Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Childcare

Whenever I meet a fellow parent, I am always curious in how they handle/d childcare. It’s such an interesting topic to me and I thought I would share how we have done it since Anna was born.
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I took a 24-week maternity leave after I had Anna. I was home with her from 3/14/2010 to 8/30/2010. She was 5.5 months old when I went back to work. Grandma then began watching her full time.

On 11/15/2011, Will was born and I took another 24-week maternity leave. Anna was 20 months old at that time. While on leave, Grandma still came to help every day. We tagged team – she took care of Will, while I focused on Anna. When my leave ended on 5/1/2012, I worried about how Grandma would be able to take care of a 5.5-month old Will and also give Anna, who had just turned 2, the attention she needed. As luck would have it, I ended being on the bench for the next 4 months. It was great.

But on 9/12/2012, I was summoned to work for real. Hubs’ mom began taking care of two kids on her own, while I worked out of home. Will was 10 months old and Anna was two and half.

After I went back to work, I started researching a preschool program for Anna. I found one quickly and signed her up. On 1/2/2013, Anna started attending preschool 3 times a week, 3 hours a day. It gave hubs’ mom a little break and got Anna out of the house.

In February 2013, my project was cut to PT and it offered me the flexibility to be more involved with Anna’s school, as she was having a really hard time adjusting. On 3/29/2013, the project ended and I was back on the bench. I got even more involved with Anna and school. Not only that, it was wonderful to have some time off.

On 5/20/2013, after coming back from Hawaii, I began a new work assignment. Then on 6/13/2013, school let out for the summer and hubs’ mom was back to taking care of both kids full time. I was worried once again about if hubs' mom would be able to keep up with two energizing kids. But once again, luck was on my side. Around that time, I was told that my position has been cut and I would be working 3 days a week.

So beginning on 7/1/2013 until now, I work 3 days on T, W, and Th. On those days, hubs’ mom comes over to watch the kids. On M and F, I am with the kids solo. It's a good balance.

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As the kids get older, I am beginning to realize how convenient/easier it would be to have a stay-at-home parent. Now that I work PT, I notice how much I can accomplish in those two days, how good it feels to not have to rush in the morning, and how much I enjoy being home. I can grocery shop, cook more food, be more involved with the kids. But then again, to do it 5 days straight? Maybe not.

I plan to have Will start preschool in January 2015, 3 days a week, 3 hours a day. By then I am not sure how likely hubs’ mom will continue to come to our house every day. We may have to find a very flexible nanny who doesn’t mind working interrupted hours.

And then what happens when they start public school? Before and after-school care? Lots to think about.

How do you handle childcare? I want to know!

9 comments:

  1. Sounds like you've found a good balance! Our girls go to full day kindergarten now and on the days my husband I bot work my parents pick them up from school and take them home. I managed to get a work schedule approved that allows me to take them to school in the morning, and two days I week I am able to pick them up from school and work from home the rest of the day. My husband takes one weekday off a week, so he is able to pick them up from school on that day. It ends up being a pretty complicated schedule, but so far it's working for us!

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    1. That does sound complicated, but glad to hear that everything is working out! Once my kids are in elementary school, I hope I can find a job flexible enough for me to still be home when they leave for school and be home when they come back. We will see!

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  2. This would all go away if I made more money or we simply lived way way below our means. The former is a question mark, but the latter is definitely doable. But first, we need to move to a place with a much lower cost of living. Northern Virginia is not that place...

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  3. Totally hear on balancing being with the kids, taking care of the kids, finding good childcare, and fulfilling a need to work.....We were able to keep J out of daycare until he was a bit over 1 years old (relatives moved in with us to watch him while the hubs and I worked full time, 5 days a week). It can be tough to get-in a 40-hr week with kids at home. I want to be home early to start dinner. I want to be able to spend more than an hour with them in the evenings before they have to go to bed. My boss is pretty flexible, nevertheless, I wonder if it'd be better if I went part-time so I don't feel obligated to work 40 hrs/week. Anyways, O is at home with relatives now and in January, J is leaving preschool & staying at home with O and an au pair. We will enjoy having them both at home, and both of us can save 30 min not having to drop off/pick up J from childcare. I'm hoping to get approved for teleworking once a week.

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    1. Hi Lisa! You will need to tell us about your au pair experience. For a while, we considered one too but with our house, we wouldn't be able to retain some kind of separation since all our bedrooms are upstairs. That was my biggest concern. It's great that O is being taken care of by a relatives right now. How does J feel about being pulled out of preschool? Either way, the time saved will be so great. More family time! I wish I could telework too. I mean, there is always some downtime during the day and I can easily get dinner started during that time.

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  4. Note to self: Started on 12.16.13, I now work 4 days a week, 6 hours a day. Fridays off.

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  5. Geraldine (the one who asked you about baby sign, remember?)January 22, 2014 at 11:01 AM

    I am so glad to read your post on childcare because it's a tough one for me. Since we returned from Chile to Thailand, I have started working full-time. I am thrilled to re-start on my career but I feel pangs of guilt knowing that my 3-year-old Anya needs to stay in school (pre kinder) until 6pm. That's when either myself or my husband can pick her up. And she's normally the last in her class to go home. My mom lives in Singapore, and my mom-in-law lives too far out from the city to help. I can't imagine life with a second baby, though I want one and the good ol' clock is tickin'. My husband and I are so fearful of putting our child in the care of a 'stranger', i.e. nanny or domestic help. So what you have there sounds like a wonderfully fortunate situation!

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    1. Hi Geraldine! So glad to learn that you are still reading this old blog of mine. I am sorry that you are not happy with your current situation, but hopefully Anya is adjusting well at daycare. Is part-time an option? I find that so ideal for moms.

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  6. Geraldine (you remember!)January 23, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    I love your blog! I decided to check back after a long hiatus and I got inspired all over again! Your dedication to the kids, family life, wonderful craftwork... all stimulate me to try and do better at mommy hood. :) Well yeah, part-time work would be the best solution but in my line of non-profit work, it's quite hard to come by... Unless I volunteer and then we'd lose substantial income stream. Sigh, life's not easy sometimes! Thankfully Anya now loves school and she has really nice teachers. So for her, staying until 6pm everyday is alright.

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