Monthly Archives: January 2012

The business of being at home

I took an extended Winter Break from the blog, apparently. Shortly before the breadstick index post, I started work in earnest on my thesis. And then of course the holidays that eat your brain. Which would be an interesting holiday although not one with the purchasing power of Christmas. Between that, and various other things, the days got away from me.

But I’m making a committment to post here at least once a week this year. Since the Chinese New Year was yesterday – Go Year of the Dragon! – I can get away with saying that this is the first post of the new year.

Also, the first six months of the stay-at-home part of this adventure have passed. In that time I have learned two new hobbies – crocheting and canning – and ‘earned ‘$12,000 by not sending the Professor to daycare.

This is a calculation that I feel very few people do when they consider the cost of having kids. The average cost of daycare in the United States (center-based) is about $12,000/year, but clearly it has a wide range. In PA in 2004, I paid $6000/year, and in Seattle in 2012, I would pay $24,000/year. Considering my expected earnings are the same in both years, essentially, it should make sense that in 2004 I worked full time, and in 2012, I don’t.

The average income for females in this country is $36,000/year, and for males is $42,000. While the causation is not definitive, it does make economic sense then, that females tend to be the primary stay at home caregivers. However, in many places, it makes no sense that they work at all, given that they will be spending the majority of their income on childcare.

Now, there are some caveats, of course. If you have a career that would not benefit by taking any time off, or you work some place that has benefits in the future, like reduced tuition, etc. , then it could make sense why you choose to work even when the numbers don’t play out. I hope that soon I have that calculation to make. Or if you are the only breadwinner – then clearly there are few options.

But for now, I will earn my money by not spending it on daycare. And think of all the canning I can do!



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