an anomaly.

Posted by: atlmom | July 21, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Let's take a page from the Lizard handbook & stop answering the troll, because this will drive it even nuttier.

Posted by: | July 21, 2008 10:56 AM

What makes you think this blog is even troll worthy?

Yea, you get the occasional third and fourth echelon troll here but that is all.

Posted by: Troll Worthy | July 21, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Let's take a page from the Lizard handbook & stop answering the troll, because this will drive it even nuttier.

Posted by: | July 21, 2008 10:56 AM

As if there's only one? Ignoring is good, but let's not kid ourselves.

Posted by: MN | July 21, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

It was a shock to our wallets moving from Washington State to the Washington DC area. We paid $900 a week for a wonderful child care center when our daugther was an infant and $800 a week once she turned one. The cheapest center I have found around here, that is convenient to where I live and where I work, is $1450 a month. With a second child on the way, two kids in a center is a little pricy.

However, we found a nice, in-home, child care at $800 a month. I would like to get my 2 1/2 year old in a center soon, so she can have more interaction with other kids, but the in-home will do for now.

Posted by: Just Moved | July 21, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I meant $800 a month and $900 a month...not week! oops...

Posted by: Just Moved | July 21, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Just Moved

"It was a shock to our wallets moving from Washington State to the Washington DC area. "

And there are a lot more pretentious bores in the Washingington DC area than in Washington State. Go figure.

Posted by: Yup | July 21, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

"pretentious bores"

the latest broken record from the person who brought us, "interesting moral compass".

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

"yeah, my grandmother was working 10 hour days , with a commute, after her husband died. She left her two girls home (school aged) so they came home after school by themselves, and took care of themselves. She had little choice.

But years ago - EVERYONE worked. The 50s was an anomaly."

Posted by: atlmom | July 21, 2008

This must be at least the 20th retread of the working grandmother story on the WaPa blogs. Yawn.

Posted by: Zzzzz | July 21, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

The childless Celebritology drones don't want you MMs on their board, I say you go over there and let them know every one should be welcome.

Posted by: really | July 21, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Sorry if I misunderstood your comment, atb. I glazed over the last sentence, which does raise it to the level of sarcasm.

For our situation, the nanny runs about $120/day, plus unemployment and withholding. Not cheap, but not that much more than daycare for two. Our kids are happy in the home and one of us often works from home, so the added flexibility is worth it.

BB

Posted by: Fairlington Blade | July 21, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

"And there are a lot more pretentious bores in the Washingington DC area than in Washington State"

Are you kidding? Same wine, different bottle.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Dear Valgal

Don't feel bad. I like your child care arrangement. Loving in-home daycare is expensive even at $110 to $200 a week! That is what my survey showed when I was shopping around for one. Going up to $250 a week may be too steep for most of us.

The person that spends $100 a week to have her house cleaned should not put you down for spending $175 a week on child care. Regardless, I feel $100 spent once or twice a month on house cleaning is money well spent especially if you have children.

Some people need a reality check. $175 a month on childcare is not cheap for most familys. Spending $100 a week on child care is also expensive for most familys. Many of us with children choose child care instead of house cleaning if we must work outside the home in order for our familys to eat.

Posted by: Happy | July 21, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand Fisher's arrogance about his situation. How is paying to leave your kid at after school care any different than paying a nanny to pick your kid up and take him home for play time and homework? They are both choices that involve someone else caring for your child while you work. Somehow it is morally superior to leave your child with the school's employee rather than your own? The distinction escapes me.

We've had every variety of child care -- from home based care to sharing a full-time nanny with another family to all day preschool to employing our own full-time nanny. With two kids, our costs to employ a highly qualified full-time nanny are the same as the Boston mom's are for separate centers for her two kids. We do appreciate the flexibility that the nanny provides. She can get our school-age son to and from school each day, and it allows our toddler to spend his days at home and his afternoons with his big brother. I work a somewhat flexible schedule, so during weeks when I am home for a day, our nanny can run errands and take care of household chores while I spend the time with the kids. I was a nanny myself during college, so I know and appreciate how wonderful it can be for kids to have this extra loving person in their lives. Our nanny loves our boys and does many things to keep our household running smoothly. In return we treat her as a professional, providing health insurance, paid vacation, etc.

