A month ago, I found myself staying home for the first time since maternity leave. I ADORED IT. Was it hard and frustrating being with a two-year-old all day? Yes. Did I watch the clock for 6pm when my husband would walk through the door? You bet. But I adored that our routine was on my time and that if we didn’t get out of jammies until 10am, it wasn’t a big deal. I cleaned or blogged or tried a new hairstyle at nap time. There were no performance reviews or risk of being fired and if the kid was alive at the end of the day, I did my job.
Then I received an email and phone call inviting me to work for Microsoft. I felt like pinching myself, said yes, and a week later found myself with an @microsoft email address. We needed the money and I needed the resume booster, so it was a no-brainer when I agreed to join the team at 20-40 hours per week.
At first, I kept Harrison home with me and I worked from the table on our screen porch while he ran circles in our backyard. Then I’d stop for an hour to make him lunch and read some books, picking my laptop back up at naptime. Then I began working more hours and conference calls scheduled outside of naptime. Projects began taking 8 hours at times and it was 8pm before I’d look at my husband and shrug over the question “what’s for dinner?” As much as I wanted to balance motherhood & career perfectly by myself, I had to respect my job at home just like I did in a five-story office building. I needed my full-time nanny back.
But she lived in the nearby city and does not drive and I had no reason to go into the city, so we found ourselves at a frustrating crossroads with me spending 90 minutes on the road each day. With my husband working in yet another town in a different direction, it didn’t make any sense for him to do pick-up and drop-off either. We considered another childcare providor close by home, but my son adores his nanny of two years and we trust her. So after much discussion, we invited her to move into our guest room during the week – she comes over on Sunday evenings and stays until Thursday evening.
Two weeks into this arrangement, it is obvious we made the best decision. My stress level has dropped incredibly since stopping the commute and our nanny feels relaxed here, where I serve family meals and she can sleep in until 8:30am (when I “head into the office.”) versus being up at 7am. Plus, my son is now at home while I work upstairs, which means I can pop down for lunch, tuck him in for nap, or take a quick 15-minute break for PlayDoh.
I don’t know how long this arrangement will last between contract work and a house on the market, but we’re all soaking up the slower pace together.
p.s. I should mention that my nanny is my 20-year-old little sister.