There came a point last month where I realized I needed help. There was no way I was going to be able to do everything that I needed to do, and still have time to do the things I wanted to without some assistance. In Oprah’s interview with J.K. Rowling, they both agreed that one of the best parts of financial stability is being able to put money towards problems. While we’re certainly not lighting Cubans with hundred dollar bills, we are at a point where I can put Vivi in daycare once a week so I can get 8 hours of uninterrupted work completed.
Tonight when I told my dad about daycare he scoffed and said “Blogging and photography really keep you that busy?”
For now? Yes, it does.
I am a horrible multi-tasker, especially if writing is one of the tasks I’m attempting to multi. (That makes sense right?) If I’m really going to get some good coherent words out, I need absolute quiet with no distractions. Before deciding to use daycare once a week, I would get all of my work in during nap time or once the littles were in bed. However, nap time is not always a guarantee and I prefer to keep Vivi nap time as hang out with Addie time. Bedtime is pretty magical, but that’s also husband time.
Vivi has adjusted really well to daycare, after two or three days in the house she starts to go a little stir crazy and daycare breaks the week up for both of us. They do things like paint pumpkins, have costume parades, and climb all over big soft obstacle courses. Vivi has also come home with a few signs (sign language for little people is awesome) and some pretty swell self-defense moves. Once did she come home with HFMD, which wasn’t awesome at all, but if it didn’t happen at daycare it would have happened somewhere else. And it only happened once.
I am able to fold laundry without her throwing on the floor, pee by myself (Isn’t that the dream?) and get grown-up work stuff done. Occasionally I’ll go to lunch with Cody, which feels very grown-up and is way cheaper than getting a babysitter at night, and if I’m really ambitious I’ll work my errands in either to or from daycare. (Trip to the bank, post office and pharmacy with a toddler? Hour, minimum. Without? 15 minutes, tops.)
We all need help now and then. When Addie was a toddler, I traded babysitting with neighbors and close friends. Now that I live somewhere without reliable neighbors, and without friends or family nearby, Vivi gets to hang out with her little daycare friends. It’s a decision that works for us and works for our situation. I have another friend that brings in help once a week and it has made a huge difference in her life as well.
You certainly don’t have to pay someone to help you out now and again, a simple trade off with friends and neighbors can make all the difference. Our situation is unique with our girls so far apart in age and I’m working from home in a country suburb. We have found what works for us, and one of the hardest steps for me was accepting that I needed help and acknowledging that I couldn’t do it all without suffering from a serious mental breakdown. For 8 hours a week Vivi is watched over by caring, qualified people who love taking care of children. I am able to get an incredible amount of work done in those 8 hours which frees up so much time and releases so much stress for the other 160 hours in the week.
It has made a huge difference in the way our home runs and the quality time my family is actually able to spend together.
Have you found a part time childcare situation that works for you?
Find more of Casey’s writing on her blog moosh in indy or her Babble Voices site Shutterlovely. She’s also available on twitter, facebook, flickr and Instagram. If you can’t find her any of those places? Check the couch, she’s probably taking a nap.