Posted by: Chicago Mom | July 21, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

We used public-school based Montessori from age three to K. Even though we payed at the highest bracket, the benefits were more than just childcare. We used public school gym, library, after school activities, field trips, etc. Before Montessori it was an au pair. Cheaper than a quality daycare, and such a cheerful girl zooming with jogging stroller through multiple playgrounds, parks, swimming pools and so on. We even invited her family, and they stayed for a month fussing over a baby. I had (and still have) flexible schedule, which was really unpredictable back then but seems to be more under control now.

Posted by: Medina | July 21, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Somehow it is morally superior to leave your child with the school's employee rather than your own? The distinction escapes me."

Posted by: Chicago Mom | July 21, 2008 12:02 PM

Well said, Chicago Mom. Comments like Fischer's only prove he hasn't thought through this issue and come to any sort of principled approach to meeting his family's needs.

Posted by: MN | July 21, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

"The childless Celebritology drones don't want you MMs on their board"

A lot of people who post on Celebritology are parents. The MM stands for Mean Mommies. That would be parents who tear into each other over differences in life choices. This blog has that covered so why take it up in C-ology?

Posted by: Who needs meanies? | July 21, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I pay them $20.00 per hour + tip.

Posted by: Bad back | July 21, 2008 9:52 AM

Sanctimonious prick. If they work for the company they are lucky to get 20% of that. If not, they are laughing at you over beer. Show some respect to your neiborhood teen, get the job done for half the price and donate the diff to charity.

Posted by: Tante | July 21, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Tante

I pay them $20.00 per hour + tip.

Posted by: Bad back | July 21, 2008 9:52 AM

Sanctimonious prick. If they work for the company they are lucky to get 20% of that. If not, they are laughing at you over beer. Show some respect to your neiborhood teen, get the job done for half the price and donate the diff to charity.

The pay goes directly to the workers, adult men who live on my street. They are glad to get the work, especially in December. The neighborhood teens are too lazy to show up for work.

And it's none of your business how I spend my money, pretentious bore.

Posted by: Bad Back | July 21, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

It is not unusual for high quality day care centers in DC to run 350 - 425 per week for infant and toddler child care. We have used a bright horizons center (very good, IMO) and pay 400/week. I know there are cheaper programs but I haven't found anything convenient, that I am comfortable with, for less than $325-350/week. We are moving to a montessori full day program and will still be paying about $20K a year. And all of these programs have long wait lists. High quality child care is in high demand, and thus is very expensive.

Posted by: working mom | July 21, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to be of topic but could you elaborate further on this:

"We used public-school based Montessori from age three to K. Even though we payed at the highest bracket . . . "

what is "public-school based Montessori"?

sounds like a public school with Montessori influence-- but if it is public school, why are you paying "at the highest bracket"?

thanks for any additional info!

Posted by: to Medina | July 21, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Gee, Tante, someone piss in your Wheaties this morning?

Please go over to the Celebritology blog. It's a closed club where the judgmental can be comfortable amongst their own.

Posted by: MN | July 21, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Are you kidding? Same wine, different bottle.

Posted by: | July 21, 2008 11:59 AM
====================================================

Same whine, different bottle!

Posted by: Don't You Really Mean? | July 21, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

shandra, i really like what you said. and yeah, it's really hard to get tone of voice from the printed word. the comments "hired help" seemed unnecessarily provacative. as somebody else pointed out after school care is still hired help. they're just employed to watch all the kids in the school rather just marc's. why is that better?

Posted by: quark | July 21, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

We have a nanny. We pay her $60K a year. But she is so much more than just a nanny. She does errands, laundry etc while the kids are at school. But we do not consider her to be the "help." She is an integral part of the family. We did different daycare centers before we hired her and they were fine, but they did not give us as much flexibility as the nanny. Clearly this is not an option for everyone, but it works for us

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm a single mom who shares custody with my daughter's father, so I guess my situation is a little different. She is in junior kindergarten (4-year-olds) in a private school, and does after-care at the same school. We pay about $25k/year (including "summer camp"). Less expensive than a nanny, very reliable, and she's getting a great early childhood experience and making lots of friends.

