Posts Tagged ‘day care’

Working (as in getting paid by an employer rather than just do every job in the house) Mothers

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

My boss has asked me what I plan to do next year about work. I can go back to work if I like, but he can only offer me three days, not two as I had hoped for. I am really torn. It’s a much more difficult decision that I thought it would be. I’ve been seeking advice from friends, my husband and other mums about what to do about deciding what my life will be like next year.

I went back last year to teach for three days a week. I also did tutoring and managed an online university subject and on one of the days off I looked after my friends little boy as she was kind enough to do the same for me. We were also renovating our house. Needless to say, I was pretty busy. And pregnant.

Some of the work stuff I loved, some not so much. My days at home, I loved. I really enjoyed the company of my wild child and all of his adventures in between. He still had day sleeps so days were filled up quickly with catch ups and play dates and activities. When he slept, I worked. It was hard but the money was desperately needed for the reno and the paid maternity leave from my work and the government was awesome!

But now I have two it is different. We have no family so all my day care costs money. And the kind of day care I love, with a dear friend who is just beautiful to my son, in her house with her kids, is just too expensive for two on a teaching wage. And the thought of packing bags, with lunches and nappies and getting me and kids dressed and out the door three mornings a week by 7.30 am hurts to think about. A nanny has crossed my mind, but again it’s lots of effort for a bit of pocket money at the end of the week.

So what is the alternative? Commit to staying at home for another year, or more. I love my children dearly, but would we all go a little mad staying at home together? Kinder next year is only 2 hours a week for my three year old, and the baby will be that busy, five minute activity age. Summer is fine, who can’t handle going to the beach every day? But winter, not so much fun.

And of course there is the money to consider. Do I go back for a year, with the intention of hopefully having another baby at some stage? Then I can access maternity pay, extend my leave for another three years and actually stay home for the busy kinder year and even my son’s first year at school? I have my whole life to work. I’ve managed to find lots of other ways to entertain myself and exercise my mind these last three years, I could do it again. I love teaching, but not all of it. Would I regret going back to something permanently when I could just pick up a few days of relief teaching here and there? And how hard is it to make a decision in August about what you will be doing in February?

It’s a touch choice, but I absolutely know just how lucky I am to even have to face this choice. Some mums have to go back to full time work. Others don’t have the luxury of considering part time as an option. My husband says its totally up to me. I think that’s what is making it just so hard to decide.

Oh Day Care, how I have learnt to love you….

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Today is day care day in my house.

It usually means a mad day of rushing around and getting all of those jobs done that are fraught with danger with a nearly three year old and bub in tow. I buy only what I need at the grocery store, instead of all of the extra ‘silencers’ that buy me some time when my toddler comes shopping. I clean the floors, once, and they stay clean. I do the washing, dishes, pay bills, check emails, walk the dog without stopping and head into school to tutor some Year 12 boys. Oh yeah and I feed, change, play with and settle the baby.

My day flies past. I rarely eat lunch or do anything for me. So today I decided to do it a little differently. Today I have decided to read the paper, write my blog, eat lunch, talk on the phone, all things I love doing but never find time to do. The problem with never finding time to enjoy these ‘luxuries’ is I get to a point at some stage during the week where I just get pissed off. Pissed off that I don’t get any time to do anything for myself, by myself. (Now granted I still have my bub with me on day care days, and prior to his arrival when I only had one, I couldn’t do any of these things, but you learn to be faster and very good at using one hand when there are two hovering at your ankles.)

I’ve had a few days up in Melbourne visiting lots of friends, hanging out with my family and getting a few jobs done. My husband gets some time to himself and my family get to spend some time with their nephews/ grandsons. Then I walk in the door to have friends arrive to stay for the weekend. They are easy friends. They let their kid eat whatever, watch telly, sleep wherever and don’t make too many comments about how crazy my kids are – which is nice. But by Sunday night I was knackered and bubbling under the surface was this angst.  As I pat my baby back to sleep having just got into bed and realising there is a load of washing in the machine to hang out, the angst grows.

I have just spent four solid days of making sure everyone else is okay, doing my bit to help out, check in, support, build relationships, offer food, clean up, make conversation, listen, make sure others get sleep and by last night I was done! I took the lap top and a book to melbourne, hoping to read and write, but couldn’t find the time to do either. Now my life is pretty easy compared to lots of my friends with sick babies at the moment, but it’s always busy and by Sunday night I was exhausted. I want someone to make sure I get uninterrupted sleep, or that my toddler isn’t being too offensive. I would like my kids’ uncles to make the effort to hang out with their nephews instead of me having to drive two hours with two kids down the freeway. I would like to go to bed complaining how long it’s been since I went for a really long bike ride, instead of how nice four hours of sleep in a row would be. I would like someone to call me on an afternoon and say, hey haven’t seen you for ages and we are just up the road can we come visit.

So instead of whinging about it, hang on, as well as whinging about it, today I just took a couple of hours off. I did my chores while by babies were awake and now while I have a little bit of quiet I am relishing it! Sure, I’ll pay for it later when the dinner isn’t made and the house is a bomb and the washing piles up and the dog hasn’t been walked, but today I don’t care. My son is in day care and I’m having some time off. I’m not feeling guilty about him being there. Not justifying putting him there so I can clean and cook and shop and work. I’m tired of telling people who don’t put their kids in day care why my son is going. Because for those of us without the luxury/ interference of grandparents round the corner, we know the benefits of day care. When you are two years old peer pressure is fantastic! You learn to use the toilet, stop crying at drop off, share, eat good food and even SLEEP IN THE DAY.

So goodbye to the guilt, sure it’ll be back this weekend when we see the in-laws and they wonder why he goes for a whole day when I work for one hour, but today we are strangers. Now for another cup of tea and a tim tam.

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