How Do People Adjust to Big Life Changes like This?

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"I'm currently 30wks pregnant with our 2nd baby. We just moved to a new house to accommodate our growing family. We are a dual income household. We both work and our 4 yr old is in daycare. I'm a little stressed with how things will go when baby arrives. I'm a high risk pregnancy and have lots of monitoring going on for the remainder of my pregnancy, on top of working and maintaining our family life. My husband is helpful, this isn't about him. I'm concerned about having one income for a couple months while I recover from a post op birth. Do I take my son out of daycare or will that disrupt his life, or will that help us all bond as a family? Do I strategize going back to work ASAP or enjoy the moment with my newborn daughter. My husband and I split the bills and life is great, but living paycheck to paycheck scares me. How do people adjust to big life changes like this? Or am I overthinking it?"

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The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.

"You just do whatever feels right. If you are a little stressed out once the baby comes home and you need a break then send your son to daycare. If you are stressed out about money then go back to work. I know you’re really pregnant and stressing about everything right now because that’s what’s we do we nest and want everything ready and to have the answers to everything. If it’s only a couple of months that you’re living pay check to paycheck then that’s not too bad."

"I would keep him in childcare at least until you can get adjusted with the new baby and then before pulling him completely out I would try having him home a few times throughout the week to see how that will effect I personally feel like him staying I daycare is great for his socializing will keep him busy"

"Do you have short term disability? That normally covers some of your pay and weeks depend on what kind of delivery you have."

"Take a breath. For the first couple weeks at least keep your kiddo in daycare. You won’t be able to pick him up safely and it’ll hurt to have him wallering on you. With a new sibling he may not fully understand why you can hold baby but not him. A couple weeks gives your body a little time to heal. Then adjust his daycare schedule…Send him but keep him home some for bonding too. There isn’t much you can do about having to be off work post C-section. Pushing yourself to go back early won’t help anyone and could cause you to be off even longer. If you can…You and hubby try to set money back where you can or prepay anything you can right now so it’ll lessen the burden of stress when you’re on maternity leave."

"You could drop him to part time daycare, it’s cheaper and he will spend time with you as a family more. Win-win!"

"See if work offers short-term disability. It’s not much money, but it’s something. Keep the child in daycare until you feel up to caring for both. If this is a high risk pregnancy you may feel fairly fragile for a while after. Babies don’t need everything advertised. You can put them in a cardboard box with a foam pad and they’ll be fine. Breastfeed if you can and want and can save on bottles and formula (get some though). Eat more vegetarian and save $ on meat. If you don’t drive anywhere much you save on gas. Eat at home and save on food. Don’t shop for anything you don’t need. Spend as much time with your babies as possible. Your employer will never love you like your children, they grow so fast and you can never get that time back."

"Ask your benefits team at work if they have short term disability. That is what mine offered while I was in maternity leave. It really helped. You do not get the full 100% but get a portion of your paycheck."

"I was worried about this as well. When I had my second in May of 2020… we had saved our income tax return from earlier that year to use as my half of the bills for when I went on leave. I got to use my sick time i had at work which was about 2 weeks…(its now a full paid leave which i was pissed about but whatever) does your work offer anything like that? I would keep childcare just so everyone stays on a routine and also make sure your newborns on their waiting list if you plan to utilize the same center for the baby as well."

"You’re over thinking it, but you have the right to over think it. Moving and having a baby are both huge life changes! I’m torn on pulling your 4 year old from daycare, because having that child home full time on top of recovering from a c-section and having a new baby is going to add to the exhaustion, but at the same time, pulling the 4 year old allows for you to save some income and allows bonding time between the siblings. At the same time though, pulling the 4 year old may result in their daycare spot being taken when you’re ready to return to work. I would suggest maybe dropping the 4 year old from full time to part time. That lets you balance time for sibling bonding, saving some income as well as still allowing you time to bond one on one with the baby and time to relax. I would also check into pre-school for the 4 year old. A lot of states/counties have free pre-k. That would save some money, still allow the 4 year old to socialize and most pre-ks are part time. Not to mention help prepare the 4 year old for the upcoming kindergarten year. In the mean time, before the baby comes, start meal prepping and freeze those meals, I suggest a lot of crockpot meals. Go through your bills, budget and finances and see where you can cut costs. Your job should also offer STD, which should allow you to collect part of your pay while you’re off. Whatever you do, do not cut your maternity leave short to return to work early. You need time to both heal and bond with the new baby."

"I’d be careful pulling him out of daycare, he may lose his spot. I don’t know how it is there but it is IMPOSSIBLE to find any daycare with openings here."

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