Posted by: PLS | July 21, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Gee, Tante, someone piss in your Wheaties this morning?

Celebritology bloggers tend to be judgmental of celebrities, but more collegial toward one another.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Stacey seems to be teeing up a retread discussion and clothing it with indignation a la Fisher just to draw out some pointless argumentation.

I'm almost with the 'yawns' out there. This is way way old.

Don't you 'young parents' realize your own parents went through these decision points themselves? This isn't new. If you want data on childcare costs going back to when you 'young parents' were kids, look at http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/childcare.html

Posted by: never in my wheaties | July 21, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand why SAHPs claim that their childcare costs are zero. If you used to work, at a salary of $X, and now you do not work because instead you provide childcare, then your childcare cost is $X. Actually, it's likely higher than the exact salary you were making, since your salary figure doesn't usually include health insurance and other benefits.

Why not be honest and say, "Our childcare costs are $60,000", or whatever your salary plus benefits were worth?

True, you have no commuting costs, etc, and there may be tax allowances, blah blah. But your childcare costs are NOT zero. Why not value your own time as it was valued in the marketplace?

Posted by: newslinks | July 21, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

NEWSLINKS -- YES YES YES!!!! Thank you for pointing that out. People fail to consider opportunity costs

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

what is "public-school based Montessori"?

Posted by: to Medina | July 21, 2008 12:35 PM

Glad you asked. It's not just "influenced by Maria Montessori ideas", the teachers have to be certified either by Montesori International, or by American Montessori association. We had both types and I have the impression that Montessori International people are more child oriented.

The parents pay (on sliding scale)for the first two years, the last year (K) is free, but it's the same multiage group. Every year a third of a group graduates, and new three-years olds come in. Lots of educational materials (kids count as public school charges, so the county allocates the same amonut of money per student for them), and a child can choose the materials or subjects he/she workes with.

Plus, the same teacher for three years. I loved that continuity. When we did it, we lived in Arlington, Va http://www.apsva.us/154010811517413/blank/browse.asp?a=383&BMDRN=2000&BCOB=0&c=54626
I don't know if many counties have this program.

Posted by: Medina | July 21, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

"I find it really bizarre when men fall in love with women without ambition or drive in life think that somehow their way is the best way"

Arghh. For every SAHM who feels her choices are morally superior, there is a working parent who feels the same about his or her choices.

So let's all just admit it. SAH parents love their kids but have no ambition and drive in life. Working parents have plenty of ambition, but we just don't love our kids. Parents generally go broke on braces, childcare, orthodontists, and such, and the childless can of course forgo these expenses in favor of expensive cars, trips to Europe, and shrinks (to help them come to grips with their failure to procreate).

Now that thats' all settled, can we talk about something more interesting?

Posted by: Emily | July 21, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

PLS

"I'm a single mom who shares custody with my daughter's father, so I guess my situation is a little different. She is in junior kindergarten (4-year-olds) in a private school,"

"junior kindergarten" AKA "glorified pre-k" or "gussied up Head-Start"

Posted by: Oh, brother! | July 21, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

The neighborhood teens are too lazy to show up for work.

And it's none of your business how I spend my money, pretentious bore.

Posted by: Bad Back | July 21, 2008 12:34 PM

See, told you -- show some respect. The kids won't touch your yard with 10 feet pole, except to let their dogs piss on it. As for adult men "living on your street", they sure must be living ON the street to be happy with what you offer.

Posted by: Tante | July 21, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Excuse me, but isn't calling someone a sad useless troll a personal attack? Posted by atb earlier.

mcg

Posted by: Mary Graham | July 21, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Why, yes, LE Hubby and I discussed what I could make if I worked full or part time. (Not that I would want a disgusting PT job like Donna.) We discussed this before we were married. We decided that we would rather have the enjoyment of a little one more than the money I could make.

