Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Work and Play

This is what my maternity leave currently looks like:

maternity leave

Work and play, side by side. Right here on my to-do list it says I need to write about my Month 3 Maternity Leave Strategy. But there are so many other things on that to-do list that talking about doing seems less important than actually doing.

The big issue surrounding my maternity leave is that time is running out. It scares me, the looming deadline of my return to steady employment. I'm supposed to be answering big questions about what to do on February 1. Instead, I'm ignoring that date entirely because I don't really like any of the options in front of me.

Any of the practical, realistic options, anyway.

I cried a little bit the first day I brought P. back to daycare after having her home with me for a week and a half over the holidays. So I don't want to even have to think about putting H. into childcare.

The big, ugly reality is this: we can't afford two in childcare (oops) and our current provider won't take another baby, anyway, so we'd have to transition P. over to another caregiver that would likely be more expensive in an unfunny cycle of work-daycare-money-work-daycare-money-work-daycare-money-etc. because there's not enough freelance income coming in at the moment to make it a non-issue.

This is one of those challenges I feel like I'm dealing with all on my lonesome so I'd welcome any and all insight from near and far.

Thoughts? Please?

 

11 comments:

  1. Hi Christa, I have been loving your blog for the past month or so. Can't recall how I came across it, but I too am a freelance writer, and I imagine my life will look much like yours after the first few months of our twins' lives (they are due any day now).

    I have worked from home since I went full-time freelance, and with my parents nearby, I'm hoping to be able to phase back into part-time work by getting out of the house a couple days a week to work. I have no idea how it will go, though, and the idea of not contributing ANY money—though my husband is not pressuring me at all—to the "family pot" makes me really nervous.

    All this is to say I don't have many solutions yet, but I think about it a lot and try not to get too anxious about what juggling twins and work will look like. But it's hard.

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    1. Wow, Sarah - twins! I could see that presenting some unique challenges above and beyond what I'm facing. It sounds like you're on track to figure it out, though, and I wish you the best of luck!

      I was actually full-time freelance for about six years before finding myself, due to financial need, back in an office situation. I am... not a fan. This introvert loves working from home, all alone :) Well, with babies!

      If you're worried about not putting moolah into the pot, maybe try working up a zero balance budget to see if you really need to? If not, taking some time off with two babies might be the way to go!

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  2. Way back in the dark ages, when my kids were babies, we decided to get by with one car, a small house, and almost never eating out, so I could be home with the boys. I worked part time when they were old enough for nursery school (3 and 4) and then went back to a full time teaching job when they were both in school. I was fortunate; it's not a formula that works for everyone. Good luck in finding the solution that works for you. I just stopped by from SITS to say hello; hope you find time to return the visit.

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    1. Yup, I hear ya! Only problem is we have one car, small house, never eat out, and don't have any other lavish expenses we can cut. Unfortunately, we live in a pretty expensive part of the country, which has a lot to do with it, I think. But that's where the jobs are...

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  3. I used a recruitment service and hired someone. She comes home from 8am-4:30pm and takes care of my 2 boys. I hired her while I was still no maternity leave so I could see how the kids responded to her and have all of us develop a rapport with her. I've been back out to work for a few days now and I think things are going well. My mom still comes over once or twice a week and spends a few hours with them and my mother-in-law is always in and out (we live in her house and well- it's complicated to explain but we're all happy!). Maybe you can get someone to come in? Most have also suggested if you're having someone come into your home then you should invest in a nanny cam as well.

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  4. I don't have any advice for you, as my parents babysit my children when I work full time, but I do wish you the best! I am a single parent and I can't even think of how hard it would be for me to have to put TWO children in daycare! My income would not be able to cover it! Best wishes. Visiting from SITS.

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    1. I'm jelly! It would feel so diff. it was my mom or dad watching them. But they're in the prime of life and have jobs of their own.

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  5. I have a couple of friends who couldn't afford two in daycare, so their solution was a nanny. We live in a crazy expensive part of the country too, so I know that their daycare costs were...terrifying. Nannies aren't cheap, necessarily, but they can cover two better than daycare sometimes. Maybe an option?

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    1. Could be! Or a nanny share. It's surprising to a lot of people that a nanny can be a better choice.

      But I work from home so it's a sticky, tricky choice for us.

      Delete
  6. I don't think I could do it, mainly because I'm picky about kids and such. But what about adding to your income by providing in-home care for one or two older kids? Like school-aged that attend school and only need part-time care in the afternoon?

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    Replies
    1. I've contemplated starting my own in-home preschool where I could control the curriculum and just make it plain awesomesauce. But it'd be a lot of work and I'm not entirely confident in my ability to do it right.

      Delete

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