The Daycare Dilemma - Live Like a Mensch
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The Daycare Dilemma


One of the weird aspects of working from home as a stay-at-home-mother is trying to figure out when you have reached the tipping point of needing some sort of childcare. On the one hand, my freelance income is still something at which you can shake a stick. So, with the lack of stick-proof income, it seems awfully wasteful to send LO to daycare when I need all the pennies I'm making. On the other hand, I'm finding my turnaround time is getting slower and slower since LO is refusing to adhere to any kind of predictable nap schedule, and if I have any intention of adding to my client list, I will most definitely need more dedicated work time. So I can't put him in daycare until I have more money. I can't get more money until I have more time. I can't have more time until I put him in daycare...

Let's all sing together:

Here we go 'round the daycare dilemma, the daycare dilemma, the daycare dilemma, so early in the morning!

I am ashamed to admit to the amount of time I have spent on this ridiculous non-problem over the past month and a half. If you were to wake me up from a sound sleep, you would hear me mumble "5 hours a week would only cost..." I'd spend my time dreaming up schedules and using a stopwatch to time LO's naps and my writing time. I even tried to convince our greyhound Obie to become a nanny-dog, like the one in Peter Pan. If I could teach him to change diapers, I could potentially get a couple of extra hours a day for writing.

Added to this was my overwhelming maternal guilt at the thought of leaving LO screaming his lungs out in daycare. As the child was precocious when it came to separation anxiety, I was thinking he'd be precocious in getting over said separation anxiety, but boy was I wrongo. He's been giving the nice workers at the Y daycare terrible complexes since he was about 6 or 7 months old. He's over a year old now, and he still throws a fit when I leave him at the Y.

Last week, however, I decided to just take the child to daycare for a couple of hours so that I could get some work done. J has been working crazy hours the past couple of weeks, and losing the extra pair of hands in the evening had been taking its toll. The house looked like Who-Did-It-and-Ran. The child had some sort of food substance in his hair that I had neglected to clean off twice while bathing him. I was behind on several deadlines. So one day last week, I dropped LO off with the nice ladies at the Y, came home full of virtuous plans to clean or write, and then slept for two and a half hours.

It was glorious.

When I went to pick LO up, I signed up for 10 hours a week. It was that easy. I forgot how productive I could be when I had uninterrupted time. (What? Sleeping is productive!) We'll worry about the money aspect of it later.

Right now, I'm just reveling in the idea of being able to single-task.



Jenne said:

I'm glad that worked out for you...  In the future, you might also consider making some "Busy Bags" to pull out for your son.  A search of the internet will yield a plethora of ideas, almost all simple and frugal.  "Busy bags," for the uninitiated, are typically little activity packs one assembles that can be fit into a zippered bag.  You can tailor them to the age of the child and keep them on hand for times when you need them to be busily absorbed nearby.  They are most often educational or skill-building in some way, too, so it's a win-win!  Yesterday a group of friends got together with materials we'd scrounged up and had a fun "Busy Bag" Work Party.  The little ones all played nearby and we visited while we worked.  Great fun, with everyone leaving with great ideas and at least one new worthwhile thing for our kiddos to enjoy!

November 16, 2011 10:48 AM

Emily Guy Birken said:

It's so funny that you should mention this!  I just found a blog showing how to make a "quiet book" the other day, and I had never heard of it before.  I loved the idea, although the particular one I found (it was a Star Trek The Next Generation book--and yes, I'm a complete geek) was going to be enough work that I'd probably get it done about when LO goes off to college.  I'll have to look into easier ones.  Thanks for the suggestion!

This is the link to that quiet book: www.blogher.com/star-trek-quiet-book

November 16, 2011 5:21 PM

The Price of Parenthood | One Smart Dollar said:

Pingback from  The Price of Parenthood | One Smart Dollar

September 7, 2012 10:09 AM

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