I will always be at home when my little precious comes home from school. But DH and I will rethink about this after HS graduation.

Posted by: Cecilia | July 21, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

"I love being a SAHM. But it infuriates me when people treat staying home as some kind of morally superior choice. "

Thank you NewSAHM for being honest. I feel like so much new parent time is wasted worrying about working or not working because of the line we've been fed that good parents will sacrifice everything to have one parent stay at home.
Each family needs to look at their finances, long term plans, and strengths and weaknesses and make the call on working or not. I'm a better mom because I work. I would be cranky and short with the kids and let them have too much screen time if I was with them all the time. But there are others in my life who had children so they didn't have to work and instead of just owning their decision. They act like they make such a sacrifice for their families and murmur what a shame it is my kids have to go to daycare in order to justify their decision. My kids all get something from the teachers and other kids at daycare that they couldn't get at home. They're happy, physically active, socially mature and have a happy mom who can retire without needing any of their money. I'm lucky in that I'm in a career where I can afford good quality daycare (3500 per month for 3) and I understand that some people are wonderful stay at home parents, but I know my strengths and weaknesses and how to be the best parent I can be -- for us that includes daycare. Also -- don't opt out completely and then whine about how hard it is to get back into the workforce -- you made the choice so live with the consequences.

Posted by: Fedmomof3 | July 21, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

"Why, yes, LE Hubby and I discussed what I could make if I worked full or part time."

Duh, what does LE Hubby mean??

Posted by: Double duh | July 21, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

My hubby is in Law Enforcement.

Posted by: Cecilia | July 21, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Marc Fisher not only has the money to send his kids to an elite private school, he has a job that allows for a flexible schedule: most parents are lucky enough to have one of these, let alone both. I hope his comment about "planting" the kids with hired help gives him indigestion tonight.

Posted by: bittermuch | July 21, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Cecilia, you really should have more babies. One is simply not enough.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Fedmomof3

"I'm lucky in that I'm in a career where I can afford good quality daycare (3500 per month for 3)"

Wow! What Fed career is that?

Posted by: Yikes! | July 21, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

$3500/mo x 12 mos/yr = $42K/yr

Posted by: It's not that much for a 2-income household | July 21, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

"junior kindergarten" AKA "glorified pre-k" or "gussied up Head-Start"

Posted by: Oh, brother! | July 21, 2008 1:13 PM

Her junior kindergarten is the same as the education your kids will get in kindergarten. Keep on kidding yourself, though, while her kid sails past yours.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

$42K/yr

Posted by: It's not that much for a 2-income household | July 21, 2008 1:49 PM

$42,000 is not that much in after-tax money for a 2-income household? WTF???

Unless your two incomes are the equivalent of Brad Pitt's and Angelina Jolie's, $42K is one heckuvan annual expense. Down here on Planet Earth, that is.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

"Her junior kindergarten is the same as the education your kids will get in kindergarten. Keep on kidding yourself, though, while her kid sails past yours"

Um, my grandchildren are in college, so yes, I will keep kidding myself....

Posted by: Oh, brother! | July 21, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

"can we talk about something more interesting?"

Angelina recently popped 2 of 'em out. do you think Brad changes diapers, or does he outsource his responsibility?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Please don't make me cry! Both hubby and I wanted more children.

Posted by: Cecilia | July 21, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, 1:52. :-) I'm curious as to why oh, brother! is commenting when his/her grandchildren are in college - clearly oh, brother! has not had to concern him/herself with childcare in four or five decades.

I know I'm lucky to be able to send my daughter to a great school, and as a single mom, I don't have much of a choice (staying at home is not an option and I can't afford a nanny). Furthermore, my daughter's school is outstanding - it runs through the 8th grade and in 2008 had the most number of acceptances to Thomas Jefferson of any private school in the area - let alone lots of other 8th graders placed in the AP/IB sections of other great schools. At this point, I don't know whether or not we'll keep her there past her kindergarten year, but it's nice to have the option.

Posted by: PLS | July 21, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Interesting Moral Compass

Posted by: This blog has an | July 21, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

"while her kid sails past yours."

