Jena's preschool had their rates posted by the door yesterday. I glanced quickly, and figured out how much it would cost if we had a 2nd child.
Assuming they were there at the same time, it would be over 75% of my paycheck. And our daycare expenses are subsidized as a benefit to employees. It's actually pretty cheap, especially considering the quality of the facility and the caliber of the preschool.
I shouldn't be surprised. I remember when I was pregnant w/ Jena, before I qualified for the work daycare, and before we knew what our child care arrangement would be, I priced out a few day cares in the area. No matter which way we went, just for her, would cost us over 90% of my paycheck back then.
And that got me thinking. With the financial goals we've been moving toward, we've discussed me becoming a SAHM after #2 comes, or possibly reducing hours to part-time.
Which got me thinking even more... would I be willing to continue working another 6+ years if we didn't financially need my income, in order for baby #2 to be able to go thru this preschool?
We have been over-the-moon impressed with the preschool program. And it is, in fact, cheaper than any other preschool we've looked at, and much cheaper than any school of this caliber.
But how many times have I thought that I could be a better mom to Jena if I didn't have to work? That's not likely to change.
I know we don't need a decision any time soon, and I still haven't even approached HR w/ the discussion of part-time benefits, and there's always the possibility that we'll face a financial setback and I'll still need to work, but still... this has been on my mind lately.
Stay working so I can send baby to a fantastic preschool? or stop working so I can stay home and devote myself to my family & home?
Honestly, I think the reason this is so difficult is because there probably isn't a "right" answer. Either choice will be good in its own right. Either choice will require a different sacrifice.