Not all of us think of childrearing as a horse race. Clippety, clop. Clippety, clop.

Posted by: Can't you hear the hoof beats? | July 21, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Gee, Tante, someone piss in your Wheaties this morning?

Celebritology bloggers tend to be judgmental of celebrities, but more collegial toward one another.

Posted by: | July 21, 2008 1:01 PM

They are far from collegial to anyone outside the "club", hence the term, "mean mommies". The way they've been behaving lately, they resemble the cool kids from high school who never grew up. Except for byoolin, of course.

By the way, inquiring as to whether an external event caused someone to communicate in a way that is less than collegial is generally - in the brick and mortar world - viewed as a nice way of suggesting someone lighten up.

Posted by: MN | July 21, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Not all of us think of childrearing as a horse race. Clippety, clop. Clippety, clop.

Posted by: Can't you hear the hoof beats? | July 21, 2008 2:16 PM

This is interesting to me. I am a type A personality that has been go go go my whole life. My parents were laid back and just wanted me to be happy. My attitude was screw happy, I want to win. Now, as a parent myself, I am careful not to push my kids beyond their limitations. I want them to be happy (but I admit I like it when they want to win). Its my dirty little secret :) I think it is another example how people are just different and see things differently!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

"while her kid sails past yours."

Not all of us think of childrearing as a horse race. Clippety, clop. Clippety, clop.

Posted by: Can't you hear the hoof beats? | July 21, 2008 2:16 PM

Quite a mixed metaphor you have there.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Um, my grandchildren are in college, so yes, I will keep kidding myself....

Posted by: Oh, brother! | July 21, 2008 1:56 PM

So we have Alzheimers to blame for your unnecessary condescension. Nice.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

PLS

"Furthermore, my daughter's school is outstanding - it runs through the 8th grade and in 2008 had the most number of acceptances to Thomas Jefferson of any private school in the area - let alone lots of other 8th graders placed in the AP/IB sections of other great schools."


OP Rule #1
No bragging about your unremarkable children!!!

"I'm curious as to why oh, brother! is commenting when his/her grandchildren are in college - clearly oh, brother! has not had to concern him/herself with childcare in four or five decades."

I have dealt with employee childcare issues as a manager for decades. Didn't know there were boundaries on commentary to this blog.

Posted by: Oh, brother! | July 21, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

"Not all of us think of childrearing as a horse race."

You're right. That's why most of us wouldn't stoop so low as to rag on another parent about the quality of her child's junior kindergarten education and, even better, to use the Head Start Program as the basis for her insult. Maybe Oh! brother! is a cousin of Marc Fisher. . .

Posted by: MN | July 21, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Three yellow cards, not using the possessive case, not using proper punctuation and using an unnecessary word!

So we have Alzheimers to blame for your unnecessary condescension. Nice.
Posted by: | July 21, 2008 2:23 PM
Should read:

So we have Alzheimer's to blame for your condescension? Nice.

Posted by: Grammar Police | July 21, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

PLS

"Furthermore, my daughter's school is outstanding - it runs through the 8th grade and in 2008 had the most number of acceptances to Thomas Jefferson of any private school in the area - let alone lots of other 8th graders placed in the AP/IB sections of other great schools."

I can see why you are a single mother....
Psst.. brag about your kid when she actually achieves something!

Posted by: Yada, yada | July 21, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

If I wasn't at home with my kids, I'd be clearing a whopping $2/hour (based on a 55-hour week, which is what I generally worked). When we sat down and ran the numbers, subtracted the third car (we had one for our au pair) and the gas I used getting back and forth to work, etc., it wasn't much of a decision. (Plus, it was time for me to start my Master's.)

It was an eye-opening money date, to say the least.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | July 21, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

In case it's not well known anymore- I do not have kids and do not desire to have them.

As with Chicago- I don't really understand the negativity around paying for childcare? Unless you choose to homeschool and coach and parent 24/7, you're paying for someone else to have a hand in the development of your child. Why this arbitrary line of "It's ok to pay for teachers and after school and sports to guide and teach, but not to watch and play with them a few hours a day"?

WorkingMom- aren't so many also grateful when they choose to return to work and deal with those consequences years later?

Posted by: Liz D | July 21, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

WorkingMomX


"It was an eye-opening money date, to say the least."

Why did it take so long to do the math??


(Plus, it was time for me to start my Master's.)


Thank God.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

You people are ridiculous - honestly - I made it very clear that I *know* I'm lucky to be able to give my child a great education. I've certainly not said anything that goes specifically to whether or not my daughter has/has not acheived anything. I said her *school* was a great school. I suppose some would consider personal attacks such as the one posted by yada, yada to be a reasonable response by a well-intentioned poster, but I do not.

I left him, by the way, and for reasons that I do not care to post online.

Posted by: PLS | July 21, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

"can we talk about something more interesting?"

Angelina recently popped 2 of 'em out. do you think Brad changes diapers, or does he outsource his responsibility?"


Probably this is what he is thinking- WTF happened? I get with a beautiful woman, next thing I know she is adopting all kinds of kids like puppies and then she squirts out some of mine.Now I have this brood, half of which aren't even mine. I am one of the sexiest men alive and this is how I spend my days. What have I done? Please someone putme out of my misery

Posted by: Brad Pitt-RIP | July 21, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

"Now I have this brood, half of which aren't even mine."

There's nothing that says family values quite like speaking of adopted children as "not even mine".

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

To Brad Pitt-RIP: need I remind you that you left your wife - Jen Anniston - because she didn't want kids? You hooked up with Angelina because she did.

Well, you got what you wanted, now, didn't you?

Posted by: Jen | July 21, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Thank you so much for responding. that sounds like a wonderful system and i wish we had something like that here in DC. There is a Montessouri school in our neighborhood that is entirely free, but it is very difficult to get into-- very long waitlist (watkins montessouri). A sliding scale seems like a fair option, but since there are charter schools that provide entirely free education for 3 year olds, I suppose our neighborhood schools will need to provide the same to keep competitive.

Posted by: to Medina | July 21, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

"junior kindergarten" AKA "glorified pre-k" or "gussied up Head-Start"

Posted by: Oh, brother! | July 21, 2008 1:13 PM


I have dealt with employee childcare issues as a manager for decades. Didn't know there were boundaries on commentary to this blog.


Posted by: Oh, brother! | July 21, 2008 2:27 PM

Oh, brother! Despite your newly circumspect tone, your initial unprovoked snark hadn't a jot to do with employee childcare issues.

As in real life, the only boundary is one of civility - not slamming someone over their education choices is optional, but pleasant.

Posted by: Oh yeah | July 21, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

""Now I have this brood, half of which aren't even mine."

There's nothing that says family values quite like speaking of adopted children as "not even mine"."

That is what he is thinking deep down. Blood is thicker than water, always has been always will be. At the end of the day there are your kids and someone else's kids.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Located in the DC area, I have a 2-year old. I pay cash for a friend who doesn't have a work visa to watch my daughter. I pay $150 a week. This works for us now; but our long-term plan is that I will be a SAHM when #2 is born next year.

I appreciate that our goals may not match yours. I also realize that not everybody gets what they want. I respect that some folks prefer to work, and some prefer to stay at home. Wouldn't it be nice if we quit belittling each other as stupid, unambitious, sanctimonious, or whatever, and just realize that there are differences.

I read the comments to this article looking to see what other people pay for daycare, not looking for attacks.

Posted by: RTQ ATQ | July 21, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

RTQ ATQ, along with not belittling each other, how about not hiring lawbreakers?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

"I read the comments to this article looking to see what other people pay for daycare, not looking for attacks"

You got the wrong brother , Jackson!!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

You probably say "new innovation" and "knots per hour" also!

Posted by: Grammar Police | July 21, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Emmy nominee Jon Hamm for "Mad Men" was a day care teacher during college.

Posted by: Dreamy | July 21, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Someone whizzed in MN's sour grapes today.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

You people are absolutely pathetic. Meanwhile Leslie Morgan Steiner is working on her next book using your anonymous contributions and getting the big bucks for your work.
BWWWAAAAAHHHHAAAAAHHHHAAAHHHHAAAAA!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Please don't make me cry! Both hubby and I wanted more children.

Posted by: Cecilia | July 21, 2008 2:02 PM

Why didn't you have some more? If you couldn't, then why didn't you adopt some children who need all your attention? You still can.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Anyone have any good long-term experiences with home babysitters? We have a great one -- she's a wonderful mom herself, took early childhood classes, and nannied for many years. She's got a lot of good ideas which she generously shares with us, but doesn't push down our throats. She cares for our boys -- one's 2 and one's 5 months just a few days a week along with her two elementary-schoolers. Everyone gets along very well, and she couldn't be more nurturing. We do a weekly gym class with other 2 year olds, but does anyone have a similar experience -- do 2 year olds need structured or unstructured play time with other kids their age? I'm sort of thinking that he'll figure it out just fine when he gets to pre-school in the next year or two.

Posted by: Liz2 | July 21, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

You people are absolutely pathetic. Meanwhile Leslie Morgan Steiner is working on her next book using your anonymous contributions and getting the big bucks for your work.
BWWWAAAAAHHHHAAAAAHHHHAAAHHHHAAAAA!

Posted by: | July 21, 2008 3:58 PM

As though anyone would PAY to read it. BWWWAAAAAHHHHAAAAAHHHHAAAHHHHAAAAA! yourself!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

"As though anyone would PAY to read it. BWWWAAAAAHHHHAAAAAHHHHAAAHHHHAAAAA! yourself!!!
Posted by: | July 21, 2008 4:00 PM"

Who are you? Her ex husband perhaps?


BWAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHa

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I have wondered why her ex husband does not sue her. I would if she slandered me as much as she has him.

Posted by: Open up your wallet perry.... | July 21, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

"I have wondered why her ex husband does not sue her. I would if she slandered me as much as she has him."

It's not slander if it's true.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

He's probably too busy abusing his present SO.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

"I have wondered why her ex husband does not sue her. I would if she slandered me as much as she has him."

Did Leslie break his father's watch and make him cry?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Blood is thicker than water, always has been always will be. At the end of the day there are your kids and someone else's kids.

Posted by: | July 21, 2008 3:11 PM

Wow.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I guess, in your haughty world, often it is necessary to look down your nose at someone.

Posted by: Grammar Police | July 21, 2008 3:43 PM

Grammar Police is accusing others of haughtiness. Ah, blessed irony.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

You probably say "new innovation" and "knots per hour" also!

Posted by: Grammar Police | July 21, 2008 3:44 PM

GP - "new" would be redundant. "Knots per hour" as well. "Condescension" and "unnecessary" are unrelated in meaning. He could have said "appropriate" instead of "unnecessary" and his usage would have been equally apropos.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I'm speechless!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Blood is thicker than water, always has been always will be. At the end of the day there are your kids and someone else's kids.

Posted by: | July 21, 2008 3:11 PM

True, i know which kid pitt would save from drowning....his own

Posted by: yep | July 21, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

LMS's ex probably doesn't read the OB blog. Why should he? They likely have nothing to do with each other any more. And the abuse allegations are just that, allegations. It always seemed to me LMS and her ex should be tired of doing that law dance with each other: over and over again.

Posted by: lms and her ex | July 21, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

LMS's ex probably doesn't read the OB blog. Why should he? They likely have nothing to do with each other any more. And the abuse allegations are just that, allegations. It always seemed to me LMS and her ex should be tired of doing that law dance with each other: over and over again.

Posted by: lms and her ex | July 21, 2008 4:41 PM

yes, except she is writing a book about it which will probably have all the sordid details... I would have my lawyer at the ready

Posted by: cha ching | July 21, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse


The comments this afternoon represent a whole new low for this blog.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Blood is thicker than water, always has been always will be. At the end of the day there are your kids and someone else's kids.

Posted by: | July 21, 2008 3:11 PM

Father of 4, is that you?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Blood is thicker than water, always has been always will be. At the end of the day there are your kids and someone else's kids.

Posted by: | July 21, 2008 3:11 PM

Father of 4, is that you?

Posted by: | July 21, 2008 5:07 PM

More likely Cecilia, since she hasn't adopted.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

No, it was not me that posted that hateful comment about adopted children. That comment was nothing but HATEFUL.

And I wish we could adopt another but not everyone has all the means to adopt. I will leave it at that.

Posted by: Cecilia | July 21, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

I can't afford adoption either right now Cecilia. I hear your pain. Raising kids costs money, but it is all spread out, and probably fun in some kind of parental generational kind of way. It is just part of the 'job description'. Adopting a russian baby takes a lot of baksheesh up front. Sad to say.

Posted by: to cecilia | July 21, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

This blog needs registration now, these trolls must stop

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

She's in the country legally; just doesn't have a work visa. Her husband has the work visa and she has two boys in school. Saves me money and provides her money; but the real reason it works out is that she loves my baby and takes excellent care. I couldn't find better care at any price - and I can't afford more.

But I see that this is not a forum for constructive discussion; but destructive snarking. I won't be back.

Posted by: RTQ ATQ | July 22, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I have 10 and 14 y/o sons. We do not need "child care" for them. I am at loss for words on why a 17 and 12 year old need to be looked after for a few hours a day. Are they special needs children?

I can leave my kids at home while the wife and i go to movies and dinner. Kids have a way to reach us in case of an emergency (which usually consists of can i have pizza for diner). I raised my children to be responsible and I question peoples parenting abilities when they can not trust thier teenagers home alone. period.

Posted by: Chris | July 22, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

I raised my children to be responsible and I question peoples parenting abilities when they can not trust thier teenagers home alone. period.
------

ok, so now you've questioned them, now what?

I have a highly active older child who pushes everyone's envelope and a younger child who does not. I've been to multiple therapists for the older child and I've gotten plenty of assurances that it's "not us" and while he's not bipolar and not autistic and not hyperactive, he does revel in chaos and he needs to be "parented" and "Taught" differently than other kids. If I send the younger kid into a 30 second time out he comes back remorseful and apologetic. If I put the older one in time out he screams and throws things. Same parents, same parenting style, different kids.

How strange that you have teenagers and you never looked away from your navel to see how different they are.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I am at loss for words on why a 17 and 12 year old need to be looked after for a few hours a day. Are they special needs children?

I can leave my kids at home while the wife and i go to movies and dinner. Kids have a way to reach us in case of an emergency (which usually consists of can i have pizza for diner). I raised my children to be responsible and I question peoples parenting abilities when they can not trust thier teenagers home alone. period.

Posted by: Chris | July 22, 2008 10:10 AM

Interesting moral compass.

Posted by: if the shoe fits | July 22, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: wb5kxvzv2a | July 23, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, workingmomX - no one criticizes men for working outside of the home, or accuses them of loving their children any less.

I have worked full-time pretty much since my two kids were born (they are 10 and 5 now).

I am currently laid off, but when I was working, my daughter was in school and after-school care during the day, and my son was in full-time daycare year-round (an excellent child care center run by my local school district). During the summers, my daughter normally attends summer day camp at the same daycare my son was going to year round.

I have been the target of criticism in the past for working full-time, and it's unfair. Not every mom can afford to stay home with her kids, and it DOESN'T mean the mom loves her kids any less. It's easy for women with husband who make six-figure salaries to criticize working moms, but most families nowadays need two incomes just to afford an average standard of living. I know since I've been laid off, it's been a terrible struggle even keeping up with basic living expenses. I'll be glad when I find another job.

Posted by: Laura | July 25, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Holy cow,

I just read the comment about the parent who pays $42,000 a year for child care for two kids! That would be over 60% of mine and my husband's take home pay (when I was also working full-time). And here I thought having to pay $1,060 a month for daycare/summer camp for my two kids during the summer was bad! The more comments I read, the more I'm amazed at how much cheaper child care is here in the Cleveland area compared to other parts of the country.

Posted by: lco | July 25, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

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